Hi there, how's Middian doing at the moment?
We are doing great. We've been rehearsing quite a bit tightening up in preparation for our US tour coming up in May. We are very excited to get out on the road. Plus we have cd release shows coming up with Asunder which are going to be fun.
Before I get to the new album I would like you to explain to me briefly what
happened in the period between YOB and Middian?
I pretty much took the time and focused on deciding what to do whether it be to finish YOB and start a new band or continue with the name YOB. I chose the former and I am happy about that. It took me a long time to decide but it feels like the best decision still. I also have three kids and a wife so I am constantly busy outside of the band.
What was the most important reason for changing the band name?
Because I wanted my new material to stand on it's own with a new line-up. Isamu, Travis and I hit a certain vibe and stride with YOB that would never be able to be duplicated. So it felt best to start a new band with a new line-up and let YOB go out on a high point.
What are the ex-YOB members Isamu and Travis doing at the moment? Any new projects you know of?
Both of them play in HC Minds which is a DOOM metal band that has been around for over 15 years. I played in HC Minds on bass before I started YOB which Isamu on guitar and vocals. They have a new album coming out on 12th Records soon. They also have a black/death band called Wargoat they are working on.
So with Middian there is a brand new start, could you please introduce the new members for the Dutch audience. What is their best new influence on the sound?
I had worked with Scott Headrick(drums) for about three years at The Buy And Sell Center which is a local musical instrument shop. He is a excellent drummer who has played many styles of music and been trained as a session player at MIT in Los Angeles. I knew he could do it. For bass my thoughts went to my long-time friend Will Lindsay, who I have done many shows with. We have shared the stage toegether probably 30 times while I was in YOB and he played in Human Certainty, Ahisma, FuckGodInTheFace, and Off With Their Heads. He had never played bass in a band but he is a multi-instrumentalist and I knew he could do it. Both Will and Scott had never played in a DOOM styled band before, which was exactly what I wanted. I wanted a fresh perspective on the riffs I was writing. Once we started jamming I knew the chemistry was there and started writing tunes. They are killer musicians with a great attitude about work and play and they understand the kind of dynamics Middian needs in the rhythm section to make this music flow and shift.
I kind of felt the sound has moved to a slightly higher pace in contrast to the last YOB record, but apart from that not much changed radically. Do you feel the same about this?
It feels very different to me, but more in feeling and dynamic within the band than in musical style. I am still the main songwriter in Middian, as I was in YOB. So the sound is very similiar in approach maybe the way Wino's various bands are. There are differences between The Obsessed and Spirit Caravan and The Hidden hand, but in all of it you KNOW it's Wino. I guess I have a signature sound and style of writing too. But yes, Middian seems to be more bashing and mid-paced on average compared to YOB. But Scott and Will bring things to the rhythm section that are very unique to them compared to Isamu and Travis.
Are you still based in Eugene, Oregon with Middian? What's the 'scene' like in a state like Oregon? I have an image of the state as being kind of deserted with a lot of beautiful nature, is that correct?
Yes, we are still in Eugene, Oregon. There are lots of great bands in Oregon and their stylles are very diverse. There is indeed lots of open space in Oregon with deserts and vast forests too. And lots of rain. We play most of our shows either in Eugene which is a college town or Portland which is the biggest city in Oregon.
What influence does being from Oregon have on the sound, if any at all?
I think the lack of trends here is an influence. We don't feel any pressure to write certain kinds of music or to compete with other like minded bands. We try to play every three months or so in Eugene and Portland which leaves plenty of room for other like-minded/styled bands to play and get on good shows with touring bands who come through Oregon.
So let's talk about touring, how did the shows with the new line-up go, and how were the responses from the audience? Do you play YOB songs live?
So far the response has been vey good. We are a new band and as such we are still working on our live dynamic. People have seen Middian in various stages of growth so I feel the best is yet to come. So far we haven't played any YOB songs because we want to focus on Middian and building this band but maybe someday we might.
Any plans coming to Europe soon? (and Holland in particular, there are a lot of people here who are dying to see you!!)
We will definitely make it in early 2008. I was also bummed that YOB couldn't get over there, but Middian will do this.
It seems like the whole sludge metal scene is getting some kind of a boost nowadays with bands like Kylesa, Rwake, Baroness, and Torche growing bigger. Do you see Middian getting bigger than YOB ever was?
It is a definite possibility. The sludge/DOOM scene is much more high profile than it used to be and that can be both good and bad. For us what is most important is to stay true to what we do and let things naturally take their course. If we get bigger than YOB, fine. But it isn't a goal per say.
How do you see the future with Middian?
Shows, shows, shows, riffs, riffs, riffs, another album, good times with great people in other bands and folks who come to the shows. And lots of $ spent at other band's merch tables by us! I live for the merch.
What do you expect from 2007? What would be the best thing that could happen to Middian this year?
So far I would say the imminent release of Age Eternal is the best thing, but I have a feeling that paired with our US Tour will make 2007 a stellar year for Middian.
Thanks very much for your time, any last words? This space is yours:
I want to thank you for interviewing Middian! And I want to thank everyone who is supporting not only Middian but also supporting bands like Kylesa, Hidden Hand, Graves At Sea, Asunder, Iamthethorn etc because you are making it possible for this music to grow and flourish. THANK YOU! DOOM!!!