Midtown: Interview With Gabe Saporta

Three cheers for the hometown boys. After an extensive legal battle to extricate themselves from their former label home, Midtown disappeared out of sight and mind for a good long time, but came through holding their heads, and their new album, Forget What You Know, high.

Now on Columbia Records, the band, vocalist/bassist Gabe Saporta, guitarists Tyler Rann and Heath Saraceno, and drummer Robert Hitt, has learned from its experience with the seedy business side of the music industry and is now poised to leave an indelible and lasting mark on the emo scene. Among other exploits planned for 2005, they’ll be hitting the Bamboozle in Asbury Park on April 30.

How’s it feel to be on the Bamboozle line-up?

I guess it feels pretty normal. I couldn’t imagine not being on it, I mean, we’ve done Skate & Surf before, but since John D.’s been doing it, we’ve been on it. It’s great. It was a huge thing last year too, I think every day was oversold.

Oversold?? A show in Jersey???

(laughs) You can keep packing those little kids in real tight, you know?

Scenesters don’t take up too much space—

—With their small shirts and stuff.

How do you think shows like Bamboozle affect the scene?

I think they make it seem like something that’s more real, especially coming from a place like we came from, where we’re playing like shows to 300 kids at VFW halls, and then all of a sudden—and I know a lot of the bands playing Bamboozle are also coming from the same place—and to have a huge event at a huge convention center that’s like a huge three day thing with like 1,000 people a day, it just makes it seem like something that’s really happening.

Adds a little bit of legitimacy to it?

Definitely adds legitimacy to it, definitely helps it to continue moving forward. The great thing about Bamboozle is there’s a lot of smaller bands that get to play and get to really be exposed to a lot of the crowd of the bigger bands, and get to meet them and chill with them.

You guys are getting ready to head out with Plain White T’s and Action Action?

Yeah, we’re on the Fall Out Boy tour now, and we’re in Portland, but we’re going to headline with Plain White T’s and Action Action.

How’s it different headlining as opposed to playing on someone else’s bill?

Um (laughs), I always like headlining better, because you headline and those are your fans that come out to see you. I mean, I don’t care if we’re playing in a club with like 100 people, those kids are the kids that have been waiting to see you and know every song. There’s a much better energy there.

The Fall Out Boy tour is awesome because their fans are really young and they’re excited about new bands and new music, and there’s tons of them. There’s like over 1,000 people every night. But, for a lot of these kids, it’s their first time hearing you.

Luckily a lot of our fans are coming out to these shows too, so it’s really cool, so we have our fans singing along and other kids being like, ‘Oh, who’s this band I should know about?’