The Sydney three-piece Middle Kids are truly having the time of their lives. They have cemented themselves a formidable reputation as stunning live performers, over a short period of time, where they not only wooed audiences here at home, but on an all important trip to America and the UK beginning way back in 2016. Since then we have become smitten with their indie-rock anthems Your Love, Never Start and in particular Edge of Town, their amazing debut offering that even Sir Elton John fell in love with. Now on the eve of a new extensive tour, that has already included some promotion work, including air time on Jimmy Kimmel Live and CBS This Morning, the Middle Kids are ready to unleash a whole bunch of new songs of their long-awaited debut album Lost Friends, from it which already includes their first two singles Mistakes and On My Knees. Having recently caught up with Hannah Joy, Tim Fitz and Harry Day in between commitments, here is some of what we talked about.
Do you feel like you have caught your breath since the whirlwind success of Edge of Town? It must almost seem like an eternity now?
Haha! We are breathing steadily. To be honest we’re just working really hard and having fun with it. We love playing Edge of Town, it came out a while ago but I don’t think we’ll ever get sick of that song.
What are some of your fondest memories of that period, especially when you guys were trotting around the United States?
Just having the privilege of seeing the country in that way – from the roads and venues – was a powerful experience. We loved everything we saw and it was special meeting some bands we respected and playing all these crazy festivals like SXSW and Lollapalooza that we never even thought we’d get to play.
You are about to jump straight back into touring. I understand its Australia, the UK and North America from next month. What are your expectations this time around?
We are just so excited to tour the album now that it is out! We’ve been playing a bunch of these tracks for almost a year now, so it’ll be awesome now that people have heard them. We can’t wait to see and meet all the beautiful people at our shows.
I’m actually looking forward to seeing you play in Melbourne later this month. What can we expect to see you incorporate into your live show that might be different to your recorded work? What sort of reaction do you get from your audiences?
Oh great! Those are going to be some fun shows. The live show is probably more raw than the recordings. The album is pretty polished, but the live show has a bit more edge, we like to shred out at the end of a tune. We’ve got some lights and production stuff to make it cool as well for this tour.
You have an inquisitive nature to re-imagine classic covers of songs. I absolutely love what you did with Blink 182’s track All The Small Things. I’d love to be a fly on the wall and hear some of the other songs you attempted behind closed doors. Any chance you guys will bring out something special for your shows here and abroad?
Haha. We really love so many songs and it’s fun to do our version of them. We always like to bring out something that we see, like in that Blink song there’s always been something depressingly sweet about it that we tried to bring out. We’ve got a new cover of a Bleachers song that we have started doing a bit, maybe we’ll do that this tour!
You guys have been teasing us with some new tracks from the new debut album Lost Friends. First Mistake and now On My Knees. What can you tell me about how On My Knees came about as a song?
I think that opening riff started in a soundcheck in the USA…and maybe we were trying to rip off a Broken Social Scene thing? We just wanted it to feel so energetic and intense from the start. It’s a pretty wild song, we just went crazy when we recorded it. Whenever we play it live we’re like…what just happened.
In an interview a few years ago, Hannah you said you tried to avoid keeping things personal (not about you) when writing lyrics for your songs. I think you said that lyrics should be a little more broader and relatable to people. Do you still stand by that guiding principle with the pending release of Lost Friends?
Is this an album that sums up where we are as a society at the moment? I guess my hope is to hear something positive but also something that mirrors our present mood.
I’m not sure where we’re at as a society. People say ‘this is how it is’ and it’s like ok…maybe for you and your crew, that’s cool. How I would put it is that there are lot of human problems on the album and a fair share of existential angst, and yes there’s definitely hope in there too.
I’m curious why Edge of Town and Never Start from your 2017 EP appear on the new album? I can only assume they still fit well as songs for this album?
Yeah that’s pretty much it. They fit, we love them, and we want people to hear them!
Finally, outside what you do as a band, what sort of new music inspires you nowadays that might surprise us? Any recommendations?
Hmm…it’s not new but we’ve been digging this old album by Ngozi Family, and also anything by Jonathan Richman. We’ll often use a song by one of those 2 for our walk on song at gigs.
Middle Kids debut album Lost Friends is available in all good record stores and digitally. For more information on the Middle Kids you can check out their website. You can connect with them via their Facebook page. Follow them on twitter. Follow them on Instagram. Watch them on You Tube.
Middle Kids Australian Tour dates here below:
Wed 9 May Rosemount Hotel, Perth WA
Thu 10 May Mojo’s Bar, Fremantle WA **SOLD OUT**
Fri 11 May Fat Controller, Adelaide SA
Fri 18 May Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane QLD **SOLD OUT**
Sat 19 May Woolly Mammoth, Brisbane QLD **SOLD OUT**
Wed 23 May Corner Hotel, Melbourne VIC **SOLD OUT**
Fri 25 May Karova Lounge, Ballarat VIC
Sat 26 May Corner Hotel, Melbourne VIC **SOLD OUT**
Sun 27 May Sydney Opera House, NSW (VIVID LIVE)
Sun 22 July Splendour In The Grass, Byron Bay
For more information on Middle Kids Australian and US Tour dates click here.
Photo credit: The header image of Harry, Hannah and Tim is courtesy of EMI Music. I am not the uplodaer of You Tube clips embedded here.
I haven’t really given real time to this album yet, but I love the singles I’ve heard off it. Especially “Mistake”. That song is such a perfectly built pop/rock song. The chorus gets me every time. The very first time I heard it, I was already singing along.