The five soft-spoken guys that comprise Midnight Youth talk about their rising profile in their native New Zealand with more than a little bit of understatement. "We don't have a huge fan base in America because we haven't been over here a lot," lead singer Jeremy Redmore said when the band stopped by Billboard.com's studio. "Back home, we've had some success."
"Some success," in this case, means that since they formed in Aukland in 2006, Midnight Youth has competed New Zealand's prestigious Rockquest contest and opened for INXS and Incubus, and earlier this year "The Letter," the lead single from their debut album "The Brave Don't Run" was the No. 1 most-played song on New Zealand radio.
Watch Midnight Youth perform an acoustic version of "Golden Love."
The slot opening for INXS came about because of a demo the band sent to the company organizing the tour. Out of a number of local New Zealand bands, "they picked us," guitarist Simon Oscroft says. "We learned a lot from them. They were watching us sidestage every show of the tour.... We felt like a band after that."
But as Redmore notes, the quintet has yet to break through with American audiences, and they are currently only signed down under. They hope this continent will be as welcoming as their own has been. America has already been integral to the band's debut, according to Oscroft. "We spent our life savings and came over here" to record in Manhattan and Brooklyn with producer Terence Dover, he explains. "We took a chance because you've got to."
Midnight Youth, which also includes bassist Matt Warman, drummer Aidan Bartlett and keyboard/guitarist Nick Campbell, will spend the rest of the summer touring Australia, before moving forward with mapping out an international release of "The Brave Don't Run."