FOLK BANDITS MIDLAKE & THE ACTS OF MAN

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DIRTY MAGAZINE CHATS WITH ONE OF OUR FAVORITE BANDS, MIDLAKE. IN THE INTERVIEW WITH ERIC PULIDO, GUITAR AND KEYBOARD PLAYER OF THE FOLK ROCK BAND, HE TALKS ABOUT MIDLAKE’S SOUND, INSPIRATION AND EVOLUTION.
TEXT Paul Bruno
ILLUSTRATION Joel Luna

 

 

 

DIRTY: IS THERE ANY SIGNIFICANCE TO THE NAME MIDLAKE?

ERIC PULIDO: Not at all. It was just a neutral name that we all thought didnt sound too silly. We’re still not sure if we succeeded!

 

D: YOU GUYS WILL PLAY MY HOMETOWN, NYC, TONIGHT (APRIL 8 & BOWERY BALLROOM. I’LL BE THERE! ) – WHAT WAS THAT LIKE?  WHAT DO YOU GUYS THINK OF NYC? HOW DO THE FANS TREAT YOU HERE?

EP: Oh cool, thanks for coming. It was a lot of fun to be in nyc and play two shows at bowery ballroom. Many of us actually had our wives/girlfriends come out for those shows so it made it all that much more enjoyable. NYC has always been an amazing city to play and the people are very good to us.

 

D: MIDLAKE’S LATEST ALBUM, IS CALLED ‘THE COURAGE OF OTHERS’.  WHAT IS THE ALBUM ABOUT?

EP: It was actually written to be a b-side for Van Occupanther, but we thought it was too good and a great album title not to use it for the latest record. Tim wrote the song/lyrics and I think it encompasses how he feels about himself and I’m sure many can relate.

 

D: DOES THE BAND HAVE A FAVORITE SONG ON THE ALBUM?

EP: I think it differs from member to member but mine is ‘Fortune’ at the moment.

 

D: ONE OF MY FAVORITE SONGS ON THE NEW ALBUM HAS TO BE ‘ACTS OF MAN’.  THERE IS A PARTICULAR COUPLE OF LINES THAT I FIND REALLY BEAUTIFUL:  “Š AND WHEN THE ACTS OF MAN CAUSE THE EARTH TO BREAK OPEN, OH LET ME INSIDE, LET ME INSIDE, NOT TO WAITŠ”  (BLOWS MY MIND WHEN I PICTURE IT!)  CAN YOU TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE MESSAGE THERE?

EP: Well, Tim wrote those lyrics, but I think its lamenting the way people can be and desiring to escape from it all.

D: THE MIDLAKE SOUND IS CLEARLY INSPIRED BY INDIE ROCK & FOLK, HOWEVER IN LYRIC & SUBJECT MATTER, THE SONGS SEEM TO HARKEN BACK TO A TIME LONG AGO, OR FAR AWAY, FOCUSING MORE ON NATURE THAN URBAN THEMES – WHERE EXACTLY ARE YOU GUYS TRYING TO TAKE YOUR LISTENERS?

EP: Theres only so many themes you can go with lyrically and I think using timeless imagery (ie. nature) to express an idea is something we’re drawn to and ultimately fits well with the music.

 

D: IS THERE PERHAPS AN ERA IN WORLD HISTORY THAT INPIRE’S THE BAND’S MUSIC?

EP: Well musically we’ve mostly been inspired by music from the late 60s/early 70s but with the latest album being very british folk influenced, both bands from that era and actual medieval or renaissance imagery from yesteryear was an inspiration.

 

D: HOW DID YOU GUYS EVOLVE TO YOUR CURRENT FOLKIER, CLASSIC ROCK SOUND, FROM YOUR FIRST ALBUM ‘BAMNAN & SILVERCORK’, WHICH HAS MORE OF A MODERN / INDIE SOUND?

EP: We just dove in head first to the classic folk rock era and fell in love. We’re no stranger to wearing our influences on our sleeve and keep finding new gold mines each album. we’ll see whats next…

 

D: DID YOUR FANS REACT TO THE CHANGE?

EP: I think our fans have always been very good to us and stuck with us no matter what turn we may make. We always want to make an album that we feel good about and captures where we are at that time.

 

D: WHEN IT COMES TO THE SONG WRITING PROCESS FOR THE GROUP, WHAT USUALLY COMES FIRST FOR MIDLAKE; LYRICS OR A MELODY?  DOES TIM TAKE THE SONGWRITING LEAD, OR IS IT A VERY COLLABORATIVE PROCESS?

EP: This last album was all over the map how songs came together, but Tim usually does take the lead with an idea that he brings to the band and we start playing over it to form it and write parts, etc. lyrics usually come last, and things change all the time.

D: WHAT ARE YOU GUYS LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW?

EP: Some of the same influences of the record like Fairport Convention, Incredible String Band, Pentangle, etc and then some new ones like Roy Harper, Bob Carpenter, Comus, etc., and then some of the old stand bys, like Neil Young, America, Joni Mitchell, etc… So much good music out there.

 

D: AS TRAINED JAZZ MUSICIANS, WHO ARE SOME OF YOUR JAZZ INSPIRATIONS?

EP: I’m sure they’re different for everyone, but I’m sure Kenny G is on the top of everyones list.

 

D: IS THERE ANYONE YOU HOPE TO MEET SOMEDAY?  WHO & WHY?

EP: God… because this will mean that I made it to Heaven!

 

D: DO YOU GUYS HAVE A FAVORITE CITY TO PLAY?  WHERE HAVEN’T YOU GUYS PLAYED YET THAT YOU’D LIKE TO?

EP: Our hometown of Denton, TX of course. And we’re all wanting to make it to Japan to play some day.

 

D: WHAT WOULD BE YOUR FANTASY, DREAM GIG?  (ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE)

EP: Woodstock (time machine).

 

D: WHO / WHAT INSPIRES YOU CREATIVELY?  DO ANY OF THE BAND MEMBERS MAKE OTHER CREATIVE WORK, APART FROM MUSIC?

EP: God, my wife, family, friends, music, photography, and so much more. we all do music in different capacities, but outside of that, maybe some amateur photographers, writers, and aspiring actors among us.

 

D: TELL ME SOMETHING THAT NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT THE BAND.

EP: That we’re liable to break up at any given moment 😉

 

 

MIDLAKE.NET

 

 

 






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