By Pat McGuire and Jeff Murray; photos by Eleanor Stills on December 31, 2013
It was autumn, 2012, and Midlake needed a stIff drInk.
Last November, with more than a decade of experience and three LPs holstered to their belts, the group’s lead singer Tim Smith decided it was his last call with the band. The remainder of the Denton, Texas, outfit was left in the lurch, stranded at a crossroads with two years of recorded material for their follow-up to 2010’s The Courage of Others.
“We had a big decision to make of whether we would try to use some of that material or just start anew,” says guitarist and now lead vocalist Eric Pulido. “And we felt like the healthiest thing for all of us was to just start over.” Scrapping all that work, the band bellied up to the bar for six months to produce their newest release, Antiphon, with a couple new members and a freshly shaken-up (but not overly stirred) sound, resulting in a smooth pour from start to finish.
But where, you’re asking, are all these misguided booze references coming from?
Rewind to yet another previous autumn, in October 2011, and Midlake’s then-newest venture as a band: the grand opening of their very own Paschall Bar in downtown Denton. “We always thought it would be cool to do something like that,” says Pulido. “When you’re recording and not touring, there’s no money coming in, and we had a little money in the bank and thought about investing in something together.”
The small bar in the Texan college town is your classic, low-lit wooden pub, with a vast library of books, midlake-selected tunes, imported cocktails and microbrews throughout. “Every [Midlake member] is a part of it and comes to hang out and keep tabs on things or even bartend,” says Pulido. “I would encourage any band to invest in something that’s not musical. It’s something else fun that doesn’t put as much pressure on you.”
Here, FILTER opens our doors to Pulido, drummer Mckenzie Smith and new guitarist (and former new York City bartender) Joey McClellan for a Midlake happy hour where they reveal their bar’s step-by-step process for mixing their favorite cocktail, a whiskey old-fashioned. What, you thought it was gonna be a Roscoe?
Head over to our Tumblr to see Midlake's instructions step-by-step.
This article is from FILTER Issue 54