Band of the Day: Midgar

You think we close for the holidays? Every day is a metal day, so every day we bring you more music! If you know today’s band’s namesake, you know.

Simple things first – where are you guys from?

Originally from London, UK, but currently hiding out in the countryside of South West France.

How did you meet?

Though Midgar is technically a solo project these days, I met the other guys in the band when I was in music school. Greg McPherson plays bass on the new record (who is also the bass player in InMe), and I met him when we played a bunch of shows together around a decade ago. Well, actually, I met him when I went to their shows as a mega fan in around 2005 but he won’t remember that!

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How long have you been playing as a band?

Midgar was started in 2008; though there was a long hiatus since the last album release in 2013. This is the first time in almost 8 years anyone’s heard anything from Midgar. Back from the dead.

Before you get sick of being asked… where does the band name come from?

I played a lot of video games growing up. Still do. Midgar was chosen as a tribute to my favourite composer, Nobou Uematsu. He wrote the music for most of the Final Fantasy game series and FFVII (which Midgar is the name of a city in) played a huge part in my musical upbringing. The music in that game changed my life and I honestly don’t think I’d be doing what I do now if it weren’t for the hours I spent – and still spend – listening to it.

What are your influences?

I was a classically trained pianist growing up but also raised on Queen, Aerosmith and Extreme. I fell in love with Led Zeppelin in my teens, but then discovered bands like InMe and Reuben which have stayed with me as my favourite bands until now. I love Silverchair too, Midgar gets compared to them a lot which is super strange, as I had never listened to any of their stuff until people kept saying we sounded similar. I enjoy earlier Muse a lot, too, but also loads of other stuff like Massive Attack, Moderat, Agnes Obel, Jeff Buckley.

Describe your music. What makes you unique?

I work as a composer for TV and film so it’s natural for me to bring that side of me to Midgar, too. I think Midgar is epic, widescreen, cinematic music. Not in a post-rock way though; the songs are all really singable and I love writing “songs” rather than “pieces of music”. I think it’s that combination of really great songs, orchestral and cinematic elements, and super heavy rock that makes Midgar’s sound what it is.

Do you have any particular lyrical themes?

It’s hard not to write about the end of the world when you’re living through it, so some of the new album tells the story of 2020 through my eyes. It’s also a really personal record; since the last Midgar album I went through a battle with addiction and – happily – recovery. On some level the album chronicles the last 7 or 8 years of my life.

What’s your live show like? How many shows have you played?

We used to tour all the time, sharing stages with InMe, Kids in Glass Houses, Lower Than Atlantis, Deaf Havana… It’s been a long time since the last Midgar show though – I think the last one was in London on the InMe tour. When live music recovers, hopefully there will be some live shows to come.

What’s the wildest thing you’ve seen or done at a live show?

Festivals are always a good way to round off a tour, they’re always a great opportunity to party once all the work is done. However, I once almost got arrested on Staines high street of all places, wearing only a pair of Y fronts after playing a show down the road. It was the middle of December. The only reason I didn’t get carted off by the police was because I sang an acoustic rendition of “I Want It That Way” by the Backstreet Boys. You never know when knowing a song like that can come in handy.

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What kit do you use / guitars do you play / etc.?

PRS Guitars, Orange Amps, Roland stage piano. I produce everything myself at my studio so the gear I use there is super important to me – I couldn’t work without my Adam monitors and Brauner mics.

What, if anything, are you plugging/promoting at the moment?

“We Don’t Make The Rules” single out in December 2020, with full length album Unity released in 2021 with Year of the Rat Records.

What are your plans for the next 6 months or so?

There are 3 or 4 singles coming out ahead of the album in 2021, so a few more music videos at least. Then, it’s on to the next album hopefully.

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!

Deftones and Silverchair. I can’t decide on the order though. How do you choose between those two?!

Midgar: officialfacebook | twitterinstagram | spotifyyoutube

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