Hi reddit, we are Eric Pulido, McKenzie Smith, Paul Alexander, Eric Nichelson, Jesse Chandler and Joey McClellan of the band Midlake. We just released our latest album, Midlake Antiphon. Ask us anything!

Thanks to everyone for joining us for the Reddit AMA! We enjoyed your questions, comments, and company. Stop by our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/midlakeband and say hello anytime! Til we see you, Godspeed! Midlake

Comments: 279 • Responses: 84  • Date: 

RoscoeMidlake14 karma

Tim recently did an interview where he discussed his divorce and moving in with his parents.. When was the last time any of you talked to him? Is he doing ok?

MidlakeBand13 karma

a couple of us talked to him on his birthday.. he's doing ok-- working hard on his own music, and we're really psyched to hear it

[deleted]1 karma


RoscoeMidlake1 karma

Why him?

MidlakeBand1 karma

we're on fine terms, and by the way mckenzie and tim are not related, they just share the same last name..

caseynchandler6 karma

I love your guys music!! The new album is FANTASTIC. So I was wondering what your current relationship with Tim Smith is? Has he been to any of your guys' shows and has he heard Antiphon yet? I know it's a pretty personal question but I'm just curious. Love you guys.

MidlakeBand4 karma

hey casey!! get outta here!! love you! :) love, jesse

caseynchandler8 karma

haha had to show to some love to my big bro!! now I'm gonna watch Mad Men and hit the sack since it's 1:30am here! I'll check back in the morning. love ya dude! ;)

MidlakeBand5 karma

love ya too!

timothysmonster6 karma

Do you see facial hair as a fundamental part of a folk rock band?

Also, I am a big fan of yours. Especially Van Occupanther played a big role in developing my taste in music. Thank you!

MidlakeBand16 karma

not being able to shower/shave regularly is a fundamental part of a folk rock band!

Nichels1 karma

But I just shaved guys... Does that mean you don't like me anymore !?:)

MidlakeBand1 karma

well, if it were a clean shave we wouldn't ;)

AnnOccupanther6 karma

Finally, my username is relevant! The Trials of Van Occupanther was a big part of my teen years.

Any chance you guys would ever stop in Amarillo for a show?

MidlakeBand5 karma

we'll do some more US dates next year, and hopefully we'll play somewhere near you!

Not_a_blu_spy6 karma

No real question, just gotta say I enjoy your music.

MidlakeBand8 karma

thanks a lot! we appreciate it!!

nichelskids5 karma

Hi Dad!

MidlakeBand3 karma

love you guys!!!!

Nichels3 karma

Hey kids!

nichelskids1 karma

we cant wait to see you next week!

MidlakeBand1 karma

we can't wait to see you too!

laborunrest4 karma

I think that was a brilliant move doing a reprise on an album. It's like, "let's have ALBUMS again." Anyway, did you guys consciously sit down and say, "Let's do a reprise! When's the last time a REPRISE was done - 1967?" Or was that a more circumstantial process?

MidlakeBand6 karma

the reprise idea was originally just an alternate version of the song that we were throwing around, and we thought it would make a great ending to the album!

fussbudgets1 karma

The reprise was nuts live at Dan's. My musical mind just went into overdrive at that point.

MidlakeBand3 karma

thanks a lot!

MidlakeBand4 karma

Thanks to everyone for joining us for the Reddit AMA! We enjoyed your questions, comments, and company. Stop by our facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/midlakeband and say hello anytime!

Til we see you, Godspeed!


TheEskimoSpy4 karma

Can you talk about the overarching theme of this album?

Were the lyrics and the music written together, and if not, which inspired the other?

And how different was the process of writing an album without Tim?

MidlakeBand6 karma

if there's a theme to the album, it's a communal response to where we all are in our lives.. the process was a lot more collaborative and a bit like flying by the seats of our pants, at 100 mph! the music is usually written before the lyrics, but there are usually some lyrical ideas from the outset.. but there definitely no "rules" in this band.. thanks for the questions!

dunksoffunk4 karma

what it is your favorite album of 2013?

MidlakeBand8 karma

jonathan wilson fanfare, john grant pale green ghosts, mbv, dawn of midi dysnomia, daft punk, goldfrapp. and 2012 was a badass year too!

mynameisnotjonas4 karma

How much has Denton changed since you guys started out?

