Music Bugle Exclusive – Q & A – Joel Lalonde Of The Midnight Echo

By Nicholas Jason Lopez

Photo courtesy of The Midnight Echo Facebook page.

Toronto-based alternative rock act The Midnight Echo recently released a lyric video for their single “Paris In 39,” which comes off of their EP ‘Dichotomy,’ released earlier this year.

The video explores several themes regarding the highs and lows of relationships, which looks at the bigger picture of dichotomy itself, with scenes of both beauty and destruction.

The Midnight Echo is currently frontman/guitarist Joel Lalonde and lead guitarist Tyler Rayman, as they’re on the search for a new bassist/drummer.

They’ve flourished since their 2016 formation and are often compared to bands like 30 Seconds To Mars, Fall Out Boy and Angels And Airwaves, thanks to their signature sound that blends early 2000’s pop-punk with 80’s new wave synth.

The Music Bugle had the chance to talk with Lalonde about the “Paris In 39” lyric video and more.

Music Bugle – How would you describe your new ‘Dichotomy’ EP?

Joel Lalonde – ‘Dichotomy’ is essentially a contrast between two things that are totally different from each other. The EP as a whole, examines the concept of going through difficult experiences in our lives with a sense of optimism. The title ‘Dichotomy’ reflects life in general and the importance of experiencing both sides of the spectrum, as the highs associated with the good would not feel the same without the lows associated with the bad. ‘Dichotomy’ also fit well with the idea that all of the songs have a different vibe to them. Even though they all fit well together on one release, you can certainly tell them apart just seconds into hearing them.


Music Bugle – Are you proud of how the “Paris In 39” lyric video came out?

Joel Lalonde – We were really pleased with how the video turned out. We were able to get it done through a company called Trenches Media. At the beginning, we had a lot of different ideas of how we should go about making the video, which is the case for most of our projects, but we were really able to hone in on what we were looking for after a couple drafts of the idea!


Music Bugle – What makes you most happy about Toronto?

Joel Lalonde – Toronto is really an amazing city. Having grown up just outside it most of our lives, we have been able to take advantage of it many benefits. Especially when it comes to music, we have played many of the historical venues over the years like The El Mocambo, Lee’s Palace, Opera House, The Horseshoe and even Wonderland, an amusement park just north of the city.


Music Bugle – What is it about alternative rock that excites you?

Joel Lalonde – Our favorite thing about alternative rock would probably have to be the energy that comes from it. There is just something about the genre that excites our ears when we hear it. It is a genre full of emotion, which we think is the driving factor in some of our favorite songs ever created!


Music Bugle – How have you felt the group mature as the years pass?

Joel Lalonde – We first started playing music together when we were in grade 12. However, we were definitely a few years of hard work away from where we wanted to be sonically. When we first started, our music was much more punk/emo sounding. A good example would be the early days of Taking Back Sunday. This, however, was all done under other band names and with a few different members here and there. In 2016, we had just taken roughly a year off from doing anything music-related and decided to rebrand ourselves as The Midnight Echo. Our goal was to create a more mature sound than we previously had, which we definitely did with our first album ‘Voyager.’


Music Bugle – How would you compare ‘Dichotomy’ to ‘Voyager’?

Joel Lalonde – We believe that the second someone hears a song from ‘Voyager’ and then ‘Dichotomy,’ it is obvious that we have taken some drastic steps forward. Although we love ‘Voyager’ and were super-pleased with how it turned out, we really wanted to take this EP to the next level, as most musicians do every time they create something new. With ‘Dichotomy,’ we really felt that we were not kids anymore and that we wanted to tackle some bigger and more profound issues. We even went as far as to travel to Florida for three weeks to work on demos and to get into a new headspace for the upcoming tracks. “How To Escape Reality” and “Fever Dreams” were both written down there in very late 2018.


Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

Joel Lalonde – Just like most people, the virus has really put a damper on our year. We had many big plans for 2020, including multiple tours across the country, which unfortunately had to be cancelled. We are hoping that the worst is behind us when it comes to COVID and that we can begin playing shows again here in the Fall!


Music Bugle – What do you miss the most about live shows?

Joel Lalonde – Probably the moments right before we go on. There is little that we have experienced in our lifetime that compares to these anxious few minutes. The rush that comes when you hear that first booming kick drum or strum of a distorted power chord… there really is nothing quite like it. Obviously, we also miss connecting with our fans on a nightly basis when on tour and also making new ones!


Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?

Joel Lalonde – We always have our staples – Angels and Airwaves, 30 Seconds to Mars, Taking Back Sunday, Blink 182, etc., but lately, we have been really getting into a pop punk band called The Story So Far. The level of emotion that they are able to portray in their songs is incredible. Another band is the female-fronted Stand Atlantic from Australia. The amount of power that comes through on the vocals is almost unfair when it comes to this band. Really interested to hear their new stuff as they move forward!

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