Q&A with Blackey Deathproof of Midnight Mob
Midnight Mob are gearing up to release their new EP, Honest Brutal Glorious in March, and if their inspirational new single, "Swing On" is anything to go by, it's going to be an explosive release. Meshing a wide variety of influences, from blues and soul to punk and metal, Midnight Mob are one group that you don't want to sleep on. We recently had the chance to chat with vocalist Blackey Deathproof about the new EP, the message behind "Swing On" and the band's already full calendar of upcoming festival appearances this year. Listen to "Swing On" and read the interview below!
Interview by Dom Vigil
Can you tell us a little bit about Midnight Mob for any readers who may not be familiar?
In a nutshell, Midnight Mob is a high energy rock n roll band from NYC that was born out of the back of a garage. Our music is a fully stuffed cornucopia of rock, punk, metal, blues and whole lot of soul female fronted by 5 feet of power, Blackey Deathproof, and uniquely also feature female bassist, Carly Quinn. We have toured from the bayou of New Orleans through the heat of TX, sold out trailer on OH and slept in the freezing cold of NH in our tour van, Glenn Vanzig. We have had music appear on WWE Smackdown & other shows, were given props by Duff McKagan himself, wrote music for PepsiCo, overfunded our recent PledgeMusic Campaign and have had amazing support out in the UK by STP Records. In addition, we have released 2 EP’s and are the verge of releasing our newest one, Honest Brutal Glorious, which features the single, Swing On. The music video for Swing On is scheduled to come out late February.
Your sound is kind of a melting pot of a lot of different genres, from punk and metal to blues and soul. Where do these influences come from and how do you go about meshing them in a way that works for you guys?
Our music comes from our influences and each member’s influences are all over the place. If you were to look into our phones, ipods, cd players you will find a plethora of classic jams which include artists ranging from Etta James to Pantera to early 90’s hip hop. There is really something you can take from everything. Since each the member has so many different influences keeps everything fresh and far from redundant or stale. When it comes to writing our only drawback is too many options and then having the task to eliminate ideas. Sometimes the music comes about through jamming, sometimes it’s an idea brought in by a member and/or sometimes it’s a full song brought into the circle. Whatever it is we inject our soul & sweat into it and it becomes a Midnight Mob new track. If we don’t feel it while we’re playing it then it’s put on the backburner.
Was the sound something you wanted to accomplish when first forming the band, or was it something that just came together over time?
To be honest we had no idea what we were trying to accomplish at first. All we knew is that we all liked rock n roll, loud guitars, big drums, groovy bass and vocals that you could feel down your back. The sound that we have currently is something that just came to be after members left and new ones came in. Everyone plays differently and chemistry is always changing. Adding and subtracting different members is the equivalent to screwing with a recipe. Sometimes the result is amazing and sometimes not so much. Our current chemistry brings our most recent effort, which is definitely our most solid musically and lyrically.
You’re getting ready to release your new EP, Honest Brutal Glorious this spring. What do you want to be able to accomplish on the EP?
We’re hoping this new EP opens new doors for us and welcomes us into another tier of the music industry. We have been slugging it out for years through thick & thin and we would love to see it pay off. It would be amazing to find our way onto a Halestorm or Pretty Reckless tour. I think it’s important for all those indifferent to female fronted bands to know that we bring just as much intensity if not more intensity to a stage dominated by male rock n roll singers. I also want all those listeners out there to take it to heart that they can be genuine and command respect without having to lead with sex appeal.
Are there any changes or noticeable areas of growth that listeners can expect to hear on Honest Brutal Glorious?
Yeah definitely! When you compare this EP to anything previous the listener will definitely hear a higher level of musicianship and complexity. Also the lyrical content is much more focused and relatable. Our experience and maturity growing with this band has made a major difference with this EP.
You just released your new single, “Swing On” - what is the story behind this track?
“ Swing On” really summed up the overall message of this EP. It was the last minute creation before tracking and seemed to write itself with ease unlike the other songs that seemed to match the struggle we wrote them about. It reflected on the pain, growth, and sacrifice being worth it for that happy ending we were looking for. Lyrically I wrote it in story format. First verse being at the crossroads, choosing to put aside whatever holds you back in order to be the person you need to be even if the bigger part of you doesn’t believe you can. Second verse you starting to gain confidence that you made the right choice even though it hard to let go of some people including the person you thought you were before you started this journey. Third…is TOTAL VICTORY! And it’s all going on while the music is super thumping and upbeat and the chorus is telling you to stop hiding, get in the ring, start swinging, and never stop.
You’ve talked about how “Swing On” is about fighting for what you believe in and being who you’re mean to be. What does that mean for you specifically?
I feel like most people, while going through life, pick up habits and false beliefs about themselves, which keeps us stuck and afraid. While growing up I grew attached to a very negative opinion of myself, from some painful circumstances and struggled to come to terms with it. I lived a very dishonest life struggling with substances and a number of other things. Since the start of the band I always sang about being stuck and not knowing my way out of my situation but still wanted the message to be hopeful. Two and a half years ago it all came crashing down and I knew if I didn’t change I would lose my friends, family, and band. I’d never get the chance be the person I wanted to be and was trying to tell everyone else they could be. I put down all my vices, found a relationship with God and began the grueling process of peeling all the layers of my life back so I could strip myself of any false idea I had about myself. During that time my band was also getting hit hardcore and we all individually had our own personal growing pains that we need to get through. We built the band from nothing and came into it with all of our defects and somehow were all able to beat the odds and call failure a chump. “I’m warrior made. That’s what I’ve become. I claim this victory!”
What do you hope listeners will take away from “Swing On” or just the new EP in general?
To be courageous. This band In general is made up of a pack of goofs that really didn’t have much direction and came into it not even knowing how to play their instruments. You have to fight through being uncomfortable and fear of failure. Who knows what gifts and passions you have until you kind of fling yourself into the unknown (I had no clue I could sing). It sounds cheesy but it’s the truth. Midnight Mob gave us the permission to be our awesome goofy selves and we want to inspire people that they can do the same.
With Honest Brutal Glorious dropping in March, do you have any plans to hit the road?
Actually we just landed the Fashion Meets Music Festival in Columbus, OH, in early September, Dewey Beach Music Conference, DE in late September, and Launch Music Conference Harrisburg, PA in April. We’ll be filling in more dates around these festivals and conferences. In regards to shows in the near future we will be playing NYC at Drom on 2/26/16 and we will be down in Philadelphia on 3/26/16 playing Bull Shooters Saloon. Check www.MidnightMob.com starting in April and we should have a better idea of our tour schedule. There will be dates and they will be all over maybe as far as Wisconsin and all those places in between, we’re working on it.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with us! Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Anytime this was an awesome interview! If you are interested in seeing our new music video and/or live show, we are having a show and celebration party on 2/26/16 in NYC at Drom. Everyone in attendence will be watching the video on a projector with us and rocking out to live music. Tickets are available at www.MidnightMobFans.com/Shop. For all that is Midnight Mob check out www.MidnightMob.com.
Peace, Love, Swag N Roll
Blackey, Carly, Squeeze & Beatz