Today’s the day! Disc Jam has officially kicked off, and I’m more than excited to experience the festival for my first time. For the fourth and final installment of Sound Fix’s “Road to Disc Jam” interview series, I had the chance to catch up with Wiley Griffin, lead guitarist of Teddy Midnight. Teddy Midnight performs on Friday morning at 11:30 AM on the Grass Roots California Stage as one of the first bands performing on the first full day of music. In case you missed the previous “Road to Disc Jam” interview, you can catch up on all three at these links: Dopapod, TAUK, & Space Bacon. Masha Nova once again produced the awesome painting of Wiley for this interview, and we just built out an “Art” section, found above, where you can view all of her work.
As stated in the “Beyond” section of this interview’s title, in this interview we also focused on a special music event on June 25th at the Hall at MP. Teddy Midnight and Space Bacon, both in this series, are two up-and-coming jam bands from Brooklyn who have worked together alongside Brooklyn’s Cousin Earth and Chromatropic to pioneer a blossoming Jam Scene in Brooklyn. On June 25th at Brooklyn’s Hall at MP, Teddy Midnight and Space Bacon are performing together as Midnight Bacon to bring the “Brooklyn Jam Syndicate” full circle with a concert to celebrate the Brooklyn jam scene. Get information about Disc Jam passes here, and cop your tickets for Midnight Bacon here. Stay tuned for a special ticket giveaway for The Hall at MP, and we hope to see you this weekend at Gardner’s Farm!
Sound Fix: Hey Wiley – thanks for taking some time here. To start things off, what’re you up to this week?
Wiley Griffin: I have a busy weekend with Teddy Midnight and Horizon Wireless Live Band performing at Disc Jam in Stephentown, New York! Teddy Midnight is playing this Friday from 11:30- 12:30 during the day on the Grass Roots stage. Horizon Wireless Live Band with be on the Tent stage Sunday 12:30-1:30 come check us out!
SF: So part of the reason for this interview is to provide some coverage for your collaborative performance with Space Bacon at the Hall at MP on June 25th. We interviewed Space Bacon last week, and are looking forward to both of your sets this weekend at Disc Jam. It seems Space Bacon and Teddy Midnight like to share concert and festival bills together. How did your band form its relationship with Space Bacon?
WG: It’s kind of a weird story… I was playing a show this one time and a scraggly crack head lwhite boy came up to me and said he played guitar, said his name was Jack. Directly after, this kid named Chris tried to sell me some cheeseburgers for $6 so he can buy a new Keyboard. I started talking to them and they kept referencing the movie American Beauty and talking about how they had a band. A week later I woke up in a cardboard box they called a “spaceship” listen to the disco biscuits eating “space bacon”… it was really weird. Their band sucks by the way. I kind of felt bad for them so I helped them get a show or two. Their whole crew is a little off… Especially this jack-off named Freddy who serves no definable purpose in life, whatsoever. I mean he follows them everywhere. He keeps claiming he’s their sound guy, but I’m not really sure the kid can tie his shoes correctly.
SF: So Chromatropic, Teddy Midnight, Space Bacon and Cousin Earth share the same home base, that being Brooklyn, New York. Tell us about the Brooklyn Jam Scene, or the “Brooklyn Jam Syndicate.”
WG: Yeah the Brooklyn Jam Syndicate! That’s the term that is Teddy Midnight, Space Bacon, Cousin Earth, and Chromatropic. It’s a bunch of bands who happen to be based out of Brooklyn, and all happen to be in pretty great acts. We’re also friends too, you know?
SF: Would you say there’s a unique sound that your group has formed as a result of playing together and hanging out together so frequently?
WF: I would say we all have different flavors that are unique to each band. It’s kind of like an ice cream shop, sometimes you want to mix and match, and we’re able to do that! With the Midnight Bacon show coming up, we’re discussing some cool collaborations to put together to make it special for the fans of both bands. I would say, though, that the common bond that binds us, is that we’re all really quality acts, in the sense that we’re all striving and pushing for professionalism, because we’re all really passionate about what we’re doing.
SF: Speaking of the Brooklyn Jam Syndicate, each band you mentioned except for Cousin Earth is attending this weekend’s Disc Jam. Tell us about your past experiences with Disc Jam and what’s in store for this coming weekend.
