American synth-rockers The Midnight are still sizzling from the release of their fourth studio album, Heroes, which hit store shelves back in September – but they’re already about to release a brand new record for fans. This one is a little special, though; a far more intimate look at the band’s journey over the past year. The Midnight (made up of Tim McEwan and Tyler Lyle) has teamed up with Record Store Day (which kicks off this Saturday, April 22) to release their first-ever entry to the highly-coveted list. The album, “Red, White and Bruised: The Midnight Live”, is a live record, made up of performances throughout the USA over the past six months, and it’s a chance for the band to connect with their fans on a new level.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Tim and Tyler admitted that releasing a live album was, in some ways, an inevitability.
“Honestly,” Tyler shrugged. “Fans just kept asking [for a live album], and we thought… we could probably do this.”
Tim agreed: “I think we finally got to a point where we felt like our live experience – the team we have, and the live band – where we thought we could put that out and we would be delivering something worthwhile.”
If anyone has seen The Midnight live, they’ll know what kind of experience Tim is talking about. For those who haven’t, The Midnight strive to build an event that has no equal. While, on paper, the band is composed of the two artists, live they introduce guitarist Royce Whittaker, guitarist and singer Lelia Broussard, and saxophone savant Justin Klunk. They are powerful, exciting, and much more than the neon-soaked aroma they deliver on record.
But, of course, releasing a live album must be a little scary. Producer Tim surgically perfects each record himself, by hand… but there’s room for error in a live performance. Surely, this is something singer Tyler had in the back of his mind while recording every night he stepped on stage last year?
Peering into the distance, he smiled: “Live is better than perfect.”
“It’s not really about [being perfect],” an impassioned Tim cut in. “There’s a mode in which you try and perfect something in a lab versus trying to take a journalistic snapshot of that. I think it’s more interesting for it to be flubby. Nobody wants to highlight the worst bits of the tour but it will always… live shows will always have an energy about them that our polished records won’t have. It’s more fun.”
Tim harkened back to a live Eric Clapton album which included some of the guitar genius’s mistakes, noting how that made the experience feel a lot more real, raw, and special for his fans.
Mostly, though, The Midnight were “excited” to work closely with Record Store Day on this beautiful exclusive vinyl (which comes in three colours, collectors…)
Tyler said: “Criminal Records in Atlanta is my hometown indie record store, and I love Record Store Day and the long lines outside.” He’ll be involved this year, as well. Tyler is playing music from his solo career on Record Store Day at that very store.
Tim called Record Store Day “hugely important”. “We have been an indie project since we began,” he went on. “We have always been deeply rooted in the indie community, this is how we’ve been able to survive and grow. And it’s with the help and support from not only the fans and the community but the independent record stores and the ‘mom and pop’ stores [as well]. We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for that whole world, and the community.”
Red, White and Bruised: The Midnight Live, is the latest “off-shoot” record from The Midnight in recent years. In 2021 they released the haunting Horror Show through Amazon Music. Later that year, they dropped the stripped-down, orchestral versions of their biggest hits in The Rearview Mirror (in collaboration with the Magik*Magik Orchestra).
Now, with a live album set for release this week, what are The Midnight going to do next?
“We still have yet to do a Christmas album,” Tyler laughed. Tim agreed: “There’s nothing in the works, but I feel like [a Christmas album] is brewing inside of us – are you even a real band if you haven’t put out a Christmas song?”
Red, White and Bruised: The Midnight Live is part of Record Store Day’s exclusive 2023 list.
See the full list of Record Store Day entries here.
Listen to The Midnight for free on Amazon Music.