Interview: Midnight Mob

lauren stern speaks with the up-and-coming rock ‘n’ roll band …

New York’s Midnight Mob describes themselves as five strangers who came together to set the world on fire. With the combination of their fiery passion for music, their copious amounts of energy, and their kick ass rock and roll sound, they are on their way to do just that. Pop-Break’s Lauren Stern spoke to the band’s lead singer Blackey about Midnight Mob’s history and their upcoming endeavors for the new year.

Pop-Break: You guys just started playing together not too long ago. How did you meet?

Blackey: Well, I knew Catastrophe from the local music scene. He dated one of my good friends at the time and gave drum lessons at a music store where I took guitar lessons from Mickey Squeeze. Funny enough they actually wanted me to play bass for their band maybe a year before Midnight Mob started. The two of them stayed close for a while but Catastrophe had a professional side project he was working on in a recording studio. Squeeze was involved for a minute and ultimately decided to leave and I was asked if I wanted to do some backups. At the time I sang some random bluesy stuff for an old boyfriend that toured with him. Two weeks later their lead singer quit and they asked me to take over. I figured “why not?” it was on my list of things to do before I die. Eventually things fell apart with the producer and Squeeze jumped back on board.

Midnight Mob's frontwoman, Blackey

Carly and Spydyr were found randomly. We had been looking for a bass player for a few months and had NO luck. Eventually, Catastrophe, out of frustration, shouted out in the middle of his college campus “Does Anyone Know a Bass Player?!” A fan of Catastrophe’s former band, Visions Through Sound, said, “I know this chick that goes to college upstate and that she’s transferring home, that plays guitar, but I’m sure she can handle it”. Carly is kind of ridiculous and bass came to her right away. I mean, I can’t even play the tambourine, and she just picked up the bass in 30 seconds. We actually had three rhythm guitar players before Spydyr. Individually they were great players in their own way, but they never quite fit or really wanted to make the serious commitment. Spydyr introduced himself to Catastrophe at some local bar and told him if we ever needed another guitar player, he would love to try out. Lucky for him we just had our last performance with our previous guitar player. Spydyr was meant for us, though. He’s like our sweet beautiful 6-foot angel that we desperately needed.

Pop-Break: Each one of you has a different nickname. Are there meanings behind those nicknames?

Blackey: Well, I got “Blackey” from a group of friends I hung out with when I was 14 years old. Another girl in our gang of misfits had the same name as well as likes & dislikes as me so she became “Whitey” for her platinum blond locks and I became “Blackey” from my giant dark mass of hair.

Mikey “Catastrophe” is pretty self-explanatory. He’s a hot mess. He breaks, tears, runs over stuff, and loses everything. Total definition of a bull in a china closet.

Mickey Squeeze — his nickname was given to him by Catastrophe prior to Midnight Mob. Catastrophe had never played with a guitarist like him before. He had a knack for squeezing out all the right notes when he played.

Carly Quinn — she gave herself that name and it just suited her. It was based off of Harley Quinn.

Spyder — his name is a touch ironic and he had it before he joined. He is deathly afraid of spiders and the beginning of his last name begins with “man”. So his buddies called him Spiderman. He then shortened it and altered the spelling when he joined, but feel free to chant “Spydyrman” at our shows.

PB: Who are some of your major influences?

Blackey: Me personally, I’m a big fan of Iron Maiden, The Brick Bats, Iggy and the Stooges, Danzig, Johnny Thunders , The Cult, Motorhead. We draw from all over the place. The band loves Social Distortion, anything Motown, GNR, etc…

PB: Your single “All For Nothing” is such an awesome track. Is there any story behind it?

Blackey: I dated this guy a while back, nice guy, but totally had a drinking problem. We were friends for a while, but I didn’t really notice how out of hand he was until we started dating. We couldn’t go anywhere without him breaking something, breaking himself, getting into a fight, insulting someone, or just being obnoxious. He would always get really heavy and would tell me he was worthless and that I was the only thing good in his life. I would always tell him that it wasn’t true and that he could do anything and be happy if he just chose to do so. After a few months of that, it was just too much — I cared about him, but I just couldn’t watch him be miserable anymore. I worked really hard to clean up my act, be a stronger person, and make a better life for myself and he just wasn’t ready to do the same. So I left.

PB: On your website, you describe your music as “101 Death Proof.” What does the phrase mean and how did you come up with it?

Blackey: I was using [the stage name] Blackey Deathproof for a while. I am a big [Quentin] Tarantino fan and love his style. [The name is a reference to Tarantino’s Grindhouse film Death Proof.] Right around the time, we found the pin=up art work that we now use as our current logo. We were using a slogan that we made up from when we first started playing, then after a year and some months of developing our sound really didn’t fit us anymore, so one of them saw my profile and thought Death Proof fit us perfectly. Pared with our pin-up and an old-fashioned bottle label, we are ready to rock your face off any time anywhere, a unified force that is unstoppable which makes us the Midnight Mob — 101 Death Proof.

PB: Your self-titled EP just dropped recently. How has the reception been so far?

Blackey: Overall, the reception has been very positive. We have had many great write-ups and only one negative one. We are all very happy with it and everyone who purchased it has been a satisfied customer. We have been spun on approximately about 150 college radio stations nationwide and have been added to a few bigger FM stations.

PB: What can people expect when they listen to your new EP?

Blackey: It’s a high energy rock ‘n’ roll album written to shake you out of your coma and slap you stupid.

PB: Is there any specific time frame or date for a full-length release?

Blackey: Originally, our self-titled EP was supposed to be full-length. We actually had it fully recorded, and when we listened back, we were completely unsatisfied. “All For Nothing” and “Walking Dead” would have not been on that full length. We decided to take the best four and make an EP. We’re choosing quality over quantity. We do have a new five-track EP scheduled for early 2012. This EP will include an acoustic track and “Dying Alone,” as well as others. Recording began on Dec. 10.

PB: If you could have one artist play a show with your band, who would it be?

Blackey: Motorhead!

PB: What are your upcoming tour plans, and is there a nationwide tour in the works?

Blackey: This month we’re staying quiet because all of the recording, but as of now we have a tentative date April 12 to begin our nationwide tour. We’re pushing out that far in order to have our PR in place. We love to tour. It has been so much fun in the past, but it is quite expensive so strategy is very necessary.