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MIDIcinal Interview 11.29.19

MIDIcinal Interview 11.29.19

Patrik Essy

December 4th, 2019

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While people were freaking out about the Black Friday sales early Friday morning, we sat down with MIDIcinal for a quick interview. From festival talk to having dancing lobsters on stage, we covered quite a bit. Curious as to what was said? We got you covered, check out the interview below!

The Interview

MIDIcinal Interview with Party Guru Productions     

Conducted by Patrik Essy

Patrik- Alright, sitting here with Midicinal at Corvus Coffee shop, how are we doing today?

MIDIcinal- I’m doing good man, enjoying it.

P- Awesome, that is always great to hear. It’s a little cold outside, was it hard getting here at all?

M- Not for me. The other day was a little terrible though. Digging the car out for a while so, I had an easy pathway today.

P- Yeah, I bet, that’s nice. Denver being the beautiful city it is, where are some of your favorite spots to go? And really just adventure around here?

M- Usually in the summer I like to, you know before work or whatever, get out and hike, Evergreen Lake, it’s close by. Lookout Mountain, Red Rocks for hiking and stuff. Yeah, I go downtown a lot, to Cervantes’ for sure, Black Box, all the little venues.

Favorite Venues

Patrik- Can’t go wrong. Speaking of venues, what would you say is one of your favorite venues out here to perform at? And one of your favorites you’ve attended at?

MIDIcinal- Definitely one of my favorites to play was Blue Bird Theatre, I’ve played there a few times but, it just always sounds well, it’s a good room too. It’s a big theatre looking room so it’s fun. But I’m at Cervantes’ at least once a week hanging out, I call that home.

P- I see that, yeah do you have residency there then?

M- Not really, my manager Diana works there so we have the in with a few things. We can get into research Wednesdays and stuff. Get a little guest list spot, it helps out.

Childhood Inspiration

Patrik- Right on, that’s nice. Yeah, very nice. Touching on your roots a little bit, growing up where did you find some of the most inspiration in music and what genres would you listen to the most?

MIDIcinal- Definitely Hip-Hop influence growing up. I was actually in a Metal band in high school.

P- Tell me a little more about that.

M- Yeah, we started when we were like 16, it was called Caskets for Kings. I was in a middle school band with some of the other kids, we felt distant when I moved high schools, but I heard they were doing a band and needed a bass player. Well I’ve played bass before with those guys, jumped in that, we were doing some pretty big shows. But we were too young to do anything like tour and still had school. It’s a lot easier alone, it was hard to get band members together and we started falling apart. So, I was like, I’ll start making music on my own, and that’s how I started producing really.

Live Instruments

Patrik- Yeah touching on that a little bit what live instruments do you play, and do you ever incorporate them into your music at all?

MIDIcinal- Not really. I wouldn’t say that I am good at any of them, I mean I can dabble around but it’s a little easier to like…

P- Play a few tunes on them if you wanted to.

M- Yeah, I’ll get a beat started by playing like bass or keyboard. I like sampling a lot though.

Dancing Lobsters

Patrik- Who are some of your favorite people to sample or some of your favorite samples to use?

MIDIcinal- Definitely like old soul and funk. Always doing acapella from raps that people know, so that they can relate to it a little easier but, it doesn’t really have a genre. If it sounds good, I’ll just grab it. Try to manipulate it enough.

P- That’s the best, so remembering back at Sonic Bloom, and I think you did it at another show too, but you had dancing lobsters on stage? Explain that to me a little bit.

M- I’ve only done that one at Bloom, it was an idea I had a long time ago, it was like 4 years old, I wanted to sample that from the Amanda Bynes show, “Bring in the dancing lobsters!”

P- Oh “bring in the dancing lobsters,” okay.

