Hello, guys. What’s happening musically in Lexington this October?
M: Honestly, I have no clue! I’m all over Kentucky and out of state doing a lot of things, but a couple of months ago, I met and talked with Andy Cubbage of the Lexington band, Dad Shorts. He’s an overall swell guy, and they released some music this year; I recommend giving them a listen on their bandcamp!
J: I’m pretty much in Lexington exclusively, so I’ve been invited to several different shows these past few weeks by a lot of amazing local talent. Between bar gigs and the college campus, we usually have a lot going on.
Late is the Hour is your debut release. What is your creative process and what sources of inspiration (e.g. books, television, film) get your creative juices flowing?
M: The creative process for Late Is The Hour was different for every song. Sometimes it took an endless supply of coffee and nicotine, and just working all day. Other songs came out in 15-20 minutes and were just there. At the beginning, we worked over a long distance and spent late nights talking about the songs for hours, just texts and phone calls throwing any idea at the project to see what would stick, then we would meet up and just hammer out the ideas we had discussed.
J: M sums it up for the most part. I wrote the original versions at home over the course of a few months and threw these rough recordings at him via email and private Soundcloud links. Once we were able to get together and hammer out the songs progress was pretty rapid! We stuck to the policy of keeping it fun in order to avoid turning a passion into a chore. For inspiration, I draw from nearly everything I see, hear, taste, or even smell in some cases. I don’t read as much as I used to, but lately the works of Bret Easton Ellis have been pushing into the music, finding an interesting home against a background of sci-fi, anime, and anything that makes me stop mid-sentence.
M: As far as inspirations go, a lot of dark, dystopian fiction inspires me, across many mediums (books, films, anime). Often, I find more truth in fiction than I do in everyday life, so those real life metaphors translated to this music. To name a few: Akira, Fahrenheit 451, The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys (comic).
What sort of artists have most shaped your music?
J: Vocally, I’d be lying if I didn’t say that I learned to sing against Green Day and Motion City records. In terms of the actual song-writing itself… I find that I draw a lot from the Japanese group The Pillows, The Strokes, My Chemical Romance, Say Anything, and even Tool in some currently unreleased tracks. When we break down the guitar playing, it’s hands down Jonathan Coulton and his usage of all chords under the sun.
M: On the strings, I’m influenced by the technicality of Thrice lead guitarist Teppei Taranishi, and I aspire to the passion of J. Mascis of Dinosaur, Jr. In the big picture of music, I’m incredibly inspired by three bands: My Chemical Romance, Motion City Soundtrack, and twenty one pilots.
What significance does your name have? What sort of role does a title or a name have in regards to the music you create?
M: I usually don’t put much stock in band names… I mean, what the hell does “The 1975” even mean? But in this instance, the name Rampancy At Midnight really captured a feeling for me. It’s a head space that I’ve acquired from real life and fiction. It’s a convergence of the two, but I don’t want to give much more away than that.
J: Rampancy At Midnight practically defines the project. I pulled the name from a pack of cigarettes that had the exact color scheme I had in mind for this idea. After hashing it out with M, we felt it would be negligent to leave off “At Midnight”, considering we are creatures of the night and nearly every recorded note was done so after sunset. We are not what you might call day walkers.
What sort of plans do you have for the latter part of the year and early months of 2017?
M:There is a second EP in the works, and it will be building on the first release. I’d be surprised if it isn’t out by next Summer. There is a thread that runs through all of this, and if you can follow it, this music is really meant for you. I know we’re having fun weaving it.
J: As he mentioned, the second EP is coming along really well. We will be pushing around a “single” of sorts in the next few weeks once we polish up the track. We will be announcing further details via our twitter and facebook pages. I’m imagining the second release to be even sooner than next Summer, with the third planned EP projected for mid-late 2017.
Let’s talk gear and technology. What does your current recording and music production set up look like? What sort of upgrades do you want to add in the future?
M: Right now, it looks a little bit like a mad scientist’s lab, haha. There are tons of pedals and cords, little and big amps, guitars, microphones, DI boxes, a mixer and a desktop. Even some bongos, haha. As far as expansion goes, I’ll give any effects pedal a shot. I love making noise of any kind, good or bad. More quality recording equipment would be nice, of course, but I don’t view it as a necessity.
J: We like to work as freely as possible, usually at the expense of cleanliness and organization. The only recording gear I have my heart set on at the moment would be a genuine vocal microphone. We have used a Shure SM-57 for every track from guitar to vocals, bongos, screeching noises, and sadistic laughter. M is definitely the one with the most imagination in terms of effects pedals, but there are a few out there that I’d be thrilled to have, with the Dream Sequence from Hologram on the top of my list.
Late is the Hour has five distinct tracks, all with a different overall sound and influence present throughout. What is your favorite track off of the release? How can listeners find samples of your music?
M: Wow, that’s a tough one… My favorite might be Hours Hours. Despite its name, that song really popped up out of the ether for us, and from that point on, it was a matter of having as much fun with it as we wanted to. You can find our music in all the expected places: Spotify, Amazon, iTunes, Bandcamp, YouTube.
J: To play? I’ll agree with Hours Hours. But my absolute favorite has to be Dream Escape. The lyrics came from a place I didn’t know existed, so it’s very personal for me. As stated, you can stream or buy the music from every major retailer and music service online.
Thanks for speaking with us tonight. Do you have anything else that you would like to tell NeuFutur readers?
M: Thank you for the opportunity. I would like to say thanks for being an audience of music journalism, and look out for us in the future!
J: This has been an amazing process, and we are eternally grateful for the chance. For the readers, if you have an interest in conceptual projects steeped in religious studies and personal experiences, then you’ve come to the right place.
Late is the Hour is available on Rampancy at Midnight’s Bandcamp.