Hailing from northern Colorado, Midnight For Now is a band that plays with all the extremes that rock music encompasses, creating a sound that is often moody and cathartic. Comprised of vocalist Andy Moore, guitarist/vocalist Ben Voss, bassist Nik Szejna, and drummer Jake Oneal, Midnight For Now hopes to offer their listeners an escape through music. They released their self-titled debut EP last year and are working on new music for 2023.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Jake, during which we discussed playing live, the band’s formation and influences, and what’s in store for the rest of 2023.
Let’s start with a really standard question. How did Midnight For Now form, and what’s the story behind the band’s name?
JO: So we actually met on Craigslist. Andy and Ben were already making music together as a singer and guitar player, and they put out an ad looking to form a full band. Meanwhile, Nik and I had been playing together as a rhythm section for quite some time and were thinking about starting a band of our own. I came across their ad one day, and everything just sort of worked out from there.
As for the name, it relates to the transient nature of life. We were in a spot of mutual dark bullshit but knew that at some point it would all pass. Midnight For Now is a reference to that dark hour of our lives.
That may be my favorite story behind a band’s name that I’ve heard in a while. Did y’all have a mutual direction at the beginning, or was everyone working with different musical backgrounds/influences? And who are some of the band’s major influences?
JO: We were pretty fortunate to all come in on the same page about the musical direction of the band. From my experience, that’s not always the case. Our backgrounds are all a little different, but we do have pretty similar influences. I’d say the band’s major influences are mainly older rock groups like Pearl Jam, Radiohead, The Doors, The Smashing Pumpkins, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. There’s a lot more that I’m probably forgetting right now, but I think that covers our bases pretty well.
On a related note, is there anyone you listen to that might surprise people? Just based on the style you typically like.
JO: I’d say we all listen to music outside our genre, but some of the country I listen to might surprise some people. I’ve been really into Tyler Childers and the turnpike troubadours recently.
I’ve heard of Tyler Childers and the Turnpike Troubadours, but have yet to check them out. I should probably do that, haha! What is the writing and recording process for the band? From where do y’all draw most of your inspiration?
JO: The inspiration for our music comes from just about any kind of experience that fueled an extreme feeling or emotion. For example, we have a new song called “Misunderstanding (Doom)” that came from a combination of listening to dark heavy music and watching horror films, while our recoded song “Truth” was inspired by overcoming a life altering personal situation that fueled a spiritual calling.
A lot of our lyrical content comes from interactions with humanity and a curiosity on why we act the way we do. At times it’s beautiful, and other times it’s absolutely frustrating, but at its core, it’s usually quite simple.
Our writing process usually starts with our guitar player, Ben, who will record an idea on his acoustic and send it over to Andy to take some time and develop lyrics. Once they have guitar and vocals figured out, they’ll bring it to a full band practice and we’ll start working on some ideas for the rhythm section. There are times when everything clicks right away, and other times where we go through a bunch of different variations before we settle on a final song. I’d say recording and listening back at every stage is immensely helpful, especially when we’re trying to work out the final details.
You guys just released the self-titled EP last year. What is your favorite track from the record and why?
JO: Oh man, that seems to change for me every week. Right now, I’d say “Beautiful Sun.” It has a unique drum part to it, which is a lot of fun to play, but I also like that it expresses a full range of emotion and has that really cathartic ending.
On the subject of playing live, how is playing live and writing music in the studio connected? When you write, do you think about how it will translate in a live performance?
JO: Oh, good question! I haven’t really thought about that too much yet. I will say, when we’re in the studio, writing and practicing, we’re doing it for ourselves. That’s our time to make music that we enjoy, have fun, and escape the world for a little while. When we play live…it’s still mostly for ourselves, but we’re also sharing that experience with the crowd, the venue, and the other bands. A lot of these people are taking time out of busy schedules and spending their hard earned money to have a good time, so we want to make sure we do our best to deliver a kickass show.
So, we’re not thinking about a live performance when we’re writing and practicing, but we do consider the venue, the other bands, and the crowd when we develop our setlist for a given show.
Still on that topic, how would you describe a Midnight For Now show?
JO: Overall, our shows are still a direct reflection of our music: dark, moody, and cathartic.
What would your dream lineup (that includes MFN) be?
JO: Dang, that’s a tough one! I think I’d have to go with The Smashing Pumpkins and Pearl Jam.
That’s an interesting combination, and I can totally see it. What are the band’s plans for 2023? And what do you feel is the ultimate goal for MFN, long-term?
JO: We are currently getting ready to release our new single “For a While” at the end of this month, which is really exciting! We also have a few other songs we plan on releasing later this year.
Last year was our first full year as a band and we managed to play a handful of shows in our hometown of Fort Collins. This year we’re looking at branching out a bit and playing in surrounding cities like Greeley, Boulder, and Denver.
I think our overall goal is just to keep playing more shows and releasing more music, meeting cool people and having fun along the way. Hopefully the shows keep getting bigger and the music keeps getting better.
What kind of interviewer would I be if I didn’t ask you to tell me a little about “For a While”?
JO: Midnight For Now was started as a way for us to escape the pressures and responsibilities of our daily lives and just have some fun for a little while. Our song “For a While” is our way of capturing that sentiment and sharing it with others. Our hope is that our music and our shows can provide that same escape to anyone else who listens.
For any of my readers who are interested, where can they find Midnight For Now’s music?
JO: You can find our music on Spotify, YouTube, Bandcamp, and anywhere else you stream your music. All of our affiliated links can be found here: https://linktr.ee/midnightfornow
Midnight For Now is definitely a band to watch! Keep your eyes on their socials – and on this blog – for all things MFN! And while you’re waiting on the release of “For a While,” be sure to check out the self-titled EP on your favorite streaming service!!!
Great articles. Keep them coming, it’s great to read about the amazing talent that has yet to be discovered!