A fresh album from Midnight Danger has become the new excitement for synthwave fans during this pandemic. We have been treated to plenty of releases, but it is Midnight Danger who is bringing the glam to the scene. We had the absolute pleasure of chatting to Midnight Danger during these troubled times about the past, present and future of this exciting project. Enjoy!
What was your earliest musical experience?
Midnight Danger: Besides growing up listening and trying to sing the classic rock and melodic rock songs my dad used to listen since I can remember, I got my first keyboard when I was 7-8 years old. It was a gift from my mom and I had lessons for about a year. We moved to another city and I ended up stopping with the lessons. A few years later when I was 12 I got my first guitar and this is when things started to get more serious to me when it comes to music.
You have an incredible glam metal look, how much does glam metal influence your music?
Thank you! This is part of who I am for many years. I remember when I played my first live show as Midnight Danger I wasn’t so sure about how I should do about the looks. I wasn’t confident about how the fans would react if there was a glam rocker playing synthwave on stage, so I took it easier with the looks lol. With the time I started to realize that this was indeed a good match and something that the awesome fans on synthwave were enjoying, so I didn’t see a reason not to go for the full package, with the big hair and makeup!
As of the music, it’s not as if I do a direct mix of glam metal and synthwave. I think the whole atmosphere of 80s glam metal inspires my work with Midnight Danger. But I’m equally inspired by other genres too, and if you think about it, a good part of the 80s culture shared the same kind of looks. Big hair, makeup, bracelets, ripped fishnets were not exclusively from glam metal. You’ll see these things, or some of these things, on heavy metal, AOR, hard rock, pop artists, punks, goths, new wave and so on. I love all of these styles and genres and I see my looks more as a result of all these influences, creating the perfect mood for my music.
But I do have to point out that unquestionably there’s something on the structure and songwriting of synthwave that attract many metalheads and rockers. I don’t know what it is exactly, but synthwave
transmits the same feelings and mood sometimes, so surely you can relate to the nostalgic atmosphere and I’m sure this is how you’ll feel it on my music.
How does your favourite glam metal album compare to your favourite synthwave album?
This is a tough one! Beginning with the fact that it is hard for me to pick only one favorite of each genre, especially glam metal. There are several albums! Even inside what can be considered glam metal there are so many differences that are hard to compare. For example, I cannot pick between Shout at the Devil from Mötley Crüe and The Final Countdown from Europe. Both are glam bands but one is more to the heavy metal side and the other one is more hard rock with synths. Those are 2 albums that I love and have a great influence on me but it feels impossible to compare them. If we add synthwave to this, it gets even harder. Can I love them all? lol
I believe I can say my favorite album on synthwave is “Out of Body” from Dance with the Dead. The first time I listened to it, it touched me just like my favorite glam metal albums and brought me to the world of synthwave. What puts synthwave in a better position for me today, is because glam metal is dead and buried. It is in fact something from the past while synthwave is happening now. Well, there are bands calling themselves glam metal or hair metal today, but it’s not even close to how this genre was back in the days. There’s only a few bands that are indeed trying to bring it back.
How was Midnight Danger created?
I started Midnight Danger in 2015 after I moved to Sweden. Back then, I was already into synthwave for a couple of years and the genre was only growing on me. I was more and more blown away about it, especially those classic mashup videos with synthwave on top of images of movies and tv shows from the 80s. So nostalgic!! Then I decided to try to do something like that. I wanted to learn how to produce the music and try to finish at least one song. That was my goal back then and maybe, if the song was cool, I was hoping to see it in one of those mashups I liked to watch.
I got a cheap and small midi controller (an Akai LPK25) just to start learning and to see where that would go. As I was learning how to work on FL Studio, trying VSTs for the first time, and writing my first ideas, I started to feel more excited about the whole thing and to feel more into the mood of those nostalgic sounds. That’s when I came up with the name Midnight Danger, a friend helped me design the logo and I finished my first track “Evil Night”. After the amazing feedback I got from this track, I just felt like keeping going and produced more singles, was invited to some compilations, played my first live gig and so on.
What do you makes you stand out from everyone else within the synthwave genre?
Synthwave can be very diverse, really. Because there are many elements that go beyond the music and make some artists unique within the genre. In the music itself, I think so many artists sound so special and unique, all of them within the same genre and sometimes it is hard to point exactly what makes the difference. I think this is because since synthwave is not a mainstream genre, there isn’t really a formula on the songwriting/song structure like more popular genres, and this makes it easier for artists to express themselves better, to truly put their feelings and emotions on the songs.
On my case I believe I can create a really nice and unique atmosphere that people can relate. Starting with my music and extending to everything surrounding it. I give context to it through the artworks, visuals, live performances, looks. I deliver a complete experience to the fans and make them feel as if they are in a parallel universe, in a world that I created and they all connect through nostalgia.
« there isn’t really a formula on the songwriting/song structure like more popular genres, and this makes it easier for artists to express themselves better »
Where would you love to play that you have never played before?
Definitely in the USA! I know it is a big country and maybe I should be more specific, but I’m in for a tour! lol Well, this was already on the plans before the pandemic, so fingers crossed it will happen as soon as it is possible to play.
