Midlake is a band that originates from Denton, Texas. They were formed in 1999 and have continued to grow ever since. I was able to talk to Midlake’s guitarist Eric Pulido, and ask him some questions about their latest album release, “Antiphon,” and how they felt about their upcoming tour with Neil Finn! There first show started this past week in New York, and our interview was a few days before the madness began for the band.
I had to ask about the inspiration behind Antiphon, (an·ti·phon: in traditional Western Christian liturgy) a short sentence sung or recited before or after a psalm or canticle) because of course I could see how the title pertained to music, but I wondered how it pertained to Midlake.
“I found the word in a liturgical setting used for a call and response style of singing or spoken word,” said Pulido. “The literal meaning in Greek is ‘opposite voice’ nerd alert,” he mocked himself. “For us, we thought it was the perfect title for what this album meant to us; a response to not only to Tim (former vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter for the band) leaving, but to where we’re at musically and lyrically.”
It is not too often in today’s industry where we hear about bands breaking-up. In the 1970’s if someone left a popular band it would be on the news that night. Today, it is more about the music than the drama of the band mates, and I think in that aspect we’ve come a long way as a music-loving world. Midlake really encapsulates this idea with their mature and positive take on such a huge change for the band.
I think as someone who spends her Monday morning’s researching, listening to, and writing articles on the band’s she’s interviewed the past week, I need to ask questions that aren’t only informative but inspirational. Questions that I believe will make someone who has never heard of the band want to really listen, which is why I tend to always ask the song that means the most to the artist I am with. The song that has the most significance behind it for the artist is the one that will speak volumes to the listener.
“‘The Old And The Young,’” Pulido stated with no hesitation. “It’s a simple song about not lamenting the past but rather embracing where you are and what lies ahead.”
This is a song I feel anyone can relate to and learn from.
When I asked who Pulido’s largest influence was both musically and personally he answered different than any other artist I’ve spoken with.
“My dad,” he said for both. “He got me listening to bands of yesteryear at an early age. I’ve always been a fan first and it helps give perspective. He’s also the greatest man I know so I hope that’s rubbed off some!”
Well Eric, I think it’s safe to say with an answer like that, the greatest definitely rubbed off a little!
I asked Pulido if the band felt like pioneers of the “folk-rock” genre, something every Internet source feels the need to categorize them as.
“ I’m not a big fan of genre monikers although I understand their purpose,” he answered. “We’ve been categorized in several different genres and I think we’re currently having an identity crisis. And no, I don’t believe we’re pioneers of folk-rock. Now indie-psych-folk-rock, maybe!”
After only a short time, I could have expected Pulido’s answer to reinvent the question. That’s the number one sign of a talented musician with a lot of imagination.
Lastly, an answer that I will leave you all with, one that will probe you to listen to Midlake because after reading Pulido’s responses so far, his last one may shock you. I ask for a mainstream band that they could compare themselves to as a group, because in previous interviews they had said they didn’t want to become a “Radiohead knock-off band.”
Pulido answered as if he had thought about the question all day long,
“One Direction. Because at the heart of it, we’re really just a boy band.”