The combination of the words “Midnight” and “Spin” to form a band name has a colorful collection of backstories ranging from a late night game of Russian roulette to vocalist Mike Corbett’s starring role as a timely spinning circus carnie. I’m inclined to believe either all or none, but either way I’m damn glad these dudes came together.
Over a fancy meal at NYC’s Vapiano, bassist Ben Waters (only one “t”, duh) and drummer, Danny Scull, took me on a little spin of their own into the life of a band who has progressed from dedicated insanity in a basement to Rolling Stone’s download of the day. Pretty fucking amazing growth if you ask me. Even if you don’t ask, it’s still a scientific fact.
It all began (cue Wayne’s World fingers) with a blossoming grade school friendship between young Corbett and Scull. The two started playing together at the ripe age of 11 and have been doing so ever since. Following a post-high school decision to seriously pursue music, Scull and Corbett relocated from D.C. to our fair city, and here they have remained. Thankfully they’ve moved on up from their residency in a Williamsburg basement that also served as their studio space. The guys still utilize the space and lend it out as well, but according to Waters, once Scull returned to find a time-clueless Corbett shaving his head, calling the studio home was no longer an option.
The original Midnight Spin consisted of Waters, Scull, Corbett and guitarist, Jim Terranova, but after persistent requests and a vehicle purchase, the guys welcomed keyboardist, Jeremy Cohen and now reign supreme as a five piece band residing in the best city in the world. As with many explanations behind Midnight Spin developments, the story of the keys addition deserves a bit more detail.
“His ticket into the band,” Scull begins, “He was living in Boston and had talked about moving here to be part of the band, and we knew he was really talented but weren’t really sure if we wanted a keyboardist. He was working a finance job and said, ‘How about this? I’ll buy the band a van.'”
The band still tours with this van, dubbed The Creep Machine (and sometimes Jaws). Said van has been through a lot of “good times” with Midnight Spin, including losing a mirror battle with a ConEd truck and having its own stint “down by the river” one month when Scull couldn’t quite make rent. I can’t take credit for that reference. It was all Waters.
Not only is Cohen an amazing addition to Midnight Spin, his generous contribution has housed the band throughout what is admittedly one of their favorite parts of their music careers: touring. This year marks the band’s first country-wide tour, and they express nothing less than sheer enjoyment at the experience.
“We had so much fun,” Waters says. “We got to go so many new places and meet new people.”
As if their first US tour wasn’t exciting enough, the guys also debuted at SXSW this year with a mere six shows including two doubleheaders. Their extensive performance schedule at the festival was quite easily one of the most impressive parts of our afternoon chat and one of the most entertaining, as Scull noted that the band stayed with his cousin, who has children. At one point, Scull says he woke to find a baby crawling on Cohen’s head, and the next day seemed to be Star Wars Monopoly day with the grandparents while a rock band slept off a late night performance in the living room. It’s almost too amusing to be true.
On top of the fans Midnight Spin created in Texas, they have a strong following in our lovely hometown as well, which was apparent at their June 1 Gramercy Theater show. Though the guys were one of the opening acts for a more well-known band, the audience noticeably multiplied before Midnight Spin took the stage, and the band did not disappoint. It’s not surprising that their fan base is building.
In addition to touring, writing and booking, the guys are also dipping their toes in the world of music videos. After making their first video with the help of a friend’s MTV crew, Midnight Spin made their very own video starring the smashing of three separate TVs as well as a plethora of fruits in Times Square. They’re currently working on their third music video (shh, it’s a secret!) in which they hope to combine both direction and production styles to create a sort of hybrid result. Someone is looking forward to that outcome (it’s me…).
With their videos, SXSW appearances and countrywide tour, Midnight Spin has made amazing strides during the year 2013, and they’re only poised to make bigger ones in the coming months and year. Sometimes when you hear a band, it’s immediately obvious that they were meant for success, and Midnight Spin is one of those bands. My suggestion? Get on board or get left behind.
Originally published July 23, 2013 on NewYorkSocialStatus.com