If the Midnight Conspiracy plot is to destroy dancefloors, conspirators Graham Cody, Louis Kha and Mikul Wing come well armed with a high-energy sonic collision of electro, dubstep, breaks and house. There’s also a 16-foot tall “Eye of Horus” like LED laser pyramid structure dubbed “Eye Live Laser Lightshow” watching over things—and judging by the enthusiastic screams and overall craziness coming from the dancefloor, these guys are playing puppet-master. Together for a little over two years, the Chicago-based trio has already entertained a healthy chunk of the states—including Ultra Music Festival, Lollapalooza, World Electronic Music Festival and North Coast Music Festival—and kept audiences rapt with attention as they bounced across two continents “melting faces.” Midnight Conspiracy remixes and original productions have infected the World Wide Web too, landing on Hype Machine’s Top 5 six times, #2 on Beatport’s dubstep chart and have been featured multiple times on BBC Radio 1. Simply put, Midnight Conspiracy in annihilation mode. Check their recently released “Discord” EP, “Veyron” and “The Eye” with CENOB1TE for reference. Welcome to the New Sonic Order.
Home Town: Chi or die.
Currently Living: Chi or die.
Origin Of Name: Spiritual sight. Inner vision. Higher knowledge.
Weapon of Choice: Laser eye.
Est. Miles Traveled Per Year: Three light years.
Gigs Played / Nights Out Per Year: 50-plus nights that we can actually remember.
Source Of Power: The Eye.
Blurb Yourself: We are Midnight Conspiracy. We are a mustache, a ninja and a blonde. We make heavy music and have a big giant laser eye to back it.
Sometimes it’s best to completely isolate yourself from the world to truly be creative. Without any frame of reference or comparison, there’s no need to try and think outside the box. The box simply disappears.
What life activities are made better when listening to music? Talk about the last time you enjoyed one and the other.
Typically we listen to NPR while driving. Put on some good music, though, and the common and tedious task of driving all of the sudden turns into a journey for the imagination. We played a show in Missoula, Montana, and I decided to stick around for a couple days to drive to Glacier National Park. The night before, the University of Montana kids at the after party had Justice’s Cross album on repeat. It was a longtime since I had listened to that album so I brought it with me on the road trip. The drive was no longer a drive; it became an adventure through the wide landscape of lush valleys and endless mountains jetting to the sky…all the while flying in my mountain spaceship back through time to 2007 memory lane.
If you visualize music as your listen, what (generally) do you imagine?
Everyone has different visual impulses to different types of sounds. When I hear a harpsichord, I imagine a wandering minstrel in the countryside of Medieval Europe. Organs and choirs conjure images of opera stories, or robed monks circling around a fiery pit in a cold, dark dungeon. Most classical instruments give me images of past civilizations. There’s something nostalgic about it, which is why we like to integrate it with our electronic/dance music to juxtapose the modern with the classical. To juxtapose the heavy elements of dubstep and electro synths created from thin air (software) with the emotional feel you get from good ole classical instruments.
If you could send advice via a fortune cookie to up-and-comers, it would read:
Master the art of blurring the lines between work and play and you will find much success—and wealth—in your life.
What is a song that inspired you to create?
“Moan” by Trentemoller.
What (type) music makes you reach for the headphones? What (type) mood makes you reach for the headphones?
Video games and movie scores always have great soundtracks. When I put on a pair of headphones, it’s like instantly entering into a video game—except the game is the game of real life. Electronic music is best for this video game of life. The lack of vocals, or the minimal use of them, lends itself to abstraction, which I believe leaves the mind free to wander.
Tell us about a specific event or period in your life that is linked in your mind to a song/album.
The Cure’s “Disintegration” brings back memories of a summer road trip going up and down US Highway 101 along the California coast. The album, along with the trip, was a very emotional one.
Initially, I liked the mechanical imagery around dubstep. It was very fitting for the music, but now I think it’s way outplayed. It’s lost any sort of originality.
Is there a band whose album covers you love?
Pink Floyd album covers, and most old rock band album covers for the most part. I think it was a reflection of the times and the medium in which people listened to music. Back before the prevalence of music videos and YouTube, people would just put on a vinyl record, layback in their bed and listen to the music while starring at the album cover as they fantasized to the music. All they had to look at was the album cover—no distractions from the Internet. Not everyone had a TV in their bedroom, so album covers played a much more valuable role with music. Now that all music is digital, album covers aren’t as important as they used to be. I feel a lot of album covers today are too forced. Initially, I liked the mechanical imagery around dubstep. It was very fitting for the music, but now I think it’s way outplayed. It’s lost any sort of originality.
How does listening to music figure into your creative process?
Listening to music can give you inspiration, but sometimes it can anchor you to what’s already out there. Sometimes it’s best to completely isolate yourself from the world to truly be creative. Without any frame of reference or comparison, there’s no need to try and think outside the box. The box simply disappears.
Talk about some of your “classic” memories of touring?
Our South American tour was a great “boot camp” for touring. From the Brazilians, we learned the valuable tricks of coconut water and Acai to treat hangovers. They’re always partying down there, never sleeping and yet they still all go to work and function extremely well. Now we know their secrets.
Do you remember the first time you had a live audience’s complete attention?
Very recently we debuted our new “Eye Live–Laser Lightshow” setup in front of 4,000 people. You could look into their eyes and see they were enamored—in a trance of sorts—from the full on audio-visual experience. It’s similar to putting on a pair of headphones and going about your day. The music becomes the theme to your day, to your particular moment, as you walk through the city and go through all the little adventures that make up a day in the life.
Just like our “Eye Live” show, the audio-visual experience put everyone in their own little fantasy world and we were able to shape these fantasies through the music we played, which of course included a lot of our own tracks…many versions of “The Eye,” “Discord” and “Veyron.”
Soundtrack of Life:
We love food, especially Asian food—or any ethnic food for that matter. We spend all of our non-club time while on tour searching out for that city’s best food. Street food gets a big thumbs-up. This is our soundtrack as we aimlessly wander the streets in a new and unknown city in search of good food.
Like every good movie, you need an epic start…so here are some violins, horns and pianos to get this journey started.
After walking around for a bit, you run into a Ramen shop that looks pretty damn good. Do you stop here first or hold out for something that could potentially be better? If you pass, you also run the risk of finding something worse, so best to go in strong like this monster dubstep remix of Veyron by Bassex.
You scarfed down that huge bowl of noodles. You better hurry and find the next restaurant before your brain registers that your stomach is full from those Ramen noodles. No better way to charge ahead than a big four-to-the-floor electro jam, Discord.
Your second meal was at a Japanese Gyoza shop with 20-different types of that succulent dumpling. You’re quite stuffed, but after 15-more minutes of walking you find a great looking hole in the wall sushi spot with an 80-year-old Japanese man smoking a cigarette. You’re reaching your limit on food so it’s time to start winding down to the voice of Yelle as you savor a few pieces of Salmon Nigiri.
You are absolutely stuffed and are gingerly walking around the city streets in search of one final last thing to ingest. Should it be ice cream? Gelato? Some Asian bubble tea? You can’t go wrong with any of those. Have your dessert and go enjoy your food coma.