Getting to Know: Aftermidnight


In this edition of Getting to Know, we introduce you to Oklahoma alternative dance-rock quartet, Aftermidnight. If you are in an up and coming band that would like to partake in a Getting to Know feature, contact to receive the questionnaire and instructions. Thanks!

after-midnight-2Band Name: Aftermidnight
Band Members: Austin Donoho (electric guitars, backing vocals), Ben Blount (drums, backing vocals), Patrick O’Meilia (bass), Ashkan Karimi (lead vocals, guitars, keys)
Years Active: 2
City of Origin: Tulsa, OK.

Who are you and what do you do?
“I’m Ashkan, I play the guitar, write most of the lyrics along with some assistance from the band at times. Ben and I tend to write well together – If I’m having trouble he chimes in with suggestions, mostly good ones. I also play the keys, sometimes I demo out sample drum beats…just now starting to experiment more in that area.”

In 100 words or less, tell us how your band has gotten to this point.
“I think we’ve arrived where we are today due to keeping level heads, not letting our egos get in the way, and just continuing to be friends. We started when I met Austin when I was trying to record a solo project. One thing led to another and Ben came along, then through an odd sequence of events Patrick came into the fold. It’s been a great trip so far.”

What is your latest release and how would you best describe it to someone who hasn’t heard your band?
“Our latest release is our EP, The Luminous. I would best describe it as alternative/dance rock with introspective and reflective lyrics – lyrics that are conversations and make you think. We all love rock n’ roll, but there’s always a tendency for us to push what’s been done and try intermingling what we love with what’s in the now. Not that we change ourselves, but we become better musicians by adapting and fusing our style with others. I can’t say we’d always be ‘alternative/dance rock’ because we adapt, but the alternative rock/rock/jazz roots are the best [styles that] describe us. I’d say jazz [is our primary influence] mainly because some jazz artists I look up to – like Miles Davis – had the ability to fuse his music and style with what’s in the present.”

after-midnight-4When making an album, which aspect of the process do you put the most time into and why?
“I think we treat all aspects of it with equal importance. We’ve found that we don’t like it when it comes ‘easily.’ It all takes time, and I see the song writing, production, rehearsing, album art and all the work that goes into an album as one big piece of art, or one big song. We try not to rush it because we don’t want to overlook things…we want things to sound how we hear them in our heads. Sometimes we get into the studio and think the song is done and we end up re-writing a chorus. We actually did this with “The Rope,” one of the songs on our latest EP. It just didn’t seem to hold it’s own for the song it was. It was already a quite different song than the others, but thankfully we had a good guy on the production side of it challenge us even more when we could have just said ‘keep it that way.’ Bottom line, we’d say that if it comes too easy than we don’t always trust it…and we always try to make something that we would like to listen to and that has an ability to stand the test of time.”

What is the best part about your band and why?
“I’d say the best part about our band is how we aren’t just four guys together in it to just play music – we’re all friends and when one hurts, or goes through a hard time, we’re there for him. I think because of that, we’ve become closer. We’re really open with each other too. If we think someone’s doing something stupid in their day-to-day, we say something – sometimes not always nicely. Or, if someone is playing something that one of us doesn’t like, we’re not afraid to say that it sucks. I’m probably the one who is learning the most to not take it personally…we’ve come a long way [with respect to that].”

What makes your band unique from the rest?
“Being unique in a world full of countless bands is hard to do. I think we all have someone in us individually that wants to be let out, and when we do this in our band, we get to really shine with the unique characteristics we have inside of us. All of us in the band have had different experiences in our lives that have brought us where we are today, but since we’re there for each other, we all have one common factor that unites us.”

How does your band survive the challenges of touring/gigging?
“Honestly, we’re just getting on with the whole touring thing, but as far as gigging, it can be hectic. We all have jobs, some have school, so learning the balance with each other’s priorities has been a battle that we have all had to learn. I think we all want the same thing in the long run when it comes to shows and touring, so usually when we have challenges it’s not necessarily technical issues, but probably just keeping lines of communication open.”

after-midnight-5Would you rather be critically-acclaimed; rich and famous; or an under-the-radar band with a dedicated fan base?
“Let’s be honest…everyone who ever really starts a band (correct me other bands if I’m wrong) never starts a band to just be under-the-radar. People want to be known. I think it’s funny when people say ‘well, I’m completely happy with just playing here locally on the weekends.’ That’s awesome to me that someone is completely happy with doing that. I guess with me, that’s just not something I see myself doing. If you don’t want to be considered ‘the best at something,’ or the ‘biggest band,’ or the ‘insert adjective here band,” then why do it? It’s just not how my brain works, personally. I’m really passionate about what I do, and If I can do something I love then why not be known for it? Part of my reasoning behind why I say all this is because I have personal goals for helping people with my gift…I don’t want to just grow up to be some big rock star for the sake of being known.”

If you’d have to compare your band to another one out there, living or dead, who would it be and why?
“Stella Blue, or perhaps Teal Sun…there’s a few that float around in my head, but I can’t really pinpoint who. Most bands don’t really like being compared to another band. Granted, we all start off kind of imitating the bands we love, but eventually a time comes where those bands we look up to just kind of fall to the side and you’re focused on being yourself as a band. We still respect those bands greatly because they inspire us, and they encourage us to be ourselves, but we have recently begun to really just focus on being ourselves more.”

Which band/musician would you like to share many drinks with? What would you talk about?
“For myself, it’d be U2…[but] there’s no telling what we’d talk about. We’d probably start talking about songs, then philosophy, and then eventually the existence of God or something. Austin would definitely pick Switchfoot and probably talk to Jon Foreman, but mostly Drew Shirley about guitar tone. Ben would probably choose Switchfoot as well…or maybe another band I haven’t heard of, or The Temper Trap. Patrick would select Led Zeppelin, but I have no idea what they’d talk about. Probably just how great they are ‘cause Patty always raves about the Zep.”

Please be sure to follow us on Twitter @riffyou and at