Off the back of their acclaimed debut album “On The Rocks” which included their breakout smash hit “Drinkin’ Problem” the neo-traditional style and energic live show energy of Midland, quickly began to captivate the imagination of fans all around the country music world.
The United Kingdom is no exception to this with the trio of Mark Wystrach, Jess Carson and Cameron Duddy looking to make visiting our little island a priority since their debut at Country 2 Country in 2018.
Jamie recently spent some time hanging out with the trio’s bassist Cameron Duddy who was experiencing the first winter storm of the season in Austin, Texas after the news that we finally have new dates for their long awaited return to Europe.
Our chat began the way that all great chats should by discussing our shared appreciation of White Claw, due to the magical powers of Zoom taking a little more time to show me rather than my profile picture we were able to discuss how it tastes good and people shouldn’t be trying to resist it.
“I have become a full-blown White Claw drinker! I haven’t had a beer since March, only White Claw and the occasional Scotch.”
How has the year felt spending time off the road, has it allowed him and the other guys to focus on things differently and how has time felt this year? Like how can the Tiger King portion of lockdown only be eight months ago?
“That seems like a decade ago, so many things have come and gone. It’s been wild, it’s been weird because everyone kind of came out of warp speed, it’s going fast but going slow at the same time. It created a reason for everyone to slow down, look around and take stock of what’s going on. Our country is in the throws of political turmoil, there’s a lot going on here to create anxiety and you really have to work hard at shutting out noise, focusing on the good stuff like White Claw and spending time with your family.”
Cameron had said how this year has been the longest that he and the band have been off the road, where before the pandemic everyone was hoping for two or three weeks off to be still for a while, where they have obviously had quite a bit longer. Despite the inability to play live and tour, have there been significant changes or thoughts about what the band want to sound like given the time to stop and think more?
“It’s been instrumental in our recalibrating of ourselves, our music and where we want to take it. We wrote the second album in transit, you know movement and being on the road was our stasis, so we wrote a lot of the music on the tour bus or backstage. A lot of those songs were about being on the road. This third album, we’ve now had the ability to write it stationary. Really think about what we wanted to say and the songs we thought we were missing so for that I daresay that we have arrived upon a more thoughtful and evolved sound, lyrically and otherwise. There are the negatives and the positives as you all know to being home and stuck at home, one of the upsides for us has been the ability to make a calculated effort at writing thoughtful music for the third album.”
How has the digital mindset to working, writing, collaborating, recording and promoting felt through 2020 and is it here to stay?
“The Zoom meeting now is the new normal! We actually wrote the whole album on Zoom so this is now the status quo of getting together and talking, whether that be for work or having a beer. I don’t know why anybody would pay for you to go back to work when this is some sort of cheap version of meeting in person, the world is never going to be the same.”
The tour is now set for September 2021 which due to Mark being needed at home due to the birth of his child and this years Coronavirus pandemic which will be over 20 months later than originally planned to return. What is it that is so special about taking the time to head over here that has made them determined to ensure that they can come and play for the fans once again?
“There are so many memories. We always have the most fun when we come over there! It’s hard to describe but the reason why we keep coming back is because it’s such a special event for us to come over there and play for fans in the UK and Europe. It’s a travel vacation, it’s work, it’s sightseeing, it’s experiencing culture and that is very appealing to us just as fans of travel. Getting to play Shepherds Bush on my birthday was probably one of my favourite memories of the two tours that we’ve done out there. That was a really special night, we all had a lot of fun and we were supposed to be out there again for my birthday last December before the complications back home came for Mark. Who knows what’s going to happen? We’re hopeful that we are able to get out there, if not we will just rebook it again and maybe the fourth time is the charm?”
Outside of the live performances, what else makes Cameron and the boys look forward to their next trip across the pond?
“Me and food is kind of the thing, especially in London. If we’re there for four nights, I’ll eat every night at a different place and try different things. I love English breakfasts! The sausage, the tomato, the eggs and the whole thing! I get it every morning and that’s my favourite. I’d say that and the Indian food is a sure-fire win for me!”
London is not the only stop on the tour with dates around the United Kingdom and in mainland Europe including one of my favourite cities in the world, Amsterdam.
“We played there before and we had a blast I can tell you! We got kicked out of a restaurant and it was my first time being there so went to some museums, walked all around the city and we just had a blast. I remember that was one of the most fun times I have ever had. Amsterdam is fun, we are playing Stockholm and Oslo plus we have a few dates in Germany. I love Berlin, I love Hamburg, we are playing in Birmingham, Manchester and Sheffield then I have never been to Belfast which should be a lot of fun. It’s all killer shows for us, it’s going to be fun and we’re getting into bigger and bigger rooms in some of these places.”
I applauded him on his correct pronunciation of Birmingham rather than been drawn into how they would say the city in Alabama which it shares its name with as “Bur Ming HAM” and Cameron rounded off with staying positive through this year and optimistic about the bands return to Europe.
“2020 has been a cruel mistress but we’ll get through it! We have to, the only way out is through so I’m looking forward to seeing you guys next September!”
Cameron, Jess and Mark are set to bring their “LET’S TRY THIS AGAIN! 2021 EUROPEAN TOUR” across the Atlantic next September with dates listed below, tickets purchased for the previous shows that were forced to be postponed remained valid with full ticket details on their WEBSITE whilst you can keep up to date with Midland on TWITTER FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM
LET’S TRY THIS AGAIN! 2021 EUROPEAN TOUR DATES
Sept 5 / Belfast, UK / Ulster Hall
Sept 6 / Glasgow, UK / The Academy
Sept 8 / London, UK / Roundhouse
Sept 9 / Birmingham, UK / 02 Institute
Sept 10 / Sheffield, UK / The Leadmill
Sept 11 / Manchester, UK / 02 Ritz
Sept 13 / Amsterdam, NL / Melkweg Max
Sept 14 / Berlin, DE / Hole 44
Sept 15 / Hamburg, DE / Gruenspan
Sept 17 / Oslo, NO / Rockefeller Music Hall
Sept 18 / Stockholm, SE / Nalen