M- Well the plan was to make a song with that sample in it. I had the lobster costumes from 4 years ago, me and my buddy Cameron, and he was coming out to film so it’s like, this is the time we gotta do it. I didn’t make the song until the night before Bloom, kind of winged it together and it ended up being a big hit, like everybody. When I played Electric Forest the next week, I sat next to this kid who showed me a video of it and didn’t know it was me. So, I was like, “that’s pretty cool, but that’s also me!”

P- Did he kind of freak out after he released that it was you?

M- Yeah! We were just talking in the crowd. He said that he was going to be moving to Denver, so I said “let’s get to know each other. Hit me up if you are ever out there, I was just at Bloom last week” so I’ve met a lot of people.

Festivals

Patrik- How did you like Bloom?

MIDIcinal- It was great, that was my first one attending or performing. I mean all my friends were there, the whole city was there. So, it’s a lot more home, family feeling.

P- So, that’s probably something that’s a little nicer to see, like all these Red Rocks shows and some of the other festivals that happen out here, like out at Mishawaka and they also have Sonic Bloom. So, would you say you like the festivals out here a little bit more with more of that festival vibe since it’s kind of like touching to home for you?

M- Somewhat. I enjoy getting out… As long as I have a crew or somebody to hang out with at the festival. I played a few festivals this past summer and they were just boring. Everybody has their friends, so you never want to intrude, but if you’re playing you have something to talk about with people. At least go to the artist spot. Bloom was definitely like, I had everybody with me. I had my girlfriend was there. I did Electric Forest the next week. Just met people out there and didn’t really have my crew, plus it was my first Electric Forest! So, trying to take all that in was like, “Holy s*** this place is huge”. Beautiful but…

P- Would you recommend going to Forest then?

M- Definitely. If it wasn’t so far, I would just plan to go, you can play so many renegade sets, music at everywhere you turn, yeah it was crazy.

P- Yeah, I saw that, I believe it was Said the Sky, he did that pop up piano set?

M- Yeah, it was amazing. It was a really good set, I got some videos.

Inspiration

Patrik- That is really cool you might have to show me some of those videos later! So, moving to the present, who are some artists that you listen to today and also just find inspiration from. Or even just listen to. So, let’s say you are driving down the road, who would you turn on to listen to?

MIDIcinal- I listen to a lot of my local friends which is fun. They make great music so it’s tough not to. I’ll usually put on the original like Daily Bread, Manic Focus, Late Night Radio. I really love the electric soul vibes, Michael Mennor, I got to play with him so that was a big treat too. So, I’m trying to dabble with those guys, or at least follow their music and hope we get to play a little bit more. I’ll listen to a lot of locals though, my homie Homemade Spaceship, the Kiro Banko boys are doing great things.

P- Didn’t you just have a show with Homemade Spaceship?

M- Yeah! We played in Chicago, last weekend. Yeah last Saturday with Low Key and them.  

P- How’d that go?

M- It was fun! They are both from Chicago, so they had a lot of old friends there, so it filled in pretty well. That was my first time playing Chicago too.

P- Really? Adventuring out to the Midwest a little bit more?

M- Yeah, I’ve done little places like, some smoke shop out in the suburbs of Chicago once and that was really… I wouldn’t consider that. This was the first official show with like a promoter and all of that.

On the Road

Patrik- Random question for you but, it seems like you have traveled around the world a little bit, where are some of your favorite places to go?

MIDIcinal- Well technically I haven’t left North America, I really enjoy… I am originally from New York, I was born in Staten Island. Going out there I’ve met a few people just playing shows and I got to play festivals out there and got connected with the scene so, when I go out there, I get to visit family, family I really don’t see often. I’ve been out to the East Coast three times this year so, getting to see them a lot more is pretty cool. So really anywhere up in New York, I have a lot of friends now up in the Philly area, a little further up to like Massachusetts, my friend Pyrex is up there. He actually hosted all of us, me, Homemade Spaceship, my homie The Business, who’s actually coming out here. Flying right now. He hosted three shows out there, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, stuff like that. There was a lot of the North East I got to see.

P- Yeah, it seems like Philly has been getting a lot more shows. And it seems like the EDM scene is growing a lot more rapidly lately.

