Interview with Midnight Main Man Athenar

Anyone who knows me, knows I am a HUGE Midnight fan and make every effort to catch them whenever they play anywhere near NYC. Today I got a chance to speak with Anthenar, who’s is the brains behind Midnight – here we go:

* So the new album has 2 super long songs on it – What was the game plan on these? Or they just wrote themselves that way?
Super long songs! they’re pretty short by in-a-gadda-da-vida standards. They kinda wrote themselves although those were the first 2 tunes written for this album and I initially was just gonna release a 2 song 12″ ep. but the 4 song shox of violence ep came out instead so I figured fuck it and just use the 2 super long songs as bookends for a full lp. for those tunes I was kinda in the headspace of Achilles last stand and blood of my enemies. I don’t think they turned out like either of those songs which is good!

* How do you lay down drum tracks when you are demoing – play it on a kit yourself or use one of those “toon track” type drum programs?
Just simple as possible. Sit down behind the drums and play while humming the tune in my head. it’s just like air drumming but actually hitting the drums while air drumming. makes sense?


Still waiting for that phone call from Neil Young.

* Have you ever been tempted to collab with other songwriters? Or is that something you have zero interest in?
Yeah me and Joel Grind have talked about doing stuff for years but nothing has surfaced yet. Maybe some day. Still waiting for that phone call from Neil Young.

I just liked the chuck berry idea of just showing up to a gig with a guitar and playing

* You started out just you playing along to a backing track – was that just from a lack of finding like minded musicians?
I just had no interest in being in a band. I wanted to do something somewhat unique like not having a band, sounds stupid I know. I just liked the chuck berry idea of just showing up to a gig with a guitar and playing. He had a live back up band waiting for him. I had a tape machine, bit of a difference.

I did write satanic royalty in a week in the winter.

* So are you originally from Cleveland right? (I recall an interview some years back where you said you just moved back and sat in your basement and wrote the entire Satanic Royalty album in a weekend as it was too cold to go out)
I was born in Cleveland and never moved away from the northeast Ohio area. I did write satanic royalty in a week in the winter. it was just something to do cuz it was shitty cold outside which I don’t mind. I’m not a sun sucker, I’m a snow bunny.

* How much of an influence do you think the city has been on your songwriting – as in my mind Cleveland has always been a dirty rock n roll town
Yeah being from Cleveland is for sure an influence of what’s gonna come out from inside. I didn’t grow up in the slums of east Cleveland or anything but it’s a certain type of person from Cleveland, very genuine.

* Correct me if I am wrong but didn’t you live in Boulder CO for some time too? How do you compare the two cities music scene wise?
You stand to be corrected sir. I never lived in Colorado. I have visited the state though and recently it smells of mary jane.

* Originally the plan was for you to just release Eps and Splits and you are now on your 3rd LP? What made you change your game plan? (Not that I am complaining mind you!)
Yeah well we all know life never goes as planned. It just started with satanic royalty to see if I could make a full album of 10 songs and see what would happen. Some folks experiment with drugs, I experiment with fucking around in the basement with a 4 track tape recorder I guess.

Dang as a 12 year old now would be cool too

* How much of a difference do you think there is if you were growing up as a 12yo metal fan now versus say discovering the underground scene in the 80s?
Dang as a 12 year old now would be cool too. there’s so much music readily available to your though the computer. where as in the 80’s you really had to pick and choose wisely. you have 1 album to waste your money on a week if you’re lucky. you just couldn’t endlessly download obscure demos and imports. although that is the bad thing about now is it’s total overload so you don’t get to digest everything like you could in the 80s. back then you would buy hallows eve tales of terror, listen to it over and over while checking out the cover, reading every word on the back cover, insert and hopefully it came with a merch sheet that you could send in 8 bux money order to buy a shirt and hopefully get it in 2 months. or like in my case with hallows eve never receive the shirt at all, bastards!

I really enjoyed doing those gigs with Joel. We have a lot of shit in common

* You did a stint playing live for Joel Grind and Toxic Holocaust – what was your biggest “take away” from how Joel runs his band for you?
I really enjoyed doing those gigs with Joel. We have a lot of shit in common. I guess the takeaway would be was there is no compromise at all. You get to see your vision hopefully fully realized.

* So as of right now there is a lot of evil shit coming out of Hollywood , you know total EYES WIDE SHUT stuff, What’s your take on all of that? Surely Hollywood is the real Satanic Royalty, no?
Ha! I guess. Who knows what goes on with all that horseshit. who cares?

* What can we expect from you in 2018?
Well I’d like to say to expect some touring and gigs, boring answer. but probably not. I’m just finishing up recording vox for another full length lp but that won’t come out in 2018.

* Any final words?
I hope these aren’t my final words in life! but thanks a lot Alex for taking time to give a shit about the band, it means a lot.