It may sound profound, but We Leave at Midnight’s name is actually derived from a late night taco excursion. If Tex Mex at any hour doesn’t capture the essence of the band’s San Antonio hometown, we can’t be sure what does.
We Leave at Midnight first began as the solo project of lead singer John Dailey. His ambitious musical endeavors took root at a young age, back when he first recorded himself in junior high school with a four-track tape. Over the years, Dailey wrote songs that grew into intricate and elaborate pieces. He then called upon other musicians to help deepen his sound.
“I had a bunch of extra songs and slowly and collectively [the band] formed organically,” says Dailey. “As the songs got more complex and complicated and the arrangements started building up, I started adding more musicians.”
Now, We Leave at Midnight consists of five members, three of whom accompany Dailey on vocals. This past summer, the group released a five song EP titled “Terror Flora,” their first offering since their debut self-titled LP in 2012.
The nearly three year hiatus came about as the band underwent a transition in members. Throughout that time, Dailey continued to write songs which comprise their sophomore album and a second EP, due out in the near future via the San Anto label Texas Is Funny. But keeping that new work hidden from his audience didn’t come easy for Dailey.
“It’s the worst thing in the world. I think it’s frustrating for all bands, because by the time you actually release an album, those songs are fairly old,” says Dailey. “Every time you release an album, you’re already up for doing a new album. I really hate sitting on material. I’m all about trying to get it out as soon as it’s exciting and new and fresh.”
In the time between the initial release and the follow up EP, Dailey composed enough content to release a double album. He later decided that the excess material might be better suited for two separate recordings.
As far as inspiration for Dailey’s lyrics on the upcoming albums, the songwriter finds it all around him.
“I never seem short of inspiration. There is plenty of it in everything we do and everything we feel,” says Dailey.
“I don’t like to write things that are too specific. I like to have one person find meaning from a song and another person find a different meaning. You can take it as you want and make it what you want. Hopefully it can relate to different people and different situations.”
Dailey describes We Leave at Midnight as an indie band, but he draws influence from a bouquet of different genres. On their Bandcamp page, a description compares We Leave at Midnight to a union of the Beatles, Pet Sounds-era Beach Boys, 50’s doo-wop, and a hint of pop-friendly sounds spanning across generations. When listening to their songs, the aforementioned influences certainly shine through, but We Leave at Midnight manages to deliver each note in a self-assertive and distinct way. It only seems fair to assume that we can expect this level of achievement to flourish as the band continues onward.
Following the long-awaited reveal of their next album, We Leave at Midnight plan to tour in support of their sophomore effort. Dailey and his band mates will make stops in cities across the country, but the excitement of playing on familiar turf won’t be lost on them.
“I think there has been a revival in San Antonio. A bunch of new bands are coming out and it’s doing better than ever,” says Dailey. “We finally have a venue and it’s great to see our favorite band’s in our hometowns.”
While Dailey and the gang have the opportunity to catch their idols play in San Antonio, it also means they get billed for more shows on their home base.
“It’s cool because it’s a much more personal show. It’s much smaller, so you get that unique experience that you can’t get in a lot of large cities.”
To hear the rest of our interview with We Leave at Midnight, tune into this week’s episode of Discovery Corner.
Or interpret the music for yourself by clicking here.