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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

MT Warning on the making of Midnight Dawn with Taylor Steele

Mikey Bee describes his unique collaborative process with film maker Taylor Steele, who helped shape not only the video for Midnight Dawn, but the entire Midnight Set album.

Written by Amelia Gregory

MT Warning by James Grover

MT Warning by James Grover.

Mikey Bee (aka MT Warning) was playing a solo show in Australia, when American film-maker Taylor Steele happened to be in the audience. Intrigued by the performance the film-maker approached the musician with a different way of writing songs. “How would a song sound from a man sinking into the ocean?” Together they pushed the idea of a song telling a unique tale while being part of a visual story, the result is MT Warning‘s debut album (out March 24th) and a series of engrossing videos and live visuals, created in partnership with Taylor. The video for lead single Midnight Dawn is one such film, Mikey Bee takes up the story;

We needed a beginning to the new album ‘Midnight Set‘. We were in the middle of the album that we felt was going to be a story of a day and a lifetime, so we decided to soundtrack the sunrise. Taylor (producer/colloaborator) gave me images of people waking up all over the world, pre dawn, some waking, some still going from the night before. I liked the idea of the community of headspace that exists in those hours between the middle of the night and the sunrise, it’s quiet, but there’s lots of people going about their creative business. It was also the hours that the whole album was recorded, so a natural fit.,

MT Warning Illustration by Sangita Kumari

MT Warning by Sangita Kumari.

In the footage was surfer Dave Rastovich playing a kora and I put it on loop and started jamming to it, the first strummed chords played out as I picked up the rhythm and the lyrics came really fast. I wanted a ‘call to arms’ feel, but in a set back way: the excitement of an adventure and the conviction that you will overcome what the day might throw at you. To persevere even though we know that we are made up of very little importance, the important thing is to keep going on whatever path you’ve chosen.

MT Warning boat

MT Warning river

When we came to the video, we wanted to show a journey. The idea is that we often think we are travelling as best we can, but often we are carrying a whole lot of shit that we really don’t need. We struggle with it, we are addicted to it, we leave no space for ourselves. To show that we found an old boat and filled it with junk, lovely junk and started in what looks like a desert, the middle of the journey. That thing was so heavy it really took all my strength to get through the day, literally feeling the pain of carrying too much shit.

MT Warning path

MT Warning bridge

The tempo, theme, lyric and video for the song all are there to represent that part of a journey where instinct kicks in and stamina is an accident, you are constant, you hear voices, you see only the lowers of your eyebrows and you just keep on going. I like a story that starts there and then unfolds.

MT Warning‘s debut album ‘Midnight Set‘ is out on 24th March 2014. You can find MT Warning on iTunes here.

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