On the Road With: The Midway State
Fri, 29 Feb 2008 16:28:16
Lead by ivory-twinkling, afro-sporting frontman Nathan Ferraro, the Canadian alt rock outfit The Midway State has been making catchy, soulful tunes since Ferraro started the band with drummer Daenen Bramberger while still in high school. Having released their second EP, Met a Man on Top of the Hill, last year on Interscope, the band has built a solid fan base through strong songwriting and steady touring. We caught up with Ferraro and guitarist Michael Wise to get a look inside life on the road with the fast-rising band.
What records have you been cranking lately on the tour bus, backstage or before you perform, and what's so great about them?
Michael – De-Loused in the Comatorium, Mars Volta. Its great because its so full of crazy raw energy, and you can pick something new out every time you listen.
Nathan - Not to sound like a weirdo artist guy that doesn't listen to music, but I haven't really been listening to anything in particular this tour. Just focusing on reading a couple books I got for Christmas.
What's your favorite piece of stage clothing, and where did you get it?
Nathan - I like Levi's jeans!
Michael - Um, probably my new shoes. I got them at the Nike store in Toronto. They're black and white.
What's the best place to eat on the road?
Nathan - Whole Foods
Michael - Whole Foods!
Do you write music on the road?
Nathan - I have. I'm always trying to, and I actually find sound checks super inspirational, and I come up with stuff there. I have a pro tools set up that I bring on the road, and can set up in my hotel room too. But the truth is that we're really busy on the road, and I like to focus on performing, singing well and getting enough sleep. Writing on the road isn't the same for me as writing at home, yet.
Michael - I like playing with Nathan in sound check a lot, and playing off of each other. Sometimes we'll grab a studio for a day off, and record some ideas. I love it.
What's the best way to kill time in a boring spot?
Nathan - Brickbreaker game on my Blackberry.
Michael - Laptop/ internet... Checking my stocks like 50 times per day. Haha.
What's the most inspirational truck stop?
Nathan - "Ranches" in Colorado. Straight out of Dumb and Dumber. You know the scene? "What's the soup-de-jour?"
What city has the best and most responsive crowds?
Michael - This tour, it's been Montreal and NYC.
Nathan - Ya, Montreal is amazing. Boston is awesome. New York was also awesome this tour. It really depends on the tour, but we've been lucky.
Which venue has the cleanest facilities?
Nathan - House of Blues is awesome, and usually the best catering!
More importantly who provides the best rider?
Michael - They're all pretty good. We do a lot of House of Blues gigs which are usually very accommodating. :)
Nathan - Ya... I dunno who gives the best rider/catering... The truth is, none of them really compare to a refrigerator stocked by your mom on grocery day.
What do you miss most when you're out on tour?
Nathan - The people that I love back home.
Michael - Being in the studio. Having the chance to be really creative and practicing. Like we said, its harder on the road.
What's the first thing you do when you get home from tour?
Michael - Take a shower.
Nathan - Sleep.
—The ARTISTdirect staff