Last month we presented to you the debut full-length album, Seconds, from Midnight Vesta. Well, we had the chance to catch up with the boys from Toronto while they were on their eastern Canadian leg of their current tour. Actually, the interview happened in their van while traveling to their next gig. The quartet had a few fun stories, so let’s get to our chat! I am sure it is way more interesting than my ramblings. So let me introduce you to Midnight Vesta!
Lemonade Magazine: Thanks for chatting with us! Tell us a little about the history of the band.
Midnight Vesta: Midnight Vesta originally began as a group of university friends playing cover songs. We eventually relocated to Toronto, and have shuffled through a few different lineups. The roots of the band really lie in folk music, but we’ve really pushed things in a rock direction recently.
LM: The rock influence is a wonderful addition. You guys call your music Canadiana. What makes the music you play so distinctly Canadiana?
MV: We’ve got a lot of regional references laced into the band. The name comes from a diner (The Vesta) in Toronto, a lot of tunes draw from landmarks in Quebec and Ontario. The music is really folk-rock with a distinct amount of Canadian content.
LM: I think it is an excellent description of the style of music too. Initially you described yourselves as a ‘banjo-driven folk band” on your first EP, Sleight of Hand. What made you move in a different direction with Seconds?
MV: Well, the shift in sound was really dictated by the new lineup – we worked most of the new songs in with electric guitar and drums playing a bigger role. It felt better to let the band play to its new strengths rather than trying to recreate what previous lineups were so good at. We’ve got a couple of butt rockers on board now, so it comes naturally.
LM: Ha! Crazy butt rockers always make things heavier. You recorded the album in an auto garage in Toronto. What made you choose this location for recording?
MV: Our guitarist was using the space as a project studio, which we eventually adopted as a rehearsal space when he joined the band. It made sense to make use of the big space to reinforce our shift towards rock. The room added a great amount of length and decay to the drum sound, and allowed us to use real room reverb as opposed to introducing artificial ambiance after the fact. We also had the opportunity to take our time and revise things instead of clock watching at a big studio.
LM: Such a cool concept. It really shows in the production off the album too. The video for “Moving Day” is charming and rustic. How did you come up with the concept and how was filming? Any hiccups or interesting stories?
MV: The “Moving Day” video concept came from a conversation with filmmakers, The Jefferies Brothers, about incorporating the urban beauty that is found in Toronto. The pace of the city and the concrete backdrop was the initial spark of the idea. Our previous video for “Sweden” – a track from our debut EP – was set in the Laurentians of Quebec, so we wanted to compliment and contrast that piece with our new video.
The script and story was devised by the Jefferies Brothers with the bike delivery chap – which was peddled by Ted Jefferies – acting as our guide to through the cityscape. We filmed most of the biking shots out the back of the open hatch of a Volkswagen station wagon. It got a little dodgy with the busier streets, but allowed for some interesting movement and a feel for the streets and back alleys of Canada’s largest city.
LM: I am not sure I would want to be the one hanging out of an open station wagon! Classic though and a great story to tell. Now that the album is out, what are you plans for touring and album promotion?
MV: We’re in the midst of a two week tour of Canada’s east coast currently. We’ve got a hometown release show booked when we get back to Toronto, as well as plans for another video shoot. After that, we’re heading out to tour western Canada in the month of August.
LM: So cool! Hopefully we will get a chance to catch you when you guys are in the Vancouver area. Thanks again for taking the time!
MV: Thanks for chatting with us!
Don’t forget to catch the boys from Toronto on Thursday, June 15th at the Dakota Tavern!
You can pick up Seconds by Midnight Vesta on iTunes now! And check out the latest video for “Second Chances” below!
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