WG: Well around this time last year I also did a short run with FiKus- called FiKus and Friends. We were doing sound check somewhere, and Tony Scavone hits me up on Facebook and goes, “Should you be part of Disc Jam this year?” And I laughed and responded “Duh? Hell yeah!” A month or so went by, and when the time came to play the set, the new band I was putting together fell apart. Anyway last minute I invited Adam and Sean of Teddy Midnight along with Eliot Kushner and Scott Haney of Mister F to play Wiley Griffin and Friends set. It went pretty great and was a real foray of what was to come. Other than that at Disc Jam you can expect amazing music, people, and friends all in one concentrated area. It was a blast last year, and I’m truly excited to be back again this year as a full time member of Teddy Midnight!
SF: Are you going to be there the whole weekend?
WG: Well you know, Disc Jam is one of those festivals where us as the artists want to be at all weekend, so we’re probably gonna play our set, and then just hang out and enjoy the festival and listen to some artists that we’ve been meaning to see. That’s one of the hardest parts of touring and playing shows every weekend. You miss so many concerts you want check out!
SF: You mentioned to me a few weeks ago that you’re really into electronic music. Did you see that Space Jesus is playing a set this weekend at Disc Jam as well?
WG: O yeah! I know Jasha. In fact Teddy and Space Jesus have a track in the back burner. One of these days it’ll get unleashed.
SF: That would be a fun live collaboration at Disc Jam!
WF: Yeah man, he’s great. The work he’s done with the Schlang and Supersilliyus Live Band is really great stuff. Space Jesus is definitely one of the funner sets going on this year at Disc Jam.
SF: Moving beyond Disc Jam to the Hall at MP, we’re also excited to see you and Space Bacon pack that venue. It’s a pretty new spot, have you had the chance to perform there or go to any shows? It just opened up last summer.
WG: I haven’t actually gotten a chance to go to the Hall at MP, but I’ve heard really great things. I was going to go to the Prince tribute there, but then we booked a private party.
SF: Yeah I love that spot. It’s owned by a chef, so there are tons of greats beers on tap at the bar, and the sound system kicks ass. I actually attended the Fu and Phriends Bernie Sanders rally the night before the New York primaries where Jon Fishman, Jason Hann, Natalie Cressman, Oteil Burbridge and DJ Logic joined Kung Fu. We had such a fun time.
WG: Man that show looked and sounded like a lot of fun. I watched the stream for a bit at the crib. Playing the hall at MP is a big step for us as a band. I’m really looking forward to that show. We really are gonna pack the place!
SF: It’s a fitting setting for what could be seen as a celebration of Brooklyn Jam Music, seeing the Hall’s right in the heart of Williamsburg.
WG: Yeah, exactly!
SF: When I was there, to help you visualize the place, the ceiling were relatively low for a music venue, so the acoustics were great and the sound was so loud. There’s a lot of space to dance as well, but it’s intimate at the same time.
WG: Nice! I really like a good venue where the music’s pumping and you can really feel it. I know we’re talking about doing some VIP packages for that show.
SF: Cool, what would that entail?
WG: I think you get a booth yourself and 4 or 5 other friends, some merch giveaways from both bands.
SF: We’re also doing a ticket giveaway with CEG, who’s throwing the concert. So for anyone’s who’s reading this, stay tuned for details on a chance to win two free tickets to Midnight Bacon on the 25th. In terms of merch too, any new stuff coming out this summer?
WG: We’ll see- whoever wins will get showered in gifts!
WF: We just talked about a lot of things looking forward for you and Teddy Midnight. To flip the perspective here looking backward, since September what’s been your most memorable performance or moment with Teddy Midnight?
WG: Oh man. **laughs** Which one to pick? Well, it would have to be a tie between opening up for Twiddle and opening up for Pigeons.
SF: Cool, I was at both of those!
WG: **laughs** I’d say those two shows had the biggest impact as far as mile markers for where we’re going as a band. I had friends who hadn’t really seen us since September see us again at Twiddle, and they were telling us that we were getting on another level. When we were at Pigeons, we had some new fans show up and say they had saw us at Twiddle and came for the show at the Gramercy. But serioulsy, every show we do at this point feels better and better. So it’s a never ending thing.
SF: Last time we did an interview, you guys provided a bunch of information on the new upcoming studio album. Curious if you have more updates on the new record?
WG: We finished shooting the music video for “Turkish Silva,” which is turning out great. We also decided who is going to mix the record. A really talented guy by the name of John Jagos. His group BrotherTiger from Brooklyn puts out some amazing music. He just got off tour with Dale Erenhart Jr. Jr. … Other than that the album will be out… soon.
SF: Cool man. I like to finish off interviews with an open forum. Anything else you’d like to share that we didn’t cover here?
WG: Go see live music! Brooklyn Jam Syndicate! And come to the Hall at MP on June 25th, tickets are online. Get them ASAP!
Art by Masha Supernova, photo reference taken by Jake Sojcher