This search, however, has proven inconclusive. Results indicate prior music history dating back to 2002, a return of which is looming.
The curtain again rises for Midnight Movies.
The prologue begins with a recurring image, a classified ad posted by singer Gena Olivier on the Recycler Web site.
“It [the ad] actually said I'm looking for musicians that play non-traditional rock instruments like the oboe and the cello,” Olivier says. “Anything non-traditional.”
Olivier came across the ad of guitarist Larry Schemel. While there were a few obscure musical influences listed on Schemel's classified, Olivier recognized a couple and responded back. According to Olivier, once met Schemel, her first impressions of seeing him were weird.
“When he opened the door and I first saw him, the thought that went into my head was that he looked like a musician I'd seen on VH1's ‘Behind the Music'.”
Impressions aside, the two clicked right from the start, Olivier says. Former keyboardist Jason Hammons rounded out the triangle. Midnight Movies were ready to find their sound and quickly did but like all films, expect the unexpected. For the trio that came in the form of Olivier drumming for the band when the likelihood of not finding a drummer started to come into sight.
Olivier recalls when her two colleagues began to notice her ability to use the kick pedal. “They were like ‘oh wow 'because they couldn't keep the coordination of their foot and even though it sounded crap they just figured [I could] at least hold down a beat. As we started doing that, we were forming the sound we discovered with the organ bass and the super minimal drums, which also contributed to the vocal melodies.”
With the loss of Hammons, the addition of drummer Sandra Vu and bassist/keyboardist Ryan Wood has helped the band reach a more mature sound says Olivier. Olivier is no longer in the back but rather up front doing what she loves doing.
“She [Vu] can do the basic minimal style that I had before but she can very easily go in this complex tornado thing without breaking a sweat,” Olivier says. “Having that is great because before there were parts that we want to write but I couldn't pull that off so we didn't but that's there now. We were a bit scared that it was going to stray away from the original sound it just sounds stronger.”
This more potent sound led to a collaboration between the band and producer Steve Fisk (Nirvana) on the new album Lion the Girl . Olivier says this album is different from their first record in that their debut sounded more like their live show. One of the new tracks to pour out of this new effort is “Patient Eye,” which will be the first single.
The rhythms throughout “Patient Eye” have a methodical/minimalist approach but the developed sound is apparent. There is a cadence pressing forward that heightens Olivier's vocals, so evocative that it creates images which she says are essential in their songwriting.
“We kind of approach songwriting like each song or even each part of each song rather is a scene to a something visual. We write visually.”
It's in keeping this music aesthetic that Midnight Movies builds to another familiar cinematic term: genres, which according to Olivier is a possibility in the near future.
“We've played around with the idea of a much mellower record, more electronic based. We're definitely more open and inspired by the idea of doing records that have different feels to them.
Expect the unexpected.
Lion the Girl will be available March 6, 2007. Midnight Movies will have a single release party/show Nov. 17 at Spaceland, in Silver Lake. For more information, visit www.midnightmovies.net.