BONUS QUESTION: What are your favorite flavors of Pringles?

MidlakeBand8 karma

it's changed quite a bit-- since we moved there, the population has doubled-- a lot of new restaurants, some great coffee places, venues, etc


Jordioteque3 karma


MidlakeBand4 karma

if we get enough time off to go into the studio between tours, we'd love to record some more stuff. There were other song ideas that we haven't gotten to finish yet

zebdecatur3 karma

I'm struggling with how to phrase this question, so bear with me - do each of your bandmembers represent the music pretty much the same way in your minds when you play and listen to your songs? or does your music mean something very different to each of you?

MidlakeBand3 karma

music means something different to everyone. Everyone's personalities are very different and everybody is drawn to different things. Great question, thanks!

notnewton13 karma

I have always liked to ask famous people what their favorite dinosaurs are. However so far I've only had the opportunity to ask John Butler. What are your guys' favorite dinosaurs?

MidlakeBand6 karma

the ones that are still alive

notnewton12 karma

Funnily enough John Butler said the exact same thing. I guess I need a better question...

MidlakeBand7 karma

although... Stegosaurus is pretty cool. And for that matter, Pterodactyls were pretty rad. But there are other cool dinosaurs, such as Marc Bolan, Brontosaurus, and J Mascis.

JellybeanFernandez3 karma

What were some of your musical inspirations? I hear a lot of early Floyd and ELP in your newer music...

MidlakeBand5 karma

we love Floyd! we all have a ton of music that we are inspired by, it would be almost impossible to make a list right now! sorry!! Everything, from jazz, motown, rock, psych folk, folk, 80s folk, 90s folk..

deathofpatriotism3 karma

My wife and I saw you a couple years ago at the Blue Note in Columbia, MO. Your willingness to hang out and talk after the show was awesome. Thanks for your accessibility, your music, and a memorable concert.

MidlakeBand4 karma

we love getting to say 'thank you' in person so its our pleasure. hope to come back soon!

OIP3 karma

hey guys, i just wanted to say i really love 'the courage of others' and have played it a stupid amount of times.

here is something good: pentangle -- wedding dress

MidlakeBand1 karma

thanks, can't wait to check it out!

Taylooo3 karma

Firstly, I created a reddit account just to post here today. Midlake has been my favorite band since I was introduced to TVO 5 years ago.

Your music has been so influential to me not only in my cretive endeavors, but it has honestly helped me through many difficult periods of my life. I'm sure that artists hear that frequently, but so many afternoons spent in my late teenage years I would turn to your music to calm my severe anxiety. I cannot thank you enough for being there for me through your music. I'm sure like many fans of your music, "Chasing after Deer" holds an incredible place in my heart.

I love your new album, and the new sound that the change in lineup has created. I'm trying not to fangirl out too much, so I'll keep my questions to a minimum.

  1. How has it been adjusting to the changed lineup? I, like many other of your fans are really enjoying it.

  2. Are there any plans to release the previously recorded songs with Tim? Would there be sticky legal issues regarding that? (Also, I reckon it must have been a daunting challenge to start from scratch!)

  3. I know that you guys are trained as Jazz musicians. Do you think that had a big part in the genesis of the "Midlake sound"?

Honestly, without sounding sappy, cry-y or lame, Just thank you so much for making music. My life is so much better having it, and you guys have done so much for a 20-something girl that you've never met than you could ever know. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, thank you, thank you.

MidlakeBand4 karma

  1. it's been a challenge, but we've pushed through and we feel really good about where we are and where we are going in the future

  2. Not at this time, sorry!

  3. yeah, definitely-- we use the harmonic and rhythmic elements of jazz in the songwriting, and also the ability to improvise melodies helps tremendously

Thank you thank you thank you!!! We loved your message and appreciate the kind words! :)

Taylooo2 karma

I am so happy that you saw my message and replied, honestly made my day. I think Eric has done an outstanding job, and I hope you continue to make music for as long as I have working ears. Tremendous thanks and gratitude! :)

Edit: spelling

MidlakeBand2 karma

thanks again!

RoscoeMidlake2 karma

When is the 'Midlake covers THE BAND' album coming out??

