For those who haven’t heard, April is National Jazz Month, so we decided to pick a quality, premium Jazz group for you guys to check out. Midwest Hype is a 7-piece outfit hailing from all over Indiana/Chicago. The bands’ sound is rooted in reggae, jazz, and hip-hop, yet constantly expands in every direction, bringing together the vast influences of all seven members to create a sonic-ally unique blend that is the essence of true modern rock n’ roll. With an extremely high-energy live show that never fails to capture the electricity in the air, Midwest Hype is a free-wheeling, dance floor mayhem-inducing force to be reckoned with.
Binge Magazine: What makes your music so different than most popular bands in the music industry right now?
Midwest Hype: Midwest Hype has always had our roots in several styles. We don’t just listen one kind or music or try to write one kind of song. We like playing with a lot of different styles and, many times, try to combine them into one song. I think that keeps the music sounding fresh and makes the live show especially fun because you will hear a lot of different sounds, tempos, and vibes all in one show. This record especially has lots of different sounds that we hadn’t gotten to play with in the studio before such as heavy, long solos, and new live electronic sounds from keys and EWI. I don’t think there are a lot of albums out right now with the kind of range that we were able to squeeze into this album with only three days in the studio.
Binge Magazine: Who are the band’s music hero and why?
Midwest Hype: We have a lot of musical “heroes”, I guess. We were all big reggae fans so there has always been a strong influence there. Bands like Sublime were big early influences because they had a distinct sound that drew from lots of different styles. We are also huge hip-hop fans and love groups like A Tribe Called Quest, Dr. Dre, Deltron. And, anyone who knows us, or has been up late with us after a show, knows that we are huge Steely Dan fans as well. The common thread for all these “heroes” is that they create a unique sound that pulls from other genres. (Dr. Dre-Funk and hip-hop beats, Tribe-Jazz and hip-hop, Sublime-reggae, punk, and hip-hop, Steely Dan-Jazz and rock)
Binge Magazine: Where and how does the band find inspiration to create music?
Midwest Hype:Our lead singer, George, is constantly writing new music so we are lucky for that. He is always listening to new and old music thinking about how to incorporate new sounds into his writing, as well as seeing what is happening currently in the world, culture, politics, etc., to find inspiration for lyrics. Every time we get together to practice we dedicate time to work on new material and it helps keep everything fresh and fun for us.
Binge Magazine: The band’s new album “The Time” was just recently released, what can we expect in the near future or down the road?
Midwest Hype: Well, first we’d like everyone to make sure to hear the new album, “The Time”. (www.soundcloud.com/midwesthype) But, as I said, we are constantly writing new material so new music is always in the mix. We are looking forward to the summer and getting out in the festivals again and playing outdoors. We love doing outdoor events, which is kind of how we cut our teeth as a band. We have release parties coming up in a few cities and that will be our immediate focus to make sure that we can get this album heard by as many people as possible. We are really proud of the new record and can’t wait to hear what people think of it.
Binge Magazine: If you had to recommend one track on the album to our readers to listen to which one would it be? Why?
Midwest Hype:I know it seems like the easy answer, but the title track “The Time” is probably the one I would recommend. I think it does a great job of showcasing what Midwest Hype is all about as far as combining styles and being fun and danceable. It also gets stuck in your head easily. Enjoy!!
Check out their latest EP and/or purchase it here.