In the spotlight for this week’s Meet The Band are Memphis rockers Savage After Midnight. Their debut EP is 11:59. Keyboardist/vocalist James “JT” Thomas introduces us to his band.
Chad Bowar: Give us a brief history of Savage After Midnight.
James “JT” Thomas: We’ve been a band for a number of years, even though we’ve had several different iterations with the current lineup. We’re from the Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee areas, and signed to Red Music/The Century Family.
Describe the songwriting process for the 11:59 EP.
Our songwriting style varies song to song, but for the most part one member will bring a riff or lyrical concept and then the band will come together in different phases to help develop the song into something cool, that we are all into.
How did you decide to work with producer John Falls (Egypt Central), and how was the experience?
John is a killer guy with a ton of experience and talent. Working with him was fairly easy for us because we have similar writing and production styles. We think he was exactly what this first EP needed to bring the life out of it!
How would you characterize the album’s style/sound?
It’s hard rock/alt metal with an electronic modern flair. The band has some pop sensibilities at the core of the songs as well.
How did you come to sign with Red Music/The Century Family?
It was a long and winding process. We initially were talking to several different labels like Razor & Tie, Atlantic and others, but we felt more at home with Red. I guess the short answer is that it was the right timing and the right fit for who we are.
What are your goals and expectations for the EP?
I’m not sure we have any expectations as far as hitting particular goals for this EP. We’re mostly focused on putting out as many good songs as we can, that we can also be proud of. We just want people to be able to connect to the music through their own personal experiences. If people are connecting with the music, everything else will come together.
What has been your most memorable Savage After Midnight live show or tour?
The Shinedown tour was pretty special. But every tour has its own unique special moments. We had this show in Boston recently with Pop Evil, and something happened to that town to make them go crazy during rock shows. That night was one we’ll probably never forget!
What are your upcoming tour plans?
We just finished a run with Memphis May Fire and He Is Legend in the southeast, and we did a bunch of dates on the East Coast with Pop Evil. We have several shows we’re confirming around the country this summer, and we hope to announce a proper tour in the near future.
How did you get started in music?
We all got started playing in our local Memphis music scene in a number of different bands, and we actually all used to play shows together, just in separate projects. As time went on and the people and projects we were in separately fizzled out, it made sense that we all found each other to end up where we are today as S.A.M.
Who were your early influences and inspirations?
There are just so many, it’s hard to narrow it down to just a few bands. We all loved different styles and genres. I personally loved A Day to Remember and bands from the Warped Tour scene.
What was the first rock/metal concert you attended?
My first show ever was actually Elton John, but my first real rock show was Linkin Park and Mudvayne.
What’s the heavy music scene like in Memphis these days?
It struggles at times like any local scene, but good bands can revive it overnight. We are lucky enough to have one of the best local fan bases in our hometown – although we perhaps don’t play often enough for them. We might have to change that soon!
Seen any good movies/DVDs lately?
Have you seen A Star is Born? It’s so good!! Our go to flick is Walk Hard – The Dewey Cox Story.
What’s currently in your heavy musical rotation?
We listen to so much good heavy music, it’s hard to figure out where to start. Asking Alexandria, Hyro The Hero, Fever 333, The Amity Affliction, just to name a few.
Anything else you’d like to mention or promote?
Keep up with us on social media (see below) and stream us on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon, Pandora and Google Play. And check out our “10 Feet Tall” video:
(interview published March 19, 2019)