MidlakeBand1 karma

well actually Pulido just sang a couple songs with a Band cover band in Denton last week.. we do like singing some of their songs backstage from time to time

Nichels2 karma

Hey guys ! Lets go get some dinner :)

MidlakeBand1 karma

amen to that!

RoscoeMidlake2 karma

I can not stop listening to the song 'This Weight'.... that is all.

MidlakeBand5 karma

thanks.. we're hoping to get it placed in a weightwatchers commercial

coldharbour2 karma

How much do you think your music as a whole has changed since changing your lead singer?

MidlakeBand3 karma

well, we're always changing musically, and the new album is no exception.. we all had a lot more input this time, so we're really excited about that!

coldharbour1 karma

I get that. Thanks for answering! "Antiphon" is an amazing record.

MidlakeBand2 karma

thank you!!

daddd2 karma

What is your guarantee to play a show?

MidlakeBand2 karma

10 bucks and a good foot massage

theotherbluth2 karma

What's the process of making a song? Do you write the lyrics and then make a sound to fit it, or is it the other way around, or is it something completely different? Thanks! you guys rock!!

MidlakeBand4 karma

usually lyrics are last, after getting some nice melodies and harmonies

AubreyPlazasButtHair2 karma

Do you have a Christmas album? If not, what would be your favorite Christmas song to record?

MidlakeBand8 karma

unfortunately (or maybe fortunately!) no Christmas album, we were messing around with "Silver Bells" the other day in soundcheck-- my (Jesse) personal favorites are the Charlie Brown Christmas album and the Phil Spector Christmas album

laborunrest2 karma

Vale sounds like it could have easily been a track on The Inner Mounting Flame. Am I correct on the Mahavishnu influence to the vibe of that song?

MidlakeBand5 karma

We've definitely heard that record, but it wasn't really an influence on this song in particular.. we do like quite a few 60s/70s-era jazz albums such as Universal Consciousness by Alice Coltrane, ECM stuff, Keith Jarrett, etc

jarklejam1 karma

Who is the Keith Jarrett fan? Xo -Jacob

MidlakeBand3 karma

pretty much all of us! our faves of his are Expectations , Koln Concert, Solo Concerts, My Song, Blue Note live box set, standards in norway, luminescence, with Jan Garbarek

JayTholen2 karma

First of all, the new album sounds lush and beautiful and I'm excited about the new direction. This subject can be a bit touchy, but are any of the songs on your latest record (or any of the others for that matter) informed by faith? As I listen to certain songs of yours I can't help but extract some theology here and there. Could just be me projecting. If so, you're very tactful about it and I commend you for that.

Bonus question: Are we ever going to hear Midlake attempt a bombastic sidelong 23 minute suite about the apocalypse or Atlantis or something dorky like that?

MidlakeBand3 karma

yes indeed, we're God fearing men.

and you never know!

bobcatlive2 karma

What do you recommend I do if I can't grow a beard?

MidlakeBand7 karma

purchase one?

RoscoeMidlake2 karma

LOVE Antiphon.. I play it all the way through at least once a day...It was great seeing you guys in D.C... question.. Do you ever think you'll record with John Grant again?

MidlakeBand3 karma

we definitely hope so! thanks! :)

detroitviperz2 karma

I have listened to your Late Nite Tales album more than any other album in the last year. It's one of my all time favorites. Do you recommend any other bands/albums for those of us who loved those songs?


MidlakeBand3 karma

there's a blog called "time has told me" that has a lot of great stuff, check it out!

detroitviperz1 karma


MidlakeBand1 karma

another great blog is therisingstorm.net

nshady2 karma

Love you guys! Antiphon is one of my favourite albums of the year. Gotta put in a plug for Australia - please come visit the fans here!

My question: in your early albums you had two genre styles, one folky, one more synthy and poppy. Best example is probably the contrast between Van Occupanther and the b-sides on its deluxe edition (love Golden Hour so much). As time has gone on, with Courage of Others and now Antiphon, your sound has become more cohesive, less torn between two poles.

Can you talk about this a bit? Is this a deliberate choice, a natural evolution in your songwriting process as a band, or are you just better at articulating your musical ideas? Does an album like Van Occupanther sound like a 70% successful attempt at the sound you're at now, or was that the style you wanted and are satisfied to have achieved?

