Midnite Club is a band that has been around for a while. CIRCUS OF LIFE is the bands second album and it follows up their debut disc from 2003. Lead singer Carsten “Lizard” Schulz sat down to talk about the brand new album and the past, present and future of the band.
Interviewed by: Anders Sandvall
Thanks to Oliver Häusler at Artistworkxx for setting up the interview
Thanks to Artistworkxx for the promo pictures of the band
Let’s start out by talking about your brand new album, CIRCUS OF LIFE, which was recently released. It took quite a while to release it; your previous CD hit the shelves in 2003. Why did it take so long in between the releases?
Basically, because after the release of the debut “Running Out Of Lies” we had to deal with a lot of business shit. Neither our record company, nor our management back then seemed to like the album. We ended up being terribly frustrated and decided to have the whole album on hold for quite some time.
How long did it take you to record CIRCUS OF LIFE? And in which studio did you record it?
As we more or less re-recorded most of the instrumental parts from the 2004 original recordings, I’d say, about half a year. We recorded in Steffen’s own Seegewerk Studio in Mannheim/Germany.
What are the lyrics about? And who write the main material?
The lyrics, I wrote for this album mainly deals with personal issues, phases and states, I had to go through. Except for the cover tune and the two songs, I wrote with my Evidence One buddy Robby Boebel, all tracks were written by Steffen Seeger and me.
Did you have lots of left over songs that didn’t make it onto the album?
There’s in fact one song left, which was supposed to be our Japanese bonus, but we simply didn’t get a deal in Asia, so, that one’s left.
Midnite Club member Steffen Seeger has produced and mixed the album, how was it to work with him as producer?
Wonderful. You know, I record almost all of my vocal jobs, no matter for which band or project, at his studio, so we have worked together pretty closely for years. He’s a wonderfully calm and straight to the point person.
What is his strongest feature as producer?
I think, Steffen hears a song, before it’s been produced and mixed, he knows perfectly well, what a song needs and how it should sound like, and that’s fantastic for a producer. Also, he’s a fantastic musician, which helps a lot.
Were any other of the members involved in the mixing procedure or did Seeger do all of the work?
Nope, it all was his work!
You have done a cover of the Kenny Loggins song “Danger Zone”, why did you do a cover of that song? Is it a favorite song for you?
After the debut, where we did “Wild Boys” by Duran Duran, we kind of liked the idea of doing another 80s pop track, and after “Top Gun” was running on TV one more time, I was absolutely sure, we had to do this!
On your debut album you did a cover of “Wild Boys” by Duran Duran. Will you continue to do cover songs?
I think so, we’ve already been talking about the next album, and most likely, we’re gonna do another 80s track, but I won’t tell you, which one ha ha!!
What does the title CIRCUS OF LIFE mean? Does it have any special meaning for the members of the band?
As I said, the last couple of years we had to deal with a lot of trouble, had to face, well, business life in all its shitty details, so the album title someone reflects on these experiences. On the other hand, it’s something pretty personal, as my life did take a couple strange turns within the last few years.
Who has done the cover art-work? Do you thin it reflects the music on the disc?
…the always amazing Thomas Ewerhard, who also did the last two Evidence One covers, did work for Edguy, Masterplan and numerous other fantastic bands. He’s a genius in my opinion! The cover fits perfectly mainly to the title track and album title.
Do you have any personal favorite song on the album?
Depends on which mood, I’m in, but I’d say “Circus”, “Promises Remain” and “Crying In A Dream”.
Your debut album was released by Escape Music, why did you choose to end the co-operation with them?
Simple question, because Escape didn’t like the material on “Circus Of Life”.
For how long were you without a record deal?
Well, for about three years all in all, I guess.
How did you got in touch with Artist Service/Music Buy Mail? Did they contact you? And are you happy with your current label?
Through our Evidence One booking agent und tour manager Mike Langer, he considered Artist Service. So I contacted Sebastian Eder, which I’ve known from his work for MTM. What they had to offer was surprisingly fair, so we thought; we should be giving them a try. Also, Artist Worxx does a great promotion for us; all is fine on our side!
What’s the main difference between your old label and your new one when it comes to making PR and so on?
To be quite honest, working with Artist Service right now is way more artist focused, with Escape we received all sorts of strange advices, which didn’t to anything. Also, I have to say, I’ve been doing more interviews now with Artist Service than with Escape before…
For how many albums are you signed for at Music Buy Mail?
Only this one.
Are there any other labels that release your album outside Europe?
Yes, the album’s out in the US Metal Mayhem Records, which got we got into contact with, with the help of my Eden’s Curse buddies Paul Logue and Mike Eden.
Is CIRCUS OF LIFE released world wide?
It’s been released in Europe and North America.
What kind of response did you get when your debut album was released? What did the media think of it?
Fantastic response! People seemed to pretty surprised by the debut, all was fine and funny, but the record company didn’t seem to be into the band at all, nevertheless.
Who is the original founder of the band?
Where does the name Midnite Club come from?
From an Evidence One track, which we didn’t use for E1, but ended up on the first Midnite Club record.
Is it possible to purchase your debut disc today or is it unavailable in stores?
It’s still available throughout mail-order, and you can find it some stores every once in a while. By the way, it will be re-released in the US later this year with three demo bonus tracks.
Do you think you have developed music-wise through the years? If so in what way?
Well, the debut was a compilation of several different ideas and styles, I’d say, we’ve finally found our own style, which was pretty important.
Did you do a lot of touring on the debut album?
No, we don’t do shows with Midnite Club.
What did you during the period when Midnite Club wasn’t active?
Me personally, I released about a dozen albums and toured extensively.
Are the members in the band involved in other acts besides Midnite Club?
Sure, eg. Seegi is member of German Thrash Metal act Evolution, me I do lots of stuff, you might have heard of Evidence One; Bernd Herrmann is drummer for German pop superstars Soehne Mannheims…
I know that part of the members are involved in RWC, which is a Robbie Williams cover band, what can you tell us about that band?
Seegi is guitar player for the tribute band. It’s just a job, which is fun for him to do.
Do you see any problems with the members being involved in other acts besides Midnite Club?
Not at all, we got lots and lots of time.
Personally I think that your new album is a feast of melodic hardrock with lots of energy and that it all sounds really great. How would you like to describe what kind of music you play?
Right exactly, what you wrote! Thanx very much, by the way.
What do your fans think of your new album?
As far as I know, they didn’t expect something so strong, as we’ve been away for quite some time – they really seem to be into it.
Do you know if you’re gonna tour on CIRCUS OF LIFE?
No, like I said, it’s a studio band, which doesn’t do any live shows.
Do you think that we are gonna have to wait a long time for the next album?
Well, I hope not another five years this time. In fact, we plan to start writing by the end of the year, so I hope we could finish recording in fall next year. On the other hand, we’re not in a hurry.
Well, that’s all for me. Thank you for bringing a great album my way and I wish you all the luck in the future.
Thanx very much! I really appreciate your words! They help a lot.
Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions; do you have any words of wisdom for the readers and fans?
Don’t believe the critics, decide by yourselves!