Hi there and welcome to Brutal Resonance! Let's get started with some basic information since you're new to the site and possibly some of our readers. Who is in Lennon Midnight, what type of music do you guys perform, and what's your favorite movie of all time?
Lennon: Lennon Midnight consists of myself (Lennon) and my guitarist/bassist Klebert (Bert) Graves. Were an industrial metal band based out of Las Vegas, NV. Actually one of the very few industrial bands in Vegas period. And our favorite movie of all time? Man, that's a hard question to answer! I cant just pick one, so Ill give you my personal top 5: Fight Club, Aliens, Scott Pilgrim vs The World, Prometheus and Tron Legacy.
Let's dive into some history. What was the first instrument you played? Did playing that instrument inspire you to create a band and get on stage?
Lennon: The first instrument I learned to play was guitar. My folks got me a Fender Strat Squire with a dinky little Squire amp (it was a package deal) back in 1996 when I was fifteen. I eventually upgraded to an Ibanez Saber in 1997 for my sixteenth birthday. I still own the Saber and Squire amp. In 1998, I got into DJing and producing music on the computer via a DAW called ReBirth338 (which emulated the Roland TB303, TR808 and TR909). The DJing and music production thing for me really stuck. In 2000 when I was eighteen, I was working full time and could afford to buy my own stuff, I picked up Reason 1.0 and fell in love with that DAW instantly. It was like a huge version of ReBirth, and so much more evolved in that it allowed for custom instrumentation as well as sample usage. It also included a proper visual based sequencer which ReBirth never had. I wound up producing a lot of techno/rave styled music with it. Reason stuck with my up until current times. As an instrument (technically multiple instruments), Reason has been my favorite and most trusted for the past seventeen years!
To answer your second question: Yes, using Reason did indeed inspire the creation of the band. Klebert has knowledge of traditional instruments that blows me away. Hes amazing on guitar and bass, so he makes up for what I lack in traditional instrumentation knowledge. In 2015 when he and I started this little project, we both agreed that what one person lacks in skill, the other makes up for! Reason allowed me to compose the electronic elements of our band, while Klebert's guitar and bass bring in the traditional instrumentation elements!
Every musician I have ever talked to has a couple of bands that when they first saw live on stage, they immediately thought to themselves, “I wanna do that.” Which bands did that for you? Do they still inspire your music to this day?
Lennon: There was a long period of time where I wasn't doing anything musically (from roughly 2009-2014). In that time I was rediscovering a lot of new industrial and darker music.The bands that really got me off my ass to start making music again were William Control and Psyclon Nine. Watching my favorite bands perform live was a huge, HUGE inspiration to making me get off my butt and say "Alright, I don't care what people say. I'm gonna do it this time!". From 2002 to 2006, I had a little industrial project going called Verachtung. It was a solo project and, at the time, I didn't have the money to really pick up proper gear for recording vocals and live instruments. The project fizzled out after five or six songs. Skip forward to 2015, Klebert and I had been going to quite a few shows together since we'd met in 2014. Watching these industrial and metal bands play live is what really gave me the push to say to Bert "Alright man, were gonna start a band and do something awesome!". In January of 2015, we sat down together and started working on our first song called 'Seduce Me' (back then it was called 'Seduction Addiction'). Both Psyclon Nine and William Control still inspire me to this day! They both make such amazing music that it helps drive my creativity and give tons of inspiration since every new album or single they release really pushes the envelope in regards to sound production and ability. There's always something new for me to discover in their music every time I listen!
And how did you meet the other members of Lennon Midnight? Do they contribute to the overall sound of the band, or are they mainly live members?
Lennon: Klebert and I met at work and we still work together! He's the production manager and I'm the art director for a vehicle wrap and sign shop in Las Vegas. So yeah, its kinda like being married! We see each other everyday and usually every other Saturday for band practice or recording! Both he and I contribute equally to the band. I handle all the vocals, synths/synth patches and production/mastering work. Klebert handles bass, guitar and some synth patch building. We both enjoy the dynamic of splitting everything fifty-fifty. We're both very DIY in everything we do! We do have a live drummer that joins us from time to time for gigs, but he has his own band that he's busy with. We eventually would like to add a full time live drummer as well as live synth player so we can fill out the stage a bit better. But for now, we both really enjoy the dynamic of being a duo! Studio wise, we handle everything ourselves. We just use my home studio. It's great learning how to do production and mastering ourselves. It really helps us grow as musicians and artists! We do have good friends in the music industry with a lot more experience. They contribute their advice and knowledge at times (which has been very helpful along the way), but for the most part we like working our way through problems and challenges with just a basic push in the right direction. You don't learn if you don't experience things for yourself to find the answer.
Your first release Fallacies & Other Disappointments came out last year in October. However, I would imagine Lennon Midnight formed before that. When did you initially put together Lennon Midnight and how long did it take you to put together Fallacies & Other Disappointments?
Lennon: We formed officially at the end of January 2015. It was a bit of a slow start as I was learning new recording and production techniques as well as buying new gear for proper recording (mixer, mics, cables etc). As an artist you should never stop pushing the boundaries of your work, so I'm still learning new ways to make things sound better (I'm extremely anal about learning how to grow and perfect things).
