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INTERVIEW: Midnight Mob

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

We’ve been awesome! The past few months have been extremely exciting. We finally finished the EP and got a wonderful team behind us. We also just shot the music video for our first single “Swing On” with seriously talented beast of a director Jarett Bellucci and Cinematographer Chris Walters. We’re all if great spirits!

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Swing On”

Swing on was the last addition to the six songs on the EP and was a real turning point. A week or so before laying down the drums we fiddled around with the main riff, which was from an old song of ours, and it all seemed to just click. Unlike the other songs, “Swing On” seemed to write itself and became the foundation of this EP. It deals with three main part: First, the realization of being a hot mess and needing desperately to change. Second, knowing you’re going to fight for it no matter what it costs in order to be the better person you need to be and silencing all the other negative voices that try to keep you in that mind set that you can’t change and  you’ll always be mess. Third verse… a total GLORY! All with the chorus screaming for you to take off the mask, get in the ring, start swinging and never stop.

Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?

All the songs tell a piece of that story of being completely lost and stuck between the rock and a hard place but wildly determined to come out in a blaze of glory and wanting to encourage the listener that they can do the same. Admittedly I struggled on and off with substances to deal with some dark issues from my youth. I was always running. Truthfully I didn’t realize how in pain I was and how much of a messed up lie I was living till it all came crashing into my face. I knew if I didn’t plunge head first into healing, sobriety, and a relationship with God, it would all be over. I was so blessed to be in my band and have them stand by me through all of it. “Swing On” summed up the past two years of dealing with all that.

The single comes off your new album Honest Brutal Glorious – what’s the story behind the title?

The title “Honest Brutal Glorious” actually came from an interview we did months before we even starting recording. We were describing our live show and how we’ve developed as artists over the years spent in the band. Everyone knows the saying “Sex, Drugs, Rock n ‘Roll” but the band taught us to be better people. Performing what I was writing really made me think about what I wanted to say to the world if I only had one chance to do so. You don’t know how you can affect people. Music is so powerful. Every time we played a show it became a challenge to see the world and ourselves differently. On stage I’d mentally go back into some dark hell hole that inspired the song and find a more “honest, brutal, and glorious” way to climb out. We had two crazy turbulent years and it was a miracle we made it through. “Honest, Brutal, Glorious” was meant to be the title.

How was the recording and writing process?

Grueling but incredible. It was an experience that really bonded us together in the end. At the start of all this everything seemed to be a disaster. We got into an accident and totaled our van, which was our way of touring and getting money to support the band. Then our drummer and founding member of the band decided to leave.  I was also overcoming a bunch of personal stuff and getting myself right.  As soon as we found Chris Beatz my left vocal chord was partially paralyzed and I had ton of health issues on top of a cyst on my larynx. For weeks I’d attempt to get in the vocal booth and do a take and it just was a heartbreaking nightmare. We had to delay everything months and for a long time I didn’t think I’d be able to sing again. It was insane and I nearly lost my mind. I even tried getting a shot in my throat (SO METAL). BUT once “Swing On” came into the picture we suddenly felt a bit of new life. My health got better and we did a lot of experimenting and all pushed ourselves as musicians and the end result blew everything we envisioned out of the water. Even if this isn’t our big break our bond with each other and dedication to this team was stronger than ever. We finally started to feel like ourselves and the rest of the songs started to REALLY make sense. I didn’t finish the lyrics 100% to most of the songs till I was in the vocal booth. I think having this song and knowing the outcome of the story helped develop the true nature of each individual character we tried to bring out of each song.

Would you call this a spiritual sequel to your previous record or this is standalone new material?

It’s both. We write what we’re going through at the time. We REALLY want it to capture our blood sweat and tears and pour every ounce of it into the listener’s ears (that rhymed, rock!). Anything less just doesn’t feel right. With the second EP “Black Moon” we were confident and found what really made us come alive on stage and tried to cage that wild animal and put it on a recording. Lyrically I kept writing about my weird double life and my knowing there was hope but couldn’t figure out how to really come out of what I was in. “Honest, Brutal, Glorious” is the tale of that journey for all of us.

I can hear some Dead Weather in your music – is that a coincidence or do they play a role in your music? Who would you say are your biggest influences?

That’s an amazing complement. Thank you! I really love their sound and they have an amazing super group line up. But it’s more coincidence. I’ve only gotten to listen to a few of their songs. I’m a sucker for any dirty rocking swampy blues sound. It calls to me in the middle of the night. Alison Mossart had a SICK voice dripping with grit and soul and Jack White really writes a lot of genius music that I can’t help but like and he sounds awesome with her.

Our Influences are all over the place. Led Zeppelin, The clash, Cheap Trick, Etta James, Motorhead, Iron Maiden, Johnny Cash, Social Distortion, The Clash

What honest brutal reality got to inspire the songs and lyrics on this album?

Our crazy honest, beautifully brutal, glorious lives. It’s the truth. The lyrics came from our day to day.

What else is happening next in Midnight Mob’s world?

Were always talking about hitting the road. The road has always felt like home for us – a home full of perfect strangers, new experiences, new friends, new family. We will be playing various conferences this year, so stay tuned. Coming up in the near future we are playing the Millennium Music Conference in Harrisburg, PA on 2/20/16 at H*MAC. Shortly after that on 2/26 we will be releasing our video for the song “Swing On”. The night we will be having a special release party for it at Drom in NYC. We’re going to rock out with our friends, family & fans then watch the video together.

 

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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