INTERVIEW | Midnight Ambulance
Thanks to the heroes of Swim School, we were found by the Scottish duo Midnight Ambulance and instantly fell in love with their dark alt rock music! Now they are back with another banger "Morlich", so we highly recommend checking out this Wolf Alice / White Stripes like combo. And make sure to read the interview till the end as you don't want to miss the fun mistake that happened at a radio show...
Hey Amelia, can you give our readers a brief introduction about yourself and your band Midnight Ambulance?
We are a two piece alt rock band from East Lothian. With our sound, we combine sinister and distorted instruments with folk-inspired melodies and harmony…hopefully leaving you intrigued (but also a little uncomfortable).
So Midnight Ambulance was founded in the middle of a pandemic. Did you even think about live shows when starting the band? Was it maybe a relief that you couldn’t play anyway, so it took away some pressure?
When we started collaborating we didn’t even think about playing shows. At that time, the project was very much writing based. It was a way of us both getting into writing again, and as a focus and cathartic outlet during lockdown. Having not played drums since high school, it definitely kept me busy!!
And how did it feel to perform your songs for the very first time in front of an audience? Did everything go as planned/expected?
So fun! It was incredible to be able to share these songs that meant a lot to us and got us through some difficult times with an audience. It’s quite special seeing the songs start to mean something for others too.
How many shows were you able to play together so far? And are there any gigs planned for the near future?
We’ve been super lucky with the shows we’ve done, particularly as a new band - supporting artists such as the Pigeon Detectives, Fatherson and Texas. We’ve played some great festivals (Hidden Door, Vibration Festival, Fringe by the Sea) and awesome local venues (Sneaky Pete’s, Liquid Rooms). Can’t wait to get back on the road!
With which photographers have you been working together so far (i.e. for press shots, live shows or video shoots)?
We’ve worked with a few live photographers, most recently Calum McMillan. Gareth Goodlad (Bleach Studios) did our press shots. There’s a load of extremely talented people in and around Scotland!
What makes a good live photo for you? Is it for example the lights, the pose, whole band shot, close-ups, with the audience?
We've got an amazing production crew - Sam Jones, Stephen Keenan, Gareth Goodlad - that know how to capture a ‘moody’ and ‘dark’ atmosphere. It’s all about the angst, really.
You just released “Stained Cotton” which is accompanied by an animated music video in collaboration with Edinburgh College of Art student, Xiaoyan Liu. How did this cooperation come together?
We’ve worked with several Edinburgh College of Art students for these releases - so far the fantastic Em New and Xiaoyan Liu. We chose to collaborate with students because we wanted to promote their amazing talent and work, and support upcoming artists based in Scotland. We loved their portfolio, and felt they really captured the songs’ struggle and force in their initial sketches.
The first video we saw from you was the Garage Session of “Black Gloves” and we loved it! Was it the first live video you ever did? Can you tell us more about shooting a live session?
Yes, seems like years ago now (probably because it is). These are some of the funnest video shoots. We have super talented production team - Sam Jones, Stephen Keenan, Gareth Goodlad, Paul Winton, Drew Gray -and we get to make a lot of noise.
Can you share some (maybe never seen before) outtakes or BTS with us and tell us why you picked this image? The picture can be from the studio, a concert or a promo / video shoot.
This photo is from the recording of ‘Smoke and Sweets’ at North Road Studios. I feel it captures the sophistication of our creative technique.
Last but not least: can you share a fun or weird story from a concert, festival, photo or video shoot?
One time our song was played on the radio but they played it at double speed by accident so we sounded like chipmunks…and didn’t explain.
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Cover-Image: © Gareth Goodlad, Bleach Studios