Fallacies was initially a very slow process. There were a ton of production and recording techniques I was completely ignorant to (compression damn it!). During the early days of writing the album, I became friends with Nero Bellum who helped me understand what I was doing wrong and aided me in critique and advice on how to fix my issues. He's still a very good friend to this day actually. But, like I said, it was initially a very slow process because Id learn new techniques, then I would go back and apply all those techniques to the songs we were writing at the time. I am very thankful for that slow initial process because it was all a foundation I was building for my abilities in my studio! Song writing and recording goes much faster and more efficiently now! It took roughly a year and a half to get everything written, recorded and mastered for the first album. The writing and recording process for our new EP has been so much easier and faster in comparison to Fallacies. The new EP really shows how much we've grown in the time between Fallacies and Post Traumas release.
Aside from Fallacies & Other Disappointments and your upcoming EP, there is not any other material out for Lennon Midnight. Are there any demos or other such things floating around that might see the light of day?
Lennon: There is actually a load of my old songs I've produced since high school until now located on the Lennon Midnight Soundcloud page. If you scroll down past the Fallacies songs, theres a ton of different music I've put together through the years. It varies from Industrial to House to Drum and Bass. I've always been into a lot of different genres of music. Electronic music in all forms has been my favorite area though.
We've always been open to releasing music as we work on it to fans. Through the writing process of the EP and Fallacies, we sent out loads of demos to friends and fans to get their input and feedback. What we get back is usually very positive. A few long time fans have been really impressed with how the new EP sounds and how we've grown into our own sound now!
And how has running Lennon Midnight been so far? Has it been smooth sailing or have there been a few bumps in the road? Are there ever any creative differences?
Lennon: Since starting in 2015 things have gotten much smoother! Starting out was very rocky just due to being so inexperienced. The first year was the hardest. Its a common misconception for most bands or producers starting out to just crank the volume to get more sound (I made the same mistake). It's far from that. To get full, rich and loud sound it's a giant combination of leveling, compression, maximizing and EQing! It's a tricky mishmash of so many elements! Also, bit rate and frequency play a large over all role too! Fallacies was a mix of 16bit 44,100khz sound and 24bit 48,000 sound. The new EP is being recorded completely 24bit 48,000khz so everything sounds really clean and vibrant! Not saying I'm some kind of seasoned veteran at all as I'm still learning better techniques every time we write and record something new, but I have a good foundation to work with now! The sound were getting out of the songs on the new EP really beats the hell out of Fallacies! But its just due to constantly wanting to learn and then applying said knowledge!
Klebert and I rarely have creative differences. When we do, its a fairly simple situation to sort out. Its usually just either of us being too obsessive over a few details about a song. We usually remind one another to just shut up and go with it! It all works out fine in the end.
And let's discuss the new EP. Tell me all about it; the title, what it is about, what sound you were trying to achieve, how long you've been working on it; if there's something to say about it, I wanna hear about it!
Lennon: The new EP is entitled Post Trauma. Its the sequel to the storyline set in Fallacies. Backing up a bit, Fallacies was about my last three major ex's. Two of which I'm still good friends with (this took years upon years of healing to achieve). The third we don't speak much anymore as we don't mesh well personality wise. But yeah, Post Trauma is the sequel to the album in that its about three different women I've met or been involved with since the third girl on Fallacies. Fallacies had 2 songs per ex, Post Trauma will only have one. Though, each song is split into two parts. Part one of each song is an intro and part two is the actual song. Its look like total run time will be around twenty-five to twenty-eight minutes for the EP (I still need to write out and record a spoken word intro the EP like Fallacies).
Post Trauma was a bit different to write compared to Fallacies for a few main reasons. The biggest being we took no outside influence whatsoever. Fallacies had a lot on influence from Psyclon Nine, Aesthetic Perfection, Hocico and Nine Inch Nails in it. After we wrapped Fallacies, Bert and I took a huge break from music. We didn't write anything new for almost two months. We were just worn out. I messed around in some of my spare time making new beats and synth patches, but nothing serious. The week of Thanksgiving I took a small beat that I liked and expanded into a basic song. Bert and his wife came over for pre-Thanksgiving dinner that Wednesday. He heard the beat and dug it. Bert grabbed his guitar upstairs in my house and immediately began writing and recording a new guitar line for it! We wound up with a fully tracked song by the end of the night (it was 3:30am when he and his wife left). We both took a break during December for the most part due to work and life obligations. I had worked up a small beat for the lead single (called 'Occultist') during our break. Bert and I got back together in the first week of January. We had the full beat and guitar line written and sequenced in two evenings for 'Occultist'. The last song on the EP was written in about four hours in one sitting based off a simple beat I had made up earlier that week! But I'm really getting off track here. The whole point of this is, during the writing and recording process for Post Trauma, we weren't listening to anything for inspiration or ideas at all. We both just sat down and went for each song! We both did agree that we wanted a more metal feeling for this EP and I think we've achieved exactly what we were looking for! I incorporated a more black metal feeling to everything. The last song on the EP actually has a really old school Stabbing Westward and Ministry feel to it, all by coincidence too! It just felt good to take a much needed break from making anything seeing as we got a good amount of time to breathe and recuperate, ideas just poured forth effortlessly when we sat back down again to write. The rest and time away really helped us focus on growing and coming into own on this new release. I think our fans will really dig what we've put together for them. We do have a prequel EP planned, but we won't start on that until probably Summer of this year.
