Monday, January 12, 2015

Midlake interview, 2010

Eric Pulido of Midlake interview
Originally published in Big Takeover Magazine
fall 2010
written by Daniel Coston

While some bands prefer to spend their life in the studio, the Texas  
quintet Midlake welcomed its recent return to the road with open arms.  
“For us, having taken such a long break, it was quite refreshing to  
just change gears, and do something other than record in the studio,  
or rehearse in the studio,” says guitarist Eric Pulido. “To get out  
and play again, it was a great joy, and felt like a band again.

The reason for the band’s return is their new album The Courage Of  
Others, which took much longer to create than the band had planned.  
“It was quite frustrating. We didn’t know what the next record was  
going to be. We just had some songs that [singer] Tim [Smith]  had  
written while touring with [2006 album The Trials Of Van  
Occupanther],” says Pulido. “It took a year of trial and errors, and  
frustrations, of sorting out what we were going to do next. I really  
mean it when I say it was frustrating,because we got nothing. We  
learned what not to do, a lot, we learned to play together, more so.”

Along the way, the band found a new sound steeped in the influences of  
late 1960s and early ‘70s British folk, rock and jazz, such as  
Pentangle, Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention. “We were digesting  
these influences, and many more, and trying to not do it in a pastiche  
way,” says Pulido. “It was us really trying to interpret these  
influences in our own voice. We would always talk about this emotion  
that was in this music, and have that be a big part of the sound, and  
the vibe.”

For many Midlake fans, the sound of the new album has come as a huge  
departure from Van Occupanther, which had taken its cues from the  
likes of Fleetwood Mac, America and Crosby, Stills & Nash. Yet the  
band’s sound has changed with every record in their ten-year history.  
“It has been different,” adds Pulido. “Not for the sake of being  
different. I think we would be totally happy, and we wouldn’t have as  
many gray hairs if we said, ‘Okay, this is the sound, this is what we  
were doing.’ But it wouldn’t be honest, it would be forced.

“Each album is a snapshot of where you’re at that time, and Van  
Occupanther will always be there. We’ll play those songs live, and we  
still enjoy that. This [new record] was something else. I think we  
felt confident that if we’re going to continue being a band, you’ve  
got to go with what’s moving you at that time.”

With touring planned for much of the remaining year, Pulido and  
Midlake are looking forward to wherever they go next. “Now that  
there’s three albums under our belt, you feel like you’re finding your  
place a little more. And know where you’ve been, the mistakes you’ve  
made, and know where you want to go next.”

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