Saturday, April 23, 2011

Blip Nation Interview: Meet midnightwalker

Blipper since: March 27, 2009

Pete Dulin: Where in the world do you live?

midnightwalker: Turku, Finland.

Dulin: Imagine you're 14-years-old browsing through a music store. What band/artist do you wish you had discovered that was so great you want to tell all of your friends about them. What would you say?

midnightwalker: So back to the change of millenium, I guess I have to go with Alice in Chains. Strangely enough I was at that time a fan of Godsmack (which has even taken its name from AIC song and the singer has taken a lot of influence from Layne’s  style of singing) but hadn’t really got into AIC. And I would say that it’s a grunge band that will blow your mind.

Dulin: What song(s) give you comfort in times of stress?

midnightwalker: Well if I want to relax my number one choice would be maybe Anna Ternheim’s brilliant Fleetwood Mac cover, "Little Lies." I can just listen to it a hundred times in a row but it wouldn’t start to bore me. Another  alternatives I can think of: Ryan Adams – Wonderwall, Glass Vaults – Set Sail, Groove Armada - At the River, Mew – Comforting Sounds, The Chemical Brothers – Surface to Air, Dirty Gold – California Sunrise…but if I would have to motivate myself to do something I would put maybe something totally different,  The Kandidate for instance or The Tipping Point by The Roots.

Dulin: What subjects are you studying? What type of work do you plan to do? And what is your dream job?

midnightwalker: I’m studying at the University of Turku. Nordic languages (mainly Swedish) as my major and English philology, German philology and pedagogy as my minors. So logically I plan to become a language teacher. My dream job would have something to do with music, DJ maybe ;).

Dulin: Better dancer - Thom Yorke or Shakira?

midnightwalker: Haha. I had to do some background research on this one. Based on my observations,  Thom did a better job on dancing to Shakira than Shakira did to Radiohead so my vote goes to Thom. But objectively to decide the winner I should see Thom and Shakira really dancing to Shakira or Radiohead.

Dulin: Do you play guitar? What song would you like to play with what band?

midnightwalker: I’m trying to learn to (started totally from the scratch just recently). So don’t expect to see me touring in the immediate future ;) Right now I would like to play just about any song but if I end up playing the guitar for real I guess it might be something folky and simple in the vein of Blind Pilot so I say "One Red" Thread by them.

Dulin: Do you have any favorite song lyrics? What are they? Tell us about the appeal of those lyrics.

midnightwalker: Usually I don’t pay that much attention to the lyrics in a song separately. The feeling I mostly can connect to in lyrics for some reason are bittersweet and the most important aspect of good lyrics for me is that they feel personal. My favorite lyrics include at least Sentenced – No One There, Alphaville – Forever Young, Mirel Wagner -No Death. Then there are several separate lines that sometimes leave me thinking about their meaning or brilliance. Examples for such lines “Why does life make sense only in the past tense? (Viola-Halo Goodbye) and “I’ve been feeling kind of low but I know at least I have a heart.” (Lonely Galaxy-Have a Heart)

Dulin: Where do you find out about new music and artists?

midnightwalker: Pretty much from everywhere: from friends, from music blogs, from media, Bandcamp, Spotify and (similar artists feature is the one I use a lot) are great for that purpose. I also try to see as many live gigs I can afford and have time for. And of course from ;)

Dulin: What are some of your favorite local/regional/national artists that you want the rest of the world to know about?

midnightwalker: My favorite local band is a garage rock band called Sweatmaster (sadly they quitting after the summer). Another local favorite of mine is indie pop Magenta Skycode. Other Finnish bands that would deserve much more attention: Disco Ensemble (alt rock), Omnium Gatherum (melodic death metal), Lemonator (pop), Viola (eletropop), Mirel Wagner (folk), Sansa (folk), Pintandwefall (indie rock) and Rubik (indie pop) just to name a few.

Dulin: If you could name a music genre, what would you call it and what would it sound like?

midnightwalker: Well I guess I would call it postwave. It would take the best out of modern indie and add some older influences to it. So it would sound like indie pop/rock but with some really clear influence for example from 70’s folk music. 

Dulin: You currently have 5,346 listeners. If you could convince all of them to do something with you, what would it be?

midnightwalker: Well as a music lover I would convince them to go to a gig or buy a record. It’s sad to see record stores going down all the time.

Dulin: Favorite female and male vocalist? What about her and his voice appeal to you?

midnightwalker: My favorite female vocalist is Ane Brun. I love the vibrato of her voice and having seen her live was one of the best gigs I’ve been to if not the best. My favorite male vocalist is Layne Staley. Love the uniqueness and the diversity of his voice. And what I love about both of these vocalists is that they sing straight from their hearts.    

Dulin: If you were on a world tour as a Blip.FM DJ and ambassador, what three countries or cities would you visit first? What DJs would you like to meet?

midnightwalker: Well I would start with the USA and would like to meet at least @indieearcandyforeveryone @AprilJ @orangekittypie @by_starla @Indie_Tunes @SlipperyDistortion @okmusic @katost @Modster@lilyetc @SoMuch @nastysurprise  @mirrormirror and @SabriESC (jumping across the border). And  I would hire @Kris_NA to play at the meeting. Then I would return to Europe to UK to meet: @snapbadger & @Dolittle (another border crossing) Then I would maybe fly to Australia and meet @Davrocks @paraboschi and @winggirl. I guess I have left out many DJs I would like to meet and the restriction of three is too restrictive for a world tour.

Dulin: What influences your blip picks? Mood, nostalgia, new artist/song, social interaction, or other factors?

midnightwalker: All of those. Mainly I use blip as a way to discover and blip music new to me.  But also I like the social interaction a lot. One can’t ever be entirely aware even of the music scene of one’s own nation/neighboring nations (can’t however avoid feeling of slight embarrassment if someone from other side of the Atlantic introduces me to a Finnish artist) and blip creates a great playground for music enthusiasts all around the world. Themeblipping is fun occasionally too. The most important aspect of the music I blip is that I like it at least on some level.

Dulin: Pick one song that encapsulates your personality, and explain why.

midnightwalker: Guess I’ll go with Nelj√§ Ruusua: Juppihippipunkkari. It’s direct translation of it is Yuppiehippiepunker and it’s about a person with personality hard to categorize or put a label on. It encapsules the kind anarchy against categorizations which I wanna stay out of too and it has a weird sense of humor in it which fits my personality too.  But do not use Google Translate to translate the lyrics. It can’t cope with Finnish of the song at all.

Pete Dulin writes about food and music for print and online publications.


  1. Another great interview, Pete and Midnightwalker!

    I've been thinking about lyrics lately - like midnightwalker I don't necessarily put a lot of focus on them, though I have many friends who are all about the lyrics. Some of my favorite lyrics are by Liz Fraser, and they are completely unintelligible. I find if I'm listening to the lyrics I have a hard time feeling the music, and feeling the music is what it's all about to me. Thanks, midnightwalker also for this bit of info - I had no idea a minor in German philology and pedagogy was a thing one could do :)

    -MissDiggity / Dori

  2. huge layne staley fan, too. great interview and thanks for the mention!