words and photos by Gabi Porter
Midnight Juggernauts posing @ Brooklyn Bowl Saturday night
Midnight Juggernauts played two NYC shows during their most recent visit. There was Thursday's show with HEALTH at Santos, and then Saturday night at Brooklyn Bowl where they shared a bill with Yawn and Teengirl Fantasy. Pictures from that show, with a quick interview Gabi conducted with the band at the show, below...
Gabi: I can't to dig any dirt on you guys, you seem to be universally liked by other bands...
All: Oh yeah?
You know, so many bands have beef with other bands...
Andy: We haven't had any feuds. We need a rival, I think...
Daniel: Who should we be feuding with?
I don't know, you tell me.
Vinny: What about Die Antwoord? We played with them last night. We're both from colonial, Commonwealth countries. Maybe there's some similarity there. We just have to come up with a story. Someone... was punched by... oh oh, our tour manager was punched in the face by their DJ, or something.
Make it up!
Vinny: We'll work it out.
Daniel: Their DJ was so funny. Backstage he had this mask on, and he was like, "I need a straw, I need a straw. Could you get me a straw?" So he was running around looking for a straw so he could drink, because he couldn't get the alcohol through his mask. So he's on stage, being like real tough with his mask on, and then he drinks out of a little straw.
Who's been your favorite band to be on tour with? Or who have you shared a bill with that you thought was just brilliant?
Andy: I think when we were doing a lot of the festivals in 2008, we were touring for that whole year, we played with a lot of iconic bands. We did quite a few shows with Grinderman - Nick Cave - and just seeing those guys out, and Portishead, we did a few shows with them as well, and they were amazing guys and their show was incredible. When we've played with, or have seen bands that have been around for a long time, and you finally get to see them and meet them, it's really cool. Just recently we saw Faith No More, and that was pretty good. Vinny was ecstatic about that.
Vinny: I didn't get to meet them though.
Andy: Yeah, and The Flaming Lips, we played some shows with them and they were amazingly nice. Incredible to tour with.
Did you guys get to go in the bubble?
Andy: No, no. That's something that would have been good to do...
Daniel: ...I think only Wayne gets to go in the bubble.
So are you guys turning into like, not necessarily in terms of music, but in terms of the visuals of the show, into something more along the lines of like a Chemical Brothers?
Andy: I don't think our visuals would be anywhere near as elaborate. We just played some shows with them, and their visuals are crazy.
Daniel: Ours are more like drawing stick figures and making them move.
It's like the indie aesthetic vs. the 90's aesthetic?
And you're running your own record label?
Vinny: Yes, Def Jam Records.... No no, it's called Siberia. We just started it to put out our own music, but we're looking into eventually putting out other artists because we've been getting a lot of demos.
Anything knock your socks off yet?
Vinny: Yeah, there's some cool stuff out there. When we started the label, we put up the web page, where we put up a fake mail address, which was a veterinary clinic in Russia. So they're probably getting all these CD's sent to them.
Have any of you checked on that? Gotten in touch with them to see?
Vinny: Not yet. But because of that, I think people thought it was a real Russian label. So lots of Russian bands would send us messages to get signed. So we might do a Russian compilation pretty soon.
Daniel: I think we'll do it. What would we call it?
Vinny: From Russia with love?
That might have been taken already. So I have to ask, are you all working with Solange Knowles?
Vinny: We're not really sure if you can say it's "working" because we don't know what it is exactly. We met her in 2008, we became friends and kept in contact online. And she came to Australia to maybe write some stuff. And it's still early days, not really knowing what it is, or what it will be, but it's been fun.
Have you been in the studio together yet?
Vinny: Yeah, but it's pretty loose because we've been touring all the time, so we haven't really had a chance to be anywhere off our touring schedule. She came to Australia over New Year's Eve, and we played a show in Tasmania, which is as far south as you can possibly get. If you go further south then it's Antarctica. It was pretty gutsy of her to make that trip herself, by herself.
Vinny: No entourage. And she jumped up on stage and did a song with us, which was pretty cool. We're always looking to do lots of creative activities like that. And we're open to collaborating and seeing what happens.
What has been your most nightmarish, on the road, tour experience? What was the most outlandish thing that's ever happened?
Vinny: Well something happened a few days ago. We were playing Rome, and we had a big show the next day at Lovebox, which is a big festival in London, so it's a big stage and a big audience. And on our way from Rome to London we realized some of our gear was missing. We thought, "Ohmygod, we can't play a show with all this missing equipment, are we going to have to go back to the venue to see if we can find it?" And we had all these delayed planes, we were stuck on the tarmac, and we thought, not only do we have missing gear, now we're not even going to make the stage time.
Daniel: It ended up being a three hour delay in flights, and a two hour delay in London traffic. So we got to the stage like 10 minutes before we had to go on. All the while we were like fixing our gear in the car. We set up the car as if it was the stage. So we're packed in this van with our gear all opened up, trying to get everything together. It was just hell.
So you made it work?
Vinny: Kind of.
Daniel: You know what the funny thing was? We played this festival, Lovebox, we played it two years before, and something kind of similar happened. So we think there's like a curse on that festival.
So what ever happened with the missing gear?
Daniel: It got sent to New York, it arrived in New York.
See, even that's not controversial. You guys are just not very controversial!
Vinny: Andy, tell her the story about the transvestite.
Andy: That's Vinny's story!
Daniel: There are some funny stories, but unfortunately we can't talk about them.