Jun 21, 2012

Taking a Midnight Drive

It has been a while since I did a "you oughta know story" about some of the newer, or simply lesser known bands in TX/OK music. Well this week I am going to give you a good look at a band that I have seen and that I think have a lot of potential and you just might want to keep an eye on.

The band Midnight Drive hails mostly from around Gainesville, TX. The band is made up of Zac Grantham on drums, Blake Easley on vocals, Chad Henderson on lead guitar, Jason Holder plays guitar, and Victor Johnson on bass. Now if you haven't heard of these guys don't feel too bad. They have only been playing together since April of 2011. However, in that short time they have managed to open for some of the bigger names in the TX/OK Red Dirt Scene and have started to create a name for themselves. I talked to guys this week and here is a quick look at who Midnight Drive is.

RDBC: How long have you guys been playing music together?

Zac: We have been playing together since April of 2011. We played our first show with No Justice on June 18th of 2011 in Gainesville, TX. Jason and I just got out of a band and we knew we still wanted to get deep into the TX/Red Dirt scene, so we talked to Blake at a Mexican food restaurant called La Hacienda in Whitesboro, TX about being the front man and lead singer for the new project. We had a bass player named Victor and he suggested a lead player named Chad, the funny thing is that Chad, recommend Victor to Jason & I when were playing in another group at the time. We started practicing at Blake's house and we have been making music ever since. This last year has been a lot of fun to play and make music with people you love. I love playing music with those 4 guys. Especially Victor, he is kind of cute. HA! HA!

RDBC: What made you want to play Music?

Zac: We want to make music people will sing and be able to relate to. I hope we were able to do that with our first CD "Back Against The Whiskey". We are very proud of that CD. Seeing fans in the crowd singing your own songs is a feeling you
can't describe.

Jason: Chicks right? haha just kidding...I think each and every one of us has a deep passion for creating unique music that is hard to put into words. When you are on stage and see people responding to your music in a positive way.....there is no greater gratification than that!

Blake: I love everything about music – it’s one of the most powerful things on the planet. There is music to go with every emotion; the stronger the emotion, the stronger the music.

RDBC: Who are some of your biggest influences?

Zac: I would say the bands influences are the Randy Rogers Band, Whiskey Myers, ZZ Top, Ryan Adams, & Wade Bowen.

Jason: I think "influence" is such a broad term for this band. I think we each have our own individual influences, and the band has their own set of influences. My personal influences are Randy Rhodes (most people don't know that he was huge into classical guitar). Clapton, SRV, Geoffrey Hill, Willie, Merle, Gary Wooten & the list goes on....

Chad: My biggest influences are anything from Zeppelin to Wilco to Fred Eaglesmith. I recently discovered this guy named Johnny Hiland. He's the "chickin pickin" master. Danny Barnes rocks too. I stole a banjo lick from him once.

RDBC: Who in the TX/OK music scene would you guys like to work with or play with?

Zac: Personally, I would love to play a show with Whiskey Myers. Midnight Drive likes to jam and so does Whiskey Myers, so that would be an incredible show. I would also love to play with Jack Ingram because he is just a true pioneer in the scene and I believe he would have the best advice for up and coming artists.

Chad: I would like to play with REK or any of the fathers of Texas Music. Jerry Jeff, Guy Clark, Ray Wylie Hubbard or somehow Willie. I think I could just end my short musical career if we played with him. We're going to open for James McMurtry in July. He's one of my heroes for sure. I even bought a baritone guitar. I blame James.

RDBC: What do you consider your greatest moment/achievement as a band so far?

Zac: I would say the greatest moment so far has to be the weekend of January 20th, 2012. We were able to share the stage with one of our favorites, the Randy Rogers Band on that Friday night. Randy, Brady, Geoffrey, Les, & Chops were so great to be around that evening and it was a pleasure to share the stage with those crazy boys in Ardmore, OK. That Saturday Night, we played the Half Moon in Tyler, TX where JB & the Moonshine Band shot the video for the song "Whiskey Days". Let's just say that was probably the most fun we have ever had playing a show.

Jason: Being able to turn out an album that we are proud of less than a year after our inception is still amazing to me...this is by far the greatest achievement for this group. For five guys who are so different in their musical interest to come together to create a pretty unique sound in that amount of time is a great accomplishment!

Blake: That’s kind of a tossup. In January, we had the honor to play a show with Randy Rogers Band, who I’ve loved for a decade. It was really cool to share the stage with a band that I listened to in high school. I think that moment may have been surpassed, though, in April when we released the new record “Back Against the Whiskey.” We put a lot of work into that thing, and I’m really proud of how it sounds.

I have seen Midnight Drive live a couple of times. The stage show is great, and I would have never known they had only been together 3 months as a band the first time I saw them. They work well together and looking back at this story, hell they even answered most of my questions the same way! That kind of chemistry in a band is what makes for long term success, and I think these guys are capable of doing great things in Texas Music. Their debut album Back Against the Whiskey is out now and is a dang good album. Keep an eye out for them. Check out a show sometime, you'll be glad you did.

check them out here

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