M- Yeah, I know Wax Feature from out there, they’re some pretty good friends. They put me on one of their shows, a few years back. Because I was going to the East Coast and they were just like “Yeah put him on”. And we ended up becoming pretty good friends, I’ve gotten a couple releases, actually one release with them so far, Aspire Higher who’s out there doing some stuff, I’m kinda dabbling in there. But yeah it seems like they have huge lineups like every weekend.

New York to Arizona

Patrik- Yeah, I saw Space Jesus was just out there, Excision, a couple people like that. So, being from New York how long did you live there? Did you go to school there? How was that for you?

MIDIcinal- No, I was pretty young. I don’t really like to claim it, I moved out when I was 3. So, most of my life I was in Arizona, I’d still spend the entire summer in New York, as we get older, we’d still go back. There was a break when I didn’t get to go for like three years, just because of work and not having money to go, that’s why it’s cool to have a show out there, because there’s a reason to go. At least you get a little bit of money to eat.

P- That’s nice, treat yourself a little bit. So, you said most of your family is in Arizona, right?

M- Yeah, my immediate family, my sisters, my dad, my mom. They are both remarried but they all get along which is cool, so we get to hangout all the time. But my cousins, aunts and uncles are all in New York

Family Support

Patrik- Speaking on all of them, have they always been supportive of your music? Do they enjoy your music?

MIDIcinal- Yeah! Yeah, my immediate family goes to shows all the time. When I’m performing at Shady Park, in Arizona, they love Shady Park so every time I go down there, my dad and sister are flying out to my December 7th show, they all support. A lot of them don’t really go to shows, they like to but it’s also staying up late now, so it’s like getting later and later in the night that I play…

P- And it’s like the older you get the later it starts to feel…

M- Yeah, but they’ll do it.

P- Yeah, that’s nice. Have you taken them to any festivals or anything like that?

M- Not yet, I haven’t really played any close enough to them yet. They would definitely go for like a day, they wouldn’t stay the whole time, imagine that seeing them at the afters.

P- Yeah imagine that, seeing your dad at the after parties. Speaking on family and music who would you say has influenced you the most to make the music that you do today?

Musical Roots

MIDIcinal- Well it’s cool because my family is all interested in different styles of music. So, my dad’s like Rock n Roll, he used to jam with Joey Ramon, back in the early 70s, before the Ramon’s were a thing. But yeah, he’d jam with them, he still plays guitar, so that’s fun. I get a lot of my inspiration from him, he bought me my first bass. But my mom’s always been, I get my disco, funkiest side from her, she was a disco queen. And then my sister loves rap and all that, she got me a Bone Thugs tape when I was really young, like second grade, and my other sister, can just like sing any song. She just knows all the words to everything. Kinda getting inspiration growing up from the family, and all the homies in Denver.

December 7

Patrik- It’s kinda like a mixing pot then. Touching on December 7th what are you going to be doing, what kind of set are you doing? Who will be performing with you?

MIDIcinal- It will probably be a little bit different. I’m playing bass with all my music, well not all, I’ll probably set it down for some songs. But I have Dominic Fantay he’s playing drums, Future Joy, the two together. it’s Zach and his girlfriend Emily, she sings, and he’ll play the baritone sax. And then we have Sarah Mount on regular sax, Vinny Crippen from Melody Lines is doing keys, and my friend Joe Krog. He lives in Chicago, plays pretty lowkey but he’s playing guitar. It’s going to be a lot more jam-y, funky kind of stuff. We’ve had some practices and we just look around like “Alright! If you play this that night it’s going to sound good!”…

Original Sound

Patrik- Like everything just flows together? Typical artist stuff.

