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The best kept secret in music


"Playful, Polished"

by Tricia Woolfenden

GRAND RAPIDS - Though the men of Middlefield sport a new name, a new album and a newfound sense of maturity - some things just never change. Example: the inherent craziness and childlike abandon the band - formerly known as Slant - brings to something as potentially mundane as a photo shoot. Recently, the Grand Rapids power-pop quartet joined The Press at a certain unnamed mouse-themed arcade/pizza parlor to conduct an interview and snap some photos. The goal was to avoid shots of the band which would appear "cliched" and "angsty." Hilarity, of course, ensued. Middlefield's approach to interviews and other band business is in line with its playful but polished style. From its well-crafted album to its tight live shows, the band seems to operate under the motto of "get the job done but have a good time while doing it." Between rousing games of Skee-ball and wrestling matches with the pizzeria's mouse mascot, Middlefield discussed a new artistic direction, its several month hiatus and its recent, rather triumphant return to the local music scene.
Band lineup: Chris Andrus (guitar, vocals), Tim Alexander (vocals, guitar), Brenden Stark (drums), and J.R. Renusson (bass).

Sounds like: Catchy, upbeat and poppy alternative. During the band's nearly five-year history, the vibe has evolved from a simpler, radio-friendly style to a more layered, heavier and ambitious rock-tinged sound. "There's much better musicianship now," Andrus said. "The music theory is more advanced."

An "all star" release: In November, Middlefield released its second full-length album "Backyard Allstars" and it said sales are going well. The 17 track disk - recorded at Mackinaw Harvest Music Group with producer/Troll For Trout frontman Michael Crittenden - is a follow-up to 2002's "The Right Amount of Rock." "We're a lot happier with ('Backyard Allstars') than the last one," Andrus said, adding they were very serious about the project. "Before, at shows, we would have traded a copy of ('Right Amount of Rock') for a Snickers bar if someone had wanted to," Alexander joked.

A genuine team effort: This time out, Middlefield's work truly represents the entire band, as opposed to the talents of just one or two of its key songwriters. "It's a combination of all of us together," Alexander said. "We all contributed and there's a lot of different sounds."

The mysterious new moniker: Tired of the name Slant - and all the bad puns the name earned them in print media - the guys changed the name to Middlefield earlier this year to signify the changes within the band. The band won't divulge the "hidden meaning" of the new name. "All I'm saying is: buried treasure, extraterrestrials and dinosaurs," Andrus said. "I think you can see where I'm going with this."

Uhhh ... yeah.
- The Grand Rapids Press

"The Industry Speaks Out"

Quote From Dave Fox

"I have had the privilege of working at one of the top-rated rock radio stations in Grand Rapids
for the past ten years. A few years back, I happened to walk into a popular club in town and I heard a
band by the name of Slant for the first time. To say the least, I was impressed. Now, with a new name
and a very edgy sound, Middlefield is a band that I am proud to stand behind for anything they need.
In the dog-eat-dog world of the music industry, I strongly believe that Middlefield will receive someday the respect that they have busted their asses for."




BUS LINE 616-459-4111 EXT 176
PER. LINE 616-308-2704
- Dave Fox (Regent Communications)

"The Industry Speaks Out"

Although my format is Hip-Hop and R&B driven, I'm a huge fan of great sounding music and I believe Middlefield has the goods. Prior to working at radio and records, I was a Music Director/On Air Personality at KWIN/Stockton, CA and KXJM/Portland.

Quote by Dontay Thompson
Radio & Records, Inc-Rhythmic Editor
- Dontay Thompson

"The Industry Speaks Out"

"Over the past 4 years, I have watched Middlefield grow from a college party band into an organized professional act that is ready for national exposure. These guys are talented, focused and driven. They understand self-promotion and are good at taking matters into their own hands. They know how to write, arrange and deliver great pop songs that make people react. In addition to my experience working with
them in the studio, I have witnessed them live on several occasions. They really take charge of the room, leaving lyric-singing fans talking about the show for days afterward. These guys know the game and certainly deserve your absolute attention. Book ‘em!"

Michael Crittenden - Record producer/President - Mackinaw Harvest Music Group
Chief Songwriter/Leader - Troll For Trout - Michael Crittenden

"The Industry Speaks Out"

"I was happy to work with the guys (on their debut album, "Backyard Allstars"). I can't believe that
these guys are not all over the radio. Middlefield rocks!"

Tony Fagensen - Drummer from RCA recording artist EVE 6, Record producer - Tony Fagensen


"Backyard Allstars," currently for sale.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Middlefield is a power-pop quartet hailing from Grand Rapids, MI. The band, featuring Tim Alexander (vocals and guitar), Chris Andrus (vocals and guitar), Jean-Rene Renusson (bass), and Brenden Stark (drums) toured and recorded for three years under their previous moniker, Slant. With a name change and a new album, the band is hard at work again, playing shows and getting their music to the masses.
The band prides itself on its cleverly-crafted songs, entertaining live show, and shared sense of humor. They have played countless shows and venues throughout the past few years, and have had the pleasure of sharing the stage with many noteworthy national acts, including Everclear, Jet, and Bowling for Soup.
Middlefield released their full-length debut album, "Backyard Allstars," in November 2004 and is currently touring in support of it. Be sure to come out and see them play in a town near you. C'mon...they'd come see your show. They'll give you a dollar.*

*empty promise.