Midnight Spin a young band hailing from New York, is made up of Mike Corbett (vocals, guitar), Jim Terranova (guitar, vocals), Danny Scull (drums), Ben Waters (bass), Jeremy Cohen (keys). While they all can boast college graduation on their resumes--seriously, who ever heard of a band that was educated? Midnight Spin has that contagious, infectious sound that beats its way into your memory.
They touch different genres ranging from rock, grunge, and mainstream pop, no doubt a reflection of their wide musical influences ranging from The Stones to Elvis Costello, to Zeppelin to Tom Petty. How come no one ever says Jerry Lee Louis?
On a serious note, their music has depth and layers to it, coupled with intelligent, evocative, and mind-provoking lyrics. It does something fairly rare, sticks in your mind. Even after you stopped listening. It is seldom that the musical gods drop a band in your lap and you feel it in your bones that you have something special in your hands.
The five band members that make up Midnight Spin have just hit the mainstream radar. Just last night they found out MTV picked up their video for their single, "In the Air, a potent song about the senseless gun violence from a couple of rednecks living in Pittsburgh. And it is quite possible that they are the only band to accomplish this honor without having an actual full-length album out. See, they are that good.
I was the third human being to hear the good news about MTV. I came somewhere after mom and girlfriend. I guess that's permissible. I hope I didn't just eradicate the chances of some poor band member getting laid. Wait, groupies love band mates with girlfriends. Nevermind. Chances are looking good again.
FuseTv also picked up the "In the Air" video and will be playing it the entire month of July.
In addition to some really cool video play coming their way, Midnight Spin has recently shared the bill with Guns N' Roses. Of course they have some words of insight about Axl.
At any rate, these guys have the magic. They actually have it. The stuff that makes you want to shell out ten bucks for a download on iTunes or heaven forbid, actually purchase a real-live-copy on the archaic CD. But they are only available on iTunes. Sorry purists.They have likable, charismatic personalities, and that wonderfully elusive, self-deprecating sense of humor that manages to be charming and cutting all at once.
I look forward to the new album the band has in the works for the Fall. While the EP "Through The Mojo Wire" titillates, the new album promises to depart from the EP enough to show the musical growth the band has undergone this past year.
antiMusic was fortunate enough to have a little chat with the band. We hope you'll give them a shot.
antiMusic: you sound like a cross between Blink 182, Fountains of Wayne, Muse, meets bad-ass rock. Where did you get your sound from?
Mike: Just jamming together and coming up with sounds we would like to hear if we went to see a band play. We're going for more "bad-ass rock" than Fountains of Wayne.
antiMusic: Where did you all meet?
Mike and Danny met in 5th grade and spent the better part of junior high blowing through Green Day and Nirvana covers. They quickly became the best instrumental two-man punk rock band in school. In 2007, Mike and Danny moved to NYC with the intention of realizing their musical pipe-dreams. They moved into a basement music studio under the JMZ train and shared a bunk bed in the drum room. Shortly thereafter they recruited Ben (a college friend of Danny's) to play bass on the condition that he grow his hair out. In 2008, Jim skeptically answered a craigslist ad, and showed up to audition at what he thought was going to be a music studio, but what turned out to be a bedroom of squalor and funk. He immediately signed on. Mike met Jeremy at a party, convinced him to quit his full-time job in Boston and move to New York to play keys. Midnight Spin was born.
antiMusic: What did you do in a past life before you concentrated on making music?
Jim: We all graduated college. Then we kinda sorta worked "real" jobs. I worked at The Maury Povich Show. What a f***ing nightmare. Mike was an excellent caddy. Ben has marketed chicken and shampoo (not at the same time), and Jeremy can do important financial things for multi-million dollar corporations. I've lost track of all the dumb s*** Danny has done to pay rent. I think their was a week or two that he was living in our band's van.
antiMusic: Did you always want to be a rockstar?
Jim: Either a musician or the QB for the San Francisco 49ers. We've all wanted to take this path for a long time.
antiMusic: how close have you come to feeling like a rockstar?
Mike: Meeting Axl Rose after we played GnR's green room was pretty cool even though he was a dick.
