“We play the music that we are influenced by. We are heavily influenced by '70s, '80s, and '90s country music. That’s our starting point. What brought us together is our shared love of that music and that era, so it’s kind of natural that’s what would come out. That’s beyond the music, too -- the imagery that we use as a band is all just the era that we are influenced by.”
That imagery includes their stage attire -- straight out of the playbook of legendary country-rock bands such as The Byrds or The Flying Burrito Brothers. Again, the group insists they are not trying to be trendy -- they are just being natural to their own tastes. “If you’re gonna do it, why not do it big,” stated lead singer Mark Wystrach. “It’s an expression of what we are into in our collective interests. We like the older stuff.” Duddy says he would wear their hip clothing no matter his vocation. “If I was bagging groceries, I would still show up wearing what I’m wearing now. It’s what I’m comfortable in.”
The road that Midland took to being signed by Big Machine included a few different twists and turns over the years, as Wystrach notes.
“Like a lot of kids, you head out west to pursue your dreams, the pretty women, and the good weather,” he quipped concerning their migration to Los Angeles, where they discovered each other’s musical talents. “Jess and Cameron had a project together that didn't work out, and Jess left town. I started my first project shortly thereafter with Cameron on a project together, and that didn't work out. Then, fast forward to Cameron’s wedding four years ago in Jackson Hole, he either made the biggest mistake or a serendipitous choice to ask me and Jess to be groomsmen. At that point, Jess and I hadn't seen each other in about five years,” he said. The die was cast.
Midland talks about their love for vintage styles, and whether they'd dress the same if they weren't country singers:
“The three of us had never played music together, though we all had such close calls. That week was a celebration up there, and we were traveling with guitars and started swapping songs. That week led to conversations about what kind of music we all loved, and in sharing the songs we were writing, they were overlapping. We have a vast musical background as to what our influences are -- everything from rock 'n roll to blues to folk to Americana to straight-up country. Within country, there are so many kind of micro-genres within that. But, our commonality was our love of country music. Jess looked at me and Cam and said ‘We should do something.’ We spent the next five or six months collecting songs, and we took nineteen songs, whittled them down to fourteen, took most of Cameron’s nest egg that he had gotten for his wedding, and we put that into a recording that was just the three of us chasing something. We didn't know anything about how we would work in the studio, but halfway through, we knew there was something special with these songs and the sound. Here we are three years later, releasing our debut album.”