Hailing from south-west London in the U.K, The Midnight Beast have been at it again with the second season of their self titled series on e4 having already aired earlier this year and now they’re about to release a second album; Shtick Heads.
Producing and recording under their own label, it has given The Midnight Beast creative freedom to pretty much do whatever they want; and it’s working.
With sell out shows around the U.K and an upcoming opera show on the Comedy Central channel in the U.S airing early next month, The Midnight Beast are the envy of all other boy bands. Below, we catch up with Stefan Abingdon, lead singer of the band to talk tours, house parties and musicals.
E: Hey Stef, so you just finished up at the Dot to Dot festival, how was that?
S: Incredible thanks. A weekend of incredible crowds, hells angels, stage invasions, Macaulay Culkin and horror films.
E:That sounds pretty crazy! So we hear you’re releasing a new album soon? What was it like working on the songs together?
S: Yes, the first album was an amalgamation of old and new stuff since the beginning of the beast… With Shtick Heads apart from Friends For Never it’s all new stuff. I feel like Dru and I have learnt a lot more as producers so we got a chance to have real fun pushing ourselves.
E: Thinking back to the yesteryear of Tik Tok and the “Down” parody, you seem to thrive on doing things yourselves and having control over content and your music. Do you think not being signed to a record label has been a positive for the band? If so, how?
S: It can obviously impact on how many people hear your music but if you’re lucky enough to have people watching your stuff and you know what you want to do with it, then it’s the ideal situation. We’re all control freaks, with the editing, mixing, producing, mastering, artwork, merchandise, choreography etc etc so I don’t think it would work any other way.
E: Once the album releases, what else is in store for The Midnight Beast? In a recent interview you said you’d possibly like to do some kind of musical, something along the lines of The Book of Mormon?
S: That’s the dream. To be in one theatre in a never changing space that we can do stuff with would be amazing. We’ve got a modern day opera about a house party for now with Comedy Central US, out on June 10th… We’re taking steps!
E: You’re getting there! So the new album ‘Shtick Heads’ features “Love Bites”, an original. Where did you source your inspiration for that and what how did you go about planning the film clip?
S: Warm Bodies was coming out at the time, with our mate Nicholas Hoult (who was in our video Lez Be Friends). We liked the whole ‘in love with a zombie’ thing, Ash came up with the idea of songifying it so we knew we had to find someone cool to be in the video. We decided to get Kathryn Prescott involved after working with her earlier in the year. It just so happened to snow on the day of filming which was also my birthday so it looked incredible! We’d always wanted to do something a little longer than our usual stuff, the hardest part was fitting all three of us into the story!
E: In a recent interview, you said that sometimes a song can feel great on paper, but when going to record it, sometimes it just doesn’t work. How do you know as a band, that a song is ready? Does it have to meet any of your own, personal expectations that you have for your music?
S: Absolutely, we’ve had tons of ideas that make one of us laugh but not the others. Straight away that will never work, if we can’t judge it then who can? We need to know it’s going to stand the test of time no matter how stupid the subject matter.
E: Since we last spoke in March, Ash has released his own clothing line called Dead Lame. How’s that going? Yourself and Dru model for the clothing line we presume? (Haha)
S: It’s been going great for Ash and Dead Lame. It’s awesome to be in the position we’re in, to release cool stuff like Ash did with Dead Lame. Yep, Dru and I are mere models… Ash hasn’t asked us to appear in a shoot yet. …Fingers crossed.
E: Also since we last spoke, you have filmed and released season two of The Midnight Beast, played at various tours and now you’re about to release an album on June 2nd. Do you guys ever take vacations?
S: Funnily enough yes! Ash went to Mexico and I travelled to Jamaica for the first time, Dru has been happy enough meditating in Wimbledon.
E: If you could have any character (not actor) from a British television show feature in an episode of The Midnight Beast, who would it be and why?
S: It would have to be David Brent from The Office. I don’t know what he’d be doing there, but I just re watched the series and it’s a changing point in British comedy. It was the first style of comedy the three of us bonded over and the Brent personality still runs strong in our veins.
E: Any news on season three of The Midnight Beast or touring in Australia? It hasn’t been ‘beasted’ yet!
S: We’ve just been so busy with our Comedy Central opera but we want to come and Beast Australia. I have so much family out there so I think we need to bloody man up and go sofa surfing with our laptops and microphones. Ezra do you want to put on a house party tour with us?
E: Yes we’d absolutely love to! House parties are certainly the way to go (haha). So for someone travelling over to London, what’s your recommendation for the best place to relax and listen to some live music?
S: For relaxation the electric cinema in Notting Hill Gate is the one, you can watch a film on a bed with good alcohol… What could be better? For live music it would have to be our festival scene, Camden Crawl is a really interesting inner city festival with some great new bands. I first saw Odd Future play there and it was ruckus.
E: And finally, if you could each live each other’s lives for a day, who would you trade places with and what would you do?
S: Ash and Dru would trade with me no doubt, who bloody wouldn’t?! They’re always complaining about wanting to dress like a child but not being able to get away with it. I would be Dru, he has a sense of calm that I’ve never seen in anyone else…That and I could stroke his beard without getting funny looks.