So let’s Break The Ice- thank you for having us in your studio. Is this your space where you just create and do your thing?
Yea absolutely- I’ve been in this flat for about 6 years. I used to have a studio in Wandsworth but I think that I just work better when I live where I am creating- I love it.
I read that you started singing at the age of 6- where did the love for music come from at such an early age?
My parents have played my entire life. My mum’s a banjo, base player and singer and my dad’s a guitarist/singer. It never felt like there was an exact moment when I started singing, it just always felt like everyone always was.
Where did the name Midnight Beast come from?
I don’t remember writing it down but on my wardrobe, in my bedroom, I had a piece of silver gaffer tape and the words Midnight Beast were written on it, by me. I don’t know when- it might have been after a night out, who knows. When my band mate (Drew) and I were brainstorming names, we saw it on the wardrobe and thought that’s the one.
You have been in bands for the last 10 years or so. What is it like being in a band and working with other people?
It’s amazing. I have always been a control freak but when there are more heads involved, you come up with stuff that you would never think of on your own. With regards to Midnight Beast, the drummer in all my other bands, Drew, began writing rap lyrics from a drummer’s point of view, in a way that I would never think of. These different collaborations make it more fun. It’s also really easy to forget that 90 percent of being in a band is sitting around waiting to go on stage. Even if I was touring on my own, I’d want to be surrounded by people I trust.
How would you describe your music style?
I’ve always been very influenced by a band called Glassjaw from New York- they are a post hard core band. My uncle also once said that I sound like a young Elvis Costello when I sing- so that’s when I discovered him. He taught me that you can be different. I just want to say something different in the music that I am writing- I think for me, lyrics are everything.
What is your creative process like? How do you write songs?
Normally I will collaborate with someone else. Once we have a cool title, we will put on a loud drum beat, start playing cords and figure out a melody.
You guys have written a book, you had your own sitcom; you have millions of views on social media. What does making it mean to you?
I’ve always struggled with it. I think it’s a good thing that the creative mind is never fulfilled which means you are always striving for the next thing. This year, I have realised that the process is the best part of what we do- that’s making it.
Is passion enough?
Yes, I think so! It’s sad because a lot of people start out with a dream and then the numbers start to dwindle as they begin to realise how hard core it actually is. Sticking it out is the only way that you are going to break through- you just have to keep going and keep grinding.
What do you want people to take away from listening to your music?
I think it’s awesome if on the surface, they think it’s cool, funny and a little tongue and cheek. With regards to the subtext, it would be cool if they can see that there is deeper stuff going on. If it inspires people to create, write, perform or even pursue something totally different, then I think it’s worked in some way.
If you could Break The Ice with anyone, past or present, who would it be and why?
Bryan Cranston from Breaking Bad and Malcom in the Middle- he comes across as one of the nicest guys in the industry. I’m really inspired by people that aren’t even in the same field- I would love to just hang out with him and hear about his process.
Videography: Cors Media
Photography: Jack Lewis Williams
Host: Kendal Olivia Barrett
Location: Stefan’s Studio