Brian Rademacher (RockEyez): Hello Rob and welcome to RockEyez. It’s great to talk with you again. To start, and to give people an idea of your background,I’m going to go down a list of bands that you have been involved with in your career and please tell us your thought’s on that band and do you feel each band reached their goal. I’m not sure I have them in chronological order but maybe you can help me out on that.
Teenage Casket Company
Rob Wylde: I formed TCC back in late 2003. At the time, doing anything 80's rock related was really frowned upon and no-one was interested so I, like a ton of others, was left in a position where I would either have to give up playing music for a while until it became cool again or try and find a way to reinvent myself and that's what I did with TCC. I cut the hair, ditched the guitar solos, wore the guitar a little lower and trimmed the songs down to three-minute power pop tracks. The melodies and hooks were still there, they were just dressed up and executed a little differently that's all. Less Bon Jovi and more Cheap Trick with a sound that fit in with bands of the day like Marvelous 3, American Hi-Fi, Sugarcult and 40ft Ringo. Between 2003 to splitting in 2016 we released five albums and toured relentlessly around the UK. We also made it out to Europe and toured the USA twice in 2005 and 2006 which ended up being the Metal Sludge tour featuring TCC, Vains Of Jenna, The Erotics and Stevie Rachelle. I loved that band dearly, but I never really felt we got the breaks we deserved. We had a large, but very much underground following and the people that 'got' TCC really loved that band. In 2016 we kinda realized we had taken the band as far as we could, so we played one final sold out show in Nottingham in November of that year. We are all still very much friends and recently collaborated on a song together for a tribute album which is coming out later this year.
Sins Of America
Rob: I formed Sins Of America in late 2007 when TCC was taking a break and we were all doing different things. This led me to move to Boston, USA where I put the band together with drummer Shawn Vincent and guitarist Chris Kelly. Sins was kinda the American version of TCC, although a little glammier and a little more hard rock in places (the guitar solos were back!). The band also had a kick-ass image which got us noticed straight away, especially in Boston. We signed to a label called Illumia and released an EP in 2008 and played all over the East Coast, playing our own shows and opening up for just about every 80's hair band on the planet. Although I liked the band a lot, it was also the most dysfunctional band I've ever played with. 100% rock n' roll and if I dare say it, a little dangerous too. Drugs, alcohol, arrests, stripper girlfriends, it was every rock n' roll cliché known to mankind and all of that chaos and carnage was eventually what imploded it.
In the Autumn of 2010 it was all over and I returned to the UK. In 2014 a German label released the CD 'Demos For The Deranged' which was a collection of songs from the 2008 EP and demos recorded in 2009/ 2010 which were intended for our first album which sadly never came to fruition.
Rob: The Steevi thing came about when I was temporarily back in the UK awaiting my American visa to come through. I was back in the UK for about six months and it was during this time that Steevi got in touch and asked me if I'd be interested in joining his band for a few shows in Scandinavia. He had an album out at the time called 'My Private Hell' which I loved so I jumped on-board. We played songs from that album plus some classics from 'Young And Crazy' and I had a blast. I liked Steevi a lot and we got along great and talked about writing together for a new album. That was until I joined Tigertailz a few years later when he pretty much disowned me and seems to still have a problem with me to this day. Why, I have no clue because I've always said nothing but good things about him.
Rob: Poizon was just a fun thing I put together with TCC bassist Rob Lane after returning from America. We always swore blind that we'd never form a tribute band but the money being offered to do one was just too good to refuse. We'd both grown up on Poison so it was a no brainer really. We recruited a couple of other guys and started playing live to sold out crowds in 2012. This was also pretty early in the day for tribute bands in the UK. Nowadays, everyone has a tribute band and that's all you see in venues wherever you go but back in 2012, we were one of the few. This was also helped by the fact that we were/are the only tribute to Poison in Europe. There's a ton of them in the USA, but unlike other tributes to bands like KISS, Bon Jovi and Def Leppard etc. we are the only tribute to them around so that helps a lot.
I've lost count of how many members have come and gone since its formation but I'm still here and the lineup we have now has been pretty solid for a few years. It's a lot of fun and brings in the £££'s so why not?!
Rob: The Vega thing came about just after I'd returned from America. I got an email from Tom Martin who alongside his brother James, I'd been friends with for over twenty years. He told me that they had a couple of shows coming up and that their bassist had bailed on them so asked me if I'd help them out. They sent me their debut album, I learned the songs and did the shows. What initially was supposed to be just two shows ended up being two years although I was never an official member of the band. I was basically their live bass player, a session guy really. I played on a few tracks on their second album 'What The Hell' and played a lot of shows with them in the UK and all over Europe although it was never really my thing if I'm honest. As things were winding down with Vega, I got the call from Tigertailz.
