Midnight Creek – a Viennese Country Band
Did you know that Austria has a growing Country-Music-scene? Every now and then you can stumble upon Country festivals, concerts and get-togethers. We were fortunate enough to sit down and chat with the Viennese band Midnight Creek, who has made a name for themselves in this very scene.
The members of the band are Nik the lead singer, Alex the bassist, Aleks the drummer, Alex the guitarist, and Dilan, who plays the violin. The five of them form a motey group of four men and one woman, who somehow fit together perfectly.
Secret Vienna: Who are you guys?
Nik: I’m Nik, I’m the lead singer and I play the guitar. I’m a thirty year old chemist, who loves music with all his might.
Alex: My name is Alex, I play the bass, and I used to be a fan of the band before I joined them.
Aleks: I’m Aleks, I play the drums and I joined the band a good three years ago. I’m a professional musician, a metalhead but also lover of all genres.
Alex: I’m Alex (laughs), I’ve been making music with Nik for over ten years, I play the electric guitar, teach guitar and write for a music magazine every now and then.
Dilan: My name’s Dilan, I play the violin and I joined the band a few months ago this year. I’m somewhat of a Country rookie, but I’m adjusting to the scene.
SV: When and how did the band form?
Nik: Alex (guitar) and I used to play in another country band, which broke apart before Covid struck. The both of us always loved playing Country and Rock’n’Roll, so we wanted to stick to those genres. At first we played a few gigs together before I pulled the others in.
Alex: Nik’s the converter of us all, the godfather, so to speak. (all laugh)
Nik: COVID-19 didn’t really help with rehearsals and our planned gigs, but we’re slowly adjusting to the situation and trying to make the most out of it.
SV: Your band name is Midnight Creek, what does it stand for?
Nik: It started one night with the famous problem of “we need a name”. The name needed to fit the Country scene, it shouldn’t be too specific.
Aleks: And easy, something one can easily remember.
Nik: We wrote a few names down and started narrowing them down till we decided on Midnight Creek.
Alex (guitar): There were some interesting names on that list.
Nik: I think one of them was Potato Bandits. You know, it needs to be easy enough to pronounce, in the beginning some people thought we were “Midnight Greek”, which caused a few confusing moments, as you can imagine.”Creek” is also often used for bands in the country and bluegrass scene. It describes this small stream that winds its way through the wild nature, but also radiates the peaceful and down-to-earth atmosphere. It is also the sound of the creek, which breaks through the peace and quiet of the night. We liked the combination with Midnight, as our concerts usually take place in the evening until the midnight hour and beyond.
SV: Do you write your own songs or do you just do covers?
Alex (guitar): By now we are starting with our own songwriting, next week we’ll record a new song. But so far we’ve mainly focused on covers of Johnny Cash songs, Elvis, Chuck Berry, and so on.
SV: Is there a big country scene in Austria?
Nik: Perhaps not big, but quite old. Vienna isn’t a big focus point for us, but there are a few spots in Vienna, like the Saloon in the Donauplex, where you can stumble upon Country concerts. Upper and Lower Austria have a bigger scene, just like Tyrol.
Aleks: It’s a strong community, with big support for one another, which helps the bands a lot.
Alex (guitar): One can’t forget the line dance aspect of those festivals. Line dancing makes up a lot, it helps to bring some movement into the festivals, so it’s not like a concert you visit and then leave after some time has passed, it’s a place full of interaction.
Nik: The international acts are definitely missing, it would be nice if some of them would find their way to Austria, so the scene can keep on growing here.
SV: How do you feel about the Austrian art scene in general?
Aleks: It’s definitely different to other countries. By now it feels a bit more stereotypical than something to focus on, since Austria is always connected to art, classical music and opera.
Dilan: The support is missing, and I’m not only talking about the financial aspect, but it would be nice if other genres, besides classical music, got some more promotion. It’s definitely a question of networking, cohesion and communication. If more people would know about the Country scene, for example, about concerts and festivals, perhaps some more people would feel that missing push to actually go to those concerts.
SV: So, what are your hopes / wishes for the art scene, what needs to change?
Dilan: More support for younger bands, especially from the government.
Alex (guitar): No selective support. This means not only the big focus on classical music, but an open support for all genres.
Aleks: More visibility and a certain kind of openness and publicity for musicians.
SV: I want to end this with the question of, how would you describe Vienna in one sentence for tourists?
Dilan: You can walk everywhere per foot.
Alex (Guitar): It’s a beautiful and truly livable city.
Aleks: Vienna is big, but you don’t really notice it.
Alex (Bass): It’s beautiful, one can easily fall in love with the city.
Nik: You can stumble upon the President at the Würstelstand (hot-dog stand).
We thank Midnight Creek for their time and certainly can’t wait to see where their route of success will take them. Make sure to check out their Instagram and Facebook as well as their Website for updates about festivals and concerts. Click here for their Youtube.