After busy schedules, several gigs and a couple of weeks, I was finally able to touch base with Elvis Aron – Front man in Full Story At Midnight and get this interview to you! Let me just say that I have done a lot of interviews (I can’t wait to do even more), but these responses are some of the best that I’ve gotten.
MS:What’s the origin of your band’s name?
Elvis: Well originally, the band was called Rebel Without A Pulse, then it was The Sacred Profane. Then, it was Jim Henson’s Funeral, which is still one of my favorite names we’ve used! For a while we we’re called Habeus Corpses, but there was some ICP wanna be shit heads in Albuquerque using that name, so we had to change it. When we chose this name, there were several others we were considering at the time, such as Gray Matter Splatter, Cut Up Naked Teenagers (because the acronym was C.U.N.T.) and Human Picnic. I chose Full Story At Midnight because to me it had much more personal implications and a deeper meaning than just being a cool sounding name.
When I was a little kid, I used to sneak out to the living room at night when my parents were asleep, to watch classic horror movies with the volume low. And to me, they were the highest form of entertainment. They were dark, and campy, and fun, and there were obvious social and political commentary being explored in the themes in the movies. They never scared me, they were a blast! But during commercial breaks, there were these news bumps, they’d say things like “House fire kills a family of four, full story, at midnight”. To me that was always far more scary than anything in the movies, because it was real. For me, horror films were always an escape for reality. So now, i create horror rock, and the songs are a form of escapism, and the name, Full Story At Midnight, is a reminder that monsters exist, but they wear human faces, and the real world is big, and dark, and full of things worth fearing.
MS:Introduce us to the members and give us one odd talent that each of them (yourself included) have.
Elvis: Our current lineup is myself on vocals, and i play guitar on the albums but i no longer play during shows, or at least rarely, Chris decay on lead guitar, dirt-bag on rhythm guitar, holly martini on the bass and her period, and jigsaw on the kit. I don’t know about everyone else’s talents, but i can blow cigarette smoke and liquids out of my eyes lol.
MS: What has been your biggest challenge?
Elvis: Finding people who are as dedicated and driven as I am has always been the biggest challenge in this band. In 9 years I’ve moved all over the country trying to find the right people for the music, and I have definitely made some bad decisions and gotten fucked over more than a few times. But I think the current lineup has a really strong dynamic and stage presence that really shines through. That and getting venues and promoters to take us seriously. I think in the early days the makeup and the fake blood made it hard for people to take us seriously, but over time, the music has grown and evolved, and our aesthetic has evolved along with it, to reflect who I’ve become as a musician and songwriter, as well as the direction the music has been moving in over the years.
MS: I hear that you do a lot of giving back to the community, we would love to hear all about what do to make a difference. Can you tell us about it?
Elvis: We do give back wherever we can. We play benefit shows and waive our appearance fee fairly regularly. In the past year we did an event to benefit the wounded warrior fund, a benefit for local autism programs, a benefit for local homeless youth programs, and we had schedule another festival that was to benefit the wounded warrior fund, but it was cancelled fairly last minute due to some issues with sponsors. we also give 50% of the proceeds from sales of single mp3s on reverbnation to the Music For Good program, which donates to numerous different programs. at our request, the money we donate goes to fund cancer research.
MS: Zombie Apocalypse team who/why? And go!
Elvis: Honestly, it wouldn’t be any celebrity or anything like that. I’d just grab a handful of my buddies from back in my army days, and a few of my gun toting 2nd amendment loving friends from here in Tucson lol.
MS: What is the most difficult or trying thing about being in a band?
Elvis: Honestly, the recession has hit the entertainment industry harder than most. People aren’t going out as much, so venues aren’t booking as many shows, and they aren’t booking as much independent music because they’d rather have big names that they know will pack houses. It’s an understandable approach, but it makes it difficult being an unsigned band who play a very niche style of music, its hard to find shows, and when we do, they rarely pay. Fans don’t buy merch nearly as much as they used to. Plus with the plethora of pay to play venues out there, its even harder, because not only are shows not paying, its costing us money to play them. It’s a mark of how much this music means to us and how driven we are that after 9 years we’re doing better than ever and every day pushing ourselves harder to be the best live experience we can be. With any luck, when the album we recorded last summer (No Rest For The Rotten) comes out, people will really enjoy it. It’s available as a digital album with all liner notes and art, but not as a physical cd, and our next album (The Good, The Bad, And The Rotten) is almost completely written, so we’ll hopefully be recording that soon too, and I think as good as our last record was, these new songs blow it out of the water. Fans have been responding really well to the newer songs we’ve been playing live, and we have a bunch more that no one has heard yet that I’m really excited about.
MS:If you had to choose one song to be your theme song that embodies everything about you in lyrics – what song and why?
Elvis: Asshole by Dennis Leary! haha. no I’m kidding. honestly, I’m such a fan of music in general, in so many different genres, I don’t think there’s any one song that i could choose to represent me, by other artists, or by us. But I think our catalog of material when considered as a whole is a good representation of not only who I am as a person, but how far I’ve come since I started this band when i was 16.
MS: When did you realize that you wanted to be a musician?
Elvis: Really early on I was always drawn to music, especially the more theatrical stuff, but I was kind of sheltered in my exposure to rock and roll for a while. I thought Kiss was the most recent band out there until like 4th grade lol. When I did finally discover modern music, I judged bands based on how cool they looked compared to kiss, which is how I ended up getting into Gwar, The Misfits, and Slipknot when I was in 4th grade. I became a voracious consumer of music, hunting down everything from Reel Big Fish cds to Pennywise to Frontline Assembley to Stray Cats albums at the flea market and independent record stores in neighboring towns. I remember seeing Kiss Meets The Phantom Of The Park when I was like 6 and the performance scenes were so bombastic and powerful, it made me want to be Gene Simmons. I didn’t really make any steps towards developing into a musician until later. I know its kind of cliche for sub-cultural people to cite the movie the Crow as an influence, but I saw it for the first time in 4th grade, and during the closing credits wrote my first song. By the end of the night I’d written 5 more. They were fucking terrible of course, but it made me actively start cultivating myself into a song writer and trying to start a band.
MS: If you couldn’t do what you love, and had to choose a second career – what would you choose?
Elvis: I actually have a fallback plan, and I’m hoping I can get the ball rolling on it fairly soon. I plan on getting a 2 year business management degree, then attending barber college so I can open a psycho-billy barbershop. I have a shop layout, business model name and logo already set up, its going to be called 40 Weight. I had the idea years ago, and then recently discovered that Hawleywoods has a similar business model and even their own brand of pomade, after shave, shave cream, etc, which is cool, but I don’t want to do a franchise place that is subject to rules other people set down.
MS: Is there anyone you would like to thank or name drop for inspiring and supporting you?
Elvis: D. F. Lazarus and Anastasia Lugosi, for believing in me and helping this band get its first real break, Mike Draper for producing our first ep, Michale Graves, Joseph Poole, AFI for inspiration when i first got started. Mia Tyler and 10/08 studios for helping me keep the music alive when things were at their worst. The people who helped shape me as an artist and supported me over the years know who they are. And all the people who let me sleep on their couch, do my laundry, shower, fed me, loaned me money, and helped keep me alive during some of the rougher years. The people who always had faith in this music. And most of all our fans, because without them, we’re nothing.
Amazing right? You should check them out, show them some love and support! C’Mon give back to the Indie music community, that always shares their talent so freely with us.
FULL STORY AT MIDNIGHT
Go, listen, and fall in love with them!