This month Voxhall have brought the heavy artillery with both Midlake and John Grant. Actually Midlake co-produced, engineered and played on the 2010 album ‘Queen of Denmark’ from their friend John Grant. This time in Aarhus you will be able to experience them on separate nights, with Midlake playing on 13th of March!
Before they visit our cold country again I had a chat with Jesse Chandler (keyboards, piano, flute, backing vocals) from Midlake:
Anitphon was really well received, I think to a lot of old fans (and new’s) pleasant surprise. It seems like everyone is rooting for you guys. Is it weird to get so much attention possibly because of shifting frontmen? Do you guys think that the change drew a lot of positive curiosity from some fresh ears?
Thanks for the kind words! We’ve had great times in Denmark and are really psyched to be playing at Voxhall! We knew that the shifting frontmen would cause some people to take notice, but I think as the history of the band has shown, we like to take considerable “left turns” on each album, and this one is no exception. We hope that our audience still appreciates all the qualities in our music that have stayed on as an integral part of our sound (i.e. vocal harmonies and flutes), but also respects our nature of constantly searching and trying to find new sounds and textures in music. And I also really hope that we were able to garner some new fans with fresh ears along the way, that maybe hadn’t heard about us yet!
Kind of the same thing happened with YUCK – I wonder have you guys ever crossed paths with them and had a chat about the directions the music took and such great results from the same situation?
No, we haven’t come across the guys in Yuck yet, but what I have heard from them sounds great! The way I see it, before- about 95% of the ideas for songs came from one guy, and the rest of us contributed about 5%, but now we have put our six heads together and are drawing from a much bigger well of creativity, so there are just that many more ideas to work with.
Last time y’all were in Aarhus (about 3 years ago with John Grant). I don’t know if you’ve seen or not but John is playing the day after you at Voxhall. Do you think Midlake will ever work with him again, either on stage or on record or have we both moved on in different directions?
We actually just played a song with John at the BBC 6 Music festival in Manchester last week, and we had a fantastic time together, as we always do. We love John, and would love to collaborate with him again in the future, we feel like we’re kindred spirits. I think we feel music in a similar way, and regardless of which musical direction Midlake or John decide to go, there would always be a place we could meet and make music together.
Recently you guys did a very interesting thing on Facebook and asked fans to give a shout for which songs they would like to hear when you come to their town. Inevitably there was lots of “Roscoe” and “courage of others” being wished. How is it playing these tunes these days with a different constellation? How did you approach playing your back catalogue on the Antiphon era tour?
We still very much enjoy playing the back catalogue and have even added some songs from our 2004 album Bamnan and Slivercork, which we haven’t played live in years. We have tried to make these older songs (including songs from Van Occupanther and Courage of Others) fuller and beefier than on previous years of touring, really putting a lot into making sure the arrangements and the vocal harmonies are just right. We’re trying to take the vibrant, colourful psychedelic nature of Antiphon and apply that to some of the older songs, to help create a coherent and exciting live show.
Finally: whats next after this tour for the Midlake camp? New songs, new directions? Seems like things are going quite well now!
Well, we have a lot of touring coming up, summer festivals and all. But we are definitely excited to get back into the studio as soon as we can and start coming up with new ideas!