Today, I talk with Mike Corbett of the Brooklyn-based rock band,
Midnight Spin. We talk about how the band came to be, the process of writing and recording, and just how much impact a Bloody Mary can have when your set gets pushed back 9 hours!
Ryan Sprague (RS)
Mike Corbett (MC)
RS: What's the story behind the name of the band?
MC: We were kicking around names for quite a while, and we eventually felt like we landed on the right one. It feels like a good descriptor of our music and overall inspiration and mission.
RS: Were you always called that?
MC: Since our first official show as a four-piece, we’ve been known as Midnight Spin. Before then we were playing shows and playing under all kinds of different terrible names.
RS: How did the band form? When?
MC: Dan and I met in school back in Silver Spring, Maryland in 5th grade. We jammed out to rock radio songs and when Dan got to Dartmouth he met Ben. I met Jeremy at a University of Maryland party we were playing at and Jim came along via a cool breeze and a Craigslist ad.
RS: What instrument do you play in the band? Do you play any other instruments?
MC: I sing the lead vocals and play guitar. I played some bass while we were writing the album, and I can mess around with the harmonica and piano a small amount. I want to learn saxophone.
RS: What genre of music do you consider your work to be?
MC: We’re a rock band. We don’t necessarily want to be limited to anything, but at our core, this is the music we’ve always loved and has endured and remained relevant to all of us.
RS: What inspired you to make music together?
MC: Dan and I had been playing together for over a decade together by the time we moved to New York. I think the fun of playing is pretty much the entire reason, and creating different sounds and collaborating naturally leads you to want to share it with an audience. Once we had the band together we knew we had a great thing going with all the moving parts working in collaboration.
RS: What bands have you toured with? Who were you favorites?
MC: We’ve played with a bunch of fun bands. On our last tour, we played Nashville and after we shared a stage we got to meet Futureman Wooten and Jeff Coffin, who are just total virtuoso professionals.
RS: What is your process of writing music? Lyrics first? Music first? Mixture of both?
MC: Typically we’ll begin with a rhythm that we’re interested in, and then I’ll typically try building a melody around it. Usually the melody is the predominant factor in what we look for in a songwriting session, and then everything else usually fits around it. Words in the chorus are important. Yes.
RS: What was your worst experience while playing live? Best experience?
MC: I played one show I don’t remember at all due to 2 for 1 Bloody Marys and a set time that eventually was pushed back about 9 hours. Makes for a bad show. Best experience? We’ve had a lot of great ones. I’m looking forward to playing Gramercy Theatre on June 1st, it’s a good room.
RS: Who writes the songs for the band?
MC: Musically the entire band contributes. Lyrics on the album were written by myself, Dan, and Jim.
RS: When you record an album, what is the process and what do you try to accomplish with each album?
MC: We want to get the songs out there sounding the way they sound in our head. We haven’t gotten too insane with the recording process due to time constraints, but we’ve been able to experiment a decent amount. We definitely want to stretch it out even more next time, and really play with as many toys in the sandbox as we can.
RS: How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?
MC: More people know about it, it comes a little easier, and it’s definitely taking some detours from straight-ahead rock to different directions. We’re playing dance music, ballads, and learning more every time we pick up an instrument.
RS: What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
MC: Biggest challenge has probably been achieving the balance between supporting ourselves and dedicating as much time as possible to the band in every way. We’ve gotten pretty good at it, but it’s still not where we are totally satisfied yet (jobless).
RS: What advice do you have for people who want to form their own bands?
MC: Do it! Find people who you connect with musically and believe in, and start playing.
RS: What's next for you guys?
MC: We’re taking a little breather post-tour, and then we have our big NYC show coming up on June 1st at Gramercy Theatre. Then we’re not really positive what the exact next moves are, other than they will be ambitious. It’s like playing that game Risk. Roll the dice and then you try to take over the world.
Check out the official music video for Midnight Spin's 'In The Air'
You can learn more about Midnight Spin by CLICKING HERE.