In this interview spotlight, I chat with Nashville based rockers Midnight Pilot about their newest project Stepping Stone, what keeps them going despite challenges and more.
Trust me when I say… This music jams!
Listen to their single Harder To Find on Soundcloud or below.
Stepping Stone is available on Spotify.
Where are you from and what style of music do you create? (In your own words, not necessarily in marketing terms or by popular genre classifications.)
Midnight Pilot is originally from a small town in West Michigan called Holland, but now is based out of Nashville, TN. We have been making music together since childhood but in 2014 we moved to Nashville and rebranded as Midnight Pilot. Because each individual member has such unique musical influences, we feel like our sound is a mix of a lot of things. We make music that has throwback type melodies and chord changes, with some modern indie rock production. Our use of a lot of background vocals sounds like the Beach Boys, while our use of unique instruments sounds more like Coldplay or Colony House.
What led you down this path of music and what motivates you to keep going?
We all started playing music at a very young age. Kyle (guitar) and Kris Schonewill (bass) are brothers, and their dad was a music teacher. All of us took piano lessons, sang in choir, and played in the school band. Even though we have all grown up in music, it wasn’t until we all started jamming together that we fell in love with making this kind of music. Fast forward to today and I think what keeps us going is that we still really love making music. And we really love making music with our friends. The creation process is so cool. You get to start with NOTHING and then through hard work and creativity, come up with a tangible idea that can be recorded and remembered forever. Such an inspiring process.
How is this new release different than previous ones? Were you trying to accomplish anything specific?
I think that this release is slightly different in the fact that it is a little darker and a little heavier than what we normally do. Our last EP, “Hold On” was very chill in nature and our EP before that, “The Good Life” was upbeat but had a positive vibe. “Stepping Stone” is definitely a venture into the more rock side of things for us. We always wanted to make an EP like that, but we felt like it wasn’t until now that the timing worked out well for us to do that.
Name one or two challenges you face as an indie musician in this oversaturated, digital music age? How has technology helped you (since we know it does help)?
Technology in music has been a blessing and a curse. Technology has allowed us to make music when we probably wouldn’t have been able to 30 years ago. Now, home studios are more prevalent. You no longer have to rent a massive studio for $2000 a day to get your project recorded. On “Stepping Stone” for example, we tracked the drums at a rented studio but besides that literally every single thing, including the mix and master, was done at Kyle’s overdub studio in Nashville. Technology has allowed us to do that. It allows us to make killer sounding records for very cheap. It also allows us to release and distribute that music very easily and cheaply. That is such a blessing. But, it also allows ANYONE who wants to make music to do that. So as a result, there is a massive amount of music being released every single day. It is so difficult to get people to actually listen to your record because they are bombarded by multiple records being released every day. It is very difficult to stand out amongst all that music. So we are grateful for what technology has allowed us to do, but are very aware of the challenges that it has created for indie bands like us.
Where is the best place to connect with you online and discover more music?
Probably Facebook or our website. Twitter for us is pretty conversational. Facebook is where we post most of our important updates. And Instagram is where we share our favorite pictures. Our website is that hub for all that. You can also watch some videos we have made on our youtube channel. In fact, last year, we made our first legit music video for a song called “The Good Life” and we loved how it turned out. Check it out! All those links are below.
- Website: http://www.midnightpilot.com/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/midnightpilotband/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/midnightpilot
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/midnightpilotband/
- Music Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JULtCFsE8_w
Anything else before we sign off?
Thanks so much for what you do. It is things like this that allow us to keep making music. We really appreciate it. Also, thanks to any people who listen to our music. We don’t take you for granted and we are so thankful for each and every one of you. Thanks!