WILLIAMSBURG: Eyes fixed and camera ready, staff photographer Jenkins LeWhisker sipped a beer, listening to Rush Midnight’s set at Cameo Gallery. Intrigued by an earlier glimpse of the band, JLW wondered how such a rich sound could come out of a rhythm section. “How could this be?” he wondered. So Jenkins went deep — real deep — undercover as Rex Manning and interrogated former Twin Shadow bassist Russ Manning and Chad Hodge until they divulged the secret of Rush Midnight.
Excuse me, can you help me out? Since I’m fictional and not real at all, I don’t know how describe what I just heard.
Russ: It’s like dance music from the early 90’s with some RnB Influences.
Chad: Emphasis on the rhythm section.
Super. Yeah, so how do you do that… how did you actually write the music?
Chad: I feel like Russ brings an idea for a live show. The songs are already there for the record, so we adapt those songs for a live show.
Russ: All the samples on the record are live. Live programmed drums. The whole idea is to make it sound live, sound 70’s, ya know: close mic, dry room, 70’s drum set.
Chad: There’s a certain vibe we create by programming drums and keeping the live feel.
This sounds like a lot of work.
Russ: Yeah, but that’s what I used all my time for on the road [with Twin Shadow]. You go into a room in England or whatever, and you have an amazing drum kit from the 70’s, and you’re like: “let’s mic these drums.” And I sampled the drummer from Twin Shadow on his snare and on his kick, ya know, and we reproduced that for the record.
So how was the whole experience building Rush Midnight piece by piece?
Russ: It’s been a long trip. We’ve both been playing together for 4-5 years. It’s just been a bedroom thing until now. Now it’s time to show it, and see what people think. So we have an E.P. coming out soon.
So you guys have some shows coming up, what are you looking forward to?
Russ: How does your snare feel at night when you hit it medium in bed?
Chad: Usually, I sleep next to my snare. I try to get to know it intimately…Ask it questions, like: “How did the show go for you?” But it never says anything back to me.
How does that make you feel?
Chad: Sometimes unappreciated. It makes me really want to do a good job and focus on the snare more.
Say No More Mon Amour
2012, New York