Midas Fall interview

"We feel stronger and more confident with the songs than we did with the first album"

29/03/2013 @ 13:31
Having reviewed their new album and given you an actual taste of what it sounds like, we end Midas Fall Week with an interview with the band's vocalist/guitarist, Elizabeth Heaton. Join us in our discussion regarding "Wilderness", touring and much inspiration can be drawn from pizza place. Enjoy...

Midas FallIt’s been a bit over a year since the last time we interviewed you guys, and a lot has seemed to have changed since then. How are things in camp Midas Fall? Care to talk us through a few of these changes?
It has been a very busy year for us with a few changes. We’ve had a change in the band line-up, Simon had to leave the band because a new job meant he was unable to gig and tour, so we have been training up a new guitarist/keys player. Things in the band are good at the moment, we’ve a lot to look forward to this year, our second album is out very soon, we’re touring the UK in May and are planning to release another EP later this year, hopefully followed by another tour of the UK and Europe.

Your second LP is due to drop in a few days. Whats new with this record? Where there any conscious decisions involved on how it should differ from "Eleven..."?
We have experimented a lot more with the instrumentation on this album. It has many more electronic elements to it as well as strings, brass and much more piano. We feel stronger and more confident with the songs than we did with the first album. The decisions weren’t conscious, we wrote as we recorded and let things evolve naturally. When we try to push for a certain sound it usually doesn’t work out, so we just create what comes naturally.

Midas Fall - WildernessYour first album was recorded in Edinburgh, but you have relocated your base to Manchester and I’m guessing you have spent enough time there for some of its grayness to have rubbed off. How has this relocation affected your music?
We are very self sufficient when it comes to recording, so we did a majority of the recording and mixing at home. In Edinburgh we had a beautiful view of Arthurs Seat (large extinct volcano that sits in the centre of the city), whereas now our view consists of a pizza takeaway and a chemist. It is hardly as inspiring as when we recorded in Edinburgh. Haha. The greyness here is quite grim and depressing and despite being in a big city there’s something about this part of England that’s quite isolating, perhaps those feelings have come across in the new album in some way.

Having listened to the album, I get the feeling that through the incorporation of a few more electronic elements it gives out a more minimalistic sound. What were your aspirations when using these elements more dominantly in your music?
We had always wanted to incorporate electronic elements in the music, but when we made "Eleven..." we didn’t have the knowledge to create the sounds we wanted to. It had not necessarily been the intention to make the new album more minimalistic, but we feel that space is important for our music particularly if you want to avoid the quiet / loud / quiet / loud routine.

Elizabeth Heaton (Midas Fall)I can definitely tell you that people back in Greece are ready for round two. How was your overall impression of your mini Greek tour last year?
We loved it and we can’t wait to come back to Greece, the people were so warm and inviting and have really encouraged us to keep making music when we’ve maybe been feeling a little defeated at times. We are actually expecting a parcel of Ouzo in the post from one our Greek fans at the moment for our writing inspiration. Greece was by far the most enjoyable place to play on tour for certain.

Let’s go into more general things. Weird how this never came up in interview number 1. When and where did the band start? Are there any interesting stories from back then?
I met Rowan in a park whilst walking back from a nightclub at 4am where we drunkenly starting rambling about music. The band formed in Edinburgh back in 2009. We very quickly started doing shows and had finished our first tour within five months of forming. In just over a year we had recorded our first album and were signed to Monotreme Records (65daysofstatic, This Will Destroy You). It all happened very, very quickly which has been a blessing and a curse, it’s a lot of fun, but we’ve had so much to learn at the same time.

Midas FallLet’s talk band names. How did Midas Fall come to be?
I’m very sorry to say there is no meaning behind the band name. When we first formed we called the band a very rude word (which I won’t mention). However when we started gigging it became apparent that we really needed to pick something a little more serious. We had a day to think of a name and Midas Fall just felt right.

I know that you have a degree in music and sound engineering, can you give us some information on your side-gig as a sound engineer. What have you been working on lately?
I’ve been focusing on the Midas Fall work recently, but I still enjoy engineering bands I love and doing lots of remixes. I worked on a remix for a band on our label called Nedry last year and more recently I worked on a Greek artists (Absent Without Leave) track too.

Does your knowledge of sound engineering ever get in the way of your creative process when making an album?
I actually think it helps a lot. When we have new ideas for songs we can just quickly record ourselves instead of having to deal with recording studios where the pressure is always on to meet deadlines. This means we can spend more time experimenting with different parts and the instrumentation. Its very liberating being in control of the engineering side and I wouldn’t want to write any other way.

Elizabeth Heaton (Midas Fall)Why do you think that there are, comparably, quite fewer bands with a heavy female presence such as yours, especially in the genre that you represent, and especially in non-vocal roles?
I find it very strange that not more woman play in or are influenced by the post rock genre, especially because it is very emotional music that I feel a lot of women would connect with. It is a very male dominated genre and the female vocalists I have seen within it sing very softly. I think it has become popular in the industry just now to have softer female vocalists. I personally prefer it when a vocalist has more power and emotion in the vocals.  

On your recent EP you covered NIN's "Hurt", quite wonderfully I may add. Name three artists you would like to see cover one of your songs and why.
I'd love to hear a male vocalist cover our music because it would be really interesting to hear what he would do with the vocals. I would go for:
1. Bon Iver - This would be great to hear one of our songs played in the folk genre.
2. Sigur Ros - I’ve never heard Sigur Ros do a cover, I bet this would be epic. I just love their music.
3. Active Child - I’ve only just started listening to this band but the singer does the most amazing vocal harmonies.  

Midas FallLet's say the members of Midas Fall decided to do a folk/traditional music side project. What type of music would you play and what would be your band name. Also, would you wear fake moustaches on stage?
Rowan has been saying for years that she wants to do a side project using medieval instruments like harps and fiddles called “The Camelot Revival Project”. We would definitely have to wear the appropriate medieval costumes on stage (as well as the moustaches of cause). I think people would be very confused if we did this.

What has been your favourite and least favourite memory on tour?
Our least favourite time was the day we had to do a 20 hour drive from the north of Romania to Sofia in Bulgaria. We had to set off immediately after one gig and our journey only ended at setup for the next show. We definitely learned the lesson; never to play a show when you haven’t slept in 40 hours. I thought I was hallucinating on stage. Haha. Our fondest memories are of the response we got at our shows. The crowds in Europe are so much warmer and welcoming than in the UK and because it was our first time gigging in Europe it came as a nice surprise. This is why we are so keen to come back.

Jason Tsimplakos

Wilderness is out on April 2nd and you can get order it by following this link.