When the lead singer of the Omaha-based glam rock band 3D In Your Face decided to call it quits, the rest of the guys in the group wanted to keep pressing him on.
With Alan King’s blessing, Chris Hineline, Jeremy Deans and Sam Morris continued on their musical venture under the new name The Midnight Devils. Morris said it’s “essentially the same band” but with a newly added twist.
“The only difference with The Midnight Devils is we added our love of boogie woogie and blues rock into glam and hair metal,” said Morris during a phone interview. “It’s kind of a cross between Elvis Presley and Mötley Crüe.”
The trio still sports the throwback ‘80s hair, makeup and costumes from the glam-era of rock ‘n’ roll. Pair that with some boogie rock tunes and suddenly it becomes even more difficult to comprehend how it all works. Indeed, even we Weekender folks are having a tough time trying to figure this band out. But we’re not the only ones according to Morris.
“Everybody says, ‘I can’t imagine how that goes!’” he said. “But it surprisingly goes over really well. Everybody else is in a subculture of metal or punk or whatever. We were like, you know what, we’re going to be a dirty rock ‘n’ roll band and we’re going to give these guys a show every night.”
And it’s just as fun for Morris and his bandmates as it is for the fans. They genuinely love getting to play on a stage and having a party with the crowd. That odd combination of genres, Morris added, naturally brings in people that love to have fun and have an appreciation for rock.
With The Midnight Devils covering all sorts of ground, they’re able to widen their audience without alienating existing fans of 3D In Your Face.
That new sound progression came very naturally for the band. Band members, for instance, would write songs with a bit of a swingy edge. After capitalizing on this strength, The Midnight Devils found its new identity.
But the glam look had to stay. Before every show, Morris, Hineline and Deans dress the part. The whole process can take up to an hour to fully complete.
“We respect the stage and we respect our audience,” said Morris. “When we go in there, we’re not going in like we’re coming in off the streets. We put some time and some effort into it. Essentially it’s an extension of what we look like when we’re hanging out.
“Obviously, we’re looking walking around with our hair up to the sky. But you just take it to the next level. With this band especially, we can get away with anything and that’s the cool part.”
With each show The Midnight Devils pays homage to the glam metal years, which Morris said is missed these days.
“I think people miss bands that actually care about what they look like,” he said. “Obviously we’re not a fashion band, but we care about the presence that we portray onstage and what we look like onstage. It’s a big part of the show. And I think going out there you have to be a professional.”
The Midnight Devils also allows its members to break free from any restrictions set in place from their early band 3D In Your Face.
“You primarily had to play ‘80s rock ‘n’ roll because that’s what people came to see,” said Morris. “With The Midnight Devils, we can do whatever we want. It’s very free and very loose. And I think that comes across. We’ve been travelling all over the place and as soon as we get onstage people are like, ‘Yeah! I can get behind that!’”
When a band demands its members to bound around the stage in tutus, spiked hair and makeup, the most important thing is to have fun. Because if the band is having fun, the audience will follow suit.
“We want to give people three hours of fun. I want them to experience half the fun that I’m experiencing up on stage.”