Name: The Midwest Indies
Hometown: Springfield, Missouri
Check Out: “We the Bandits,” “Learning to Love,” “If You Can’t Convince Them, Confuse Them”
Composed of four members, The Midwest Indies is an indie folk band whose sound is simple, yet stunning. They make music using several instruments, like guitars, a banjo, a trumpet, and a tambouring, and they all come together to make beautiful art. Original made up of Brad, Chandler, and Tanner, they later added Blake to form the band. Check out their debut album Truman, out now.
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YA: What do each of your bring to the group? What’s it like, being in a band?
Midwest Indies: We’re four college kids who love making music and performing. Music has played a huge role in each of our lives, and we all have a different take on music. With four different styles coming together in one band, writing can be a challenge, but it’s one we all enjoy doing very much. Being in a band is something we all want to do for the rest of our lives. The people in this band have become more than just my bandmates, they’ve become my best friends. Being in a band is one of the most rewarding things a person can do, but it’s also one of the most difficult things.
YA: What are five interesting facts about The Midwest Indies?
MI: – Tanner, Chandler, and I met in kindergarten, at Truman Elementary.
– Our name, The Midwest Indies, started out as a huge joke. Then, it stuck.
– We have had to stop playing several shows due to a run in with the cops.
– We have bad hairstyles.
– We were crowned “Skinniest Band of Springfield, MO.”
YA: When did you all decide to join forces and create this group? Why indie folk?
MI: This band formed our junior year in high school. It started out as a joke, but after we wrote our first song, “Fire”, we thought we would give it a shot. When this band first started, we didn’t really know what kind of music we were going to write. Our indie folk style just kind of happened.
YA: Where do you find inspiration for your music?
MI: We find inspiration in our everyday experiences. We write about what happens in our lives, or what we see happening to other people. We like to tell stories in our songs, and we hope our fans can relate to those stories in one way or another.
YA: Who are your greatest influences?
MI: Our greatest influences include Mumford & Sons (obviously), Fleet Foxes, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, The Avett Brothers, Arcade Fire and many others.
YA: Congratulations on your debut album Truman! What was it like to have your music in a hardcopy and available to people?
MI: Thank you! It is such an incredible feeling. A feeling that most people will never get to experience, and we are so blessed to have been given the opportunity to do so. Putting out an album is tedious, hard work. We worked our tails off to give our fans the best album we could make, and finally having it done feels good. We just hope now that our fans can really connect to our music, and do more than just “listen” to it.
YA: Of all your songs, which three are your favorites and why? What motivated you to write them?
MI: Picking favorite songs can be tough, but I’d say our favorite three are Fantastic Caverns, If You Can’t Convince Them, Confuse Them, and Fire.
Fantastic Caverns was one of the last songs we wrote for Truman, and one of the most intricate songs lyrically. There is a a very detailed story being told in Fantastic Caverns that we all had strong feelings about. A story about being who you are, and not something that society makes you.
If You Can’t Convince Them, Confuse Them is just plain fun. We love performing and putting on a good show for our fans, and with this song, we like to have a good time. This song talks about not only believing in something, but standing up for that belief, no matter what.
Fire was the very first song we wrote together, so it means a lot to us. Fire describes a house fire, and how a family deals with losing their home, and even a loved one. An event as a tragic as a house fire can shape a person, and change how they look at life.
YA: If you could go on tour with any three musicians/artists/bands, who would you choose and why?
MI: If we could go on tour with any three musicians it would have to be Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, because they were the dudes we looked up to when we first started writing music, we wanted to be like them. The Avett Brothers, because they always put on a great show, and we want to do the same for our fans. And last but not least, Mumford & Sons, because they have had such a huge influence on us during our first year of playing and writing music.
YA: What do you hope to accomplish with your music? What do you hope to see in your future?
MI: When we write music, it starts out as an inward process. Looking at our lives, our circumstances, and writing music about it. However, we want our fans to see that, and to believe in our music, and relate to it. We want our fans to connect to our music, use it to get through a certain situation, or to just appreciate it. As for the future of The Midwest Indies, we just want to keep playing shows, and writing music. Now, whether that be here in Missouri, or all across the U.S., or even the world, who knows. We’ll just have to wait and see.
YA: Do you have any advice for people that are trying to be musicians?
MI: The best advice we can give to any musician would be: keep writing, playing, and performing.