An Interview With Rockers SAVAGE AFTER MIDNIGHT All About Their Upcoming Debut EP ’11:59′ and More!
Posted On 28 Feb 2019
Dogged perseverance and unyielding determination are qualities shared by countless bands struggling to break out from their hometown club scene and onto the arena stage. Memphis, Tennessee quintet Savage After Midnight have exhibited far more patience and dedication than most. They are gearing up for the release of their debut EP, “11:59” (RED Music/The Century Family) on March 8th, 2019.
Since the band members formed in 2009, Savage After Midnight have been sidetracked by an obligatory name change, a studio fire, scrapped recordings from different producers, a crippling lawsuit they had nothing to do with and an 11th hour record label change. “We’ve been put through the wringer, man,” says vocalist Shi. “We’ve totally been fed through it. If it’s true that what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, then we must be the strongest band in the world.”
The years of trial and error, and even more years of being uprooted and returning to square one made Savage After Midnight a more professional band, improving their chemistry and allowing them to fine tune their presentation both live and in the studio. The band connected with producer John Falls (Egypt Central) and recorded what would become the “11:59” EP. The band’s “work-hard-by-day, rock-harder-by-night” ethos is poured into a collection of songs that are an energized, emotional introduction to musicians that desperately want to make a mark, but only on their own terms. S.A.M. music is aggressive, but still has pop sensibilities. The tracks are colored by galvanic hard rock passages, a contrast of screamed melodies and soaring hooks, and it’s augmented by electronic segments that give the band a modern edge.
“10 Feet Tall,” the first single and video release from the EP, is already making inroads at SiriusXm Octane and Music Choice. It’s anthemic and energizing, building from a melodic verse, through a propulsive bridge and into an unforgettable chorus. “Unleash,” the opening cut on the EP, is a message of empowerment in the face of adversity, driven forward by steady backbeats, chugging guitars and electronic effects. “Heartless Machine” is an intense song about soldiers who are sent to war and desensitized, trained so that they will obey commands that civilians never have to contemplate.
Savage After Midnight has toured with Shinedown, Sick Puppies, and Story of the Year, among others. More tour dates are being confirmed, and the band also has additional songs recorded for another EP to be released in late 2019 or early 2020.
Living up to the band’s name, leader Shi admits: “We all like to get wild. There’s something savage about us when it comes to throwing down and partying – it’s just who we are. We work really hard, but at the end of the day we’re down for a good time. We’ll put on whatever work hat we have to, but once it strikes midnight it’s our time – and it’s time to tear it up!” 2019 will be the year that Savage After Midnight tears through the rock world and at long last makes it mark.
Connect and Share with Savage After Midnight Here:
Official Website: http://savageaftermidnight.com/about/
Bands In Town: https://www.bandsintown.com/a/15198716?came_from=2
Learn more about Savage After Midnight in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! What is on tap for the rest of your day?
– Of course! Thanks for having us, we actually are in rehearsals starting today. We are gearing up for our next tour that starts at the end of the month.
Now that a new year has started, what musical goals does S.A.M. band have for 2019? What are you most proud of about 2018? Do any of you make any New Years Resolutions?
– Our goals are probably the same every year, continue to write music that we enjoy and can be proud of. Year over year we have been growing into a more effective and mature writing style, so we really just want to continue that progress. In 2018 we were proud that our first single that we ever released – “10 Feet Tall” has received as much traction and love as it has! We’re thrilled that it’s gotten such a positive response right out of the gate.
Can you recall the moment when you thought you could be in this group together? Was it hard to think of a name that you could agree on?
– We’ve known that we work well together as a band for longer than we’ve even all been together involved in the same project. We knew very early on that we all worked well together. The band name part was very difficult, turns out 90% of the amazing names you think of have already been taken, and are out there in the stratosphere somewhere. We got lucky with this name though, it embodies this project perfectly and no one else had it. ;o)
How do you think your hometown of Memphis has influenced the sound and how you all carry yourselves in this group?
– The sense of hustle in Memphis is absolutely unmatched, and our work ethic is really strong – it’s made us who we are. In terms of our writing – when we dig in, we dig in hard and we don’t settle for the first idea that comes up. We keep working on it until we all believe we have something special.
How has your various musical backgrounds helped shape the sound of this band?
– Simply put, it’s made us the band that we are today. Some of us lean more traditional as active rock music fans, others love pop-punk & metal. The different shades of rock definitely show up throughout the record. It gives us a more diverse sound, when the different elements all come together.
How do you think that you have grown as a band since forming? What has remained the same?
– We’ve grown as writers and performers – life experience has certainly contributed to the growth of the band. Our music and the writing style have grown exponentially, from our various experiences over the years. We used to write in the rehearsal room, jamming at full volume until something cool manifested. Now we write in the studio, and take a bit more deliberate approach. A lot of things have remained the same though, we still throw the F*** down when we play a live show. I don’t think that will ever change.
