The Midnight Wedding has been a quickly rising voice in the rock scene, despite having yet to release a full length album. With the singles “Powerless,” “Haunted,” and most recently “I Swear,” they have quickly established themselves as a source of musical excellence and raw emotion.
Before Pitfest 2020 in Marion, Indiana, artist and ROP contributor Matt Sassano sat down with The Midnight Wedding’s Brandon and Caitlin Trlak to talk about their music, their mission– and their favorite movies.
Matt Sassano: Give me some background on the Midnight Wedding, your sound, influences and how the band started.
Brandon: My wife and I have both been in other bands before this, so band life is not unfamiliar to us.
Caitlin: I was in a couple before this, but it’s been a good blend for both of us because we’re on the same page and we’re both co-leading. That’s what makes it work.
Who is the rocker of the group, and who is the worshipper?
Caitlin: Brandon is more of the rocker, and I have one rock song right now, but I do more worship music.
You released two music videos for your singles “Powerless” and “I Swear.” What was the inspiration behind both songs?
Caitlin: “Powerless” is basically talking about how we are not going to give the Devil any power. He is Powerless over us because we have God living in us. That’s the general idea of the song.
Brandon: With “I Swear,” it was inspired by Romans Chapter 7, where Paul says, “the things I want do I do not do, and the things I hate I just keep on doing.” It talks about struggle between what we face inside of ourselves. The war of good and evil. Every single day when we wake up, we are fighting these battles.
“I Swear” came out of a piece of my life when I was walking as a believer but had a lot of bumpy roads and made a lot of mistakes. I lived as a hypocrite at times. It wasn’t until I understood God’s grace was for my life that I wanted to make the effort and make the change to live for Him. “I Swear” is kind of an anthem, saying “I want to do what’s right and I love you God. You’re everything I need, and I am sorry I keep struggling with the wrong things.”
“I Swear” seems to be based on a conflicted believer trying to overcome the darkness of his or her shortcomings. The video for the single likens that sinful nature to that of a criminal making a plea for redemption. It features a cinematic storyline. Tell us about the music video more in depth.
Brandon: The music video is actually part one of a trilogy. We have two music videos coming out. We have four singles we are releasing before our full album Anthem for the Outcast comes out in January. We’re pretty excited about that.
The musical video for “I Swear” shows and talks about our struggles. You see the camera go into Brandon’s eye.
Such a cool effect!
Brandon: Yeah, it shows the battle inside myself. The Cop (the good person in me) that wants to do the right thing, and then there’s the criminal. It shows the battle that’s constantly between them. And how many times does the criminal win out? Like Paul says, “I want to do what’s right, but I always do what is wrong.” It shows the fight is always going on, and the criminal always wins out. But the story is not over.
That’s part one of the video, and it’s called the “Outcast Trilogy.” The next video coming out is even more intense.
I heard you were working with Joel Burris. Are you going to follow up with him on the other videos?
Brandon: Yes, Joel is an amazing man. I suggest that any band get with him and work with him. He takes your mission, the belief you have, the music you’re doing, the vision you have for the music you’re doing, and he will bring that to life in ways you don’t think is possible. Joel has done everything for us. He did our single cover for “I Swear.” He’s helping us build our brand-new website. He’s phenomenal.
What life experiences most shape and The Midnight Wedding’s songwriting as a whole, and what kind of person would you say your music is for?
Caitlin: It’s definitely for anyone who feels like they have been rejected from the church especially. Everybody has been there at some point. Or even if they’ve been rejected by the world. Maybe back in high school, or even now, they feel that they can’t finish this life. They nave nobody to depend on. We just want to reach anybody who is feeling that sorrow or that real loneliness. We want to find them and show them that it doesn’t matter where you are in life, that God can meet you where you’re at.
I have big expectations for Pitfest tonight. A lot of people need to hear that message. One thing that stuck out to me about your songs is that they all draw some degree of inspiration from overcoming internal struggles. What do you want fans to take from your music as a whole, and what would you say to a listener battling something heavy?
Brandon: Our album that is coming out is titled Anthem for the Outcast. That is what this is all about. It’s about the outcast. It’s about the rejected. It’s about the person who has been either outcasted by the world or outcasted by the self-pious religious person, and who struggles with depression. I am a person who struggles with suicidal depression often. For me, it’s an everyday fight. For me, it’s an everyday wake up and thank God for what He has given me. Finding those reasons to get up and live that day.
This album, Cait wrote half the album, and I wrote the other half, and Josiah Prince wrote along with us. It became an awesome blend of those internal struggles.
I know for me, I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life. I’ve made a lot of wrong choices that I only have shame and regret for. Then having that overwhelming voice over you saying you are horrible. It just makes you feel like nothing. Makes you feel like God doesn’t love you.