Rob: I initially got a call from Ace Finchum in 2012 who told me that Tailz had a new lineup together and were looking for a second guitar player and thought that I'd be perfect. I jumped at the chance to join as I'd been a massive fan of the band growing up and that was it really. I didn't have to audition or anything. They already knew that I could play and sing and had the right image, so I was in!
We shot a video for the remake of 'Fall In Love Again' then headed straight out on a European tour in the winter of 2012.
In early 2013 the lineup changed again and I switched to bass for a couple of years. We toured constantly throughout the UK and Europe and released the 'Knives' EP in 2013, then in 2014 we played with KISS on KISS KRUISE 4 out in the Bahamas which was an unreal experience especially for a KISS freak like me! In 2015 Jules Millis quit the band and I stepped forward to sing. We released the 'Blast' album in 2016 and once again toured all over the UK and Europe in support of it, releasing a bunch of videos along the way.
The band has kind of been on hiatus for a while, but we will be playing the Hard Rock Hell festival in Wales in November of this year which will be the band’s first live show in two years.
Rob: I'd known that TCC had been on its last legs for a while before we officially ended things so I already had plans in place for what would become Midnite City. With TCC done there was never any question that I was going to go back to my roots and form the ultimate Hair Metal band and that's pretty much what happened. I wrote the first album then went about recruiting the right guys to help me achieve that vision. We got signed to German label AOR Heaven and released our debut album in October 2017 before hitting the road in the UK and Europe. The album had only been out for a couple of months when our label asked for another which became 'There Goes The Neighbourhood' which came out a year later in October 2018. Both albums received glowing reviews around the world which enabled us to really take off on the live scene. Since then we've completed two headline tours of the UK and have played everywhere from Greece, Belgium, Sweden, Germany and more recently Japan and Australia in under three years of being a band. It's pretty incredible really.
We have a ton of shows coming up this year alongside album three which will be arriving at the end of the year.
Brian/RockEyez: Midnite City recently played MelodicRock Fest in Australia. With all the problems with that particular festival, can you let us know how it really went and were there any issues for the band?
Rob: Yeah, leading up to it was a bit of a nightmare to be honest with bands pulling out left, right and center stating they hadn't been paid, etc. Our flights and visas were all sorted beforehand, so we were going to go no matter what. When we arrived, we found out that even more bands had pulled out and the two-day festival eventually became a one day festival instead. But from the moment we arrived, we were treated great so don't believe everything you read online. We were paid in full for our two shows (we played an additional show with Reckless Love a couple of days beforehand), our accommodation and travel was also sorted so we had no complaints whatsoever and the two shows we played over there were awesome and could not have gone any better for us. Also getting to play in Australia was a real bucket list thing to do for us, and any band really. The weather was great, the fans were unbelievably appreciative of us and we had a great time. Fingers crossed for a return next year.
Brian/RE: Last year you played in Japan. Tell us what it’s like playing in Japan and what about the fans, were they as fanatical as they say?
Rob: Japan was incredible! I mean what band doesn't dream of playing there. As far as rock n' roll is concerned, it's pretty much the promised land and it delivered big time for us! We played two sold out shows in Tokyo and Osaka and the fans were just insane out there. One thing we didn't realize when we got there was that no-one really speaks a word of English, yet as soon as we got on stage they sang along with every single word to every single song in our set list and it's things like that that make you appreciate the power that music has on people.
We got to ride the Bullet Train a few times and visit some temples in Kyoto on our last day there which were just breath taking.
We also did two meet and greets before each show and our fans lined up with stacks of personalized presents and letters for each of us. So much so that we all went home with a suitcase full of gifts each. We also had Japanese dolls made of us all. It was an incredible experience that not many bands at our level are fortunate enough to achieve. There is talk of us returning next spring to promote our 3rd album and we can't wait to go back there!
Brian/RE: With all the projects you have going on are you working on new material and for which bands and can you tell us a little about when they will be released?
Rob: We have just started working on the 3rd Midnite City album which we hope to release at the end of the year, so we are all very excited about it. It's going to pick up where 'There Goes The Neighbourhood' left off and will hopefully take us to that next level. The songs are written and we will be spending the coming months hard at work on it.
Apart from that, I've been doing some writing for the next Nitrate album and as mentioned before, recently recorded a song with TCC for a tribute album coming out later in the year.
