Last week we were invited backstage to the CMJ Showcase by the Black Dots Music Group to listen to some of the best up and coming bands out there. As soon as we got backstage, we were greeted by lead singer Spencer Draeger and drummer Andrew Segreti of the band The Midnight Hollow. As soon as they started talking, we could sense their passion for playing live shows and an awesome bromance as well. We got more than our fair share of laughs as well as the inside scoop on what to expect from a band you'll be hearing a lot more from in the near future.
Labeling Men: How did you guys start the band?
Spencer Draeger: The band started back in San Francisco in my bedroom, but we put it together when I met Andrew out. We've had a pretty harmonious relationship since then and here we are!
L.M: What sets the band apart from others who sound similar to you?
S.D: Shit, I mean that's up to the people who come and see us. I feel like our whole thing is playing songs well live and kind of entrancing in the live show. We're all about just bringing people together and being a little self-indulgent on stage. Not trying to play the songs perfectly, but doing what feels right. That might be a little ambiguous...
L.M: No, that's great! Andrew, do you have anything to add to that?
Andrew Segreti: I think our live shows sets us apart as well. I think that we try and put in as much effort and passion into what we do live. And I see a lot of other artists on stage lacklusterly [sic] play through songs, almost bored. That's what really sets us apart. I do see passion in people making music and I kind of want to join the ranks of those people who are invested in making amazing music.
L.M: We're going to as you a couple of questions about fashion…
S.D: Fashion is the life force of New York City isn't it?
S.D: Whether you love it or hate it!
L.M: What are you guys wearing on stage tonight? Is this it?
A.S: I'm going to change my shirt, make it a little bit more classy. I have a Ben Sherman shirt in back. I've been wearing it for what 2, 3, 4, 5 years now. It looks good, but it’s definitely going to fall apart!
S.D: I mean, it’s not Prada!
L.M: Haha, we don't mind, we love all fashion!
S.D: My job is to kind of give Andrew a hard time.
A.S: And my job is to bite back, Mother F*cker!
S.D: I'm all about the American brands. If I'm going to be a brand whore for five seconds, I like Levis.
A.S: What is this, you're trying to get an endorsement?!
S.D: I don't know, Mister Ben Sherman…
A.S: What can I say, I like the English cut.
S.D: Whatever fits, you know. I don't like a lanky, awkwardly length. I'm like the guy in “Street Fighter,” Dhalsim - the Indian guy who can kick really far. Nothing fits cause the sleeves are always too short, so whatever can work.
L.M: Spencer, what is this awesome leather jacket that you have on tonight?
S.D: It is a Schott jacket actually.
L.M: And the hat?
S.D: Epoch. I think it’s a Williamsburg brand. I could be wrong, but I think so. I got it at a store there. Actually, I stole it from my girlfriend, to be honest...
L.M: Haha, looks awesome! So, does what you wear impact your mood on stage at all?
S.D: Not in the slightest.
A.S: It does for me! I just want to feel comfortable and fucking cool. I want to see it like how I see it. I got show shirts that I feel good in. I have other shirts that I wear around town, but I have show shirts.
S.D: Fine, fine. I have show shirts too, but I wear mine all the time.
A.S: You feel special when you wear them, don't you?
S.D: I think anybody who denies that is fucking false!
L.M: So it’s exactly the same on and off stage? We know some artists who have two completely different styles on and off stage...
S.D: We believe an artist never really turns it on and off. We believe an artist is who they are all the time, whether it’s like making paintings or whatever.
L.M: Have you guys ever been approached by any fans after shows that lead into dates or more?
A.S: I think that's the only time I've ever met a girlfriend! Every girlfriend I've ever had is because I've been in a band and everybody I know is through playing music. I'm not like a groupie where I came off and they were like "OMG!” It’s more of a community of people who are involved in everything.
S.D: When we play shows, it’s kind of an excuse to get everybody together and a lot of people come out on the basis that they will run into so and so and everybody gets to bond. It’s more of a genuine way. Although I think you want to hear about some insane girls!
L.M: No, this is better because it’s real. It’s a great community! Do you guys have any dating advice for the men in NYC?
S.D: I think hold on to what you got! I think everybody in New York has a wondering eye, like the horse chasing the carrot. Always looking for the better apartment, better job, more beautiful girlfriend. But I think there are a lot of people who are looking for something that really doesn't exist, and if you find something that makes you feel good – it’s such a Hallmark card answer - but yeah. Be happy with where you are at. If you're looking for something, Jesus Christ, it’s shark water. You better indulge a little, but pull back once you found something. You know what's right, guys! It's fucking chaos!
L.M: Perfect advice! What should we expect from the band in the future?
Band’s Publicist: World Domination!
L.M: World Domination sounds great!
S.D: We're going to release an album. We just released our first single, "Forward,” right before CMJ, and we're going to release another one in November and the album around fashion week - to end on a fashion note. We're going to have an EP around then and a video, and that's as exciting as it gets. We're about to play an amazing show that you are going to be around for!
L.M: Yes, definitely sticking around!
S.D: Going to get a hard-on listening, I promise!
We stayed for their performance later that night and we cannot wait to see them again for their EP release!
Check out the band’s website at www.themidnighthollow.com and follow them on Facebook and social @themidnighthollow
Interview by Nisim Frank
Photos by Maggie Hill