10 Questions is a Musformation feature where we sit down and
ask relevant bands, promoters, DJ’s, engineers, etc. to tell us about
what they do so that you might learn something from them. Even if it
isn’t your genre or style, pay attention – you might learn something or
discover someone new that you like.
Denton Texas’ pride and joy, Midlake have been making a name for themselves the past few years by doing what a lot of bands won’t: busting their ass. Holed up in their studio working on the follow-up to 2006′s fantastic The Trials of Van Occupanther, we caught up with guitarist/singer Eric Pulido to ask a few questions.
1. You guys are a band that does a lot of things for themselves. What is the biggest mistake your band ever made?
We’ve been fortunate along the way to not really make any large blunders (fingers crossed). In the beginning we were always apprehensive to take money or get into a long contracts with a record label, and luckily…it was never offered! I think our biggest mistakes have been how we’ve spent money on touring (ie. flying with 7 heavy keyboard cases) but I think we’ve learned and gotten much better.
2. What do you think the smartest thing your band has ever done?
We stayed together. its easier said than done, but the biggest accomplishment you can have as a band is continuing to do it.
3. What advice can you give for a band looking to improve their live show?
Practice. If you don’t take yourself seriously, nobody else will.
4. Any interesting ideas you can give for a band to build up a buzz?
There are obviously many avenues these days as to how a band gains exposure. I still believe that a label is ideal to have on board, but so many other factors go into growing a bands career. I think being smart and purposeful about your decisions and the opportunities you take is important but at the end of the day, there is no equation. So work hard, have fun, and pray.
5. What is the coolest piece of gear you have come across recently?
We got a Neumann u87 not long ago and felt like we had arrived as a legit studio. : )
6. I understand you guys are in studio and have been for a while. Tell us a cool story from the recording studio?
We feel really lucky to have the studio we’re in now. The last two albums were made in our old house’s living/dining room but as we all began to marry and move out it was apparent that we needed a neutral space. We rent the space we’re i now from a studio that was using it for storage, but after we put our own touch of style on it and did some sound treatment, it was where we called home.
7. I’m sure you’re looking forward to playing shows again. Can you mention a cool story from the road that happened recently?
Well, we haven’t played a show since October of 2007, so there’s nothing recent to report. We don’t switch gears between recording and playing live as well as we’d like, so the elongated recording process has kept us domestic to say the least. We are looking forward to touring soon though and I’m sure we’ll have some goods, bads and uglies to report!
8. What is something you should bring on tour that most people may not think of?
If you’re traveling to Europe and trying to save money on food, bring your own peanut butter and jelly. It tastes illegal over there.
9. What is the dumbest thing you see other bands do?
Taking pictures in front of brick walls.
10. What have you learned songwriting wise recently?