Listen to the new song from Midnight Empire – Can’t Get Enough
Tell us about where you are from and how you got to this position today.
Art: Well we’re from Dallas Texas. Myself, Art the guitar player is from Corpus and the other two guys are from Dallas. We really got in this position trying to fill a void. There was no body writing what we considered really legit rock ”n’ roll so I was fortunate enough to find two other dudes who had the same musical drive and long term goals as I did. So basically we got to be where we did by wanting to fill a niche that we don’t feel is being accommodated right now musically.
Matt: So I’m from Dallas and I got to this position when I was playing in another band at the time and that was going alright, but my buddy Rico who was my assistant drum director in high school called me up one day and said he has these buddies who have this rock ‘n’ roll band and they just canned their drummer. They’re looking for a new guy and he said I would be perfect. So I came in to audition with them and pretty much the rest is history.
Jacob: How we got to this position? Fucking been there and done that as far as the music scene in Dallas and just wasn’t working in my favor at all. Got out of music for a couple of years, got dealt a nasty hand in a relationship, that was a huge worthless waste of my life, and eventually got back into music doing cover work and what not. Then I ran into an old buddy of mine, we were playing golf, and he told me Art (the guitar player) was back from California where he had graduated from MIT . He gave me his number and said you know you guys should hook up and see what happens. The rest is history.
What do you have coming up? What are some of the new projects we can expect to see?
Art: The most noteworthy thing that is coming up is that we just signed a radio and licensing deal with a company called Tinderbox Music, and our shit is being pedaled out to 300 different college radio stations all across the continental North America, including Canada. Thats why I said that, and it’s looking like we might have some potential licensing deals like around the fall for our shit to be placed in television and film. That’s the biggest thing.
Matt: What we have coming up, lets see, one thing about this band that I think a lot of bands can’t say is that we are always constantly writing new material. Everyday that we get together we are either jamming something new or writing something new. We’re always progressing, never staying in one place. I guess I could say there is a new album coming in the future. We probably have at least half written. It’s all tentative, nothing for sure, but that is definitely in the works as of now, and its going to be way more kick ass than the first one. Not that the first one wasn’t kick ass.
Jacob: Yeah the Tinderbox thing is a big deal and like Matt said we got the album that should be coming your way sooner or later. I think with the first album bands are always kind of discovering who they are, and I do think “Everything and Nothing” was a pretty big stepping stone for the three of us. But like Matt was saying we’re continuing to write, and I’m pretty excited for what the second album is going to sound like because it really is to me a more evolved writing set for Midnight Empire. It’s just going to keep evolving like this. It’s just killer, killer music. I couldn’t be happier. Of course we’ve got some shows coming up. We’ve got one at Trees in Dallas on August 25th, opening for a pretty big reunion band, and also we’ve got some gigs out of town we’re about to hit the road on for just a little bit, and that’s pretty much whats coming up.
Tell us more about the current song you are promoting to everyone.
Art: “Can’t Get Enough, ” fuck, I dunno, it’s a steel-toed, boot to the fucking mouth is what it is. A big, groovy, fuck you riff rock, and if you don’t like it you can get the fuck out.
Matt: I have nothing to add to that.
Jacob: “Can’t Get Enough” is definitely a Midnight Empire signature on the breast. It is everything that we stand for; great rock ‘n’ roll. And it’s kind of a sexy tune. If you listen to the lyrics, it’s definitely about a, I don’t want to say one night stand, but it’s definitely a rock ‘n’ roll nasty relationship. “How ya coin? See you never.”
How does your music separate yourself from other artists and bands out there?
Art: We’re a rock ‘n’ roll band. That’s it. That’s why we’re different. We’re a fucking rock ‘n’ roll band. We write our own songs, you can hum every goddam part of it, you can sing every chorus, there’s a riff, there’s a groove, you can tell when there’s a section change, and it ain’t fucking indie, it’s not indie alternative, it’s not electronic, it’s not anything other than rock ‘n’ fucking roll. That’s what makes us different.
Matt: I think one thing that makes us different from a lot of the bands, especially where we are in Dallas, is that our main focus is the songs. The arrangements of them, the melodies, the rhythms, everything is very, I wouldn’t say nit picky, but there’s a reason we’re playing everything that we’re playing. I think a lot of bands kind of get together, you know, play their breakdowns, and their whatever, call it a day, but we really put some time into the actual arrangement of the song and make it a song with a specific character. I think that’s why people like to listen to us so much, because there’s such a wide variety with every song, and it all makes sense.
Jacob: Right on par with what Matt and Art just said, the reason we are who we are is because we grew up listening to some of the best rock ‘n’ roll bands and for the last ten or so years it’s been spotty on rock ‘n’ roll. And just this indie pop bullshit or whatever it just doesn’t drive me home. I don’t get off work from having a long hard day and turn on the radio to some puss puss bullshit. I want to hear some driving rock ‘n’ roll that really kick starts my life again and lets me know “Oh yeah, that’s what it means.” And we’re trying to put that back into the industry because like it or not history repeats itself and we’re not part of this trend follower bullshit. We want to be known as trend setters. Period.
Tell us about one of the hardest challenges you had to face in the industry?
