Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted on Mar 8th 2010 12:34PM by Jonathan Dekel
Formed in the late '90s by a group of jazz students at the University of North Texas, Midlake has come a long way from its jazz fusion roots. Counting actor Jason Lee -- who directed and produced the video for their first single, 'Balloon Maker' -- and the Flaming Lips' Wayne Coyne as fans, the Denton, Texas-based group began releasing lo-fi psychedelic electronica in the mid-2000s. The group's second album, 2006's 'The Trials of Van Occupanther,' saw them shift focus to classic rock revivalism reminiscent of Bob Welch-era Fleetwood Mac. Nearly four years post-'Trials,' Midlake return with their third album, 'The Courage of Others.' Inspired by the late '60s British folk rock of bands like Fairport Convention, Midlake have added a daring amount of flute to their sound, melding it with guitarist Eric Pulido's acoustic guitars and singer Tim Smith's dour vocals to produce a sound akin to Radiohead for the renaissance faire set.
Describe your sound in your own words.
Tall, dark and handsome, with a little touch of folk rock.
What are your musical influences?
How did you come up with your band name?
The lead singer came up with it. It was one of those periods that you're trying to come up with something but everything you choose just ends up sounding dumb. He told everybody that there was a band called Midlake coming to town and they sound like Radiohead and Bjork, who were both very influential for us at the time. So we all thought, "Oh, that's great. What a great band name!" When the day of the show came around he finally said, "Sorry guys, there is no show, but I think we found our band name."
What's your biggest vice?
I would say coffee, if you want to call it a vice.
What's in your festival survival kit?
Definitely a comfy pair of shoes and a passport. Boring, I know.
Who was your first celeb crush?
Golly, oh goodness. Well, the first person that comes to mind is Audrey Tautou from [the French film] 'Amélie.' She wasn't my first crush, but I will say I was head over heels for a French person I've never met.
What's your musical guilty pleasure?
Beatles or Rolling Stones?
What's the craziest thing you've seen or experienced while on tour?
One time we were in Spain trying to find the grounds to a festival we were playing. We were driving this splitter van and we get pulled over by this unmarked car. So we pull over and this guy, who looks of Middle Eastern decent, jumps out of the car and he's wearing a hat of some sort which kind of looks official. So he asks us where we're going and then demands that we give him our passports. We're like, "We're not giving this guy our passports." So we ask who he is and he says he's INTERPOL. So we ask for some identification and he starts getting a little irate, demanding we give him our passports. We had this guy who was tour managing us who was crapping his pants and we just yelled at him to take off. Luckily he listened and we blew out of there. I can confidently say that we would have been without our passports if we would have given them to that guy.