Originally published March 2016
Here at Soundboard Magazine, we get quite a bit of music sent to us every day. Some of it makes the cut for a weekly feature we like to call Top 5 Songs of the Week, and the band we featured at #1 in our very first Top 5, Midnight Mob for their song Ghosts, off their forthcoming EP Honest Brutal Glorious, were cool enough to give us an email interview. These guys and girls combine to form a very good rock band mixed with elements of blues, punk and even a little metal for a unique sound that left an impression on me, and hey, they’re New Yorkers too! Read through for our interview, and then head over to Midnight Mob’s Soundcloud to check out their music. Link at the bottom.
Q: To start, can you tell us a bit about the band for our readers who might not be familiar with Midnight Mob?
Midnight Mob is a garage spawned high energy NYC rock n roll 4 piece fronted by the female danger explosion of Blackey Deathproof setting the world on fire one mile marker at a time.
Q: How did you all meet and ultimately decide to make music together?
Our story centers around a music store where Squeeze used to give guitar lessons at, our former drummer gave drum lessons at and I, Blackey, was Squeeze’s guitar student. Squeeze and the former drummer started jamming with intent to do a fun cover band. That lasted all of a minute when they found they were both way more into doing original material. The former drummer asked me to sing and I figured why not, it’s something I haven’t done yet. Carly, bassist, we recruited through a local who was a fan of the local bands. After the former drummer left, Carly and I discovered Beatz when he was filling for a friend’s band on a New Years Eve Show. We exchanged info and a few months later he bailed us out when a fill in drummer for us left us hanging. Beatz was hooked, reeled and has been imprisoned on our fishing boat of rock since.
Q: What’s your songwriting process like? Do your write your lyrics first and work out the music later, or do you have an idea of how a song is going to sound when you’re writing lyrics, and who writes those lyrics?
I do have random pieces of paper with lyrics and ideas on them. Whether or not I know where these pieces of paper are is another question. We’re a very much do it on the spot kind of band in regards to writing and recording. Members will bring in ideas and we’ll organize them to where we’re happy with everything and then I will get a basic melody down and some words. Then when we’re in the recording booth everything spews out of us and that’s what you get. In regards to lyrical content it is mostly myself but Carly definitely adds a lot as well. Squeeze and Carly also work out a lot of melodies ahead of time for me to play with as well.
Q: Your sound is mashup of a few different genres of rock, metal and even a little blues. How do you go about meshing those elements together and making them work?
Sometimes it’s tricky because we love so much music that it’s hard to weed out what isn’t really working. We consider ourselves a rock n roll band. A solid groove rules all hands down and blues delivers that. We just take that groove and apply it to loud guitars, booming bass, high energy drumming and my voice which is rooted in old school Etta James/Gospel and it just seems to work. I think what also helps it work is our individual personality injected into each instrument. All those working personalities equals rock n roll band chemistry.
Q: I’ve been listening to Honest Brutal Glorious for about a week now, and I’m really feeling “Ghosts”. What’s the story behind that song, and what’s your favorite track off the EP?
Awesome glad you dig it! “Ghosts” was a combination of the conversations I had to have with my friends, band, family, love interest about getting sober, following God, and trying to get rid of all the ghosts of my past I had been hanging onto. The song is about trying to express to these people what’s going on and trying to even convince yourself that you’re actually going for it.
Q: You’ve been playing the bar scene recently, including your video launch party for “Swing” at Drom here in NYC. Do you have any plans to play larger venues, or any tour plans that you can share?
This past December we actually played to a sold out Gramercy Theatre, which was awesome! We actually wanted our video release there but it was impossible to time when the video was going to be done. We were also recently asked to do Highline Ballroom but unfortunately we couldn’t do it. As far as our confirmed shows we will be doing Launch Music Conference & Festival in Lancaster, PA in April and we will be rocking the Tellus 360 main stage. We will be doing the Fashion Meets Music Festival in September in Columbus, OH. Keep an eye out for additional festival dates, there will be two major announcements in the near future.
Q: I noticed that you do some photography as a hobby. As a live music photojournalist, I’m always fascinated by musicians who are also photographers. When did you first get into photography, and do you think that’s something you’d consider as a career if you couldn’t make music?
I got into photography with my girlfriend actually. She makes some of our merchandise and launched her own custom bags, soap and jewelry business. She needed better product photos so we figured lets invest in a DSLR. We picked up a Nikon, she immediately got frustrated with it and I started playing with it. After I learned the basics and how to shoot manual it became a lot of fun and the video quality is insane. I then started bringing the camera to shows, practice, really anywhere. I wouldn’t do it as a career, but I would like to definitely learn a lot more. If anything I would go into learning web design. I picked that up too out of necessity, I did our website. Check it out at www.MidnightMob.com.
Q: We recently ran a feature in which I compared your raspy vocals to those of Lizzy Hale from Halestorm. Who would you say most inspired you to become a rock vocalist, who are you most often compared to and what would you say sets you apart from other female rock vocalists?
Lizzy Hale is incredible! I’m not going to lie I’m not really a Halestorm fan but her singing is absolutely incredible and the musicianship of that band is unreal. I grew up listening too lots of gospel, blues, classic rock, punk and metal. I really can’t point my finger at one singer that influences me to be a vocalist but I would say Etta James, Iggy Pop, and Robert Plant would be a good start. I’ve been told I look like Joan Jett a lot and that I sound like Brody Dalle, Pink and Janis Joplin. I also do a mean Meatloaf impression. I think a lot of people gravitate towards me due to my live energy and ‘take no prisoners’ approach and that I’m a dork to highest level of dorkiness. I would think most female singers out there don’t know the Pokemon pokerap like I do.
Midnight Mob are set to release their EP Honest Brutal Glorious on March 25th, which we’ve been listening to for a little bit now and will be reviewing prior to its release. You can check out Ghosts off the EP, as well as other Midnight Mob songs at the band’s Soundcloud. Check back in a couple weeks for more on Midnight Mob.
Midnight Mob are:
Blackey Deathproof – Vocals
Carly Quinn – Bass
Mickey Squeeze – Guitar
Chris Beatz – Drums