Bubbly pop music and boy bands seem to be making a comeback these past few years. From the return of some of the old-school NKOTB and BSB to the “it” bands of this generation like One Direction, I definitely see that wave taking over.
Another upcoming boy band that is already making its place in the States and that is slowly making its way over here is Midnight Red. This band has been together for about 3 years and though they have only released one self-titled EP, they have already had the chance to work with renowned producer RedOne on top of scoring the opening spot for the NKOTBSB tour in 2011. Not bad for such a young band.
Recently, they released their latest single, a catchy song entitled ‘Hell Yeah’ and their debut full-length is set to be released in 2013. When the guys were in Montreal for a little promo, I had the chance to catch them before they headed over to Musique Plus to learn more about them, their music and to see Joey’s artistic talents!
CONFRONT: Let’s start with a little history 101 of the band!
THOMAS: History 101. Midnight Red, we were from the same orphanage and there was this huge fire and we sang our way out.
ERIC: We’re the only survivors.
THOMAS: Yeah we’re the only survivors. But the real story is…with boy bands, a lot of people always have this notion that it’s very manufactured and that’s not the case for Midnight Red. I met Eric 6 years ago; we were friends and we were doing a show together. I lived out in Texas and he lived out in California and that’s where he met Anthony so it was the two of them and since Eric and I were friends, I flew out and it was the three of us forming a group. We found Colton through YouTube and Joey through a mutual producer. Since then, it was Midnight Red and we were rehearsing in a garage in the summer time, just 5 guys with one big dream and we were just hungry and that was just Midnight Red!
ERIC: We’ve been together for a little over 3 years and we’ve been signed for a little over 2 and a half.
CONFRONT: Actually, how does it feel to have accomplished that and so much in so little time without even a debut album out?
ANTHONY: I think we’re really proud of what we’ve accomplished so far but we, as a group, know that there’s so much more to go. We’re ready to put our all into making sure that happens.
THOMAS: I also want to add that it wasn’t a thing that just happened so quickly; there was a lot of work and a lot of struggle and people don’t usually see that side of things. There was a lot of letdowns and struggles that we really had to push through and persevere through. Luckily, we have an excellent team today and we’re able to meet everyone and cumulate that. It’s because we care so much about being the best at our craft and being legitimate; we want longevity so we put in a lot of work to have what we have today without even having an album.
CONFRONT: I guess it’s paying off, it’s pretty amazing to see how far you’re already gotten. And what made you want to do this as a career?
COLTON: I think all of us, we all grew up in the late 90s, early 2000s and that’s when the music that we grew up with really hit; it was a pop explosion and we’re kind of in another pop explosion. It’s kind of revamping a little bit so it’s really cool that now, we can potentially become the next era of that pop movement and I think that’s what really inspires us. We saw those artists like Britney and Christina, N’Sync, Backstreet Boys, countless people and those people inspired us. Just seeing those performers and seeing how they can change people’s lives and how they changed our lives; I want to be able to do that for someone else. And we already have, which is so crazy! A lot of people [tell us] “we love you but we really love you because you brought me close with my best friend who lives in another country”.
CONFRONT: Well now with the internet, it’s easier for people to stay connected and for you guys to spread your music out there!
ERIC: Worldwide fans, but we haven’t been everywhere!
CONFRONT: Yeah! And social media is super important now; are you guys really using it to your advantage as much as possible?
JOEY: Yeah it’s us on all of our Twitters, it’s us on the group account; we take the time to really make a connection with the fans. That’s what draws them even closer to us. Being in a boy band in general is cool; they love us, they see the video, they see YouTube whatever and they love us. But when we actually interact with the fans, that’s when they feel like they know you and that you care.
ANTHONY: Yeah that’s really important for us.
CONFRONT: Do you think the line between private life and public life still exists at this point though?
ERIC: Anyone has the power to hide what they don’t want to say or to share what they do want to share. With that, you do have privacy that you want. Our fans know basically everything about us.
COLTON: Yeah we don’t have anything to hide! Going off from that though, just last night, Eric posted a picture and the location was tagged. One of the comments on it said “oh you’re going to have people show up at your hotel”. We kind of keep having those realizations that we have to be careful of certain things. The other day, I was playing with Joey and I had my friends knock on the door and he didn’t recognize them right away so he didn’t answer the door until I got in front of the door. He was being careful.
CONFRONT: But fans have a way of knowing where you are.
ANTHONY: They know everything.
THOMAS: We had a show in New York a couple of nights ago and we were at the train station early in the morning and there were a bunch of fans and we had no idea how they knew. The only thing we figured out was because Joey [tweeted that] we were getting on the train or something but that was it!
CONFRONT: There could be so many train stations!
THOMAS: But they know! They were just there.
ERIC: And we had just woken up from a 3 hour train ride at 5-6 in the morning so we were just [he did a tired/zombie face and noise here].
THOMAS: Being in Midnight Red is a 24h job.
COLTON: Being a Midnight Red fan is a 24h job! We had people outside of our hotel in New York just posted 48h, just taking rotations.
CONFRONT: That is just crazy! Now, let’s talk about your music a little bit. You released your self-titled EP in 2011, how was that experience?
ERIC: We released our EP right as we went on tour with the Backstreet Boys and the New Kids on the Block. That was really our first experience as Midnight Red. We literally went from a block show in our hometown to 40 people to Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas to 12 000 people just screaming. It’s this experience we can’t…it’s just a surreal experience; that’s the best way to explain it. But it’s been a roller coaster ride, it’s been amazing, the tour was amazing. That’s when we pushed our first single ‘One Club At A Time’. But now, we have ‘Hell Yeah’!
JOEY: And being on iTunes for the first time.
EVERYONE: Yeah! That was cool/crazy!
