It’s a rainy, dull day of November. I’m in a hidden but welcoming little room of the Deaf Institute in Manchester with Hannah, Harry and Tim: the Middle Kids!
Your latest album ‘Lost Friends’ has been getting the approval of both the audience and the critics: NME rates it as one of the best debut albums of 2018, in particular Thomas Smith describes its songs as powerful “anthems”. Would you agree with this view?
Hannah: To me it’s not so anthemic. Maybe some of the melodies are very energetic and vital but the album itself is very personal, we’re people talking to other people who need to find their identity, you know, to those who want to know who they are and where they’re going. It’s about existence.
I’ve seen that you’ve spent a few years in USA studying in a High School in Maryland, an experience which you dedicated a song from this album to, which I guess makes it very dear to you: how was America different from Australia in your experience?
– Hannah: Well, I’ve passed from a very big city (Sydney) to small town in the American East Coast. The high school was very big though, and it was just like what you see in the movies, just like you would imagine it; it’s very different from Australia for sure, it is in a sense more intense. Why did I go there? Because I needed to change, I struggled where I was and I decided to try something new. Some good advice I would give to people studying abroad is simply to find the right people, to find the ones you connect with.
Now, about tonight’s gig and your European tour in general: what do you
expect from the concert and the audience?
– Tim: Well the room we’re going to play in is pretty big and beautiful; we only want people to enjoy it, to live the music we’re playing, just like we would if we went to the concert of the band we love: we want the audience to feel and be inspired by our music.
– Harry: Yeah, totally! In Europe people seem very involved in the music they’re listening to at a gig, especially in the U.K!
– Hannah: Yes! People sing with you here!
Let’s talk a little bit about your first experiences as musicians… What made you start into the world of music?
– Hannah: Music has always been inside of me, since I was a very young. It just had to come out, you know. People are often like “Why do you write music?” and, well, I just push out the songs I want to make, I turn them out or I would go crazy! I started with classical music but my brother first introduced me to Indie with bands like The Strokes.
– Tim: I started listening to a lot of DIY, like tape recordings and alternative music; some bands though have been massively influential on me, like for example’ the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Tiegan And Sara and a lot of American music. I think you can really hear their influence in our album!
– Harry: I’ve been influenced by both European and American music, I guess I’m fifty-fifty,
even for a period in my life I listened to a lot of Canadian music, so theres a lot of that in there too.
And what about your future as a band? What changes in your music are you thinking of right now?
– Tim: Well, we’re surely not going to start making synth-pop or anything like that! But honestly I don’t know, I guess I just want to play!
– Hannah: We’re probably going to try more instruments, you know, we’ll explore the possibilities that new instrumentation can offer, but in general I’m not too sure either!
So, just a last question. Have you ever thought instead about making anything more visual, perhaps something to use and express your music with?
– Harry: Yes, we could actually; we should definitely make a feature film.
– Hannah: But I’m so unskilled in that area! I mean, visual.
– Tim: We should make a biopic about your life Hannah…
– Hannah: It’s so boring…
– Tim: …where you crash in the middle of the songs, like in random situations…
– Hannah: I’ll score it!
Lost Friends is out now, via Lucky Number