OTB Meets ‘The Midnight Beast’..
If you’re not a YouTube junky, the name The Midnight Beast may raise a few eyebrows. Not to be confused with a serial sex offender, they are a musical comedy trio who found fame online when their version of Ke$ha’s “TiK ToK” exploded in popularity, scoring 40,000 hits in one day. After being the first unsigned act to sell-out Koko, their E4 series, a sitcom featuring the band struggling to make it big in the pop industry, including the parody songs they’re famous for kicked off last night. We caught up with Stefan, Dru, and Ashley, to find out about it..
The Midnight Beast continues on Thursday 12th July, at 10pm on E4
So…Why “The Midnight Beast?”
Ashley: “Everyone asks that! They think it’s a crazy idea we came up with! Stefan DJ’d under that, and then we did the Tik Tok thing and it seemed natural.”
Stefan: “Yeah, we put it up under that name and it was one of those things, we were happy with the name, but it was weird, had someone said ‘oh yeah there’s gonna be a TV programme called ‘The Midnight Beast’ I’d say ‘that’s a really good name!”, but that wasn’t our intention at all.”
You’ve had quite a sudden rise to fame, what was it like when you noticed the views on your video going up and up?
Stefan: “The first day “Tik Tok” came up it was like 25,000 that day, and it spiralled from there. We only did to make each other laugh and sent it to friends, it was crazy that other people picked up on it.”
So what can we expect from the show?
Stefan: “Lots of dance routines, of course”
Ashley: “A lot of nudity!”
Stefan: “Potty mouth humour…puking..”
Ashley:“…A lot of songs!”
Stefan: “Dressing up, drinking, girls…”
Dru: “…If you like girls, tune in!”
Nudity? Puking? Girls? It sounds like my first year at uni.. apart from teh girls of course. You’ve been compared to Flight of the Conchords and The Lonely Island. What are your influences?
Stefan: “Blink 182 we’re all really into, also the Beastie Boys, they’re amazing. The way they fused music and comedy in a really subtle way – they’re musicians first and comedians later. We like to we’re the same thing as comedy was never something we imagined ourselves doing, I don’t think, and it’s not like we set out to be comedians and go on Mock the Week and try and be the funniest ones on there. We’re just making our friends and each other laugh, but Flight of the concords, obviously, and Lonely Island were a massive one at the beginning. When we first started we thought we’d just be compared to Lonely Island, that’s it, no room for anyone else, but it wasn’t the case at all. People really grasped onto us and found something different – they hadn’t seen Lonely Island.”
Could you see yourselves on Mock the Week?
Stefan: “Maybe on more kinda interviewy things, but up there against stand up comedians… I doubt it!”
Ashley: “We’d be the butt of the joke, definitely!”
You’ve come from a DIY, ‘stick it on the internet for a laugh’ background, now you’ve got a fairly major channel involved. How’s that been?
Stefan: “Its been cool, it’s been amazing, we’re releasing our album alongside it, so you can get the tracks as they’re shown, and we’ve been doing the channel stuff, which has been amazing. E4 is a big brand and they’ve been doing amazing stuff like the live promo and the press and the marketing, which has been huge, and then you’ve got us doing our little DIY album on this record label we created calls sounds like good, and they both go hand in hand cause neither one could even possibly step on the other’s toes, because they’re so different – so it’s been completely normal. We recorded all the songs in my studio and at my parents’ place as well, so nothings changed”
Ashley: “Still recording underneath your bed…”
Stefan: “…Exactly, and the director was completely on our wavelength; we’d go out to Westfields and brainstorm video ideas, what would work and what wouldn’t.”
How does working for TV differ from your previous stuff?
Stefan: “It’s been amazing, we really enjoy the live stuff, it’s so great, but then doing the TV stuff has been so different, it’s literally the polar opposite lifestyle, getting up early, going to bed early, whereas the shows are the absolute other way round. They’re so rock and roll.”
And what do you guys prefer?
Stefan:“I think we’ve all got mixed things, we all really like the TV, but me and Dru have grown up from a proper live background, so I always like gigging, but the TV thing is amazing, now its going to be on. It hasn’t sunk in.”
Ashley: “I’ve always wanted to be an actor and do some proper acting, so it’s nice to actually get there.”
What’s the creative process like? Do you have individual roles, or do you guys all muck in?
Stefan: “It was weird, we all put in something different and bring something different to the table. From the beginning, I’ve always done the music, the melody stuff, and then we started branching out and all doing that together, and the guys really help with the ideas. We’ve all been doing stuff on the side, with Ashley and his acting, and Dru managed two rappers, and I do a lot of song-writing for other artists, we’re keen to keep our individual things going on.
In one of your videos you joke that your fan base has a key TV demographic of ’16-17′. Do you expect to find a new audience on television?
Stefan: “You find with the internet, certain demographics are way more vocal then others and that’s cool, people have different ways of interacting. If we play a festival we know a completely different crowd’s going, to if we just play in a smaller city, or if we advertise a gig on twitter or advertise a gig on another social networking site, it’s always different and I think it’s great there’s that diverse thing, and that’s what we really hope with the TV show – we’re completely happy with the fans we’ve got, but if new people are into it, that’s cool too. That’s what great about platforms other than the internet, definitely.”
If you could have anybody to cameo in one of your videos… Who would it be?
Ashley: “I wouldn’t mind Mac Miller, he’s done it pretty well on the internet, he’s done the same thing as us really, gained his fan base through youtube, then he’s got a number one album in America, he’s pretty much blown up now.”
Dru: “My list would be endless, never say never…it could happen…”
Stefan: “Anyone? Jedward, One Direction, all the classic ones!”
Dru: “Get them all in! Get them all in one big video!”
I think it would be quite dangerous if you and One Direction performed together…
Stefan: “Yeah exactly! I think we’d way rather get someone who’s more of an unsung hero then someone who’s already made it. We don’t feel like we’ve made it or anything, and I think it’s amazing to have a step up. People who are on the same wavelength, rather than big, big stars.
And what’s the future of The Midnight Beast? A tour? More TV?
Stefan: “Well next year, festivals, but in-between that, I think we might try and do another tour, if this one goes well”
Ashley: “I’d like to go to America, definitely, and Australia, they love us out there. We’ve had a number one in Australia but never been. So it would be good to go over there, and say howdy.”
Stefan: “Hopefully start brainstorming the next album, maybe series two, who knows?”
Stefan: “Yeah, casually break America!”
Ashley: “Over a weekend if that’s alright!”