Top Country Spotlight: Midland on Canada, working with Dann Huff, and Emojis!
Hailing from Dripping Springs Texas, the undeniably refreshing trio, Midland, has been quickly capturing the hearts of country fans (and beyond) everywhere. We were lucky enough to sit down with lead vocalist Mark Wystrach and bassist Cameron Duddy while they were in Toronto last month. Lead guitarist Jess Carson had to fly back early to be with his beautiful wife for the birth of his adorable new baby boy, Parker. The trio just finished opening for Tim McGraw and Faith Hill on the western leg of their Canadian tour. We have a feeling that we aren’t the only Canadians listening to their debut EP on repeat right now.
TC: Do you have a song that you feel particularly connected to?
It’s like choosing your favourite child, which my parents did and I will never forget about (laughs). Variety is the spice of life so I enjoy singing them all. Playing live on this radio tour we’ve been doing a lot of acoustic performances. We’ve had to re-figure out all the songs acoustically. There is this song called ‘This Old Heart’ and we are still trying to figure out how to play it acoustically. ‘Burn Out’ is such a fun song to play live, although, especially when we are tired, there are some notes that are tough to sing. The idea is that if you put a song on a record, they all better mean something to you as you have to play them all the time. We are always writing. I’m really excited to go in and start recording the full length album.
TC: Speaking of recording an album, what was it like working with the legendary Dann Huff on your debut album? Super impressive.
We just saw Dann at the ACM’s in Vegas and were able to have a beer with him. We are usually in work mode so it was great to finally just sit down and talk to him about being a studio musician. He is a great leader, kind of like that football coach that you want to impress. He’s fatherly and a really, really good human being. Dann’s been in love with his wife since he was 14, one of those kind of guys. Hyper intelligent but also hilarious. We’ve had the chance to work with some incredibly talented people and we would put Dan at the forefront of that. The whole process has been like we are in school and always learning.
TC: You’ve been pegged by Rolling Stone Country as one of the 10 new artists you need to know! Who is another favourite new artist of YOURS?
He’s not new, he’s been doing it for a while but Jon Pardi is definitely up there. He’s our bro, we love him. The girls of country, a trio called Runaway June are super talented, cool and have amazing harmonies. Big fans of theirs. We also have some friends out in Texas that are newer, like our buddy Jonathan Terrell. Tim McGraw and Faith Hill are still making compelling music. We didn’t know what to think of their new single until we saw them perform it at the ACM’s. They just have such a presence in their live show that is just huge.
TC: You get to travel a bit more in Canada this year with Tim and Faith and for Boots and Hearts. It’s Canada’s 150th Birthday this year! What is your favourite thing about Canada so far?
Well… we are going to apply for our Canadian citizenship this year (please do). The people are definitely our favourite. It’s really diverse. I just saw a documentary on the Terry Fox story, which I had no idea about. The way that the Canadian people can come together with resolve to raise over half a billion dollars for The Terry Fox Foundation is incredible. Canadians are kind and determined. We just love them.
Top Country Favourites:
Mark: Mescal, on the rocks with Lemons
Cam: Mescal, on the rocks with Lemons
(they obviously like to drink together) Favourite City:
Mark: Toronto or Vancouver
Cam: Paris Favourite Food:
Cam: Pizza Favourite Emoji:
Cam: 😵 Favourite Candy:
Mark: Divinity from Disney Land, yum!
Cam: Sour Patch Kids Favourite Song (Right Now)
Mark: It’s actually from a Canadian artist, Patrick Watson ‘Bollywood’. I went through a really difficult breakup recently and it helped get me through it.
Cam: Harry Nilsson Favourite App:
Cam: Spotify or Instagram! Favourite Store:
Mark: I Love Vintage in Austin