If you’re a jamtronica fan and have yet to hear about Teddy Midnight, you might just live under a rock. Taking the Northeast jam scene by storm with their unique electronic dance jam flavor, Teddy Midnight is the band to see. Popping up on summer festival lineups like Resonance Music & Arts Festival and Twiddle’s Tumble Down, DO NOT miss your chance to catch their dance grooves this summer. Regularly pushing the boundaries with segues and live improv, the Brooklyn band has the potential to be the next big thing. Many Twiddle fans may also recognize guitar player Wiley Griffin (check out our previous interview with Wiley here) from his many sit in’s with Twiddle and their mind-blowing Tumble Down pre-party last year in Burlington, VT.
A major contributing factor to Teddy’s unique sound is their significant house and techno influence, which certainly shines when you find yourself dancing to their music. This particularly influenced their latest project, Tedward Midi Volume 1. Tedward Midi is an almost entirely electronic mix of four new tracks that would make even the most uptight square get down and dirty. Despite being mostly electronic, the distinct Teddy Midnight sound still stands out. The brainchild of bassist Sean Silva, these tracks are not to be missed. You can check out the entire project on the band’s SoundCloud.
With this feature, we have something special to share with you. Enjoy this Sound Fix exclusive video of a few Tedward Midi tracks being taken out for a spin with the full band for the first time.
I was lucky enough to chat with the band about this new mix, along with some other things.
Sound Fix: Hey guys, so first off I just want to say, the new mix is killer. I love the grooves and I’m very impressed you were able to go electronic but still maintain the Teddy sound. So first I’d like to ask, what inspired you to make an electronic mix like Tedward Midi? Is that the direction you see Teddy Midnight heading towards?
Adam Magnan (drums): We’ve been working on electronic music production for years now and it seemed like the next logical step to put out an EP featuring tracks that were completely production-based. It also comes from our desire to be more in the club scene than other livetronica/jamtronica bands.
Sean Silva (bass/synths): Most of those songs were just written as solo songs to DJ. The more we got into the production of them we realized they did sound like Teddy songs, and that full-band versions of these tracks would be a great way to expand our repertoire with material that is a bit different than what other jam bands do.
Wiley Griffin (guitar): There’s always been a dichotomy between the live band and electronic music when it comes to making a record. I think this is truly a big step for us because these tunes will bang at Output, but as we saw at BRYAC, the live versions take on a whole other dynamic.
SF: How did the songwriting and recording process for these differ from the regular Teddy projects? As Sean said, they were written as solo songs to DJ – were they recorded that way as well? And going off that, how was the instrumentation executed? Was it a challenge for Wiley to put down the guitar and engage different aspects of the music?
Sean Silva: With the last Teddy album, Velvet Blue, certain songs may have started as electronic tracks, but they were fleshed out as a band before we recorded them. With Tedward Midi Volume 1, the songs were written all on a computer by one or two individuals from the band. Once we had more or less concrete versions we added some live elements to bring more of the live band vibe.
Wiley Griffin: For the guitar on this record versus the other, we consciously made the decision to leave it up to the original producer to decide what goes where. In this case, all of these tracks are Silva’s brainchild. So for me I approached this with a way more relaxed perspective than I did with Velvet Blue – asking where the guitar should go during a demo recording session then recording some other final takes on my own time at the rehearsal studio. From there Adam and Silva did a great job arranging and mixing them.
SF: Big ups to Silva for that. Where can we expect this Tedward Midi project to head? Are you guys planning on incorporating it fully into Teddy sets? Are solo DJ sets a possibility?
Sean Silva: There have actually already been some decent sized Teddy Midnight DJ sets. We’ve done Brooklyn Bowl late night, BangOn!NYC, Sky City Lounge, and sets all over NYC and Brooklyn including The Delancey, Libation, Cameo Gallery, and Coco 66, amongst others. We really love house and techno and are very into that scene. We regularly go to DJ sets and try to see DJs from all over the world.
Wiley Griffin: This is just Volume 1 of the mixtape, we all have experience being both producers and studio musicians. Our fans can expect to see a wide array of styles and production from each member of the band featured on upcoming tapes.
SF: How has taking these tracks into the live band setting felt for you guys?
Sean McAuley (keys/synths): Playing a couple of these tunes live this past weekend was kind of surreal because we’re articulating those house stylings and adding more movement to the art form. That shit was fun!
SF: You guys seem pretty busy this summer, what are you all looking forward to the most? Any specific goals or plans?
Sean Silva: I’m really looking forward to Resonance. Were doing a special set combining Daft Punk, The Chemical Brothers and deadmau5 songs. Any festival featuring Amon Tobin is huge for us!
SF: What have you guys been listening to lately while producing the new mix?
Sean Silva: Mostly producers like Eats Everything, Claude VonStroke, Green Velvet, Louie Vega, and a ton of 90’s house music. A healthy dose of STS9 and some other disco vibes as well. After producing all of these house tracks I might have to take a month and only listen to Dr. Dre.
Wiley Griffin: For me a lot of Phish, Pat Martino, Miles Davis, Zeppelin, Bootsy Collins. Oh and Lil’ Boosie.
Sean McAuley: I generally listen to Lotus and Ozric Tentacles a lot, and some of the trance-y lead synth stylings I enjoy get repurposed into house songs like “Mailman” off the mixtape. I personally had a lot of fun with that one.
SF: Thanks so much guys! Can’t wait for more Teddy!