Lost in the Interview Archives: Midnight Juggernauts

Somehow this fun interview was lost in the archives. Discovering it was somehow never published on Modern Mystery, it’s never too late. Enjoy!

Tuesday November 10th 2009

The Midnight Juggernauts seem to only get bigger. The band who just finished recording their newest album, stopped by the CMJ Marathon a few weeks ago and were more than excited to be officially playing. I had the chance to sit down with drummer Daniel Stricker one afternoon in the festival rush to discuss the creative elements of the band.

MM: How did you come up with the name Midnight Juggernauts? It’s quite an unusual name.

Daniel Sticker: I’m not even really sure, I think it was something where there were lots of different names to start with and I think that was the one [to ensure] that people would know us, and it kind of describes the music in some way. It’s kind of fitting.

MM: How did everyone in the band meet?

DS: Well Andy and Vin was from Melbourne and I’m from Sydney, Australia and they knew each other from school, so they’ve been friends for ages. Then I met them, I was playing in lots of different bands and met them through that a couple of years ago and then somehow I ended up here in New York with you right now.

MM: Are you playing a lot of shows during CMJ this year?
DS: Quite a few, because we were here in 2007–that was the first time we had come to New York–and we were doing a tour at the time and one of the shows was part of CMJ but it was just one and we didn’t even realize it was part of CMJ, and it was a really big show. This time we really feel a part of it because we are doing four, five shows; and it’s the feeling of hitting the ground running. It can be really tough because you have to get good sound and stuff, but the energy sometimes just makes it an amazing experience.

MM: Do you find it hard to bring what you made in the studio onto the stage?

DS: I really enjoy the process and trying to recreate that, but in a different way, like it doesn’t have the same mood and energy, you know, vibe. It’s one of my favorite things because we have all these toys and stuff and so much old gear and it’s always fun playing with your friends.

MM: Do you like being in the studio?
DS: Yes, definitely! I think playing live and in the studio are different than each other, and when you do one long enough you want to do the next one. It’s such different worlds, but too much of one could be bad, I think. If you ask me right now because we just finished in the studio, I probably say I like playing live again, but six months ago, a year ago it was definitely the studio. Sometimes you want to regroup and it’s also nice to have your own space. There’s a lot of stuff that I want to work on but I wait until I get back, but, like, it’s amazing being in New York.

MM: Where is your favorite city, town or even country to play a show?

DS: We played in Japan because we did a festival there last year. It’s incredible. It’s almost like a forest in a Disney film. There were such amazing bands playing and that was probably one of my favorite places to play. Japanese people are great. Coming to America, every time we come here everyone is really cool. It’s amazing here, the response is way different. Yesterday was crazy we played a lot of shows. We played at Santo’s and it was a really maniac energy. It was like a high to me.

MM:What musicians made you want to be a musician yourself?

DS: Well when I was a kid, like a little kid, my parents used to play Bing Crosby records and that’s probably where it all started. I think when I was really young listening to the early 90’s, I listened to a lot of stuff that was going on and then I started playing in bands, like really raw rock bands. Then I played in some jazz bands and orchestra in school. Probably when I was 12 or 13, that whole thing that was happening in the 90’s.

MM: Are you ever taken back about the amount of attention the band has gained so quickly especially from websites and blogs?
DS: It’s pretty amazing like its crazy how it is now, and of course the internet has been around for a bit, but if it wasn’t for that I mean we wouldn’t be talking with you. We’re really thankful for it. People can say whatever they want about you, they could say really bad stuff about us if they wanted to, so far it’s been amazing. We can’t thank people enough for that because we just go and write these songs and put it out there and hope that people are into it. It’s been amazing, we’re really lucky.

MM: Midnight Juggernauts makes really creative videos, does the band have a direct hand in those?

DS: We do all the videos and filming for the band, and the artwork stuff. Everything we do musically and artistically is the three of us doing it. What’s really important is the whole mood and vibe of everything, and it takes it to another place, and if you get it all right it’s like magic. It has a magic type element. We’re really heavily involved with the record and where it’s going so hopefully that brings out the mood more and more.

MM: Does the band produce their own records?
DS: Yeah we do. This record we got a guy named Chris Moore who’s actually from New York, to engineer the record and mix the record, but we produced all of our stuff and that goes back to what I said before, making sure you get that mood right and you kind of have a clear direction. A lot of bands will write a song and then don’t know how they want the rest to sound. We know where we want it to go to, but we don’t force things, things will happen and sometimes a mistake is like “That’s amazing” but we kind of know how we want it to turn out.

MM: If you weren’t in the Midnight Juggernauts what would you be doing?

DS: I’d probably be a….I don’t know what the hell I’d be doing. I ask myself that question sometimes…what would I do? Maybe I’d buy a place, well I wouldn’t be able to buy a place, but I’d go live in the woods in a tree house!

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