Omaha based glam rock band THE MIDNIGHT DEVILS has released the official music video “Pink Halo,” off of the band’s debut album, Something Bigger. Directed and produced by Aaron Gum, who also produced videos for Screaming for Silence, The Impulsive, Orenda Fink and “Pink Halo” features Omaha stand-up comedian Haley Raven.
Ignite had a chance to give a few questions to learn more about the band and what it they are all about.. and Sam Spade was nice enough to answer for us…
- Tell us a little bit about the band and how long you have been together for some of our readers that may not know about the band?
Sam Spade – The Midnight Devils are a national touring American glam slam boogie woogie rock n roll band out of Omaha, NE and Chicago, IL. Chris “Sniper” Hineline on the lead guitars and vocals, Jimmy Mess on drums, and I am the bass player and lead singer. We are a glitter-covered lipstick-smeared party rock n roll band that combines sleazy punk with guitar heavy groove drenched boogie woogie. The Midnight Devils are uniquely beautiful while still being filthy gutter slumming maniacs. We have been together since 2017 and released our debut album Something Bigger in 2018.
- What got you into music and what keeps you going night after night playing?
Sam Spade – I was introduced to the world of rock n roll when I was 13. I got into KISS at first and I found a place where I didn’t feel like and outcast. KISS turned me on to The New York Dolls, Alice Cooper, and T-Rex. From there I joined a touring punk rock band and was turned on to The Ramones, The Misfits, and The Clash. There was always huge doses of classic rock though too like AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, and Cheap Trick.
I love everything about playing live. I love the thrill of traveling and meeting new people. Hitting the open road with your best friends and throwing a wild ass rock n roll party in another town is very thrilling. The music itself gets my adrenaline pumping and then when the crowd joins in and the place starts jumping it makes all the hard work worth it. We are very blessed to have amazing fans that not only look good but come looking for a good time. We never disappoint because we are always looking for the same thing.
- So, what is new with the band?..New Album out? New Videos?
Sam Spade – We have just released our debut music video for the single Pink Halo from our debut album Something Bigger. We are also joining up with legendary UK sleaze rockers The Quireboys on the last leg of their US Tour. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40yEhjWfRsI
- If you didn’t become a musician, what would you be doing right now?
Sam Spade – Luckily I have the best job outside of being a musician and that is playing music for people to party too. I went to school to become a radio DJ. That unfortunately didn’t work out and I was quite upset by the corporate control the stations have in the USA. It isn’t about rock n roll radio, it’s more about target demographics and ad revenue. I went out on my own and now DJ at a few clubs in Omaha. The party just moved from the radio station to the club and I got the last laugh.
- What is the weirdest or funniest question you have ever been asked?
Sam Spade – I was just asked about Jaffa Cakes. In the Midwest USA we definitely don’t have anything like that so I was pretty clueless on how to answer. They are an English delicacy.
- If you can have your fans remember you for one thing, what would that be?
Sam Spade – I want to be remembered for doing everything in my power to achieve my goals for this band. I want to leave no stone unturned and I want to do it while wearing white makeup and pink lipstick. I also want to be remembered for writing some very catch songs. This is just our first record so I know there is a lot left in the tank and we are always growing as songwriters. I also want them to remember The Midnight Devils as a band that set out to do something uniquely different while everyone else was playing it safe. We are a glam band and proud as hell of the fact that we have three rodeo clowns prancing around on stage every night. People want a show and want action and we are throwing out both of those by the handful.
- On a scale of one to 2593, How good is your new single compared to your last single? (my attempt at humor, but please still answer)
Sam Spade – Personally I love this sing because of the lyrical content. The songs is a culmination of everything that is great about rock n roll. It’s ass shakin’ boogie woogie mixed with male and female sexuality. The song and now the music video makes people smile and that’s exactly what we want to happen.
- What do you feel is the best song your have release to date and why?
Sam Spade – My favorite song from the Something Bigger album is actually the title track Something Bigger. I wrote this song right after being fired from my radio station job. I was driving home thinking about how much I hated my boss and how big of a poser he was. What did he know about rock n roll? Then my girlfriend screwed me over and I knew that “Something Bigger” was waiting for me around the corner. What was his name you ask? That was my attempt at making a joke too. HAHA.