Sorry for the long question. Big fan. Thanks.

MidlakeBand5 karma

Thanks so much, and thanks for the question! we're basically just trying to create music that we would want to hear, so as our tastes ebb and flow, so does the sound of our music. It's not really something we think about or plan out, it just sort of happens..

fussbudgets2 karma

Alright Midlake, hit us with your best joke.

Also, someone email Kelly Carr of Pilotdrift and encourage him to get his new record out already. I need all of my 2004-2006 bands to come back.

MidlakeBand10 karma

How do you titillate an ocelot?

MidlakeBand13 karma

Oscillate its tit a lot.

hymnharmonia2 karma

As a huge fan who will probably never get to see you guys live (I live in Israel), do you have any plans for a live DVD or something of the sort?
Also, the bass tone in Antiphon is glorious.
Thanks for all the beautiful music!

MidlakeBand4 karma

first of all, we'd love to come to Israel one day! Actually we do have plans for a live DVD.. more to come later ;)

thanks for liking the bass tone!! appreciate it!

hymnharmonia1 karma

Greatest moment of my life right about now!

MidlakeBand1 karma

we are pretty stoked over here too!

fussbudgets1 karma

Also, the bass tone in Antiphon is glorious.

This is what happens when your bassist tracks/engineers your album.

MidlakeBand2 karma

p bass direct!

pencils841 karma

I work for an company in Austin and we work in Denton a lot. Ps I love midlake and it's my birthday so it's perfect. So when we stay the night in Denton, which bars should we visit??? And what about dins?

MidlakeBand1 karma

Paschall Bar, we own it!! for dinner we would suggest Keichii-- just make sure you get a reservation!

dinososs1 karma

My first question is, I love you MiddleoftheLake!

My second question is more serious and traditionally interrogative. Being a touring and recording musician is one of the most demanding jobs a person can have, and it seems like the time necessary for the job would keep one from pursuing other interests or hobbies. Do you have any desire to follow different dreams other than being a musician that you haven't had time for? What would those be?

MidlakeBand1 karma

mckenzie would be an architect or nfl quarterback paul - motorcycle road racer pulido - pro baseball player jesse - bookstore owner joey - woodworker nichels - pro marathon runner

RoscoeMidlake1 karma

Bird watching..

MidlakeBand1 karma

bird watching is cool!

chestcurlies1 karma

Collectively, what is your favorite ice cream flavor? And hi.

MidlakeBand2 karma

all of the above! we are unable to collectively agree.. how were we able to make an album!!???

sandygallagher1 karma


MidlakeBand1 karma

Mckenzie agrees!

cicic1 karma

Who the heck is mother?

MidlakeBand1 karma

ask glenn danzig?

Eichhorn1 karma

Hey there, greeting from Germany, just wanted to tell you that I really love your new album, especially the bass line in The Old and the Young. :)

MidlakeBand2 karma

Danke schön!

fussbudgets1 karma

So, seriously.

Does that Brave Combo office next door make for some rowdy neighborliness??


MidlakeBand2 karma

we love those guys! however sometimes we have to arrange our schedules so that they're not polka-lizing while we're vocalizing! ;)

bourbonandbranch1 karma

Can you have myopic open for you if you do a show in Toronto? We miss Jeff!

MidlakeBand2 karma


bourbonandbranch1 karma

Awesome! We'll buy your drinks!

MidlakeBand2 karma


betchyoullneverguess1 karma

Hey guys, I want you all to know how much I am digging the new tunes! I've been a fan since '06, and have seen you in concert several times, but I have to say that Antiphon is really special. Rarely do I play an album more than once in a day...Antiphon is an exception. It keeps growing and growing on me. Really fantastic work on it. I'm really looking forward to watching (and hearing) you guys continue to evolve in the future.

So here's the question: I've noticed a much larger PR push for this disk than I did for Courage of Others. Maybe I wasn't paying attention then, but am I correct in that you are marketing this album harder and maybe differently than previous ones? I'm excited to see you gain exposure and enlarge your fan base.

Best of luck with the tour (and come back to San Diego again, please!) and happy holidays!