Jim: We go back and forth from "feeling like rockstars" to feeling like starving artists. We've played venues in Brooklyn standing ankle deep in water in a basement of a club trying not to get electrocuted, and then a year later we are playing a NYC Fashion week show for John Varvatos with Guns'N'Roses. It's a bi-polar world Midnight Spin lives in. Luckily we have been experiencing more "rockstar" moments lately, but when you are counting quarters to buy a 6-pack it keeps you pretty grounded.
antiMusic: what's been the most challenging obstacle to overcome?
Mike: The Aggro-crag.
Jim: The transition from "weekend warriors" to making the big leap to full-time band is the toughest obstacle to get past. Once you jump that hurdle it's full speed ahead, but that uncertainty is where a lot of bands get lost I think.
antiMusic: What have you discovered about yourself and each other along this journey?
The more success we have gained the harder we have all been willing to work.
antiMusic: Talk about the FuseTv video selection?
Jim: Our video for our single "In The Air (Revival)" is going to be featured on FUSE TV on-demand for the entire month of July. It is also going to be available on their website: www.fuse.tv/fod. Pretty much a dream come true for a self-managed and independent band to catch the eye of such a popular channel. We hope it spreads the music to places we haven't toured yet. Feels really overwhelmingly cool to be able to tell our fans they can watch our video using their TV remote. Still hasn't sunk in yet.
antiMusic: Do you have a full-length album coming out?
Jim: We plan on getting back into the studio in the beginning of Fall and releasing a full length before the end of the year. We have a lot of new material that we are playing at our shows, and are hashing out what is going to make it onto the new album. Out of all the things going on with the band, this is the one thing we are looking forward to the most. "Through The Mojo Wire" has done great things for us, but we are really excited with the way the new music is coming together. The EP was recorded over a year ago, it was our first real recording, and in the past year we have grown so much as a band...the new album will show that.
antiMusic: Who does the songwriting?
Mike: A pretty collective effort musically, and the bulk of the lyrics and melodies come from Dan, Jim, and Mike.
Jim: Everyone. We try to collaborate as much as possible, and we all generally have a lot of input in each song from the beginning. If one member is feeling particularly inspired we let them run with the song, but at the end of the day every song feels like a group effort.
antiMusic: Do the lyrics mean the same thing they did when the were first written?
Mike: I guess literally, they do. But interpretations can always change as you change as a person, live through different experiences, and the world evolves as well, it can tilt the entire axis of something.
antiMusic: Who are the songs about?
Mike: Friends, people in the news, people in our heads.
antiMusic: Can you share a story that served as the basis for the lyrics of one of your songs?
Mike: There was a terrible shooting that took place in Pittsburgh last year, in April. Three police officers were killed by a gunman who feared Obama was going to take away his right to carry a gun. That formed the basis of "In the Air", it expanded from there to extrapolate the political undertones and basic unfounded paranoia that propelled that slew of mass shootings that occurred in '09.
Brooklyn's Weary was inspired by walking around Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg, just noticing all the young people there and attempting to have a song to relate to each other, a bunch of kids living in this huge city and following their dreams, avoiding real life, committing crimes, whatever. Just an underbelly of weird kind of song.
antiMusic: What inspires you?
Jim: New York City. Living here, making it work, being surrounded by so many cultures...you'd have to be a corpse not to be inspired.
antiMusic: How do you balance your personal life?
Mike: Extremely poorly at this stage.
Jim: What's a personal life? It is nice to have days off here and there, but for the most part we are eating, sleeping, breathing Midnight Spin.
antiMusic: "In the Air" has an eighties throw-back vibe to it Was that what you were going for?
Jim: It's funny you say that because that thought never crossed our mind. As a band I think our influences come from so many decades of great rock music, but pretty much skip the 80's. We've heard ourselves compared to so many bands, so many different styles...again, everyone interprets music differently. At the end of the day as long as people are into our songs we don't care who they think we sound like. Hopefully after a full length everyone will think we sound like Midnight Spin.
Mike: We were actually trying to sound like we were in OUR eighties, not THE eighties.
antiMusic: "Mr Slate" starts off sounding like the riff from Michael Jackson's "Annie Are You Okay." Can you explain the similarities?