Let’s talk about your forthcoming debut EP, “11:59.” Did anything surprise you about the overall process of putting this collection together?
– The length of time we spent in production, for sure. We went through a number of producers, engineers, and writers before we had the final version of “11:59”. I think what surprised us the most was truly how long the process took us to finally get something out there…. We’ve known for years what we had, and we knew that “10 Feet Tall” in particular was special. The politics of this business can sometimes put a strangle hold on creative energy. We persevered through a bunch of trials and tribulations because we believed in how important it was to get these songs out to the rock community. Our collective belief kept us going.
How will you celebrate the release of it on March 8th? Can you recall what it was like hearing it all for the first time?
– We are going to celebrate in our own special way by playing a show in Corpus Christi, TX. We are super pumped to get back there, the last time we played there was last summer with Shinedown, and we absolutely loved it! We couldn’t think of a better place (other than Memphis) to play on our release day. We should do a follow up interview about what happens that night. 😉
How do you think your already released single “10 Feet Tall” prepares listeners for the rest of the songs on your EP?
– One of the reasons we picked “10 Feet Tall” as the first single is because we do believe it embodies the spirit of the EP. We have a dynamic EP with different flavors of rock, but overall “10 Feet Tall” is a great introduction to “11:59”.
Generally, how do you all go about writing your music? Do you write together or separately?
– Usually Jeremiah (Lipscomb) and I (JT) start out by sitting in a room hashing out riffs and vocal melodies, and later on in the session we start sifting through basic lyrical concepts. After we have the skeleton in place usually Landon (Fox) will come in and write rough drums, and pre-production begins from there.
Where do you think you are all happiest – in the studio recording new music, on stage performing or elsewhere?
– They both have their special qualities about them, I think you might get different answers based on who in the band you ask. But what I can tell you is we all enjoy both very, very much! Some bands may tend to not like being in the studio, or the writing and production process in general, but do. All of us love the studio and feel absolutely at home there. And we LOVE to play live and share our music in that setting, nothing beats the energy we get back from a live audience.
Where can fans see you perform next? What do you think makes an ideal show for this group?
– We head back out on tour with Memphis May Fire, and He is Legend on the 28th, and we’ll be out with them for a bunch of dates that we are really looking forward to. An ideal show is just putting on a great performance for people that want to see it. We’ve played for crowds of 10,000+ fans and we’ve played for 50, every show is always different and can be just as fun!
How was your January tour with Pop Evil? Any favorite venue or crowd?
– Every stop on that tour was amazing, and we are super appreciative of the Pop Evil guys for having us out. I will say this… Boston truly knows how to put on a rock show – the fans there were awesome!!
Do you find that all of social media and keeping up with your fans has gotten so overwhelming? Or do you rely heavily on others to take care of that for the band? Which platform would you say that you enjoy engaging with the most?
– We all run our own band and personal socials. We have a social media team that helps us with certain content and posts, but we all contribute to all platforms, because it’s important for the fans to know it’s coming from us. It’s important for us to be the authentic voice of our band’s social media. I think everyone would agree we really like our Instagram!
We are currently living through a very trying and politically charged time right now so I am curious to know how you all think being musicians and in this band still gives you the most joy in life today? Do you find that your music is an escape to all the current events?
– I think Music is more the place you go to try and make sense of it all. The things we can put into music and a 4 minute experience give us an advantage over the other arts in terms of narrowing down a specific energy that you want to get across. Music will always be an escape, but more importantly Music to a lot of people is therapeutic, helping them sort through the mess of thoughts and feelings we feel on a daily basis.
What musicians would you love to work with in the future? What artists have really been inspiring this group and your music since day 1?
– We really want to work with a some of the new hip hop artists like Black Bear, MGK, etc. There have been so many artists that have had an influence on us along the way, Rage against the Machine, and A Day to Remember being two that come to mind.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
– We hope people are able to find their own meaning in our music and lyrics, at the end of the day asking the listener to feel a certain way is presumptuous. We just want people to take away a fun positive vibe, and try to give the same to others. Impacting people in a positive way is what it’s all about.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about this group?
Keep up with us on our socials @savageaftermidnight . You can add all our personal socials as well. Try us out – We WILL message you back. Stay Savage!!
Tour dates with Memphis May Fire and He Is Legend
Feb. 28 Zydeco – Birmingham, AL
Mar. 01 – The Cowan – Nashville, TN
Mar. 02 – Diamond Pub & Billiards – Louisville, KY
Mar. 03 – Capone’s – Johnson City, TN
Mar. 06 – The Riff – Springfield, MO
Mar. 08 – House Of Rock – Corpus Christi, TX
Mar. 10 – Club LA – Destin, FL