The members of Midland and Chris Shiflett do their best to cope with technological limitations in a new episode of the Walking the Floor podcast, recorded remotely on a Zoom call during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This time, all four participants were in different spots — Shiflett at his home base in California, Midland singer Mark Wystrach at his family’s ranch near Tucson, Arizona (and struggling mightily with wifi), and Cameron Duddy and Jess Carson at their respective homes in Texas. So it’s a little surprising that the “Mr. Lonely” trio’s usual fluid banter still comes through just fine despite the remote connection as they discuss everything from their Tiger King homage, their Los Angeles origins, and re-opening the famed Palomino for one night.
We’ve rounded up a few highlights from the episode, which can be streamed in its entirety below.
The guys never encountered Tiger King in the wild, but at least one member did have a link to the sex-obsessed cult in Netflix’s Wild Country.
“I have a personal connection to all that. My aunt went out there to that cult because that’s the type of person she is,” says Carson, who grew up in Oregon. “She likes that kind of stuff and went out there and apparently visited them.”
“Don’t hold back, I need details,” Shiflett prodded.
“I think even my dad saw the procession of Rolls-Royces driving by,” Carson continued. “It was a big deal. When that was going on, that was front headline news.”
None of Midland’s members are originally from Texas, but they’ve made the Lone Star State their home because of their fondness for its music and people.
Lamenting how Austin has “lost the war of development,” Wystrach talks about efforts to rescue country venue the Broken Spoke.
“They fought like Texans at the Alamo to preserve that,” he says. “There’s that sense of pride and preservation that exists in Texas. If I could point a finger at the thing that makes the music scene so special there and what attracted us to that is that reverence for the dance hall and the live music experience.”
Midland’s members knew one another in Los Angeles while they were putting in time in other bands, but it finally gelled when they decided to play together.
“We tinkered in different lineups and struggled and really didn’t get anywhere,” Wystrach says, noting that they used to share rehearsal space. “When this band came together there was such a joy in having a project that functioned and worked. Part of that magic was having the three of us, and we finally had a structure and a democracy in place that you could move through creative tensions and different visions. By the time we had success, you’re talking about 10 – 15 years of playing in bands and projects.”