What’s that sound we hear? It must be the hook-filled anthems of The Midnight Echo and their recently released EP, Dichotomy. Based in Toronto, the alt-rock band gained a lot of experience last year, touring across Canada behind their last release, How To Escape Reality. Being on the road extensively allowed the band members to gauge interest in their songs and their sound which helped them quickly regroup and hit the studio to release their sophomore EP, right after returning from a fall tour. Dichotomy was released on April 17th, five brand new tracks that were in part inspired by the synth-driven vibes of the 1980s and the alternative/pop-punk sound of the 2000s.

In its entirety, Dichotomy is full of passion, intensity, angst, and emotion. Thematically, the EP looks at the concept of enduring difficult experiences while maintaining a sense of optimism. The title Dichotomy is meant to reflect life in general and stress the importance of experiencing the highs associated with the good and the lows that are coupled with the bad. By far, it stands out as The Midnight Echo’s strongest and most thoughtful release and offers a reasonable indication of the musical greatness of which this band is capable.

Switching the vibe from music temporarily, we recently spoke with The Midnight Echo’s Joel Lalonde in this new edition of 190 Proof where we discussed his favourite alcoholic beverages and alcohol-related activities, some memorable and some not so memorable…

Preferred drink, if you had to put it down on a rider for the whole band!

Joel Lalonde: “We would probably have to go with some good old Coors Banquet tallboys!”

Which city has your best drunken memory… and what is it?

“On our first ever tour through the U.S. we got to the venue only to realize that we had lost a piece of the kick pedal somewhere along the way. After having our first show not go to plan (amps wouldn’t work) we were fairly down in the dumps to have the second night not go well either. So, instead, we decided to hit up one of the local clubs and get loaded to wash our worries away. Ended up being a very late and awesome night! Not sure what the club was called but it was in Roanoke, Virginia. After that, the whole tour turned around!”

Do you like your beer with a lot of foam or are you more of a trim-the-foam kind of guy?

“Definitely a no foam band here!!! Gotta get that perfect pour. It’s an art!” (laughs)

190 Proof: The Midnight Echo’s Joel Lalonde on Drinking, Drunken Memories, and Bacardi 151

If you met an alien from another planet, what drink would you choose to explain alcohol, and how would you describe it?

“If we had to give an alien a taste of alcohol we would definitely choose tequila! Tequila is our shot of choice on tours and we think that it would give an alien the best idea of what liquor is all about. We don’t often use the ‘salt lick’ but if we were showing a newcomer then we would definitely try and give them the full experience!”

Best drink to get you obliterated?

“We don’t think anything hits you quite like (Bacardi) 151 rum. That stuff is crazy dangerous (laughs). We have never drank that, or seen anyone drink that and make it to the end of the night! Also, one time our bassist decided to take a fire shot of 151. It ended in the liquor rolling across his cheeks and essentially lighting him on fire!” (laughs)

A fan asks to buy you a drink in a bar, what do you choose?

“Probably going to have to go with tequila shots. If we’re looking for something to sip than either a nice rum and coke or rye and ginger!!”

What’s your worst/best puke story?

“One time after a gig in Nanaimo, BC, we went out to a bar that was just about to close. It was late on a Sunday night but the bartender was nice enough to stay open a bit longer for us to go in and have a few shots. We got a round of tequila for everyone and we took the shots. All of a sudden our bassist Ryan was gone. Tyler then decided he’d head over to the washroom. As he walked by the girls washroom he noticed a pair of shoes facing the toilet where he then found Ryan puking his guts out on the women’s washroom (laughs)! He does not do well with tequila (laughs)!”

Where is the most embarrassing place you have barfed?

“One time we were drinking in St Catherine’s Ontario at a bar called Chilis. There was a huge line for the bathroom and unfortunately, Joel really had to throw up. Not wanting to throw up in the middle of the bar, he opened up a door which was essentially a janitor’s closet. He then had no choice but to proceed to throw up into the mop bucket. Just as he finished there was a knock on the door which he assumed to be security kicking him out. Luckily it was just another drunk person looking for the washroom!”

Where’s the most embarrassing/strangest place you’ve passed out when drunk?

“One boxing day I woke up in my step sister’s bed… The initial terror subsided when I realized she had stayed the night at a friends!” (laughs)

What’s your favourite “guilty pleasure” drink? (ex: Pina Coladas)

“Definitely going to have to go with white claws! Especially the mango and black cherry flavours!”

Artwork for ‘Dichotomy’ by The Midnight Echo