MidlakeBand1 karma

yeah, unfortunately Tim was less interested in doing radio/tv promotion. It's a new chapter now and we have a great PR company working for us now! thanks for the kind words!!

atomkalp1 karma

What was it like performing on "Later... with Jools Holland?" That's my favorite version of Acts of Man. So sad I missed you guys when you came to Istanbul in 2010, I only started listening to your music a few months later. I'm digging the new album and hope to see you live! :)

MidlakeBand1 karma

thanks! it was a cool experience playing on jools.. slash was sitting about 8 feet from us!

juliafractal1 karma

This is going to be pretty random. I saw you at rock and roll hotel last month, first off let me say you guys were so great. I very sadly got there late at the fault of a friend but enjoyed the show so much, the flute and other solos were epic. I apologize on behalf of dc for how many people were talking during some of your absolutely lovely flute playing, I don't know what is wrong with people! Please still come back to dc very soon. I agree with Taylooo below on all she has said as well, and I think you have a special way of speaking to a certain kind of anxious 20 somethings haha. Anyhow, Paul was kind enough to engage in my rambling after the show (I was so excited to have talked with you! Thank you!). I asked about your necklace, the silver fox from a wax seal I think? You may have told me the artists name but due to alcohol I have fully forgotten, you also told me another member of the band has a necklace from the same place. Is there any way you might refresh my memory? And I hope to see you again this year in dc if possible! Also, I still love how you guys managed a line up change so magically, I love how I can listen to your old music into your new album.

MidlakeBand1 karma

that was joey, actually! the necklace company is called pyrrha. paul wears a ring by them as well

RoscoeMidlake1 karma


MidlakeBand1 karma


christtatao1 karma

Greetings.....the question: Maybe at some point, do you have plans or there has been any approach for you to play in South America??...i know it deppends on managers and contacts and business contact people,,,but just to know if there has been any approach on this????...... thx for the musik...

MidlakeBand1 karma

we would LOVE to play in south america! we're definitely trying to get down there

tommyvyo1 karma

Hi. I love you guys. Can you tell me something about Some of them were Superstitious?

MidlakeBand1 karma

that was one of the first songs where we experimented with a wind ensemble (flute, clarinet, bassoon) in this band and mckenzie says it's his favorite song on that album

RodneyRainbegone1 karma

Love your music guys! I'm a songwriter and your albums have made me rethink the way I compose. When I'm famous I'll list Midlake as my influences :P

MidlakeBand1 karma

wow, cool thanks!

kieranmccarthy1 karma

The video release of The Old And The Young is being released today, what process goes into the choosing of video directors/film makers?

MidlakeBand1 karma

people submit treatments and we pick what we like.. actually the release date has been moved to early next year

betchyoullneverguess1 karma

I saw in the Rolling Stone video that you own a bar together in Denton. So, what is each of your favorite cocktail and/or beer?

And, having traveled so much, which cities are your favorites in which to have a day off.

MidlakeBand1 karma

nichels: alamo (paschall only) pulido: old fashioned paul: gin rocks joey:old fashioned mckenzie: martinez jesse: g and t

byron bay, australia barcelona DC NYC LA SF Melbourne Reykjavik Denton!

betchyoullneverguess1 karma

A well made old-fashioned is hard to beat...especially based on Rittenhouse rye. aaaaand, off to make a cocktail...

MidlakeBand1 karma


jabbott131 karma

Caught the show in Dallas where you opened for Pearl Jam. An amazing show all around! You guys sounded great! Smack Joey for me.

MidlakeBand1 karma

thanks a lot! consider him smacked!

SheepzZ1 karma

Is there any significant meaning behind your album artwork on Antiphon, or did you just think it looked groovy ?

MidlakeBand3 karma

it's a graph that represents global corporate connectivity, which happens to look beautiful but which is actually quite nauseating!

manslice1 karma

Gents! Saw you in DC at the Rock'n'Roll hotel. Great show!! And thanks for hanging out and chatting with some of us after the show. Question, if one of us devoted fans was to be out in Denton at some point after your touring is over, might we catch a performance there in town? If so, where in Denton do you play?

MidlakeBand2 karma

well we just played denton not too long ago, but our favorite place to play in denton is dans silver leaf

kingtao1 karma

See you in Salt Lake City this week!

MidlakeBand2 karma

awesome, see you there!