What did you learn from your first release going into the new EP? Are there any things that you personally think you have improved?
Lennon: The first release was a huge learning process for both of us. We were getting use to how each other worked as an artist/musician, I was constantly learning ways to improve what we had previously written when starting the album. Bert wound up picking up a few new guitars and amazing new Line6 pedal board. I picked up a TC Helicon Voicelive 2, a few new mics and a new Mackie mixer with interface throughout the Fallacies recording process. Once we learned how to really work with all of our hardware properly, we wound up getting much better results! 'Wish' and 'Destroy' on Fallacies were the last two songs we did and to me, they were the two best sounding songs on the album as we had really gotten comfortable with production, work flow and recording at that time! Basically, through writing Fallacies we were really growing into functional musicians instead of those who just dabble as a hobby! Writing the new EP has been a much simpler and much faster process! I haven't had to go back a redo entire songs because my work flow in my DAW changed or because the sound quality was horrible due to improper EQing etc etc. Both Bert and I now have a MUCH better idea of what were doing and when new knowledge comes our way to make things better. It doesn't require a major reworking of every song!
Personal improvement for me would mainly be getting an over all cleaner sound from everything on this EP. We have both grown as musicians and artists, so I really hope that comes across in what people hear on Post Trauma. On this EP, I've been working exclusively in a 24bit 48,000khz audio space so there is a lot more over all sound resolution than what was on Fallacies. Fallacies was a cluster fuck of 16bit and 24bit audio.
And what lies in store for the future of Lennon Midnight? Are you planning any other releases, live shows, or remixes?
Lennon: Hmmmm, the future of Lennon Midnight. We have one more EP planned for the Fallacies Saga which like I mentioned earlier, we will be starting on this Summer. We are going to redo three to four songs I wrote back in the early and mid 2000's. That EP will be the prequel to the story introduced on Fallacies.
Next year, we are going to start writing a brand new album that will be released as 4 EPs. The reason for EPs is no one's really doing albums anymore due our Facebook and social media driven society. The album is going to be called The Book. It's being released in four chapters. We have the concept for the storyline all setup and ready to go. It will be a lot of fun to do seeing as the story is complete fiction. The Fallacies Saga was written around my personal love life (rather failures there of), so it will be a nice change of pace to do something not based on either of our personal lives. But we are both very excited to start on The Book! We are really going to try and make each EP have a different feeling (musically) based on the characters chapter!
Live shows are a huge thing for us! Though the Vegas scene is very fickle as far as turn out and support. We played our first out of state show last Saturday (March 25th) opening up for Psyclon Nine out in Seattle! It was fucking AWESOME! The crowd was amazing, we played to an entire room full of people who really enjoyed our music. We received a lot of praise and compliments after the set was finished. We both walked away feeling insanely humbled and honored with the warm welcome and support that Seattle gave us! We can't wait to go back! We have a show booked here in Vegas that I put together on May 12th. Its a small industrial based show at one of my favorite bars here in town called The Artifice down in the Arts District. We did our record release show there last November and the management was excited to have us back again. The show went off extremely well! I'm hoping to repeat the same thing in May as everyone who is playing (including Embrace My Darkest Fear, Acid Enema and Midnight Nightmare) are friends of ours and its just going to be a super relaxed evening of drinks, making memories and some kick ass industrial bands.
Lastly, I'd like to thank you for your time and wish you the best! The space below is yours to say what you wish. Cheers!
Lennon: You're absolute welcome! Thank you for the amazing interview and chatting with us! Its always an honor to do interviews with people. Honestly, we just like making music that makes us happy and we've been extremely lucky to have built interest from fans and professionals alike! I never thought in a million years that we would gain the attention and notoriety that was have in the last two-and-a-half years. Bert and I started Lennon Midnight as an outlet and something to have fun with, we never thought it would snowball into something people really dug!
We would like to thank a few people. First, Nero Bellum and the rest of the guys in Psyclon Nine. You've become like family to us! Were extremely thankful to have you standing beside us in this journey. You're all amazing musicians and artists and we couldn't have done ANY of this without you! Thanks to The Vile Augury. Mike and Celeste are two amazing people! I am so glad we had the chance to become friends! Also, thank you to Daniel Dazgic and Embrace My Darkest Fear. You guys have also been amazing to stand next to and work with. We're proud to call you friends and to share the stage with you. A huge thank you to everyone who has supported, tolerated and cheered us on! We are very thankful to have amazing friends and family beside us who are always there for us and to be our support!
And to all of our fans out there and people we've met along the way. We hope to see you all on tour one day! We are both so very honored and delighted that you enjoy what we make for you and look forward to meeting you in person, shaking your hands and saying thank you for the support and kindness you've shown us!
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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