Middle Kids' sophomore album Today We’re The Greatest is out now! We chat to the band about their forthcoming tour, the album and more.
Image: Ellen Virgona
Aussie band Middle Kids made their grand return earlier this year with the release of their sophomore album, Today We’re The Greatest. Ushering in a new bold era of sound for the three-piece. Middle Kids will be embarking on an east-coast tour, presenting the album in a live format to their audience.
Kicking off tonight in Brisbane, the tour will continue on to Melbourne and wrap up with a hometown show at City Recital Hall in Sydney. The string of dates marks the trios first Australian headline tour in almost two years!
Made up of lead singer and songwriter Hannah Joy, multi-instrumentalist Tim Fitz and drummer Harry Day, the trio recorded their sophomore record in Los Angeles with producer Lars Stalfors (St.Vincent, Soccer Mommy, Purity Ring). Taking on a more conceptual form, Today We’re The Greatest is the trios most personal and courages release to date, an open and uninhibited body of work formed from fearless collaboration. The album follows up the bands 2018 debut album Lost Friends which saw them take the world by storm, touring with the likes of Bloc Party, War on Drugs and Cold War Kids.
Middle Kids' Today We're The Greatest Tour begins tonight in Brisbane! Tickets are on sale now. Read our interview with the band below.
Next month you’ll be hitting the road on your east coast tour! What can audiences expect from this particular run of shows?
They will be a lil different to normal MK shows, mainly because they are seated events. There’s just a different energy that comes from that physicality. But we like it! And it means we are being more creative and thoughtful about the way we perform our songs and engage with everyone.
The past twelve months have taken its toll on the music industry, specifically the touring sector, but also in terms of making that in person connection with audience members and creating a shared feeling and experience. How important do you think live music is not only for yourself as a musician showcasing their art, but also for the audience members who resonate with your music?
It’s a really big deal. There’s a sacred relationship that occurs with people and music especially in the live setting. I find that I get to know the songs in a much deeper way when we play them live. And same for the audience, you can enter into the songs and stories more. Doing that as a group of people is very uniting and we’ve really felt the absence of that.
After a year of socially distanced shows, how have you approached crafting a set and overall live experience that encapsulates the return of live music as we knew it?
I think after this year there is such a desire to just pour it all out in shows. Not being able to do it for so long, and even its existence being under threat entirely has made us feel especially grateful for the opportunity to play again. So there’s a lot of pent up energy that I think will be felt.
What lasting effects do you hope audience members walk away with after attending one of your performances?
Freedom. I think so much of our music and our hearts desire freedom. And as we seek that for ourselves in our own way, it allows people to find it in their way.
Could you share with us what has been your favourite concert you ever attended and why?
It was at the Lincoln Centre in New York seeing My Brightest Diamond who is one of my favourite artists of all time. I was totally transfixed the whole show. And the backdrop of the stage was just a big window that looked out over New York. AND sitting in the same row as me was Bjork.
Australia has a diverse and vibrant music scene, who are some of your favourite Aussie acts live?
TRUE so many greats. I love Julia Jacklin for her sweeping voice. I love Ball Park Music for the mass singalongs. I love Paul Kelly for his poetry. I love Haitus Kaiyote for their insane creativity.
The tour is in support of your sophomore album, Today We’re The Greatest, a record which offers a more vulnerable side that pulls from personal experience and explores breaking down the barriers we set for ourselves. What prompted you to explore the themes present on the record?
I just think that the more you make things, the deeper you dig and the deeper you dig the more vulnerable you are. Out of that vulnerability you can find a lot of beauty so it’s like mining for lil rubies and golden nuggets.
What new knowledge and experience are you bringing into the sessions working on the new record that differ from writing your debut?
I think a big thing is the growth we’ve had together as bandmates and friends. There’s a lot more trust and understanding of each other which then allows more flow of ideas. And there’s a lot more confidence too that comes out of a more sense of identity as a band.
When writing this collection of songs, was there any way you specifically approached crafting each track? Or did each song prompt its own creative process?
It was a pretty mixed bag but a common thread is that most of them were written initially just on either a guitar or a piano. For most of our songs, we make sure we know the soul of each song in its most bare boned form so then when you flesh it out you don’t lose the original spirit of the song.
Will we be seeing you undertake a national tour sometime this year?
We say yes but also as we’ve learned from 2020 our yes could end up being a no.
Radiohead, The National, Death Cab for Cutie
Album that has had the most impact on you?
How do you define your musical style in 3 words?
Verses & big chorus’
A release you are most looking forward to in 2021?
If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?
Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?
Harvest Moon by Neil Young
Last concert you went to?
Sandy Alex G
If you were a Spice Girl, what would your spice nickname be?
Guilty music pleasure?
No such thing
If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?
An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry.
What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now?
Don’t drink that beer
The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?
When my dad first played me Thus Spake Zarathustra by Strauss when I was 3