Meet the Artist - Midnight Youth

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Your first album, The Brave Don’t Run, was a big success by going certified platinum in New Zealand. Tell us about your 2nd album, World Comes Calling, and what you wanted to communicate with it.

World Comes Calling reflects how the band has grown from being a group of teenagers jamming in their parents’ houses to now being men who’ve spent the past three years touring the world. For us, it’s a more mature record in sound, subject and construction and shows our love for playing rock ‘n’ roll.

We have been talking in our office about your single, World Comes Calling, since we heard it. What is the inspiration for the lyrics?

Lyrically, this song poses a question to people. To put it simply - life is short, humankind is largely insignificant, so what are you going to do to make yourself count?

What’s your songwriting process? Do you write lyrics before music? Is it an individual thing to start and then becomes a group process?

Our band doesn’t tend to rely on one particular way of conceiving a song – sometimes the words come first and sometimes it can be a great riff. However, most of the time these initial ideas are worked on and fleshed out between Jeremy and Simon before the idea is brought to the group in the rehearsal room to make it complete.

Everyone loves to hear about funny stories you’ve had trying to write songs. Any songs you had particular trouble writing or were inspired to write by a funny experience?

Haha, this question probably reminds us that we probably take ourselves a bit too seriously most of the time. All the songs are pretty intense on this record but they came as a result of the band living together for about a year on a diet of two-minute noodles, big refugee-style bags of rice and very little daylight – we promise we’ve learnt and we’ll lighten up in time for the next record though!

You’re active on Twitter (@midnightyouth) and Facebook. How much do you interact with fans on those sites?

We’re constantly talking to fans on our social media sites – they’re pretty much our only friends once we’re on tour!

What’s your strategy for playing a live show? Do you save your biggest songs for the finish or start with a bang?

We try and do both actually! In New Zealand we have the luxury of a number of hit songs, so that makes that strategy easy. If we’re playing to an audience who barely knows us though, we mix it up a wee bit and replace “hits” with songs we know are proven natural “crowd-pleasers” – which is often the same thing.

You are massively popular in New Zealand. What’s it like trying to break into the US Market and a whole new fan base?

It’s a massive challenge trying to break into any market – we spent three years touring New Zealand before we got any traction there, so we can expect the same and probably more from a place like the US. At the end of the day though you have to believe in your songs and the idea that a good one will always provide you a break in that process, if you get it into the right hands.

You’ve played SXSW and have upcoming shows in California. We heard your song recently on MTV’s “The Challenge”. What else is coming up for you?

We’re basically getting around as much of the world as we can afford! After California we fly to Europe to play shows in England, Germany and the Netherlands before heading to Singapore on the way home to New Zealand. We’re an unheard of and unsigned band as far as most of the world is concerned, so we’re out to change those situations as much as possible.

Check out the video “Who Said You're Free”