What was your favourite place you have ever played live?
So many cool places and shows that it is actually hard to pick one. But if I have to choose one, I would say Glasgow in 2018 when I played there with Dance with the Dead. The show was sold out, the crowd was on fire!!
Who are your biggest supporters when making your music?
Unquestionably my wife is number 1! I don’t even know how to thank her enough for supporting me for so many years. We’ve been together since high school, so she has always been there since my first bands, she was by my side on all the adventures, she was there every time I succeeded and every time I failed. Now with Midnight Danger, she traveled with me to most of the shows and most of the times I feel I couldn’t have done it without her. I always bring a lot of gear to deliver a great production on the shows, even the small ones. Quite often the staff of the venues I played didn’t know how I set up things, and besides me, my wife is the one who knows exactly how the setup works and how I do things. Not only that, she knows how it works with my merch and with the cameras (all of my shows are filmed).
So it is not rare that you’ll find her on my shows taking care of something related to the merch, while filming the show and fixing the position of one of the light fixtures after having helped set up the entire stage on the soundcheck. lol Well, the plan for the next album is to do a proper tour with a full staff and then she will finally be able to just enjoy the shows!
I need to mention a few people more here. My friend Erwan Lengliné who helped me on many recordings for both albums, he has also worked as my stage tech on a few shows and helped me with some of my video edits. Also my friend Marcos Cerutti who is my mentor when it comes to mixing and mastering and my friend Foca Rodrigues that started his project Deathray Bam about the same time as I started Midnight Danger and until today we are kind of “consultants” on each others music. He also developed my first logo and the cover of Malignant Force.
And last but not least, the fans of my work! Their feedback is the reason Midnight Danger went from something I was doing just for fun to become the main project in my life today! It’s always a pleasure to talk, meet, have a beer with people whenever I play a show!
How were you approached by NewRetroWave?
We’ve been collaborating since 2015 when I submitted my very first song to the channel and it was uploaded there. This is amazing because I was following the channel for over 2 years back then and all of a sudden my track was there! I submitted the next singles and still in 2016 I was invited to join the lineup for Magnatron 2.0. After Magnatron 2.0 came out in 2017 I finally finished my debut album and it was just the natural thing to submit the album to NewRetroWave. NRW really liked the album and since everything was ready from my side, NRW found a spot for the release only one month later. After that we kept collaborating on other projects and I’m very happy that we extended this partnership to the new album!
How is the new album coming along?
Really well I would say! It was a long process but things got shape exactly the way I wanted and I couldn’t be happier with the result. There are so many new things surrounding this release compared to the previous, so it is really nice to finally be able to start revealing all of the surprises to the fans.
What can we expect from this new album that is different from the others?
“Chapter 2: Endless Nightmare” is a sequel in the universe of Malignant Force, and as most sequels it is much more intense. Of course I’m talking about movies, but that’s exactly the concept! Each album works as a chapter in the main story; story that started with Malignant Force. During these 2 years since the first album came out, I realized what the fans like the most on the music and on the live performances. So for the new album I just focused more on those details and created deeper atmospheres and moods. I didn’t change my style, I didn’t try to create a new subgenre, I will deliver exactly what the fans like about Midnight Danger, but greater, more elaborated and more intense. I’ve also improved a lot since the first album in terms of music production, so I can say I managed to bring the quality to a new level.
Has this pandemic made you solely focused on music? How much music have you recorded during this time?
Yes! Somehow. It was actually being hard for me to take a break and focusing on the album. 2019 was quite busy with live performances, I made a lot of upgrades on my setup over the year and had to build a lot of things and learn others. For example, I finished 2018 using 2 small strobes and a LED strip on my shows. I ended 2019 with about 20 fixtures, fog machines, a cemetery fence, a grave, a mechanical doll and many more props. I needed to organize everything, I built the fence, the grave, painted everything, learned and programmed all of the light fixtures and fog machines to sync with the music.
I wasn’t really finding time to focus on the new album. Before the pandemic I was actually kind of finishing the new album in a hurry on a break between December 2019 and March 2020 to go on tour in April. Well, the tour never happened and me and NRW agreed that would be better to postpone the release. So it turns out that since March I’m 100% inside the Midnight Danger world, specifically on the new album and everything else surrounding it. I worked much better on many details of each song, I was able to improve the mixing and mastering, I could give more attention to the music video production and to create other things like the album trailer, artworks etc. Sadly this break happened because of a pandemic though.
« I built the fence, the grave, painted everything, learned and programmed all of the light fixtures and fog machines to sync with the music »
Following the announcement of your album, what is next for Midnight Danger?
I want to develop the universe of Malignant Force much more, so I’m in negotiations to make comics of the stories of the albums. The idea is still in the early stages but it is something I really want to make happen. I want to deliver the story in the form of a sick 80s horror comics, the albums will feel even more like soundtracks. And of course, I wanna play live shows to promote the new album, as soon as gigs are allowed again! Now Midnight Danger has a live drummer, Mr. Scary Dee! I so look forward to finally be able to hit the stage and give this new experience to the audience!