Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

Seattle University's student newspaper since 1933

The Spectator

After the Show: Middle Names

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An interview with David Fure, the founder of Middle Names.

SA: When did you start Middle Names?

DF: The band? I guess you could say 2018. I lived in Santa Barbara. I went to college down there and started a band after graduating called Recreation. Then I moved from Santa Barbara to Norway and had been writing some songs that I imagined being for that band, but then the band broke up. So I started my own thing, Middle Names, and made them songs for that. I’ve just kind of played with a rotating cast of people ever since. But 2018 was when we first recorded.

SA: Okay, and Middle Names is a duo, correct? Or is it mainly just you?

DF: Well, it’s kind of a duo. My buddy Donnie was in Recreation with me before, and he lives in Santa Barbara still. We have these four songs coming out. He played on two of them, and his parts are essential. But I think after this, I’m not sure. It’s been really hard to work together from being in Seattle and him in Santa Barbara. So I think after these songs are out, I don’t think he’s gonna be. It’s mostly my thing, and I don’t think he’s gonna be part of it much after that.

SA: How does the sound stay consistent? Does the sound stay consistent?

DF: I’ve been wondering the same thing a little bit. I think that our style of music is friend core, which is, I don’t know if that gives you much about what the sound is, but I do think it can span a pretty big range. Sometimes it depends on who I’m playing with. I’ve played shows by myself and solo, acoustic, folk-type stuff. Everyone brings a unique flavor, which is part of what’s fun. Then playing with the same people a lot is also really fun because you get tight. That’s the big downside of playing with different people, is that people learn the songs, but when you swap them out for someone else, it takes twice as long to learn it before you play it.

SA: When you say friend core, what does that mean to you?

DF: Mostly what it means is that a lot of our songs are about friends or friendship. I had this idea. I went on a backpacking trip on part of the PCT in the summer of 2021. Every day, someone served as the team leader and brought a treat. One guy’s treat was stick and poke tattoos. So we all got “BF4” tattooed on us, meaning best friends for life… And on my way out of that trip, I thought, I want to write a song about each of these friends and make it an album. That was the idea for a while. However, we kind of scrapped that because it was taking too long. But I did release a couple of songs about friends and these next four songs coming out, each one is about a different friend from that trip.

SA: What else can you tell me about those songs?

DF: I think that they’re the best we’ve ever put out, which excites me. And yet they also continue to be divergent in sound. Two of them have acoustic guitars. One is a little more dad rock. The other one is almost a John Prine style folk song. I think that one’s my favorite song I’ve ever written. They’re all a mix of sincere and I don’t want to use the word silly, but lighthearted, maybe.

SA: Where do you picture Middle Names going?

DF: I’m trying to figure that out. My guess is that in the next year, it’ll go in a pretty acoustic direction. I’m working on some songs with other bands. I’m trying to work on this collaborative album where each song features a different friend. My approach to those songs is… I’m figuring stuff out acoustically and then sending stuff back and forth. That’s kind of my headspace right now.

SA: If you had to pick one song that you have up already that encompasses your sound, which song do you think it would be?

DF: I’m a little torn. I think “Easter Morning” is a good one. It sort of splits the difference between our sort of harder rock songs and the more easy listening songs. 

SA: Is there anything else you want to talk about? 

DF: One thing worth saying is that when I started Middle Names, I had the intention to write less esoteric songs. In the songs I wrote before, people would only know what they were about if they talked to me about it. So I intended to start writing songs that are easier to interpret lyrically. I think as a result, I’ve written some songs that weren’t as good. I’m trying to find that balance still. But the heart of the band is to try to be sincere. That’s important to me in our music.

Middle Names will release new songs June 4 and June 18, and then every two weeks for the next four weeks.

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