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A Night With The Midway State

The Midway State is currently taking part in a massive tour across Canada, the biggest of their career to date. After a successful debut album Holes, the band has released their sophomore effort Paris or India which has been met with praise from both fans and critics. Before embarking on the tour sponsored by Muchmusic, drummer Daenen Bramberger took some time to chat with me about the tour, maturation between albums, and his love for Bon Iver and Pixar films.

Though Midway’s first two albums have many similarities, there are also some differences that show the band has grown up as people, and as musicians. “Paris or India is just a more accurate reflection of where we’re at now. Young men as opposed to boys.” As Daenen begins to chuckle, “You know how the old adage goes: ‘you have your whole life to write your first record, and six months to write your second.’” Clearly the band has matured greatly over the span of both records, but their latest album more or less sums up where they are now, and potentially where they’re headed next.

Daenen and the rest of the Midway State are very grateful for all of the success that has come their way recently, and social networking played a major role in that. “Social media is a really powerful tool to connect the artist to the fans in a way that was never possible before. It’s not exactly for everyone. You’re not going to see Thom Yorke tweeting about what he had for breakfast. For the artist who feels compelled to do it, and the fan who feels compelled to listen, it’s a beautiful way to build a relationship with your fans.”

As for collaboration fantasies, Daenen dreams of working with Bon Iver and Drake. “I’m absolutely head over heels for Bon Iver. I always liked him after For Emma, but this new self-titled record just blew me away. I would be thrilled at the opportunity to collaborate with him in some capacity.” With Drake, Daenen sees lead singer Nathan Ferraro as a perfect match for Drizzy. “I thought Nathan would be very well suited for a track where he could sing a hook. Like an Adam Levine/Kanye West kind of thing. I always thought his voice would work on something like that.” Both of these possibilities sound amazing, but it will be hard to top their little known collaboration with Lady Gaga.

How does the Midway State continue to succeed in the music industry? Besides their great music, it’s the fact that they haven’t changed who they are. “We’ve always had the mentality to get up every day and put one foot in front of the other and make a go of it. Make music we’re proud of and play it for people. Be true to who you are and work really hard and enjoy what you’re doing. That’s it. There’s no secret and there’s no code.”

Daenen loves animated movies, especially from Pixar, and this has actually inspired one of Midway’s upcoming projects. “I absolutely love Up and Wall-E and that string of animated movies that have come out recently. We actually have an animated music video that hasn’t been released yet that’s coming for our song called ‘Hartley Salter’s Kite.’” Speaking of this song, Daenen revealed how much he loves this particular tune. “I internally have a strong emotional response to it moreso than our other songs. So whenever we play it live, I have this admiration for it.”

After talking with Daenen, his passion for music is undeniable. It has the power to do some incredible things, and Daenen tried to explain some of that power. “When you get on stage, everything you’ve been experiencing that day and anything you’ve been feeling can be completely turned around really quickly. You can be in a horrible mood and then find yourself loving life because music just has that power. Listening to music is one thing, and playing it is another, and they’re both incredibly powerful events for me.”

Daenen had a nice message to pass on to new and old fans of the band regarding their upcoming tour. “If you’ve ever seen us live before, this tour is going to be different. Not to say that it was ever not great in the past, but we’ve been working really hard to put together an absolutely fantastic 90 minute version of us playing music. We’re really proud of it, and we’re really excited to share it with the fans.”

So, if you have time this holiday season, and feel the need to check out some awesome live Canadian music, go to one of the Midway State’s shows. This is the best version of their music to date, and it would be a travesty if you missed out on this excellence. The guys are humble, generous and ready to take their music through Canada and impress citizens across the nation.



  • Anonymous

    Great write-up. I not only appreciate you bringing this unique fanfare to the blog, but also to me personally. The Drake news was obviously welcome and I hope it goes down. I wouldn’t doubt if their people can talk to his that something could happen… I hear Drake’s cool like that.

    • http://twitter.com/ryanhancock9 Ryan Hancock

      Thanks man! When he mentioned Drake during the interview, I was astounded. We talked about Take Care’s awesomeness a little bit haha. That would be awesome to see this come together, with its roots at Dreamland! 

  • Chris Elliott

    Wow man! Very inspiring piece. This Daenen sounds like a really laid back dude. I love the type of questions you asked and the answers you subsequently recieved. I have a very high level of respect for these gentlemen and it’s been refreshing and exciting to watch their evolution over the years. The new sound is wonderful and I think the direction that they’re moving in can only bring greater success. Certain collaborations like Drake and Bon Iver are DEFINITELY complimentary and I think that either acts would provide a brilliant contrast in sound and style.

    • http://twitter.com/ryanhancock9 Ryan Hancock

      Thanks dude! He was incredibly laid back, and I genuinely felt really comfortable speaking to him about everything. I have my fingers crossed for one of those collaborations to take place because I love all three of them so much. I’m really stoked for these guys right now, I think they’re seriously heading in the right direction.

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