MIDIcinal- Yeah and a lot of like, I have songs that are not finished but the structure is there. So I’m just leaving it open for like, ok leave that for the guitar part, let the horns do this section, and just putting it together and making build ups and once the drop happens, it’s going to come together, it should be pretty cool. But yeah, it’s a lot different than, like lately I’ve been putting… a lot of people I’ve been mentioning. My homie Avery, we go by Ghost Ride as a side project, so we’ve been working a ton together. Probably the most out of anybody, so I’ve incorporated a bunch of those songs. All the homies’ tracks now, I used to play all original but it’s nice to branch out and give them some credit like “Do you guys know Avery? What’s up!” This one’s going to be a lot more breaking down some of my older tracks, while also jamming some new stuff, trying to make it a little more original, so people are like “I don’t know what’s going to happen, let’s see”.

P- Yeah, originality is key nowadays. Especially when you’re up in Denver and have five or six other shows to go to, so you have to do something original.

Christmas Toy Drive

MIDIcinal- Yeah and I have… five shows around Colorado in December. Fort Collins and Boulder and Longmont for like a toy drive right after Christmas so that’s pretty cool.

Patrik- Explain that a little bit more, tell the people about that.

M- Yeah so it’s a toy drive, at something opera house, my friend Garret got me introduced to it, Grim Beard Productions is throwing it. Indigenous Peoples are playing, a buddy of mine Jacob Butler is also opening, Grim Beard Garret is playing as well. But it’s going to be a funky Electronic, Hip-Hop kinda night, so they put me at the top, I’ll be headlining, Indigenous Peoples are right before me. Yeah, it’s like $10 to get in, if you bring a toy to the door it’s like $5, I did one last year too. They filled the bucket, which was cool, my friends Feature threw that. That was at Lamier Lounge which was pretty cool. Yeah but this place, I’ve never been up to Longmont before, I’m excited to check out that whole part of town, seems like a historic venue. But yeah, December 28th, that one should be pretty funky. From what I hear, I’ve never really listened to the other guys, local rappers though.

P- Butler I’ve listened to a little bit I’ve actually shot a few shows for him before and he also performed at this festival I help curate, a bunch of cool stuff like that.

M- That’s awesome.

P- But yeah that is awesome to hear that people are listening to the locals, giving back to the community.

M- Yeah, I like to do it anyway I can. I mean it’s tough especially when there’s so many shows and everybody is so competitive, it’s like nobody is really doing it for a good cause or if they do you have to be a part of it somehow. I’m a part of this one though, they asked so, yeah.

Upcoming Events

Patrik- Talking more to the people, what do you have coming up that you would just like to tell?

MIDIcinal- Well I’m doing a show tomorrow, which this won’t be involved with, my friend The Business is coming out here. He’s from Delaware, I’ve been working with him on a few tracks. We just released one, two days ago. But we have one that we made before that, we’re really just making a pretty big EP. But he’s going to be out here for two weeks, we plan finish that and to have that out early 2020. All my December shows coming up, we have a Potent Productions takeover coming up, that’s at Shady Park in Arizona. January 18th, but other than that I’m just going to start looking into 2020, I want to do the West Coast a little more. Trying to get out there but, it’s all who you know, you got to meet the right people.

2020

Patrik: Looking into 2020, what big plans do you have? Any albums? You were just talking about that EP.

MIDIcinal- Yeah definitely that collab EP. Singles, I want to get more EPs done. I have album ideas, but I still feel, there’s more I want to do before I settle down and focus on a big album. I’d rather get those tracks out now than sit on them for a while. Unless they all come together pretty quick. Just get prepared for spring, hopefully get some festivals. Tis the season, now we have to start submitting applications.

P- Yeah, start looking for the festivals for the summer, that is true. Well is there any questions that you have for me?

M- Not really man.

P- All good! Alright, from not only myself but everybody at Party Guru Productions we’d like to thank you for the time and letting us conduct this interview today.

M- Definitely, thanks for having me man. I’ve been pretty excited for this, I’ve seen Party Guru around so I’m like, alright!

P- You see them everywhere, it’s kinda hard not to see them nowadays.  

Listen to the audio on Soundcloud here.

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