MonkeysWithHammers1 karma

I discovered Midlake a few years back (you were the sole Artist Recommendation on Scott Matthews' ReverbNation page -- scottmatthewsuk). I connected to your music instantly and am always trying to turn people on to it. Love the new album and so glad that you released it. Anyway...

I find your vocal harmonies mesmerizing. On past releases, Eric's harmonies (in particular) are odd, beautiful, and like nothing I could have expected. I'm wondering...

1) With Eric taking the lead, did responsibilities shift insofar as who wrote or improvised harmonies on the new record?

2) Who is mainly singing Eric's harmony parts live? And did the 3rd and 4th harmonies shift as well?

Thank you so much for your music.

MidlakeBand2 karma

yes, responsibilities shifted. We all were able to contribute a lot more in that area.. Live the background vox are split between jesse, paul and joey

TiffLovesCow1 karma

Can't wait to see you guys on the 16th in SF! Can I expect old songs mixed in with the Anitiphon songs?

MidlakeBand1 karma

yes, definitely.. see you soon!

Nichels1 karma

Do you guys like listening to Ryan Rooney play the guitar!?

MidlakeBand1 karma

Rooney's the best!!

not_a_wine_duck1 karma

First off I love your guys' music. I was wondering what are some of your favorite cities to play? Also, what are some of your biggest musical influences?

MidlakeBand1 karma

thanks a lot! we've answered those questions actually, if you just scroll down :)

crybaby1231 karma

Shoutout to Jesse for being a badass piano teacher in his free time ;) How was opening for Pearl Jam / Playing in the big american airlines center? Have you guys ever done anything like that before and was it a weird experience? Love the album and new music, you guys are amazing.

Edit: Whoops

MidlakeBand1 karma

first of all, i hope youre practicing! second, it was pearl jam, not pink floyd, it was amazing, thanks for listening

aelmas1 karma

Ive never listened to your band befoew. What is one song you would recommend to a new listener that represents your band the best?

MidlakeBand3 karma


Mister_Magpie1 karma

Love Antiphon, been listening to it non-stop since its release! Your last two albums have been accompanied by an EP release. Any chance we'll see an EP coming up in the near future? :)

MidlakeBand3 karma

we're always brewing up ideas, but right now we're focusing on touring. we'll see what the new year brings!

stinkerofturd1 karma

I love your guys music and have tickets to see you in february! Will you be playing songs from your older albums, or is it all new stuff from now on? I'm happy either way - Antiphon is brilliant!

MidlakeBand2 karma

old and new!

fussbudgets1 karma

Follow up: did you hear that Kevin Spacey was at Andy's last night??

MidlakeBand1 karma

yes, and it was a rumor! nothing to see here!

Pandamana1 karma

Looking forward to seeing you in Seattle soon! Are you guys sticking to Antiphon or are you going to take requests cough Kingfish Pies cough loooove youuu

MidlakeBand1 karma

we cover a lot of ground past and present. you may just get your wish. time will tell...

WZooq1 karma

Hey, first of all, my dad loves you guys. Especially 'Roscoe', he says it's so good it feels like magic. And now for the questions: could you doodle your favourite animal for me? And also, what's your best memory from going on tour?

MidlakeBand1 karma

there's no way to doodle on reddit that we're aware of...but we would draw a unicorn :) best memory varies for each of us, but the Pearl Jam shows were pretty special for us on many levels.

Detlef_Schrempf1 karma

I hear a lot of Fleetwood Mac in your melodies and harmonies, especially on Trials of Van Occupanther. Were you influenced by them? Who are some of your largest influences? And whats on your ipod that we should know about? Lastly, why did you guys play such a small venue in Chicago? I got shut out, please come back soon.

MidlakeBand1 karma

yes, we love them and they were a big influence along with several other classic bands on that record. our musical influences vary from Abba to Zappa and many styles as well. check out the new John Grant record, 'Pale Green Ghosts' if you haven't. and we played Schuba's because we love it there. we'll play a bigger place next year so you dont get shut out! apologies.

JonnyPockets6661 karma

hey guys!

when are you fools coming to dinner?

we are at infusion! love working for you stinky dudes!

MidlakeBand1 karma

you're fired.......ok, you're re-hired.

TidalTrickster1 karma

how did you get your music out there when you first started?

MidlakeBand1 karma

we made an ep and started booking our own shows...