Today’s Band of the Day are the superheroes you’ve been looking for. Well, probably… Founder Nick Hughes takes on our questions.
We’re from all over the world! The easy answer is in London as this is where we meet to create the magic, but the more accurate is that we’re dotted mainly around the UK with contributors in the US.
How did you meet?
I met Leon (Status Quo) back in 2000 in Leeds. We played in many bands over the next 20 years and along the way I was lucky enough to play with people I hold in such high regard in the music industry. So, I guess you can say we all met on the road. It was just a very very long road!
How long have you been playing as a band?
This particular band formed in the studio at the end of 2019 but as mentioned earlier we’ve been playing in various bands with each other for the last 20 years. I just decided enough was enough and it was time to cherry pick some of the best musicians I’d played with in that time and form this wonderful outfit.
Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?
So, the meaning of “The Middlenight Men” is twofold…
Firstly, it appears in the lyrics to one of the first songs I wrote. “And I closed my eyes again, and fought off those mournful middlenight men”. This is referring to the manifestation of your darker thoughts when you go to sleep and when they materialise in the form of characters in the dreams that you’re trying to escape from. The second (and more cheerful) reason is that this band is a community and from project to project I know that these remarkable musicians will have other projects on. There’ll be many instalments of The Middlenight Men but we’ll equally be proud of the spin off series that each member will no doubt have and the door will be a revolving one where they can come back any time, very much like other well-known superhero franchises out there!
What are your influences?
We have a massive range of influences that can be clearly heard on the album. Meatloaf, Alice Cooper, The Wildhearts, Rob Zombie, Ben Folds 5, The Beach Boys and even McFly! I’ve basically written an album that is a very fair representation of my overplayed spotify library!
Describe your music. What makes you unique?
High production value heavy melodic pop anthems. Everything we do we intend to do at the highest quality. We’re also quite unashamed about the music we play. We’re not hiding away from the pop element of it. We love heavy guitars, pounding drums but something we can sing along to in the car at the tops of our voices and drunkenly harmonise at parties.
Do you have any particular lyrical themes?
Lyrically I would say we go for escapism. There is so much negativity in the world at the moment with all the shit that’s going on that I choose to sing about relatively unimportant topics. relationships, partying, touring. But while on the face of it all being “unimportant” to some, the intention is to give people an escape from daily troubles and rather than sing about politics etc, my soul intention is to make people smile and forget, rather than wince and be conscious, just for that 3 and a half minutes.
What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?
We haven’t played a show yet due to current issues happening! We have our debut show booked in January but we’re not going to be seen on the traditional pub circuits. We simply don’t have the time or the budget to do this as every show we put on we want to be well produced and a thing to remember. Our fans need to take every opportunity they can to see us when they can!
What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?
A lot of my stories come from events that surround shows rather than in them, whether that’s accidentally having 8 pints before debuting at Wembley, keeping people on lockdown till the last minute so they can’t score a brick of speed before we play, guitarists coming off stage and immediately finding them in the back room naked with fans by the time I follow off stage, or ending up in Argentina missing a guitarist and having to play both parts on my own. It’s always a wild ride to be fair.
What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?
I’m a G-man. I have a couple of Les Pauls, a 355 and a Flying V and I tend to play through a 1983 modded JCM800 when I get the chance. These shows I’ll probably “relegate” myself to a Telecaster as I’ll be the third guitarist filling in the holes. Being 6ft6 I can’t help thinking I’ll look a little odd!
What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?
We’ve not let Covid get in the way of our plans much. We released the best lockdown video out there in B.A. Baby, we in fact ended up not promoting it as a lockdown video as it was too good! We have a single coming out in August called Rat Star, another single in October and an album in January. The big one will be the show though in January. I’ve just ordered the glitter cannons.
If you were second on a three-band bill, which band would you love to be supporting and which band would you choose to open for you? A chance to plug someone you’ve toured with, or a mate’s band we’ve not heard of before!
Cracking question. I’ll never be happy with second as they restrict the light/audio show you can put on and it’ll also mean we’re not at the top of our game, but if I was strong armed I’d say before Ghost and after The Wildhearts. Before Ghost because I love their theatrical element and they always play banging venues and after The Wildhearts because no other band would put us on our toes so much and realise how much we have yet to achieve musically. We’d always need to up our game 25% from however satisfied we thought we were at that second.