Interview: Savage After Midnight

Memphis, Tennessee rockers Savage After Midnight  released their debut EP ’11:59′ in April. Flying high after releasing stellar videos for the anthem “10 Feet Tall’ and emotional “Heartless Machine”, the band is gearing up to head back on the road this summer and fall. James “JT” Thomas (keyboards, vocals) was kind enough to answer our questions about the new EP, how to become successful, the creative storytelling in their videos, and upcoming tours. 

Alt Revolt: Congrats your fantastic new EP ‘11:59’!

JT (Savage After Midnight): Thank you! I appreciate it!

Alt Revolt: How has the reaction and feedback been since its release on April 11?

JT (Savage After Midnight): It has been a little crazy. This was the first thing we put something out under the name Savage After Midnight. The fact that we had the first song that we put out do what it has done is mind-blowing. I think none of us expected this.

Alt Revolt: Was it a conscious decision to release an EP versus a full-length album?

JT (Savage After Midnight): It started out as a pretty intense conversation with the band and label. The original idea was to put out a full-length record. We then discussed how we are now living in a singles market. The better idea was to do an initial EP (11:59) then do a really quick follow-up EP Titled (12:01). The follow-up will come out later this year or early 2020. We wanted to break up the record so it is more bite sized.

Alt Revolt: Do you think you would ever consider releasing a vinyl package that has (’11:59′) on side A, turn it over and (’12:01′) on side B?

JT (Savage After Midnight): That has not been in the discussion but I love that idea! That would be cool!

We are seeing the death of physical distribution. I was shocked when we went out with Shinedown the first time that we did not have any physical CD’s. I thought the point was to sell them at the shows. No. Everybody streams now. People consume music digitally. It is almost a novelty to have physical distribution.

We just announced a big tour with Shinedown, Papa Roach, and Asking Alexandrea. We are brining physical CD’s for that fall tour. Believe it or not there still is a demand. I just turned 30. What people are not getting anymore is that the physical CD, artwork, lyrics etc. were the ways people discovered new bands. This physical item would attribute the energy every time you grabbed it. Now the physical item is on the cell phone. It is so hard to identify to a physical item when it’s your Facebook too. It’s been a weird transition between the physical album world and the digital album world.

Alt Revolt: Where you as a band involved in the creative storytelling of your videos “10 Feet Tall” and “Heartless Machine”?

JT (Savage After Midnight): Yes. We are lucky enough to have a lot of talented people working on the video treatments. We actually used people all from Memphis. The first video for “10 Feet Tall” was Via Productions. The second video for “Heartless Machine” for done with Hot Key Studios. They both do a fantastic job with video production. John Falls (former manager) who was the lead singer for Egypt Central worked on both of those videos. The whole band has a lot of input on creative stuff. We are also lucky enough to work with Russell Howard. He has an animation company called Sketch Lab. He has worked for ESPN and is currently on retainer to do a lot of new artwork for us. We are going to release a comic book with him and his custom animations will be included in our videos.

Alt Revolt: What would you consider the strength of your band?

JT (Savage After Midnight): The strength of this band would be its songwriting. We have got writing as a band down to a science. Our live show it what we are trying to work on getting better at. The performance is starting to glue together. We have been working really hard on it and getting a lot of complements on the show itself. It is definitely one of our stronger points.

Alt Revolt: I will encourage everyone to catch your live show. What touring plans do you have lined up?

JT (Savage After Midnight): We have a tour coming up with New Years Day and Diamante that starts on June 11 through July 19. We hit the US and a little bit of Canada on this tour. We have a couple of other things in the works but they are not ready to be announced. The dates in the fall are a big tour with Shinedown, Papa Roach, and Asking Alexandrea.

The New Years Day tour we are excited about. Ash Costello (lead vocalist) is such a killer chick. She is so talented. We can’t wait to tour with them. The Shinedown tour will be one of the biggest rock tours of the fall. We are out of our minds excited about that tour!

Alt Revolt: Do you gain important insight from the artists that you tour with?

JT (Savage After Midnight):  It is hard not to pick up on things from everyone. They all do things very differently. The shows are all very different. We are different people. Our influences who we became today and who we become tomorrow are influenced from the people we travel with.

Alt Revolt: What is a difficult thing your band has to navigate through to become successful?

JT (Savage After Midnight): I would say have access to a road map. When you are a new band it so hard to find management. Getting an agent is almost impossible without having the right management or a record label. It is very difficult to outsource your own team. As an independent band, there is no road map guiding you to where you want to go.

Alt Revolt: Do you interact with your fans on social media?

JT (Savage After Midnight): It is 2019. You have to be. We don’t believe in keeping the mystery behind the band. We are the actual people that will respond to them on social media.

Alt Revolt: Thanks for your time. Good luck with the upcoming tours and I hope to catch a date in my area soon.

Alt Revolt: Thanks for having me on!

Shi Eubanks– Vocals
Jeremiah Lipscomb– Guitars
James “JT” Thomas – Keyboards, Vocals
Landon Fox – Bass
Zack Pete – Drums

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