FEAR of flying is not the most practical trait for a rock star.
Especially when you are a member of a band that has built up a following from Brazil to France and back through the grind of constant touring.
However, for Midnight Juggernauts drummer, Daniel Stricker, being a member of the ‘white knuckle’ flying club is a small price to pay.
Stricker left Sydney band, Lost Valentinos, to join the Melbourne act back in 2006, just in time to record their brilliant debut album, Dystopia. Midnight Juggernauts was formed by vocalist/keyboardist Vincent Vendetta and bass guitarist Andrew Szekeres in 2004.
With the release of Dystopia in 2007, two things were obvious.
The first thing was that Midnight Juggernauts were spearheading a renaissance in the indie-dance scene.
The second thing was they had what it took to be big. Really big.
The band managed to pull off what few bands have done before: Dystopia appealed to both dance and rock audiences, with a sound that combines elements of rock with synth-driven electro and just about everything in between.
Tracks like Shadows were picked up by the UK’s BBC Radio 1, while the internet meant the album was instantly accessible to thousands of indie-dance devotees around the world.
After spending most of 2008 playing to sell-out audiences all over the planet, the band arrived home and began work on a new album.
The result is The Crystal Axis, released recently to critical acclaim. Fans can get a taste of the new album when the Midnight Juggernauts headline Parklife, Australia’s premier electronic indie festival, which hits the Gold Coast next month.
Pulse caught up with Stricker recently ... just before he was due to catch a flight.
“I hate flying. I had a bad flight between London and New York when I was 18 and it has stuck with me. The others are okay – I was saying the other day that we could drive home rather than fly, I’m not in the right profession,” Stricker laughs.
“But really, it’s all about touring nowadays for the majority of bands; no one makes any real money through album sales, so I just put up with the fear. I have to. With the internet, our music is reaching people in some pretty far flung places.”
The net is recognised as both a curse and a cure in the music industry: it has the power to plunder profits and the power to promote.
However, for bands like the Midnight Juggernauts who run their own label (Siberia Records), the internet means their music can be accessed in countries where their albums are not released.
“The internet really works for us, it’s amazing when you turn up in a country where people don’t speak English and they know all the words to the songs,” Stricker says.
“This just couldn’t happen without the net. A lot of bands get pissed off about free downloads, but it works in the sense it gets the music out there and people to gigs when we tour.”
The next stop for the Juggernaut tour bus is Parklife, held on the Gold Coast next month. The stellar line-up includes Cut Copy, The Dandy Warhols, Missy Elliot, Kele and Bag Raiders.
“Parklife was one of the first festivals we ever played; it was the first time we played in front of a really massive crowd, it’s going to be great,” Stricker says.
“And the line-up this year looks great, I’d catch a plane for it.”
Parklife will be held at Park-lands on the Gold Coast on Saturday, September 25. Tickets start from $145 and are available at the wesbite.
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