Mittwoch, 19. Juni 2013

„Is this coincidence or is this fate ..“ - Midnight Hour. The process of becoming an established band


                                                                                                   'Can’t Get Away From You'

Midnight Hour. The first name the band members could agree on. A name that brings countless great memories to mind - for them being in this band, for me being a fan of their music almost ever since the very beginning of their emotional and inspiring journey as musicians. A name that stands for so much more than like-minded, gifted artists coming together in order to compose authentic and deep felt music. It stands for growing into being friends, family, it also stands for music enthusiasts like me, who have found the core of Midnight Hour’s compositions, the one reason (actually there are plenty) to show support to them whilst they try to make it worth one’s effort. And believe me, it is. But what does Midnight Hour mean to you? In general, individually? After reading about their story, after reading what made me connect to the name, the band’s music, hopefully it’s gonna be connotations like these that linger on your mind every time 'Midnight Hour' sounds, both the name and the music: soulful songs. heart-warming vocals. energetic instrumental backing. authentic and passionate live performances. Southern California. Alternative Rock. Modern Love. KROQ. Brad. Dan. Tim. Jeff. Mark.

But who are the people behind Midnight Hour?

Formed in 2006, the initial members - with Bradley Lodge as their vocalist and front man - quickly released their first EPGhost In The Mirror’. Although he was satisfied with the artistical and tonal outcome of their music making process, Brad wasn’t with the inner structure of the band. May it be by coincidence, may it be by fate (I personally like to believe it was fate) that Brad, Dan Ardis (drums), Tim Johnson (guitar), Jared Mitchell (bass) and James Mitchell (guitar) came together to create memorable music, but this encounter had without a doubt a huge impact on what Midnight Hour has become down to the present day. 

After all it was with these five musicians in the band, that ‘Running Away’ was written and elaborated. First and foremost it was this beautiful (rock) ballad that reached out to people all over the world, that broadened Midnight Hour’s fanbase beyond Southern California’s borders since it was featured on several tv shows including CBS ‘Ghost Whisperer(2x09 The Curse of The Ninth’). Dan said himself that one of his favourite moments being a part of the band was when he was sitting in a make-up chair next to Jennifer Love Hewitt, whilst JZ Chasez asked if he could hang out with the band, and then heading back to work the other day.

Midnight Hour on ‘Ghost Whisperer

Running Away’ also had and still has a special meaning to Brad as it reflects experiences of his youth. As hard as it was to bare his soul to the listener in the end it was well worth it.You see, the song has emotional shades on different levels for the band, as it has for me: thanks to Ghost Whisperer and Running Away I became acquainted with what is now my favourite band.

MidnightHour’s first seltf-titled LP, funded with the help of the band’s loyal fanbase through a kickstarter project, was released in 2012 and was promoted by offering their first - impressively catchy - singleModern Love’ for free as well as by getting some air time on the world famous LA based radio station KROQ (‘Modern Love’ has been successfully played every sunday night for months in 2011/2012, being voted top 5 several times (in a row) after the song has been repeatedly requested byMidnight Hour’s fans).

                                                                                          ‘Modern Love’  (official music video)

The first full-length record of the band was produced at home and all by themselves (that’s probably why it took some years to release it, but truth be told: it was worth the wait!).Each member appreciated the liberties of making music they wanted to create, excactly the way they wanted it to be without having their inspiration or passion restricted by anyone. As Brad spoke out once: there was no need to wait for someone to produce the album on behalf of them as they had a computer and guitars available.

Over the years Midnight Hour have been nominated for ‘Best Live Band’ at the OC MusicAwards twice (in 2012 and 2013), have openend for Imagine Dragons and Plain White T’s (and let’s be honest: they deserve to be acknowledged for their unaltered and genuine approach to music, their significant and haunting sound as much as both mentioned bands are already), played festivals such as Sunset Strip Music Festival (2012) and Doheny Days (2012), have ‘regrouped’ (James and Jared left, Jeff Fernandez and Mark Johnson joined Midnight Hour, Update: Dan Ardis has left the band in 2014 too) and lastly have released a slightly rearranged rendition of their debut album, this time as an all acoustic version (around February 2013) to shorten the wait for the release of their forthcoming new EP at the end of 2013.  

And just so you know, this acoustic album - presenting a new song (‘All That We Imagined’) - has reserved and deserved a special place in my heart, since the videos of MidnightHour’s acoustic sets and live performances once were the only way I was able listen to their music at all. At all and  for years (years I’ve grown fond of the remarkable sound of Brad’s timbre, the light yet striking sound of the instruments), not being able to attend one of the band’s  shows in order to purchase a physical copy of their record. Luckily, Midnight Hour have openend a merchandise store in 2012 where fans from all over the world can get a copy of their albums.

Get yours today either via Midnight Hour's Official Homepage & Merchandise Store or via Itunes

                                                                                         ‘All That We Imagined’ (acoustic)

As the band has found a place of belonging, found their sound - a sincere and  heart-felt one - and settled, they count on you now to listen to their music, their songs, their stories. It can’t be deniend that the constellation of the band has changed, but their music has kept its quality and soul, Midnight Hour’s attitude towards their compositions has stayed the same. Brad, Dan, Tim, Jeff and Mark are true and open-minded in respect to (the) music (they create). What also remained the same - throughout all the years - is my affection, my enthusiasm, my love for, my belief in the success of and my gratitude towards this band - probably it has even grown and will grow with the years to come.

I ask you again now: What does Midnight Hour mean to you? If you still don’t know, either indulge in their music more frequently or wait for my next blog posts about them and about what made me fall for their music. Until then, ‘I’m lost for words, what can I say, I swear they hold me hostage’ ....

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