The most amazing thing about God is that nothing occurs to God. Like God doesn’t wake up one morning and say, “I didn’t see that person sinning. I haven’t seen them doing that wrong.” He already knew. The Bible says, “Jesus died for us while we were still sinners.” That’s our hope. That’s our message: what God has done no matter what they’ve done, been through or what they are struggling with. Jesus Christ loves them. There is nothing on this planet can change what Grace has done, and that’s the gift of salvation.
Caitin: What I want to say is that we both have been there. Our lyrics come out of our real struggles that we both deal with.
Can you tell us about any defining or meaningful interactions you’ve had with music fans that let you know your music is having an impact?
Brandon: The Midnight Wedding is a new thing for us. This is our first show where we are actually doing our new music. So we are pretty excited!
In our old bands, we had a lot of interaction and learned there were a lot of hurting and desperate people out there. They need to know they are loved. It so hard to see sometimes, because we live our lives based off of our sight. Everything we see is what we perceive, and we think that is truth. But God is telling us to close our eyes to what the world is saying, and to open our eyes up to what heaven is showing us.
So we’ve seen where people have turned around and said, “so there is love for me and there is hope for me?” I say absolutely. I feel like l’ve been one of the worst people on the planet, and if He can save me, then He can save you.
You mentioned that you worked on much of your music with Josiah from Disciple. How did that come about?
Brandon: Disciple is probably my all time favorite band ever. They were an inspiration in my turning point. I really first got into them when the song, “Invisible” came out. That song impacted my life and changed who I was. It made me believe there still was hope for me.
I’d been working with a record producer in Nashville named Matt Arcaini, who is a good friend of Josiah. We were needing a guitarist for a show, so I called Matt and said “we are short on a guitarist, do you know anyone who can fill in?” And all of a sudden our drummer backed out too. Matt got back with me and said “I got a couple of guys for you. Meet me in Nashville to rehearse.”
We got to Nashville, and I say “I swear I know these guys from somewhere. Is that Joey and Josiah from Disciple?” They filled in and played for us. I was like, “man I am not prepared for this.” We connected then.
Our record producer kind of retired from producing and does more mixing than producing now. So we went to Josiah and said “we’d really love to start working with you and have you do our producing.” It took us three years of writing. Within the last year and a half, we got the recording finished.
How has Josiah’s influences impacted your music or direction as a band?
Caitlin: As far as Josiah’s influence, he did a lot. Josiah co-wrote with each of us because it’s hard for me and Brandon to write together. So we split it up so where Josiah would have writing sessions with each of us at different times. It just worked out like that. Josiah would ask us what we were hearing the song as, and then he would just get it. I don’t even know how he did it.
Brandon: We would say, “we want to be like this band and have that sound on the song.” And he’d be like, “alright, we’ll figure it out.” There is a song on our album called “Kill Me,” and it talks about my struggle with suicidal depression. I was able to sit in the studio with Josiah, and he could tell there was something wrong. Josiah said, “hey what’s up?” I started just pouring out and tell him all about it. I am crying, and he’s like “let’s write about this right now.” It turned out to be one of my favorite songs on the album.
Josiah’s influence has been astronomical. He was able to get our passion and what we saw and brought it to life. He’s a miracle worker when it comes to production. I recommend that anyone works with him because he’s phenomenal.
Few people can say they are doing music and traveling with their husband/wife. What is it like balancing married life and band life?
Brandon: It all kind of bleeds together is the best way to put it. The ministry is all one. Our marriage is part of our ministry, our band is part of our ministry, our kids are part of our ministry.
Caitlin: Right now, we have our normal day jobs that we do. I just everyday can’t wait to be on the road together. We did that in 2015 with another band. It was great, though it wasn’t easy. We didn’t always know what the plan was. It gets stressful on the road. With us being together, I like it better. I know not everyone can work with their husband or wife everyday all day, but I can be around him all the time.
Brandon: Yes, I can be with her 24/7 and not want to be apart.
Caitlin: I don’t want to go back to the real world.
Brandon: Our days off are like, “do we have to go to work tomorrow?”
What are some hobbies outside of music?
Brandon: We love, love movies. This year has devastated us, because we used to go see movies once a week because it was like our date night. We’d go out to eat and go see a movie, it was kind of our thing. Then the pandemic hit, and no more movie theaters.
Any movies that grab you lately?
Brandon: We saw The Old Garden, and it was good.
Caitlin: We watch a lot of Dateline lately. It’s interesting, and I don’t know why. We just randomly put it on. We watch a lot of that.
Brandon: We won’t even watch the T.V. It’s just background. We love action movie and crime stuff. She is more into the sappy romantic stuff.
Caitlin: I am into rom coms. Gotta have some comedy!
A Walk to Remember?
Brandon: That is our drummer’s favorite movie. Don’t tell him we told you that!
What are your plans moving forward, and how can fans reach out and support the Midnight Wedding?
Brandon: Download the songs, watch the videos, and get ready for some new releases. January 22, 2021 full album will be released. That’s the best way to support us!