Rush Midnight is the shadow persona of Russ Manning, who is also known as the bass player for the synth-pop outfit Twin Shadow. Shuf had a talk with Russ on Brooklyn musicians, Last Gang Records and where the future of Rush Midnight lies.
What inspires Rush Midnight’s aesthetic?
I used to read a lot of comic books growing up. The vibe of Marvel comics inspired the look and feel of this project.
Nestled among a plethora of talented artists at Last Gang Records, what other artists make you tick?
MSTRKRFT hit me the hard the first time I heard it. The entire roster is rad. Ryan Hemsworth is my most current favorite.
Sculpting music for the night, how do you as a performer ensure that your audience are throwing their best shapes on the dancefloor?
We're still in the early stages, but I think transitions are important. If we can keep the beat moving throughout most of an hour the audience usually responds.
What is your least favourite aspect of the music industry?
I guess the calendar. Its real tough when you finish a song or album and you have to wait 3-5 months, if not more, for the world to hear it. Often by that time I'm writing new songs that I'm more excited about.
Growing up what music did you listen to?
Growing up I listened to a lot of Tom Waits, Nirvana, Soundgarden, The Fugees, Michael Jackson, Dr. Dre...
Do you think other Brooklynite musicians take themselves too seriously? Or does crafting modern disco tunes still require an element of solemnity?
I think Brooklyn's a lot like LA. Adults who play music professionally need to treat it like a job in order to survive and pay rent. But it can be still be a continuous party. If you're not having fun then I guess quit? In the past I've catered, I've taught, I've been a secretary, I've walked dogs and I've done other worse things for money... this is an improvement.
Where does your future lie? Will you continue to make music with Twin Shadow or do you hope to pursue your own project?
This project takes up a lot of time between writing, producing, remixing, making music videos, and touring. Unfortunately I don't have time to play in other bands at the moment. Maybe when this picks up some more momentum I can play bass for fun in other bands.
What music have you been listening to recently?
Mac Demarco, Kindness, Future Islands, Kingdom, Mas Ysa, Michael Beharie, Omar Souleyman,..
Can we expect to see Rush Midnight over this side of the Atlantic any time soon (with a UK album release)?
We'll see if I can get over to the UK/Europe sometime in 2015. I love playing festivals over there!
Anything else you would like to add?
RIP Robin Williams. I grew up on Popeye the movie and he was a true inspiration to myself and all my friends. Sending love to his family and friends. Thank you.
Words : George Hemmati