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A Dirty Dozen with SAM SPADE from THE MIDNIGHT DEVILS – February 2020

| 18 February 2020 | Reply


According to a recent press release: “Omaha based glam rock band THE MIDNIGHT DEVILS has released the official music video “Pink Halo,” off of the band’s debut album, Something Bigger. Directed and produced by Aaron Gum, who also produced videos for Screaming for Silence, The Impulsive, Orenda Fink and “Pink Halo” features Omaha stand-up comedian Haley Raven. The Midnight Devils are a high energy glam slam boogie woogie rock n roll band out of Omaha, NE and Chicago, IL. Featuring Sam Spade on bass and lead vocals, Sniper on guitar, and the indestructible Jimmy Mess on drums. It’s unique, it’s unpredictable, and it’s guitar driven glam rock like you’ve never seen it before. Combining that punk rock attitude, with sleazy party rock n roll, and covering the whole thing in a thick layer of glitter and lipstick, The Midnight Devils are here for one thing and that’s to have a real good time.”  We get singer / bassist Sam to discuss new music, influences, and much more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

Something Bigger is the debut album from The Midnight Devils, that in itself makes this release very special.  This is our first big step into the light of day and into the mainstream.  We wrote and helped produce everything from the ground up.  We knew we wanted to get out on the road but we had to have an album first to support.  We had the vision and Greg Turner helped us capture that vision and put it on an album.  The songs on this album are very groove oriented guitar based glam rock n roll with a punk rock rhythm swinging the backbeat.  Something Bigger is a party album meant to be played loud.  The thing that I always go back to is that the songs are real, the lyrics are about living your life the way you want to.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

Personally I always felt like an outsider when I was younger.  I never really fit in well with all the kids at school.  One day my teacher brought in a VHS called Hells Bells, about the evils of music and how modern music promoted sex, drugs, and rock n roll.  I was fascinated and felt a spark.  The next day one of my classmates brought in a CD that had a KISS song on it and that was all I needed.  I hear “Detroit Rock City” and it was as if my eyes were opened.  I started diving in deeper and found that there was a whole bunch of people around the world that felt the same way I did.  Rock N Roll gave me everything I was searching for.  Freedom, acceptance, and excitement.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

I grew up in a small town in Nebraska, so there really wasn’t a whole lot of rock n roll shows happening at least none on my radar.  When I was 16 my parents bought me tickets to see KISS, Skid Row, and Ted Nugent.  It was before they started doing reserved seating at arena shows.  The whole atmosphere of that night was like a dream come true.  My buddy and I were down on the floor slammed in a sea of drunk people.  The smell of marijuana was overpowering.  The lights went down and Uncle Ted strolled to the front of the stage with that Birdland Gibson screaming “fuck” over the microphone at ear piercing volume.  That show really set me on the path of getting my own guitar and getting a band started.  I joined a punk band a few years later and started traveling the country with my best friends.  My parents were supportive but not thrilled by my new career path.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Paul Stanley of KISS, Johnny Thunders of The New York Dolls, Rachel Bolan of Skid Row, Duff McKagan of Guns N Roses, and Freddy Mercury of Queen.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

I’d love to work with some of the guys that wrote those simple massive hit songs.  Guys like Robin Zander and Rick Nielsen from Cheap Trick.  We are talking about teaming up with Chip Z’Nuff for our 2nd record so it might actually be a dream come true song writing collaboration on our next release.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

We tell everyone we play glam slam boogie woogie rock n roll.  It’s glitter covered party rock n roll that’s meant to make you feel good.  It’s fun, tongue-in-cheek, and our entire goal is to create an outlet for anyone that feels different.  The Midnight Devils are about promoting a sense of freedom to be whoever you want to be.  We love the party so we encourage everyone to let it all hang out good, bad, and ugly.  We do get very tired of being compared to Steel Panther.  Don’t get me wrong those guys are great and the songs are amazing but it’s still a comedy show.  I’ll give them this though, girls absolutely love that band.

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

The freedom is what I have been most thankful for.  We love traveling and seeing the country.  We get to meet new people and do things most of our friends only dream of.  We also get to be exactly who we want to be.  We dress like drag queens on stage and off and we have the balls to back it up.  Three dudes wearing makeup, causing trouble, and partying our asses off coast to coast.  It’s beautiful.

8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Amazing question.  The three of us have an amazing relationship that I don’t take for granted.  Chris “Sniper” Hineline is the one guy that makes sure everything is running smoothly onstage and off.  He handles the problems and takes care of the business.  Jimmy Mess is a musical genius and the absolute life of any party.  He’s the guy that is pocket every night on stage and then keeps the action going well into the early hours of the morning.  I share a bed with him most nights in the hotel.  I kind have the great pleasure of fronting the band and being the voice but I am also the princess of this band.

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

Murphy’s Law came to Omaha one night on tour.  I missed the show but got to the venue and the band was still there.  I asked Jimmy Gestapo if they wanted to go out and hang.  I took them to the strip club and we ended up partying all night long telling great rock n roll stories until the sun came up.  The guy has played with everybody and has the most amazing stories.

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

I’m working on that right now.   I went to school to become a radio DJ and I realized I love spinning old classic rock tunes.  Right now I DJ at dance clubs while we are back home but I’d love to figure out a way to pack clubs full of people that just want to hear great rock n roll music.  Something like the legendary Cathouse in LA.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

As of right now I don’t have many regrets but I do have a mountain of goals to accomplish.  When I was younger I used to drink a ton.  I thought it was part of the show to get completely loaded every night of the week.  I think that was a misstep but in the end I got sober and my career has improved beyond anything I could have imagined because of my sobriety.  I definitely got a “Do Over” at life and I’m not taking this one for granted.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

I would love to have been one of the hangers-on at the recording of Exile On Main Street by The Rolling Stones.  They were absolutely in their prime and relocated the whole operation to France.  The music and the vibe are so thick on this record you can cut it with a knife.  The whole world was anticipating a Stones album and these guys were having trouble getting it together.  In the end they miraculously came out with a masterpiece.  They were the biggest band in the world and still are.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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