COLTON: It was cool to see that we charted and we were in-between Rihanna and Beyonce. It happened very fast but we got the screenshot!
ERIC: We have proof!
THOMAS: Also, that first EP that we put out, I feel like that was our first experience as Midnight Red, as Eric said. So we evolved and we’ve really grown from that point. That was really us testing the waters; we knew the identity of Midnight Red but we learned so much more on that tour. After that EP was released, we know phonically the direction we want to head in for the album. We grew, evolved and learned so much as Midnight Red as a unit.
CONFRONT: And where are you guys headed, sound-wise?
THOMAS: I think Midnight Red’s sound can be described as…
THOMAS: Yeah heavy metal?
THOMAS: It’s definitely pop music. Colton was saying earlier how we’re all very inspired by that wave of the late 90s pop era and Midnight Red is going to be a very global situation where the melodies are so catchy and very pop-infectious that it transcends the language barrier. It’s very dance driven because Midnight Red is very dance driven and performance driven so we’re able to live that out in the music. RedOne is the executive producer of the album as well and he’s a genius at making dance hits so it’s going to be good. You can expect stuff that isn’t typical boy band.
CONFRONT: Cool! And do you have a release date?
COLTON: We don’t have a release date but our goal is for 2013.
THOMAS: I think ‘Hell Yeah’ is a good tester. I think it’s a good testament to what you can kind of expect.
CONFRONT: Awesome! Now, I’m going to ask you to draw something that represents yourselves and at the same time, I’ll ask you a few fan questions. Katherine (KatherineJB_Fan on Twitter) wanted to know what’s your greatest memory so far related to being in a band.
JOEY: Mandalay Bay was the bomb!
ERIC: But there was also different kinds of biggest moments. We flew to Paris in December to record our album and that was huge for us to actually travel to a different country and record for work.
THOMAS: For me, personally, I’d have to say…
COLTON: This weekend?
THOMAS: This weekend.
COLTON: I was just going to that.
THOMAS: In New York, we had a packed house at Gramercy. It was our show. I can’t believe the crowd that we were able to draw in and it was really emotional for us. That was the first time we got up there and people in the audience were singing and knew the words. It was really crazy. People knew the words!
COLTON: To music that’s not even out, music that we don’t have available other than live on YouTube. That means we have fans going through out live performances and watching them over and over to learn the stuff. I think we’re going to be able to look back at this weekend, being in Montreal and everything and it will be the weekend that all that work in Paris was put to use. And I mean, Paris was unbelievable too!
CONFRONT: Speaking of Montreal brings me to another fan question: Audrey (Audrey Dess on FB) wanted to know what the one thing you really want to see or do in Montreal is.
ERIC: Party! Woohooo!
EVERYONE: Woohoo, yeaaaah!
ERIC: I would really like to see the nightlife out here.
THOMAS: Yeah I would like to see the nightlife.
COLTON: I just want to interact with the people out here and see the differences and screw up in my French!
CONFRONT: Are you going to speak any French at all later at Musique Plus?
ANTHONY: I’m definitely not!
COLTON: We’re going to embarrass ourselves trying!
THOMAS: We will do our best.
CONFRONT: And Jessica (jebieberxo on Twitter) asked what is your favorite part of visiting all these places around the world?
JOEY: Just seeing the people. I like people-watching. And people-watching at home was good but people-watching across the world is even better because this is real life.
THOMAS: Yeah it’s insane. That’s one cool thing Colton and I were talking about. One cool thing we get to experience that you don’t learn from school or whatnot is that we get to learn about different cultures and see it firsthand. That’s something we’re so fortunate to experience and [we’re excited for] how much more we’re going to get to see. You just become a more cultured person and you just know more about the world. There’s so much to see in the world.
CONFRONT: What better way to learn right?
COLTON: It’s going to open up our minds to a lot of things and we’re already open-minded people as it is so we’re just going to take it in; I’m anticipating that so much! And [Joey] is drawing the world right now and I can’t wait!
CONFRONT: How does that drawing represent Midnight Red?
COLTON: Taking over the world, one country at a time!
ERIC: We really want to grow like giants and just be up in the atmosphere.
THOMAS: Playing music.
COLTON: We’re going to the arctic.
ERIC: Throwing music signs into the atmosphere.
THOMAS: After we’re doing being pop stars, we’re going to turn into Santa Claus.
JOEY: If you look at all of us, you can tell we come from all different parts of the world, even though we’re from California.
THOMAS: Yeah I’m from Texas but I’m from Venezuela.
ANTONY: I’m Philipino and Irish.
JOEY: African-American and Spanish.
ERIC: Israeli and Latino.
THOMAS: Caucasian! But yeah, we do represent all different walks of life. Our musical tastes, our style…
THOMAS: Personalities and so many aspects. But as cliché as it is, it really is music and what we love to do that really brought us together. I learned more about the worlds these guys come from and I’ve grown as a person in understanding.
COLTON: Yeah we want to learn more about the world and stuff but we have to start with ourselves.
CONFRONT: That’s true. Is there anything you’d like to add?
ERIC: Follow us on Twitter, @itsmidnightred!
ANTHONY: Thank you to all the redheads out there, thanks to our fans.
JOEY: Yeah we really appreciate it.
THOMAS: We love Montreal.
If you want to see more shots of the interview, including a few close-ups, they’re up in our galleries! http://www.confrontmagazine.com/2012/10/midnight-red-interview-september-24th-2012/
Also, you can view the playlist the band gave me over here!
If you want to check them out, here are a few links:
Official site : http://www.midnightred.com/
Twitter : https://twitter.com/itsmidnightred
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/itsmidnightred
YouTube : http://www.youtube.com/itsmidnightred