- Do you think you can get any better as a musician/singer? And if so, How would you achieve that?
Sam Spade – I think as musicians we are always getting better or at least changing. If we start standing still that’s when the problems arise. Especially for this next album I want to be able to focus on writing a great rock n roll record while on the road with The Quireboys. A ton of my favorite bands wrote records on tour and I want to use that inspiration to create something that we are proud of. I want to come back next year talking about our sophomore release and say we wrote the whole thing while in a van cruising down the interstate.
- If you could give your fans one random fact about you that you think they should (or should “not” know) about you what would that be?
Sam Spade – I am scared of two things in life 1) Styrofoam and 2) bees. I don’t mind spiders or snakes but bees freak me out. I am also listening to classical music while I type this interview. It helps me concentrate.
- You’re a new addition to the crayon box. What color would you be and why?
Sam Spade – Very easy I would be “Creampie” for obvious reason.
- Who are you inspired by?
Sam Spade – The first guy that made me want to pick up a guitar was Ace Frehley from KISS. I got a Les Paul and joined a rock band it was that simple. A few years later I was in a position to become the full time bass player of a band. I grabbed a Thunderbird like Nikki Sixx from Motley Crue but wanted to play like Duff McKagan from Guns N’ Roses and write songs like Rachel Bolan from Skid Row.
- What’s an average day like for you?
Sam Spade – My days are pretty messed up from night time to day time. Right now it’s 3:30 am and I will probably be awake for another two hours. As the tour with The Quireboys is quickly approaching I am working as much as possible at the clubs to try and stock pile merch and pay off all our bills from the last tour. That’s something they don’t teach you in rock n roll class. Touring is expensive but worth it. Stop playing it safe and get out there. Work your ass off because no one is going to give you an inch for free.
- Please discuss how you interact with and respond to fans
Sam Spade- Our fans are amazing and I try and let them know that every time we get a chance to meet at a show. We love partying with our fans and getting crazy together. I started doing this in our live show but I will grab a wireless microphone and go out into the audience to sing a song. I will climb up on the most ridiculous thing in the venue and get the whole audience to sing with me. I will grab the people trying to hide in the back and mix them in with the up-front maniacs. It really breaks down that barrier of band and crowd and throws the whole party into overdrive. It breaks it down to the wildest punk rock house show but inside any venue on any night of the week. We are fans ourselves so we treat everyone exactly how we would like to be treated. There’s only two rules, don’t ask us any questions, and don’t tell us to do anything. We have problems with authority.
- Have you ever dealt with performance anxiety?
Sam Spade – I used to deal with it by sucking down massive amounts of liquor. Now that I am 9 years sober I actually love the anxiety right before a show. I love the adrenaline and stress that comes with every performance. That’s how you know you are doing something right. If you learn to embrace the anxiety and push it into positive energy and then pass that to the crowd it changes everything and people respond right back to you. The crowd wants you to succeed so there is no reason to think you aren’t going to. The other part is that you as a performer are well prepared mentally and physically for the show. If that’s all in line then there is nothing to worry about. Go out there and let it all hang out and whatever happens, happens. Keep smiling this is rock n roll after all.
- Tell me about your favorite performance venues
Sam Spade – I love playing tiny dirty punk rock bars. The atmosphere and intimacy really radiate that rock n roll vibe. We gravitate towards those dark places where the wild ones hang out. I also love to set foot on those massive stages with thousands of people watching. Both are challenging yet fun. As long as we get a chance to play loud and get wild I don’t really mind where we play. Last year in New Orleans we played outside in a field next to the interstate and it was one of the funnest shows of the whole tour. They powered the show with a generator and lit a giant bonfire for house lights.
- What advice would you have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Sam Spade – If you have a dream get out there and make it happen. No one is going to do it for you or give you an easier way to the top. Go big and be as unique and ridiculous as you want to be. Practice your ass off and take your lumps. Learn what to do and what not to do from the guys that have been there before you. Finally make sure everything is real and honest. If it comes from the heart then you can’t fail. Succeed on your own terms and then the world will eventually take notice.