A lot of bands out there could do with more exposure. Midnight Souls sure is one of them. Especially if like me you can't get enough of bands who kind of play the same style as Modern Life Is War and American Nightmare, and are good in what they do. Enter Midnight Souls frontman Donny.
The 'Colder' 7" is out for a couple of weeks. Are you satisfied with the endresult? Are there already things you wanted to have done differently?
We are very happy with the way things worked out. We achieved everything we wanted for our follow up to the demo. We tried to make a heavier, darker, more intense record that reflected our live performance and I think we succeeded in doing so.
We got the chance to work with the best in the business on almost every level. The mastering was done by Alan Douches, who has worked on so many records, the cover art by Linas Garsys looks amazing and when Europe’s biggest record label agrees to put out your record, it just can’t get any better.
We are always our own worst critics and in hindsight there will always be things we could have done better, but right now we are all very proud of our release. It captured us at our best in that moment in time.
In 'Black Lung Disease' you paint the picture of the town were you live. Has music been your getaway from those surroundings? How did you get in touch with hc and punk? How do you see your life evolve and how much of that has been because of the music you listen to?
Music has always been important to me. Even at a very young age I was really interested in different genres, the artists themselves and what they were about.
I’ve always been a big Guns n’ Roses fan and at the age of 12 I started getting into heavier music, bands like Metallica, Pantera, . Then one day, I think I was 13 at the time, a friend handed me this copied tape to check out. It was a bootleg recording of a Sick Of It All show. It sounded awful, noisy and I didn’t like it. But somehow I gave it another chance and the second time around I understood what was going on. I felt the energy that oozed from the speakers, the intensity of the vocals and guitars combined with the pace of the drums. I was hooked. I started checking out other bands and got more involved in the entire culture. Back then it meant ordering stuff from The Lost & Found catalogue, based on single line descriptions, reading thanks lists for other bands to check out…you know them good old days.
I’m turning 29 this year I’ve seen many things come and go. The music changes, the people change but in the end everything remains the same.
It has always been the backbeat to my life. How much influence did music have? I don’t know. To quote Rob Gordon in High Fidelity “Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?” It made me feel less alone at times and helped me through some difficult moments.
There are moments when I’m a bit burned out on the HC genre when nothing interesting comes my way, but it’s always a part of who I am. These days I explore other genres more cause I still like to be surprised by music and that’s something’s that doesn’t happen that often anymore after 16 years of Punkrock.
You're from Belgium. Can you tell me why for a pretty small European country, you guys always have been playing a main role in the international hardcore scene. Starting with Nations On Fire, then the whole h8000 scene of Congress, Liar etc, GoodLife Recordings, Dead Stop, Rise and Fall, Justice and True Colors.
It’s hard to explain why. Maybe it’s something in our water, I don’t know... I think we’ve always had a quite active scene. We support our locals as well as the many touring bands that have played Belgium. Maybe it’s our central location in Europe that works to our benefit, who will tell? I don’t think anyone can provide a truthful answer to this question. Some things just are the way they are. Water is wet, the sun is hot and Belgium has produced quite a few amazing bands
There seems to be a struggle going on in your country where the northern dutch speaking part wants to separate from the french speaking part. Do you notice anything about that in daily life and what is your opinion on the crisis in Belgium?
To be honest, I think it’s just a political problem experienced in parliament and on the news. Nobody notices it in their daily lives. I remember a few months ago people were outraged by the prices of diesel and it was all over the news. Eventually the prices were lowered and the problem went away. Nowadays the diesel prices are skyrocketing again and no one seems to care, cause our focus is somewhere else. So I think sooner or later politicians and the media will find a new shocking tale to tell and this too will go away for some time
Speaking of which how come all the bands I mentioned above are Flemish and I personally can't recall any Wallonian bands.
Daggers is a Wallonian band and they are amazing. You also have Do Or Die I think…
I don’t know why there aren’t many bands from the Southern part of our country. Maybe the scene isn’t as active as it is in Flanders.
The 'Colder' 7"is out what's up next for Midnight Souls? Are you already working on songs for a full length?
At the moment we are focusing on our release show this Friday. Other than that we’re trying to play as many shows as we can to promote our record. In the first year we hit the stage, we focused on Belgium and now we’d like to get out more and play in different countries. We’re working on a tour and some weekenders.
Musically we’re taking the first steps in writing new music for a next release, trying out new things so that we don’t end up repeating ourselves.
Which Belgium bands should we all check out?
Accept The Change, Fundamental, Hessian, Worms Feed, Daggers and so many more…