Last month, I had the great opportunity to interview David Newell aka Midnight Mystery Club to get the inside scoop 😉 Make sure to go check out his new single that was just released TODAY! You can find his single “Calling Me” anywhere! And let me just tell you… this song is everything. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album.
New album releasing in 2017!!
When and how did Midnight Mystery Club form?
I started in 2015 — I got signed at the end of 2014 out of Spain. I started by writing house music for the Shapeshifters and Michael Gray. House music isn’t really my world but someone from Shapeshifters really liked by music. So, I did that for a while but it wasn’t really what I wanted to do. I’m more into band and electronic music. It became the thing I wanted to do. The first song released was “Keep a Beat” — I recorded the song out of my bedroom and it was produced out of England. The rest of the new album was worked on in England and some of it was work on with Michael Gray outside his house in London.
What’s the story behind the name?
A small town from San Fransisco did this Midnight Mystery Ride. Two hundred plus bicyclists would meet up at midnight and right throughout the city. And they always biked out of a different location. I mentioned Midnight Mystery Ride to Simon from Shapeshifters and he thought I said Midnight Mystery Club — Simon liked club better, so it stuck.
How would you describe your music to people who haven’t heard it yet?
I like to think of it as half past and half futuristic. Empire of the Sun, M83, Phoenix have inspired me. I remember a lot of music my parents listened to, like 70’s and 80’s bands. I was fascinated by these bands. That sound, that really cool, energy, dance music has disappeared — modern dance music doesn’t sound like that anymore; it’s a different energy. There’s too much of modern and not enough of that feel good music. To me that’s always been my favorite type of music, the type of music that I put on in the car and just listen to it over and over again.
Who would be your top 70’s and 80’s band?
Earth Wind and Fire — they are just so good. Funky, upbeat, has a little bit of everything.
Hard not to put Michael Jackson in there.
Holl and Oats – Tears for Fears.
I’m always trying to find new stuff from that era — Prince, he just has so much music he’s put out… I’m still discovering his music.
Who is your biggest influence?
Of all time, it would have to be The Beetles. Music starts with the songs, production, sound, energy, and the instruments. The Beetles, their songs on paper with notes, it’s unbelievable how many great songs they wrote. All time greatest influence.
Another one would be Tom Petty – so many people have done cover songs of Tom Petty and the songs are still good.
There’s also Empire of the Sun — their production is unbelievable.
They each offer a different inspiration to me.
What is your creative process like?
“Calling me” was the first song we wrote. It was done in Michael’s studio — his studio is 20 minutes outside London. We got along so well, we pretty much wrote the chorus and recorded the vocals in one day. When I got back to the states, I followed up with him.
Usually when I write, it’s with chords. I sit down at the piano or guitar and something connects with me on an emotional level. I’m the best at the guitar so I don’t really have to think about what I’m playing, which allows me to focus more on what I’m feeling and then the lyrics come to me. Then, I start to put the track down with beats. During that process, I tend to go back and forth to the guitar to look back on the structure. It’s still an evolving process. But, you can’t rely on the same creative process — you have to evolve so I try to write in different perspectives.
What’s the story in creating you new single “Calling me”?
The song has a lot of different meanings — the lyrics were just more what I was feeling. I just came back from Spain and everything just came out naturally. I didn’t really give it pre-thought; it was kind of rare. There’s a lot of spirituality behind the song, too. I just felt lyrically, I was trying to capture what I was feeling spiritually. It was God’s calling — not totally confident but you just have to have faith in what you are being called to do.
What are some hardships that you’ve run into throughout your musical career?
Where to begin… that’s a long story. I’ll give you the cliff notes version. In 2012, I worked in Nashville in the music industry and was a trying to write my own music. I was an engineer for Taylor Swift and got to make really cool relationships. In ways it was really cool but it was also discouraging. Many people will say they really like your stuff and they want to work with you but there was never a phone call. Before I moved there, I didn’t know if my stuff was good enough. Being around people who have the privilege to live their dream, it’s weird to be right there in front of them while they perform in front of thousands of people; it felt distant. I think every artists deals with that, the closer you get to your dreams, the closer you get to those who are living their dream.
What has been the most memorable experience for you in your musical career?
Easily being able to work with Michael Gray — he’s had so many hit songs, Grammy nominations. The way we hit it off felt like we were just hanging out as friends. A close second would be when I wrote a song for the Shapeshifters. They performed it in front of 12,000 people — that was a highlight. But I don’t know, there’s something unique about finding someone you get to work with.
There was also a time when I saw Empire of the Sun. I was at a festival with a friend and we managed to get to the front row and the lead singer (Luke) came down to the front row and saw me. I don’t know why he noticed me, but he pulled me up and let me sing one of his songs. I don’t why he grabbed my hand and let me sing but that was a surreal moment. Then, three weeks later, these opportunities to write for people just started coming.
Do you have any other projects you are currently working on?
I’ve been more focused at putting a band together so we can tour and play the songs from the new album. Possibly do some festivals.