MIDNIGHT Youth are one of the top rock bands to emerge from the ‘land of the long white cloud’ (NZ) of late. Having already carved up Big Day Out and South by South West the Kiwi invaders now have their sights set on London. And it’s not just for the live shows!
“We’re really just getting used to the process of trying to get our music out of New Zealand,” lead singer Jeremy Redmore chats down the phone. “We’re at the very end of the industry, in terms of world music, so we’re fighting upstream constantly.”
When the five lads from the southern hemisphere aren’t ‘fighting upstream’ with their music, they are often fighting amongst themselves!
“A couple of us who are big rugby supporters but there’s a bit of rivalry as well because two of our band were born in South Africa, so they’ve stayed staunch Springbok supporters, while the other three of us are All Black supporters. So we have some heated match watching sessions! Especially as we all live in the same house!”
On the topic of rugby, last year Midnight Youth had a career highlight when they got to open the “six week long festival” that was the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
“Playing with the Finn brothers at the opening of the Rugby World Cup was mental. The whole city [of Auckland] was going crazy and people had asked us to write a song for the World Cup but we didn’t want to do that sort of crap, so being able to actually play your set as an actual part of the festival was crazy. The whole country was just going nuts. It was huge!”
It’s hard to imagine that one of New Zealand’s most recent biggest rock exports came together, not merely for the love of music, but for much more sinister reasons.
“Most of the guys got together as a band in high school to try and meet girls. They ended up being pretty successful so I thought I would join in,” Jeremy cackles with delight.
And girls they have met! And more. With a string of festivals under their belts, Midnight Youth can’t get enough of the heady mix of big crowd music.
“Festivals — they’re the pinnacle for us and this new album [World Come Calling] was almost called ‘Festival’ at one point! We wanted to write a festival rock album — the kind of thing you close your eyes and you’re playing at Glastonbury. For us though, Big Day Out in Auckland when our first album was going huge, playing the main stage there and having the whole place sing your songs back to you was just incredible. SXSW was awesome too, it was just such a crazy, crazy buzz. We played on a rooftop to about 30 people because that is all that could fit up there and there was a band playing on the rooftop beside us and the rooftop across from us while bands played right beneath us and right beside us, ohh — that place is just ridiculous!”
When not playing rooftops or to thousands of screaming fans, Midnight Youth delight in a bit of culture while travelling the world.
“I think the best thing to waste away time on tour is to explore wherever you are with some locals – there’s usually a hidden gem in every town….even Canberra.”
And no doubt there will be some exploring done in London next week, as the gents prepare for their first ever UK gig,
“This is our first visit to London and we are going to be playing on a Tuesday night, so we are going to be forgetting that fact and just going hard — we’re going to make Tuesday night ‘Friday’ night. There’ll be some fans there and some people who haven’t seen us in a while or have never seen us and have just been told about us, so we are going to be putting on the best possible show really.”
Don’t miss Jeremy Redmore and the Midnight Youth boys at the Borderline 15 May.
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