112 E 18th St., Tulsa
6:30 PM, Thursday, January 26
$15 door / $12 online
Paced at easy-going tempos and framed with a full listening experience in mind, his albums transport the listener to a realm of sweet simplicity and warm nostalgia. Even with the change of pace in his last release, the wintry Far Away From Here EP, he invoked a wistfulness that channeled those breezy memories.
His new full-length album, Ektachrome, continues his exploration of his sun-faded world.
Yes, Ektachrome is definitely the true successor to my debut as Midday Static. My first album, Kodachrome, emboldened the summer season of sunny days on the beach and dancing around the campfire at night, those nostalgic memories of vacation and traveling.
An EP that I released in the fall had a bit of a darker and slightly different tone to either songs on this new album or my first album. That EP, Far Away From Here, really expressed the feelings of melancholia and longing, something the fall has always brought me.
Ektachrome brings back the feel good vibes, but in a bit of a different way. It feels to me like winter breaking into spring. Between the uplifting mix of guitars and synthesizers to the calm interludes, I felt that this was the next step in the journey. I'm very proud of this album.
You released Ektachrome, as you have said, "as soon as I felt it was ready, without any hint." How did you know when it was ready to drop?
Honestly, I've never been truly 100% sure that anything is really ready. I think a lot of artists and musicians can agree that through the creative process you can love a piece of work, then hate it, and then love it again, so it's an endless battle. Sometimes it seems perfect, and then sometimes you wonder "What on earth am I doing?"
With this album, I had finally gotten to the point where I was so into the music and enjoying it myself that there was no reason to hang onto it. I wanted to feel the energy with my fans, especially with this album and with the shows I've been so lucky to do.
You have released full-lengths, EPs, and singles alike, but they all seem to share a greater musical world that you create. How do you determine which tracks will be singles, EP cuts, or LP cuts?
This one is always hard for me. Sometimes, I feel like I have a song so good that I just have get it out there, so I may release it as a single. Then, at times, I also include it in a following album.
My EP Orange Sunshine was, in my mind, a prelude to Kodachrome and the whole project itself. Now Midday Static has slowly started to evolve into more than what I had in mind with that EP.
For my LPs, it's been cohesiveness more than anything. If a song doesn't feel cohesive enough to fit into the album, then no matter how much I like it, it probably will be cut. It can still be released as a single later.
You appear to do a lot of fine-tuning with your work. When you originally released Orange Sunshine as a full-length in 2015, you went by Midnight Static. Since then, you've revised your name, and Orange Sunshine is now the EP you mentioned with some of the original tracks shuffled into the Kodachrome album. Would you chalk this up to perfectionism?
Perfectionism for sure. I'm a bit OCD when it comes to any of my art. When I decided to finally make a full release, I liked a lot of the songs on Orange Sunshine, but felt some just didn't quite fit. That's why I turned Orange Sunshine into a prelude EP to my first full-length.
The name change was more of an aesthetic decision. Back in 2012, I started to get into the music scene and learned to play and produce. My wife worked overnights at a hospital on the weekend, and that was usually when I would work on my music, so I dubbed myself "Midnight Static".
After gaining a bit of a following, I realized the name just didn't really go with the music I was wanting to release, so I felt the name change was necessary. There goes the perfectionist in me again!
It seems like you've incorporated more guitar into your music over time. Has that always been a goal, or has it just happened naturally?
It's really just naturally happened. I first learned synthesis and how to work with synthesizers, and I grew up playing the keyboard, so it was just kind of the next instrument I started to focus on.
Ektachrome features plenty of atmospheric sound effects (ocean waves, vinyl pops, etc.) that help set the stage for the album. How and when do you go about including those when creating music?
A lot of the background textures and sounds you hear are usually either field recordings I've done myself or old tapes from my grandmother and grandfather from different trips and vacations they went on long ago. While on a hike, I will use an old tape recorder to record birds or a lake or the ocean--all kinds of nature. I even record just out and about on the streets or at the mall. There are so many interesting sounds all around us.
I like to record with mini cassette tapes to give it that extra analogue warmth. I usually add them throughout the process of creating a track, and when I feel the track is done, I will maybe add something like a vinyl texture. If I feel it's overdone, I may at times retract a bit.
I gather that you're a big fan of Tycho.
Tycho is a huge inspiration and a musical genius, but I also have to credit Boards of Canada, Ulrich Schnauss, Port Blue and I'm sure there are others!
Each of these artists have a uniqueness, but they share a similarity in nostalgia. I'm inspired by the sound and scene these artists have created for musicians like me who love to get out and go to a rock or house show but truly love nostalgic, downtempo electronic music.
What is your live show like?
My show is constantly expanding as I get to do more live performances. In my own terms I would explain it as a mini psychedelic odyssey. I use different lighting effects like lasers, quad lights and mood lighting that change with the mood of the songs, and I just recently invested in a projector that I am excited to use in my next two shows coming up.
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I would just like to add a big thank you for the interview as well as a huge thanks to all my fans who have and continue to support me. Thank you to my wife and family for the constant support and inspiration.
Also please do download the newest album and all my discography at middaystatic.bandcamp.com or check me out on iTunes, Spotify and Soundcloud. In addition to my show at The Shrine, I'm playing Feb 1st at the Soundpony here in Tulsa with more shows to come in the future!