Art: One of the biggest challenges is getting the right people to notice you. I think too locally a big challenge is trying to infiltrate certain media outlets because it’s very cliquey and because we are swimming against the tide. If we’re not fucking wearing skinny jeans and don’t have an iMac onstage with processed loop, there are certain magazines and radio personalities that don’t give a hot fuck. Being alternative in the purest sense of the word, it’s kind of an uphill battle trying to get people to listen the fuck up because you’re not doing whatever everyone else is doing.
Matt: I pretty much agree with Art. Just finding people who get it, who understand where we’re coming from and what we’re doing. Going back to all the trends that are happening right now obviously we are not that, so when people hear our band some people might think “Oh this has been done before or that’s just like this other band,” but that’s not what we’re doing. We’re bringing that flavor back in our own way. Nowadays people don’t even go out to see bands, it’s not the thing to do. We want to bring that experience back and it is a struggle.
Jacob: The motivation is the music itself, but it’s not very motivating when you go out and see a lot of indie pop bullshit bands dressed up like a bunch of suit wearing … nah I can’t say that word in an interview.
Jacob: It’s just seeing this stuff and realizing we are out there to bring music back. It’s a huge challenge, but at the same time it’s all we’re living and all we’re breathing for; this day to come. It must come because that’s the way it is.
What was one of the biggest set backs in your career and how did you bounce back?
Art: I would say the biggest setbacks are dealing with slime bags from all corners of America and local industry sharks. Some of your biggest setbacks are your own mental blocks you set up, when you get discouraged when you’re hammering it out everyday and you don’t really see progress for a month or two. I think then kind of getting a little bummed out about it. I would say that’s the biggest setback for me, the ones that are self imposed.
Matt: Yeah I would agree just because I mean, thankfully, a lot of good things have happened to this band in a very short amount of time. We are moving forward very fast but just like Art said, fast is never fast enough. So we’re trying to accomplish all these things and it’s in our heart and soul that this happens. So in a month or two when nothing happens or we get our hopes up for something and it ends up being total bullshit, those are the sort of setbacks that we face. We’re a new band and it’s just us learning what to expect and how we should bounce back from that.
Jacob: The bass player thing has been kind of a bummer. I played bass on the album knowing that we were going to get a bass player. We get a bass player and it doesn’t work out. Then we start trying out other bass players and that stuff isn’t working out. So now I have to possibly pick up the bass again until we find somebody because we definitely are not just gonna have a revolving door of bass players coming in and out. The next one is going to be the right one and the last one. We won’t accept anything less than the best. It’s been a struggle but that’s fine because I’ll keep playing the bass until we find somebody. It ups our stage presence by 99% when I’m bass free.
What are some things artists need to be careful of?
Art: Scumbags. I think too artists, musicians, and bands need to be very selective about the opportunities they pursue. Just because somebody puts a contract in front of your face don’t sign it or pursue it just because there is an opportunity. Like really be selective and follow your gut. There have been countless times when people have come to us and offered us stuff and it seemed really appealing, but we knew it wasn’t the right decision. I think had we taken those opportunities it could have ended very bad. Try to be patient and wait for quality over quantity in terms of the opportunities you take on.
Jacob: A lot of things I see out there are really nauseating because I see other bands and musicians, wannabe musicians, they go out and they pick the clothing and they pick the fashion before the music. So basically what it is, is just shit fireworks to finally set off the big one and it’s just a dud. If more bands and musicians focused on the music as opposed to the party life and everything that comes along with the music they’d probably be doing the world a lot better. I would say the last time that happened was probably the 90′s.
Matt: If you’re forming a band you need to ask yourself, “Why am I going to play this style of music? Why am I going to play in this type of band?” That’s because a lot of people just want to be in a band to meet chicks or to party all night or just to be a part of a scene, but to me the only reason to play music is to play the music in your heart. When you’re seeing a live band you can tell when all of the people on stage are really loving it and just having a 100% natural experience. They’re not up there acting you know. People can tell that. You need to ask yourself, “Why am I going to do this?” If you can’t figure out a reason other than partying or meeting girls or whatever, then you should probably do something else because you’re not doing anybody any good.
What suggestions do you have for other artists like yourself?
Art: Do what you do because it’s what you want to do and ignore fucking trends. That is the philosophy, essence of rock ‘n’ roll. It’s following your own intuition, your own wants and desires irregardless of whats culturally acceptable or whats trending. Be authentic.
What is one of your favorite ways to promote yourself and your music?
Jacob: I would say live.
Art: The tried and true formula that’s worked for the last sixty years. Ever since Little Richard and Chuck Berry. Just playing our music. It’s also different now because we live in a different, changing, social, media landscape. Everything is social media. Everybody’s on Twitter, on fucking Reverberation. Everybody’s on Facebook. It’s easy to get over saturated information and the best way is to get in front of a crowd and fucking show ‘em your shit.
Where can people visit you?
Buy debut album “Everything and Nothing”:
Danger Dog Music Reviews
“Midnight Empire: Everything and Nothing (Melodic) Hard Rock”
Dallas Morning News Article 1
“Dallas band Midnight Empire plays rock ‘n’ roll, pure and simple”
Dallas Morning News Article 2
“Concert review: Dallas band Midnight Empire preserves pure rock ‘n’ roll
Dallas Morning News Article 3
“Spotlight: One Year Anniversary”
Dallas Morning News Article 4
“Midnight Empire frontman Jacob Henderson to sing National Anthem.
“Dallas Rock Band Midnight Empire Out To Make It Big”
“Midnight Empire Album Review”
“Emerging Artist Pick”