Midnight Hound is on the Trail

By Bryon Cherry

Milwaukee’s Midnight Hound (formerly known as Axehandle Hound) is the city’s premier purveyors of freedom rock. What is freedom rock you may ask? “It’s just a vibe. Come find out,” founding member Dan Kimpel says. If that statement sounds mildly menacing and recklessly fun then you are catching onto the flow of their brand of freedom rock. Midnight Hound will be live and in effect on May 7th starting at 9pm at the newly renovated and full of good times Dino’s MKE (808 E. Chambers).

Midnight Hound is Jesse Cerar on vocals and guitar, Kimpel on guitar and pedal steel, Ian Sidious on bass and vocals and Todd Schmidt on the big d… umm… drums. The band is a free-wheeling tornado of kaleidoscope sounds. It’s obvious from the expressive explosion that occurs at their live shows that this is a group of friends who all, luckily for the listener, also liked to play music. Playing music together, “Seemed like the right thing to do,” says Cerar.

Midnight Hound

When asked about their songwriting process Sidious says, “I don’t think the songwriting has changed much. Find a cool riff or an interesting/funny subject matter and run with it. It’s been working.” It seems that it has been working and anyone who has been to their high energy shows can attest to that. In regards to their kinetic and frenzy inducing live shows Sidious continues, “I think a lot of it was there from the jump but you naturally get more locked in the more you play together.”

Their songs are at turns funny, poignant and euphoric. Their rave-up song titled “Turn It Betty” has added pure adrenaline-laced gasoline to many a party fire at their shows. When asked to describe Midnight Hound’s broad palate of music with 2 sets of nouns and verbs, Kimpel says, “Strange that you would describe something without adjectives but here goes, “Moving air or connecting synapses”. Well, it is also strange that Kimpel said those phrases because that feeling of Zen cool and the action of electrifying the listener’s brain activity definitely seems to pervade their work.

Art by Ellie Chase (@elliechaseart on Instagram)

The band is currently setting up their studio space to be equipped for recording. They plan to devote most of their band practice time to getting these songs recorded and out to the public in the near future. This process should begin to take shape immediately following their show at Dino’s. When talking about the genre of their music the members of Midnight Hound all talked about not being tied to the constraints of any genre. Schmidt summed it up by saying, “We don’t subscribe to one genre. We live free and we rock free.”

It seems like Midnight Hound is starting to be visible on many radars in the Milwaukee music scene. It also seems that they are coming from a place of being fun loving folks who also like pushing themselves musically. When asked what success means for Midnight Hound Sidious says wryly, “We would probably all be wearing top hats.” With their seemingly steady stream of ruckus rock gushing wildly now, the members of Midnight Hound probably should go and get fitted for their hat sizes now.

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