“It was mental. Fourteen music videos in two weeks!” An Interview with The Midnight Beast (11/10/12)

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Just before their amazing show at Southampton’s Guildhall I had a super brief chat with Ashley, Stefan and Dru from The Midnight Beast. Despite being on a very tight timeframe we managed to cover quite a lot. I squeezed into their dressing room and Ashely complimented me on my glittery jacket, I declared I made the effort especially for them. It was a hilarious interview and I sincerely hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed doing it.

Just describe really briefly how you guys formed?

Stefan: Yeah, me and Ash met in a Dave Benson Philips nursery rhymes video.
Ashley: Absolutely
Stefan: Three years later I met Dru at drama group, started a band with Dru, Ashley came to the shows, these guys slept together, [points at Dru and Ashley]awkward morning.
Ashely: We had the baby and that’s how Stefan was formed.
Stefan: And then I was born! And then that was the Midnight beast.
Ashley: so very incestual.
Stefan: and I’m a bum baby [all laugh]

That’s a new one! What were your ambitions before the band?

Ashley: Skydiver wasn’t it? I wanted to be a Skydiver
Stefan: You wanted to be a dancer
Ashely: Did I?! That’s cooler than Skydiver, hip hop, ballet, all kinds of dancing.
Stefan: I wanted to be in a band.
Dru: Yeah I wanted to do the same, drums and stuff.
Ashely: I wanted to be an actor, scrap the fucking dancing, I wanted to be an actor.
Stefan: And we’re not in a band now.

You guys met Kesha, how was that?

Stefan: It was good. She was actually pretty cool, I thought she was quite hot.
Dru: She was quite nervous.
Ashley: She was really nervous. 

What, about meeting you guys?!

Stefan: Yeah!
Dru: Her management had to check the camera over in case water was gonna fire out of it or something.
Stefan: Yeh, It was weird! It was good fun, she seemed like you would imagine.
Ashley: She seemed pretty up for it.. the interview..
Stefan: and then we had a threesome and gave birth to.. Drake that time! [all laugh]And that would be a foursome anyway so you know that’s a lie.
Ashley: We had a massive foursome, but lets not get into it.

When did you decide to move on from parodies to original tracks?

Stefan: The beginning actually, Ninjas was the first song we wrote then Tik Tok was the second. We went Tik Tok, Down, XXXmas Buddies then Ninjas, so it was the fourth video. But we had it planned from the beginning, definitely.

Have you always been a songwriter?

Stefan: Yeh, definitely. I started when my dad got me my first guitar when I was 12, so I started then and have just loved it ever since. The Midnight Beast is song writing and joke writing so it’s both of those things which is hard. 

How has the tour been so far?

All: Amazing!
Dru: It’s been awesome, it’s the biggest tour we’ve done.
Ashley: And the bestest tour we’ve ever done.
Dru: it’s just been really cool to play new songs that have been on the album that people haven’t seen live before.
Stefan: The venues have been amazing, there hasn’t been a single bad gig, it’s all kind of been running smooth which is amazing.

Do you have a favourite venue so far?

Stefan: I think they’re all equal, obviously the bigger stages, like Cambridge, venue wise, was really good,
Ashley: the Nottingham crowd were incredible and Manchester, and Leeds and Glasgow and Bournemouth! [laughs] Stefan: We bought a big show so some of the stages were a bit smaller it’s harder to fit it all on but they’ve all been really good.

Do you always have crazy fans waiting outside?

Stefan: Yeah, I mean, it’s.. Yeah. Yeah. [laughs]

Some of them have been out there since 11am! 

Stefan: I know, it’s mad! 

‘Lez Be Friends’ is one of my favourites.

Dru: Awesome!
Stefan: Thanks!

Where did the idea stem from?
[all laugh]
Dru: Real life situations!
Ashley: Dealing with the rejection every boy has to face every day I think!
Stefan: And just making up ideas of why you’re being rejected, definitely true life situations!
Dru: Facts! 

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever read about yourselves in the press?

Stefan: Um, probably,
Dru: they said I have the look of a serial killer which was quite weird.
Stefan: Yeah, that was in the Metro wasn’t it! And that we condone Anal Sex as contraception!

I was just about to ask you guys about that, I had a quote from the video “One up the bum and you won’t be a mum” Explain!

Stefan: Yeah, I mean that was mental!
Ashely: We were on the front page of the metro!
Stefan: Yeah it was, that was really weird because it was just a fun video that we’d done and it just got blown out of proportion but that was fine and it was good fun. 

Can you quickly talk about the E4 show?

Stefan: Yeh sure! It was amazing doing it, it was an idea out manager had a month into us meeting her and it took two years to put together the ideas and stuff and then two months to film, and it was just mental, it was really slap dash, 14 music videos in two weeks or whatever it was. 

Do you have a favourite song to perform live?

Stefan: I think we’ve all got different ones.

So Dru?

Dru: Mine would be Videogames
Stefan: I think mine would probably be, I think Stategy Wanking is always good fun.
Ashley: I think Begging cause everybody goes crazy and jumps along. 

You’re kind of the central focus to that song…

[all laugh] Ashley: I don’t think it’s cause I’m the central focus, it’s just my favourite song!

Plans for the future?

Stefan: there’s a lot of rock bands in the world and there’s not loads of comedy music bands so I think we’ll just try and find some new formats and stuff like that and try and do something interesting that hasn’t been done before so I think there’s a lot of scope to do stuff.
Dru: World domination!

The Midnight Beast’s self titled debut album is out now on their own record label Sounds Like Good.

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I’m Megan Downing, an English Literature graduate from University of Southampton. I am the Music, Arts and Culture Editor for The National Student. I am the Membership and Communications Officer for the Student Publication Association, I write about music for 7BitArcade, and contribute regularly to The Culture Trip. I have a passion for live music and this is where I began in student journalism. Reviewing a gig or festival is still where my heart lies four years on. I will be starting at MTV as a News Intern in June 2015. One thing you should know about me is that I have an unhealthy obsession with Kevin Spacey.

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