Midtown had such a blast playing its first shows in a near-decade that the emo-punk trailblazers decided to stick around. Fresh off last year’s sold out headlining tour – and a string of arena dates opening for old friends My Chemical Romance – Midtown presents its first new recordings in almost two decades. The Jersey-bred quartet’s surprise EP – We’re Too Old to Write New Songs So Here’s Some Old Songs We Didn’t Write – features four supercharged covers of songs seminal to Midtown’s musical DNA.
“It’s a lineage – where Midtown comes from and what shaped us as artists and people,” says vocalist-bassist Gabe Saporta. “We wanted to shine a light on our influences, and keep those influences alive.” Fans who caught old Midtown favorites like “Give It Up” and “Just Rock and Roll” on tour in late 2022 now get a fresh spin on tracks that helped make Midtown one of the most influential bands of emo and pop-punk’s turn-of-the-century explosion.
“The EP peels back the curtain– the songs would play over and over in the van,” says Midtown drummer Rob Hitt, thinking back to the band’s formative years. All four songs were also frequent warm-up tracks, songs Midtown would belt backstage to test those vocal harmonies, as recently as last year. On their reunion trek, Midtown rocked out to a sea of thousands at Chicago’s Riot Fest, to old friends and family at back-to-back sold out shows at New Jersey’s legendary Starland Ballroom, and to arenas full of MCRmy diehards.
The new EP was born in rehearsals for those shows. “Early summer, June and July, in the midst of practicing, we started talking about recording,” remembers vocalist-guitarist Heath Saraceno. “We were getting asked in interviews, Is new music coming out?,” Saporta recalls. Renewed with camaraderie and purpose, the band was initially ambivalent about being able to deliver.
Vocalist-guitarist Tyler Rann explains: “You have kids, you see the world through their eyes; you start to get older …” “and you wonder if you can get back to the place you were when you first wrote these songs,” interjects Saporta, “or if you’d even want to.” The band ultimately decided that sharing these renditions of songs that inspired them would be the best next thing.
Behind the success of 2022’s reunion and this exciting batch of songs, Midtown has found a new cadence. They’re slated to appear alongside Paramore and Blink-182 at Atlantic City, NJ’s inaugural Adjacent Festival this May, and don’t be surprised if more headlining shows appear around the holidays. Same goes for another surprise EP – perhaps with fans getting to vote on which songs get covered. Maybe a March Madness-style bracket to see what makes the cut? It’s all on the table.
“People always say you can’t go back, you can’t do it again,” says Rann, "but sometimes fate has another plan.”