Jeremy: Ben was wearing a bedazzled silver glove on his right hand when he wrote the bass line.
antiMusic: I heard you just landed video rotation on MTV. Congrats! Can you talk a little more about this?
Mike: The video will rotate at a 60 degree angle for the next 3 lunar eclipses, at 3:00 AM on MTV 4.
Jim: We just found out yesterday that an MTV committee approved our video to be added to their schedule. Our director Will Coss and producer/editor Al Clary really worked hard for us to make a video that was good enough to be on MTV, no small feat for an unsigned band. We thought it was a long-shot...which it was, but apparently the MTV Gods are smiling down on us.
antiMusic: Who are your influences?
Mike: I love Elvis Costello's wordplay and Tom Petty's no bulls*** delivery. My biggest idols are probably Eddie Vedder and Keith Richards.
Jim: We were all at the perfect age to worship 90's rock when it was dominating the music world, so a lot of our common interests fall in that category. But our influences range the entire spectrum of rock music, bands like Zeppelin, The Stones, The Strokes, The Beatles, Pearl Jam, Tom Petty, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Elvis Costello, Nirvana...I mean we could go all day here, but these are the bands we are into the most.
antiMusic: What were your biggest challenges with making the EP?
Jim: Striking a balance between our tendency to take a traditional rock approach with our producer's electronic background. There were moments of difficulty as with all creative collaborations, but the end result was an album that we're really proud of.
antiMusic: Where did you record?
Jim: Bushwick Studios in Brooklyn.
antiMusic: Who edited/produced you guys?
Jim: Nic Hard. Very talented Producer/Engineer who has worked with The Bravery on "An Honest Mistake". Nic pushed us to become a better band, and his accent rules.
antiMusic: If you could play with an arena band who would it be?
Jim: All time- Zeppelin. Living- Red Hot Chili Peppers, or The Foo Fighters.
Mike: Probably Pearl Jam.
antiMusic: If you could work with anyone in the industry who would it be?
Mike: Tough question. Jack White seems like he'd be a real fun producer, he's got the energy for multiple projects and just doesn't run out of passion. Dave Grohl is another guy just like that.
Jim: Rick Rubin or Butch Vig.
Ben: I always liked how Brendan O'Brien got the drums to sound on Vs. and Backspacer. I think he could make Danny sound amazing on an album.
antiMusic: What is the most difficult song to play live?
Mike: Brooklyn's Weary is a b*tch to sing live. Nic asked if I could sing it a step up, and unfortunately I could, and I really hate to bring down the key when we perform live, so I go for it in C#m every time.
antiMusic: Where have you had the best reception as a band?
Mike: Mercury Lounge was goofy energy, I was kind of frightened after the reaction of our first song. It was sold out, had a lot of great fans and friends there, and the boom of noise and applause kind of made my heart skip out of surprise.
Jim: We can always rely on having a great show in NY because of our fans, but Mike and Danny grew up in the DC area...and when they have homecoming shows we really are welcomed to an incredible crowd. Most recently we played a show at Middle East in Cambridge Massachusetts and were overwhelmed with the response. One of our favorite shows to date.
antiMusic: are you promoting ourselves or do you have a label helping?
Mike: It's all homegrown.
Jim: Self-run, managed, and promoted right now. We are pretty proud of the things we have been able to accomplish on our own thus far, and have a lot of great things in the works. Realistically, to make it in the music business a label will most likely need to be involved in our future.
antiMusic: Any plans for a wider extended tour that includes more of the States other than the East Coast?
Mike: We want to hit the Midwest. Ben is from Indiana, and knows some Silos with great acoustics and cute farm girls, so we're looking forward to that.
Jim: We are going to play anywhere people want to see us live, so we plan on venturing to some new cities in the near future.
antiMusic: What's next?
Mike: Next was an R&B group from Minnesota whose singles included "Too Close" and "Wifey".
Jeremy: Pretty sure it's a show on MTV in which 5 contestants speed date for the chance at a real date with the main contestant.
Jim: We are setting up a tour for the end of summer before we hit the studio for our full length. We also have a music video coming out in August that we worked with Comedy Central on. Think Goodfellas mixed with Reno 911 mixed with sugary cereal and a mushrooms trip. Stay tuned.
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First Look: Midnight Spin