The 50thirdand3rd Interview With – Midnight Larks

Midnight Larks at The Earl from M.A. Torres on Vimeo.

In regards to introducing all of you to Midnight Larks , I highly recommended that you see them perform if you get the opportunity. There is so much talent in this band that they are beyond comparison. I want to personally thank Midnight Larks for taking the time out of their busy schedule to answer these questions for 50thirdand3rd. We will surely bring you their new music as soon as the tracks become available. Until then watch these excellent videos and dig on the Interview.

The 50thirdand3rd Interview With – Midnight Larks

Can you tell us a little of your various backgrounds and how you 3 have come together to form Midnight Larks.

NIKKI: I am from a very small town in Alabama (Dadeville). I grew up singing in church, of course, and started
writing my own songs around 16. My first band in my early 20s was an all-girl punk band from Auburn, AL called “Whistle Bait,” and a few years later I was the front-woman for a psych-country band called Virgil Otis. I pretty much ghosted from music for almost a decade while I pursued a career in graphic design, and then a Master’s degree in Nutrition to become a registered dietitian. Of course I was miserable, and never got over wanting to sing and play music! I slowly started back about three years ago performing live. A friend told me that Sasha was looking to form a band, so I contacted her. Pietro was recommended to us by a mutual friend and PBR rep. I knew Pietro from his work in Black Linen, so I knew he would be great for us.

I’m originally from Birmingham in the UK, I moved to Los Angeles in 2008 to join The Warlocks and then I joined the band Spindrift, I toured and recorded two albums with them for 3 years and then left to pursue my own music. Just after that I had a major spinal injury that took months to recover from so I moved to Atlanta so that my family
there could help take care of me. When I had recovered enough to be able to play again I started to look for people to form a band with and someone mentioned that Nikki was also looking to form a band. When our first drummer didn’t work out Pietro was recommended to us.

What albums or who influenced you during your high school years.

NIKKI: Since I was from , so I really had to scramble to introduce myself to new music. I grew up listening to classic country and old school rockabilly. In high school I worshiped the Beatles, Melanie Safka, and Simon & Garfunkle. My sister’s boyfriend gave me a Pixies CD (Come on Pilgrim) when I was 15, and it pretty much changed my life. When I went to college in the big city of Auburn, AL I was exposed to all kinds of music and it was an amazing revelation.So, Pixies, Violent Femmes, Bikini Kill, the Gits, Southern Culture on the Skids, Billy Bragg to name a few. Lord, it’s hard to remember – that was a long time ago!

SASHA: High school years? I’m not sure exactly what ages that is, it’s not called high school in the UK lol. I’m guessing you mean teenage years? I was super into heavy metal, grunge punk and industrial music as a teen then I moved onto more classic rock. It wasn’t really until I was in my late 20s till I discovered garage and fell in love with it. As a teen I loved Metallica, Guns and Roses, Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Stone Temple Pilots,SexPistols, Clash, NIN, Ministry, KMFDM,Butthole Surfers. Then I discovered The Doors who are undoubtedly the biggest influence to me musically, and Zeppelin, Black Sabbath,Stones, Beatles, Hendrix and Gong.

Can you tell us about your plans for the rest of 2017 and ideas for release dates of new music.

NIKKI: I would love to go on tour with this band. We haven’t had the chance to play many shows outside of Atlanta, and I think the opportunity to play every night in a different town would really help us hone our live performance. We had such a great reception and experience at Will’s Pub that I have the itch to get on the road!

Our debut album is finally finished and we are looking to release it this year! We are not sure of exact dates yet but hopefully will be pretty soon!

The chemistry you all share on stage is pretty amazing, you share lead vocals switching back and forth , as well as some dynamic energy going on ,was that something that occurred over time between all of you?

NIKKI: Thanks! I appreciate that, because Midnight Larks is the first band where I have played bass live, and I was very new to the instrument. Sasha actually taught me a lot because she was a bass player before she played lead guitar. I felt like the first six months to a year I was really focused on staring at the strings and making sure I was playing the right notes! ha. So, reaching that dynamic was definitely something that developed over time for me, but Sasha and Pietro have always been pretty lively — I’m just catching up! I definitely feel more confident singing, playing and jamming out with the other two these days. It’s also fun to switch singing duties – I always find that makes a band’s set a little more interesting.

