The New York based powerhouse rockers in Midnight Mob have staked their claim at the intersection of punk, metal, blues, and soul. Raspy-voiced chanteuse Blackey Deathproof, guitarist Mickey Squeeze, bassist Carly Quinn, and drummer Beatz flawlessly blend classic rock influences with modern day inspirations to create something beautifully restless. To date, the Mob has released two EPs – 2011’s self-titled debut and 2013’s Black Moon Rising – in addition to 2014’s full-length album These Days. The band’s uniquely vivacious sound has garnered a wide variety of placements including WWE Smackdown and MLB 2014 as well as a legion of incredibly loyal fans. Thanks to those fans and PledgeMusic, Midnight Mob will be releasing their Honest Brutal Glorious EP in 2016.
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Chris Remmers: Let’s start with a little bit about where you’re from and grew up.
CR: Where did your love for music come from? Did it come as a child or later on?
BD: Okay so, my dad wasn’t into music, but my mother, she was really cool. She loved Chris Cornell, Metallica, System of a Down. She introduced me to all this acoustic stuff. She got me into Led Zeppelin. She was really cool. She did fashion design and a real artsy, music kind of gal. When I was five years old, my dad became a Christian. We kind of grew up in the church, so music kind of became that kind of thing. We loved it. I had a big appreciation for gospel music. I mean, that was just a huge influence of mine.
Even my cousins, the older ones, kind of helped me get into music a little bit too. They were older, which was kind of cool. They would babysit us, so we would listen to all of their music and watch wrestling with my boy cousins. It was really fun. I guess what kind of really kind of got me into it was my mom had me watch “Almost Famous” when I was 12 or 13. I was always a big “Wayne’s World” fan, I’d watch it again around this age. I was so completely in love with both of those movies that I ended up writing down all the bands that played in both movies and for Christmas that year. My parents got me a bunch of the rock albums.
CR: Wow, sounds like some pretty serious influence there.
BD: It was cool. As far as my knowledge of music I don’t think I’d know as much about things that a lot of other music junkies do, but I’ve always super, super felt these musicians. I didn’t know I could sing until I was almost 19, so I’m the most über-late bloomer. I think the cool thing is I still have this childlike sense of wonder with music. There is no jading. I kind of listen to anything and appreciated it.
CR: That’s really interesting. Better late than never! So, what or where have you seen so far that just kind of wowed you?
BD: I kind of fell in love with the South. I would say New Orleans is probably my favorite — Georgia and South Carolina. There’s just something about it, especially New Orleans, I guess because of the music that influenced me, and the food. It’s kind of dirty and swampy. It’s just so beautiful and sunken in. This is really where it’s felt like my soul kind of belonged a little. We’ve been really fortunate that we’ve had a good experience everywhere and I’ve really, before this, I never really saw much of the United States. It’s really cool to see how much our country has to offer, and how big and beautiful it is. Texas is also fantastic really — the music scene, barbecue, it’s just off the hook. I just want to live in one of those smoke cooker machines.
CR: Texas is great. We were just down there in March, covering South by Southwest, and every two-three blocks there were food carts. I always so full, but couldn’t keep eating. It really was just so good. Bands were playing in every bar and food everywhere. Now, what are some of the first things you and the band like to do when you guys settle down to a venue or location? Are you usually thinking about food, exploring or just chilling?
BD: Nice! We’re kind of like booze/food people. We like to look at what’s the famous [eatery] to try in the area. If we’re hitting a new city we’re just trying little things that are special to that area.We’re all a bunch of fitness goofs, so usually we’re trying to look for the gym, then look for food and then look up all the bands that are playing in the area and we’re playing with. All we want to do is hang out with a bunch of other music goofs and hang out. We’re very much fans first. We’re still very starry-eyed and full of wonder. It really makes us grateful to be there.
CR: Absolutely! Sometimes having that kind of heartfelt mentality is what’s going to get you places, because people can smell BS a mile away.
BD: It’s very true. Honestly, that’s kind of what’s gotten us, the farthest out of anything, I mean beside any talents that we might possess. We’ve had a pretty good attitude in our people skills.
CR: That’s awesome. How do you really feel music and travel fits together?
BD: These days, unless you tour or you have a viral video, you can’t really get your music out there. As far as I’m concerned, these days in the United States, it’s definitely bigger and more appreciated in other countries, but nobody has that money to scoot over there whenever they feel like it. There’s definitely a smart way to do it, but I’d like to encourage any bands out there to try touring immediately. Yes, you will lose money, but you will see the thing that’s really going to make or break your band, besides good songwriting, is how you get along with your band mates. You will really find out if being in an original band is for you. I believe music is for everybody, whether you’re a cover band, an original band, just playing a little coffee house or you just want to play music by yourself in your room. But, being in an original band, like there’s very little glory for a long time, unless you should happen to be one of those bands that hits the lottery.
CR: I know a couple bands that took a while too. For instance, did you ever hear of the Lumineers? Well, funny story. I used to valet-park cars when I was in high school with the guitarist of the Lumineers. He went to my high school and William Paterson University. One day, he gives me a call and he’s like, “Guess what, man? We just got signed to a record label.” These guys were in a band since we were in eighth grade. But yes, traveling with people is different from sitting in a garage for an hour or two, two-three times a week. You have to deal with people’s habits that you don’t see, because you’re not there all the time. If you can make that happen, you can make the band, or anything, work.
BD: It’s true. You also have to be able to trust your band mates and know that they have the best interests of the band at heart. Nobody really gave us the handout on how to be an original band with no money and no glory.
CR: It’s that stuff that just comes over time. All it takes is one venue.
BD: Even if it doesn’t get anywhere, I would rather be doing this than anything else.
BD: Oh my God, I tried it for two years — my heart died. I gained 20 pounds. It’s just the ultimate depression.
CR: This is something I love to do. Talk to people, get out and I get to work from home sometimes. If I had to sit behind a desk all day, in a suit and tie, I’d be a depressed guy. It’s terrible. But, luckily, we’re doing what we’re doing and hopefully we get to continue doing what we’re doing for a long time.
CR: Where do you feel your inspiration comes from? Does it come from when you guys are on the road traveling?
BD: I think it all ties into whatever you’re going through. I get a lot of my visuals from when I’m on the road traveling, just the things that I’ve seen. I’m very inspired by nature, by how different things look. Even just looking out at a rose or just scenery creates a nice little foundation for the mood of a song. I think even just music without listening to words really creates scenery in your head a little bit. It’s always been my foundation, but I think it’s kind of “all of the above”.