Brian/RE: You played Australia, Germany, and other counties and were supposed to play Melodic Rock Fest in the US a few years back and pulled out. I was so excited that I was gonna see you live. What happened in that situation?
Rob: Unfortunately, that was due my visa issues. A similar thing happened a few years ago when Tigertailz was supposed to be play out there so I went down to the embassy in London to try and sort the situation out. I was told that everything was fine, so we went ahead and announced the Midnite City show, then my visa got denied again. To be honest I have no clue what's going on there but I'm not the only one in this boat as this happens a lot, especially nowadays with the new U.S government. You would think that being a former resident of the USA would help back my corner. It appears not...
Brian/RE: Do you ever plan on playing US dates in the future?
Rob: We get asked that a lot and of course we would love to play in the States but my visa issue would obviously need resolving first. I'm sure in time it will, and we will play over there at some point in the future.
Brian/RE: Here’s a fun question. In your early years as a child did you collect anything?
Rob: As a little kid I loved Star Wars and had a massive Star Wars toy collection. I pretty much had everything and wish I still did because a lot of what I had would be worth a lot of money nowadays but unfortunately my mum gave it all away! As soon as I discovered music though, it was all about collecting cassettes, band shirts, posters and magazines.
Brian/RE: Do you remember the first music you bought and was it on vinyl, cassette or CD?
Rob: The first vinyl I bought was Heart's 'These Dreams' single which came out in 1986 and the first cassette I bought (I bought all my albums on cassette as a kid) was Europe's 'Final Countdown' with the alternate front cover. I played that album to death!
Brian/RE: What was the first concert you saw, and did it make an impression on you?
Rob: My mum took me to see Europe on their 'Out Of This World' tour in 1989 when I was 11 years old. That night changed my life forever. I'd known that I wanted to play music for a couple of years before that, but it was seeing Europe that night that really cemented that idea. This was when Europe was at their glammiest and American sounding period. I remember the house lights going down, then they kicked into 'Ready Or Not' with a ton of pyro and all came running down these staircases in a ball of big hair, scarves and leather. I completely lost my mind and it was in that very moment that I knew my life would never be the same again.
Brian/RE: We have been friends now since about 2005, you came to my home and we went to see Danger Danger. Tell me since that time are you living the life that you always hoped for?
Rob: I remember that. That was a great day! Thanks again for having me over.
I'd say everything has pretty much panned out how I always hoped it would. Making a living in this day and age as a musician is never easy and never gets any easier so you certainly need to have your finger in a lot of different pies to make it work but if you work hard enough at anything in life, you'll get there eventually. I've played in 22 countries around the world and have got to live out a lot of my childhood dreams including playing in Japan and Australia and playing with KISS so I am living proof that if you work your absolute ass off for long enough you can get where you want to be.
Out of all the bands I've played with over the years, I am also happiest with Midnite City. It's my dream band. The band I always envisioned in my head and I get to share all of these unbelievable experiences with my best friends in the world. I have a lot to be grateful for.
Brian/RE: Is there anything you would like to about before closing? Do you have any shows coming up, endorsements and where can people pick up your merchandise?
Rob: For merchandise you can visit www.facebook.com/midnitecityuk. We are also on www.twitter.com/midnitecityuk and Instagram @midnitecityofficial. Alternatively you can buy our albums direct from our record label at www.aorheaven.com. I am a proud endorsee of Vocalzone and you can visit my page here - https://www.vocalzone.com/support_artist/rob-wylde/. Also Blackstar amps.
Regarding shows, we have a bunch of Midnite City stuff coming up but all these shows are in question at the minute until the coronavirus settles down a bit. Hopefully these shows will go ahead though and if not, I'm sure they will be rescheduled.
April 11 - Warehouse 23 , Wakefield April 17 - Patti Pavilion, Swansea May 6 - Hard Rock Hell Roadtrip, Ibiza May 16 - Black Box, Athens, Greece May 23 - Breaking Bands Festival, Bromsgrove May 29 - Call Of The Wild Festival, Lincoln August 30 - Hard Rock Hell Sleaze Festival, Sheffield September 5 - Indoor Summer Festival, Hamburg, Germany October 16 - Gravity Festival, Cannock
Brian/RE: Rob it was good catching up with you again. RockEyez and myself have been a proud supporter of your music for a long time and it was a pleasure. Would you like to say anything to the fans in ending?
Rob: Thanks for having me Brian. You've been a big supporter of me and my music for over 15 years now and it's much appreciated. I'd also like to say a massively big thank you to all of our fans around the world for supporting our music and what we do. Without you, there is no us, it's that simple!