Thank you! Nikki and I decided from the beginning that we wanted to both write songs and trade off. We already had a bunch of songs in our pocket from years ago. It’s fun because when Nikki is singing lead I usually can focus more on my guitar. I’ve only been playing lead guitar for a couple of years live so I’m still learning! We collaborated on a song on our album and in the future we hope to collaborate more!

For all the kids in bands out there taking a run at the rock n roll life what kind of equipment do you all use ?

NIKKI: I play a short scale Fender Jaguar bass, but I have always dreamed of playing a big Rickenbacker. Maybe someone will read this and give me one! I use a Fender Rumble combo amp (it is so nice and light) and a Blues Jr for my acoustic. I also love my Big Muff for the bass.

I use a ton of different effects pedals as I just love them though cables are the bane of my existence! I play a danelectro guitar and an orange amp usually.

PIETRO: Hey Kids! My father who’s also a drummer, designed my drum set for me. ,so i guess you can call it DiGennaro Drums.Zildjian cymbals and Vic Firth A1 drumsticks.

What are some of your favorite memories of playing at Wills Pub during Hidden Volumes Field Trip South?

NIKKI: Everything was so great! I wish I could do the whole weekend over. I definitely fan-girled all over Mary Huff from SCOTS. She probably thought I was crazy, but I had to hug her and tell her she was a huge inspiration to me. Also, the Little Richards made me want to get a better work out routine.

SASHA:Seeing so many amazing bands, making new friends and hanging with old ones! We had such a blast and would love to come back again!

PIETRO: Buying Crystal Pepsi at an Orlando gas station.

What are some of the other projects that you are all involved in and how do you juggle all of that?

NIKKI: It’s really hard to juggle everything, and still try to maintain a day job. I am still a registered dietitian by day! I keep saying I’m making up for all the years that I didn’t pay music, so it feels worth it. I have a new band called “Nikki & the Phantom Callers,” that is a bit little country. I also play in Shantih Shantih, and recently had the chance to tour Europe with them, so that was a huge check off the old bucket list. A lot of times our other bands or projects share a bill, so that is a huge help when scheduling shows.

We are all workaholics when it comes to our music it seems! Nikki and Pietro both have new solo projects and also play in Bad Spell and Shantih Shantih. I play in a 2 piece heavy psych punk band called Sash The Bash. Scheduling can be difficult sometimes but we all manage. I also have a young son and I’m a music teacher so I basically just
don’t rest lol!

PIETRO: Pietro is in a Tiny Tim cover band and he juggles all that with marijuana.

Atlanta seems to be hotbed for cool bands , who else should we be listening to from Atlanta?

NIKKI: So much good music in ATL!! Other than the bands we are in (!) I like Black Cat Rising, Gringo Star, Roadkill Debutante, Anna Kramer, Rod Hamdallah, Art School Jocks, Arbor Labor Union, Omni, Black Linen, the Coathangers, Tiger Tiger, Mama Bear, The Gartrells — all of the ones that Sasha said as well.

Obviously you should check out our other bands Sash The Bash, Bad Spell and Shantih Shantih lol! But there’s lots of amazing bands from Atlanta, Tiger Tiger which is Buffy from Subsonics other band are awesome, The Coathangers, Black Lips, Fiend Without A Face, Biters, A Drug Called Tradition, Black Cat Rising, Casket Creatures,Bigfoot,Night Terrors, Dusty Booze and The Baby Haters, and I’m sure there’s a ton of other great bands I’m forgetting right now.. it’s been a long weekend!

PIETRO: Anything Incrowd does, Every thing that is recorded there is fantastic. The Gartrells, Reverends, Drug Called Tradition, Black Linen.

Any last thoughts for your fans

NIKKI: Thanks so much for reading this, and for your support! It means to world to us.

SASHA: Thanks for being a fan! We love you!

Midnight Larks:

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Co-founder of 50thirdand3rd, stepped away to spend time with family and write. From Pittsburgh, now in Florida, Cool Canadian artist wife, 4 great kids, and two granddaughters!! I'm a lucky guy!

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