INTERVIEW: The Post Urban Country Charm of Midland

With the stage calling, Midland’s excitement to reconnect with fans Down Under is getting real.

With their Texan County and traditional country flair, Midland have captivated Aussie crowds. Their vintage 70s country vibes, woven into songs of lost love, open desert roads, electric rodeos, and the woes of drinkin’, create an irresistible blend. What’s not to love?

Midland’s “THE LAST RESORT: GREETINGS FROM” album, released in May 2022, marked a milestone in their journey. Crafting their pandemic-born sound, a blend of progressive Country, “Urban Cowboy,” and Dwight Yoakam’s post-traditionalism, the trio delved deep into creativity.

midland tour 2023

Alongside the treat that is hearing this charismatic trio live, our very own country star Travis Collins, a regular headliner and Golden Guitar Award winner joins  is set to join their tour across Australia, ensuring for a post-urban cowboy country charm collision.

From pre-tour rituals to camaraderie, Carson discuss balancing relevance and classic roots. Midland’s commitment to evolution shines, seen in their constant growth.

We chat to Midland lead guitarist Jess Carson (guitar, vocals), and it turns out we have a few things in common, okay, mainly its coffee, but hey, its a bond that unites us all. 

Happy: What are you up to today?

Midland: Today we are traveling to Calgary in Canada to play a big music festival called Country Thunder.

Happy: Tell us about where you are from? What’s the scene like in your neck of the woods?

Midland: I’m from a small town in Oregon called Sheridan. I just went back there recently and it hasn’t changed much. About 3000 people live there, most people work in agriculture in some form or another. My family farmed strawberries, flower seed, and Christmas trees.

Happy:  As you gear up for a rescheduled Australian tour. How has the anticipation and time away fueled your creative energy for this upcoming musical journey?

Midland: Each year that passes, our show gets better. We dial in more things so we’re excited to finally get back in front of Australian audiences and connect with them. 

Happy: Touring can be both exciting and challenging. What are you most looking forward to on this upcoming tour, and how do you prepare yourselves for the rigors of life on the road?

Midland: Being a touring musician is kind of like being an athlete. You have to take care of your body and mind. We put on a very physical show, combine that with the travel and rigors of the road and it can take a toll if you don’t maintain a relatively healthy lifestyle.

Happy: The pandemic has affected the music industry in significant ways. How did you spend your time during the pandemic, and did it influence the creative process for your most recent album, “THE LAST RESORT: GREETINGS FROM”? 

Midland: We had spent the seven or so years before Covid touring pretty nonstop. So when the pandemic hit we pretty much just hunkered down at home with our families. We did a lot of writing over zoom which is where most of the songs on the last album came from. We also did a couple podcasts from home as well as releasing our early demos from Sonic Ranch. 

Happy: Collaboration plays a crucial role in music. Can you share your experience of having Australia’s own country music superstar Travis Collins as a special guest on your tour?

Midland: It’ll be fun touring with an Australian artist. Hopefully he can give us some pointers on where the good bars are at!

Happy: Touring brings its own set of challenges and exhilarations. How do you manage to balance the demands of the road with the creative spirit required for your performances?

Midland: We always say we play the music for free. It’s the travel and time away from our families that we get paid for. But everything is worth it the moment we step onto that stage.

Happy: Touring involves spending a lot of time together as a band. How do you maintain a strong working relationship and camaraderie while being on the road for extended periods?

Midland: The three of us are like brothers. We try to foster and environment of positivity on the road. We are constantly trying to make each other laugh. Sense of humour is crucial for us.

Happy: Your music often evokes a sense of nostalgia for the golden age of country music. How do you balance paying homage to those classic sounds while ensuring your music remains relevant to modern audiences?

Midland: I think we are all inspired by classic country music but at the same time we’re always trying to do something new with it. It wouldn’t interest us in trying to simply replicate the sound of the past.  We feel you have to have a voice and an identity as an artist.

Happy: Who are your all time fav country singer songwriters?

Midland: Gary Stewart, Willie Nelson, Brooks and Dunn, Dwight Yoakam to name a few.

Happy: From your first album to your most recent release, how do you see your growth as a band creatively?

Midland: We’re just always trying to get better at what we do. Trying to build on the skills of songwriting, of playing our instruments and singing. We discover new music or old music we haven’t heard before, find new inspirations, and search for new stories to tell.

Happy: As you embark on the Australian tour, fans are eagerly waiting to experience your music live once again. What emotions are running through the band as you prepare to share your artistry with your devoted audience?

Midland: We’re just excited to get over there. 

Happy: Lastly, what makes you happy?

Midland: Coffee.

With tour dates coming in hard and fast Australia, if you haven’t got your tickets yet, you better jump on it, because they’ll be here in a hot minute!

Friday 25 August               Rockhampton      Great Western Hotel

Saturday 26 August          Brisbane                 Eatons Hill

Sunday 27 August            Gympie                  Gympie Muster

Tuesday 29 August           Tamworth              Town Hall *New Show

Wednesday 30 August    Canberra               UC Refectory

Friday 1 September          Melbourne            The Forum

Saturday 2 September    Newcastle             Bar On The Hill

Sunday 3 September       Sydney                   Enmore Theatre

Tickets here.