Midnight Snack, a DIY band from Allston has mastered the rare art of unforgettable, goofy-dance-inducing grooves with melodies that have space to breathe. They keep a good balance between the two, but in their most recent EP the balance has leaned towards a slower, more melodic and atmospheric Midnight Snack. Their only music video–“Tiny Little Pieces“–is  reminiscent of Deadmau5’s “Ghosts N Stuff“–except in this case, instead of a ghost waking up from a hospital bed, we’ve got an extra-terrestrial with a feverish need to dance and an ability to produce eggs with psychedelic side effects for those who drink them.

Close friendship seems to be the glue that holds the band together. Jack Johnson, lead vocalist of the group, made music with his brother, Mike, in high school; at Berklee they moved to a house in Allston with close friends who had each “organically transformed into a band member over time.”  I interviewed Jack about the band, their new EP, and the new direction of their music.

 

Nitesh: Without using genre names, how would you describe your music?

Jack: I’m struggling to do this for our first album.  I think we learned a real lot by making it!  But we have another album in the works right now, and we’ve been using a lot of imagery to try to make sure that the songs have a common aesthetic in terms of the production and the song content.  The basic image we’re going for is a cowboy riding a horse through a dusty desert, hat on his head, straw in his mouth.

Nitesh: How do you feel about your new EP?

Jack: I’m very happy with the EP, I think it sounds great and the people who have heard it so far seem to like it a lot.  We didn’t really emphasize the release of this EP though, since we’re going to be re-inventing those three songs on the next album.  In a way, it was sort of a taste-tester for the next big release.

Nitesh: What’s your favorite song you’re band has ever released and why?

Jack: I have a special relationship with certain songs, but for different reasons.  Its hard to pick one overall favorite.  Off the new EP, I think the song Impermanent Beings was kind of a break through for us.  I think it kind of inspired a simpler approach to songwriting without sacrificing substance.  It set the tone for the new album in the works, musically and conceptually.

Nitesh: How do you think your style has evolved?

Jack: We went through a period while we were at Berklee where we wanted to show off all the techniques we were learning in school, and the result was a complex, showy kind of sound.  Recently we have been producing simpler songs, with more of a psychedelic, spacey vibe about them.  Lyrically, the most important thing for me now is that the lyrics are meaningful.  Not that everyone would derive the same meaning from them, but that they are affective enough to cause an emotional reaction – preferably a positive one.

Nitesh: What’s the most meaningful song you’ve recorded?

Jack: For the most part all of the songs are meaningful for me.  When they stop being meaningful, I stop performing them.  The bigger question is which song is the most affective.  I don’t know the answer to that, perhaps everyone who has heard the songs would have their own answer.

Nitesh: You have a fairly unique sound. Have you had trouble fitting into the Boston music scene?

Jack: A little bit of trouble I’d say.  But Boston is a very open-minded crowd.  Also, we’ve taken on the mentality that if we intend to have an audience for our music then we have to make a new scene.  We can see the beginnings of this bubbling up in certain places.

Nitesh: You remind me a little bit of Evolfo Doofeht, who are also from Boston. Do you know them? Ever performed with them?

Jack: Yes! They kick ass!  I have performed on the same bill as them once, but I intend to play with them again before we leave Boston. 

Nitesh: What do you think about the Boston music scene?

Jack: Oversaturated.  There are an insane amount of bands trying to get their music heard, but not tons of venues to play at.  That being said, I’m sure any good band that put in the right amount of work could develop a strong following in Boston.  We’re trying to focus on playing a lot of shows locally this spring for that reason.

Nitesh: Your music video for “Tiny Little Pieces,”—it’s bizarre, fun and free at the same time. It also fits your music really well. Can you describe the process of conceptualizing it and making it?

Jack: Mike and our bass player Peter came up for the concept and started drawing out story boards for the video.  Then we came in touch with Jake Stafford at Mass Art who shot, directed, and edited the video.  We had a budget of $0, so we had to figure out cool locations and such that wouldn’t cost us anything.  It was a blast!

Nitesh: Not a question, but I just wanted to say I thoroughly enjoyed reading your description on your website of your story. I love the sense of humor. And I also can’t stop watching your music video for “Tiny Little Pieces.” Any plans for future music videos?

Jack: I’m happy you like it!  Yes, we will definitely have some visual content to go with our next album release.  We’re hoping to record that this May, so hopefully the summer will be full of experimenting with film.

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