Get to Know Cosmo's Midnight [Interview]

Ian Hansen

Not too often do you find twin brothers who end up forming a duo and making music to the level of Cosmo’s Midnight. The duo from Sydney, Australia has an eccentric sound unlike anyone else and have taken it to another level this year with their most recent single, “Bang My Line,” featuring Tkay Maidza. Learn more about the duo below:

How did your most recent single, “Bang My Line” come together and what was it like collaborating with Tkay Maidza?

Cosmo: We started writing the track about a year and a half ago. We were in this L.A. styled house. It was very mid-century, sunny, and we were feeling a fun and groovy tune.

Patrick: We were at the house to mainly chill, have a few drinks, and play some darts. We finally got around to writing some stuff, and I had this loop going, and it came together so fast. We let it sit, and we eventually hit Tkay on Instagram. She came back a few days later with everything. It worked out so well because she just dropped. We slowly have been getting closer together stylistically. It was just the perfect time to write together. We’ve known Tkay for ages, and we both have gone through stylistic changes and progression, and it got to a point where the stars aligned.

Talking about stylistic changes, how did you guys develop your sound over time, especially growing up together?

Patrick: It’s a lot of introspection and retrospection where you sort of listen to the tracks your parents made you listen to growing up, and you realize you maybe didn’t hate them after all. They are more a part of you than you realize. Growing up, our parents had an enormous vinyl collection of disco, R&B, and especially Jazz. I wouldn’t say it had too much of an influence on our writing, but it feels like any time Cosmo writes a guitar solo it still ends up sounding kind of like Jim Hawley. A lot of the disco records they played for us would end up making its way into our writing and what we do. Now we consciously seek out more obscure 70s discography’s and seeing what inspires us. A lot of our music is a modern response to disco and funk. They also put on a lot of Todd Rundgren, Beach Boys, and The Beatles.

Cosmo: Our style is something that has been honed over time. It was never really a conscious decision to make a certain type of music. We continued to develop on it as we felt like we were arriving on a certain style. 

Patrick: It took awhile, and even now with our new record coming, we were like, “We think this is it.” It definitely took a while though.

Growing up together, what made you guys want to make music, form a duo, and take it to what it is now?

Patrick: It happened by chance. We have an older brother, and being the younger brother we did everything he was into. He was into DJing and stuff a little bit, and he downloaded Ableton, and I got immediately addicted. Eventually, it led to me continuing it. I remember writing my first songs in like year 10 and eventually going to Uni to study it. Cosmo got on by making mash-ups, and eventually got into making music too. We’ve been kind of competitive showing the music we wrote. We then started writing music together, and it weirdly started working out. We did these little bootlegs of tracks and remixes.

Cosmo: It is kind of funny because we always collaborated on things from an early age. We always wanted to do things together. We used to do animations. I think it just naturally progressed into music as well. Music is where we stuck at, and it felt like it was what we were genuinely interested in which is pure luck because we may have never done it. I think it is mostly a happy accident.

I always hear things about twins being able to read each other’s minds. Do you guys ever have moments like that in the studio where you guys are so locked in and essentially reading each other’s minds and bouncing ideas?

Patrick: I think there are definitely moments of that. I think a lot of musicians share that sort of mode where you’re in the moment, and it feels locked in. A usual session Cos plays guitar and bass, and a little bit of keys as well. I play keys mainly and do the vocal stuff. We feel it all out together really. A lot of our music is around the groove. I’ll try to get the beat to get something going, and Cosmo gets a bass down. That sort of forms the whole focus of the track. Once it’s feeling good, I’ll eventually start getting some vocals down to see how it works out. No song really starts the same. Maybe it’s a little snippet of drums, maybe it’s a chord progression, maybe it’s a vocal idea that I had, and maybe it’s a sample. Our recent song, “Bang My Line,” was written on a sample. That was like the first time we have done that. It all just depends where inspiration comes from.

Cosmo: As far as things go, Patrick is quite a technical person. He likes to really hash out how a plug-in works. Not just on the computer. He fixes up our car, my motorbike, and he’s just a technical person. He just has that mindset of wanting to know how everything works. When it comes to producing, Patrick is very much nuts and bolts and can make things sound really good. He mixes people’s music as well.

Patrick: I try to get an initial idea and then we hone it together. Neither of us are classically trained at an instrument as well. We know what we’re doing but we also don’t. It’s more so us feeling our way around.

Cosmo: We both learned by ear. So we are kind of unconsciously making decisions, and I think that leads to our sound. We don’t dictate what we are doing with the rules.

How did you guys come up with the name Cosmo’s Midnight?

Patrick: It’s really simple. His name is Cosmo, and he did a bootleg remix of Lykki Li at midnight. He saved the project file, bounced it, and called it, “Lykki Li Little Bit, Cosmo’s Midnight mix.” That’s all he called it.

Cosmo: We ended up not doing Cosmo’s Midnight several years after that. I just put it out as a personal thing. Then we were just like, “What if we took the name and made it our name?” We thought it had a ring to it.

Fast forward to now and you guys have already had a good year with two quality singles, getting recognition, and now you have a tour. How does it feel to be back on the road?

Patrick: We were literally a week away from getting on a plane to go on tour in America in 2020, and then we canceled it. In September we are heading over for our biggest tour yet. We want to hit every city, go back to places we have been, and see new spots. There is so much food I’ve missed dearly that you can’t get in Australia. You don’t eat Mexican food in Australia.

Cosmo: It is either worse than Taco Bell or it is trying to be authentic, and it’s bad. It’s just not the same.

What else can fans look forward to from you guys this year?

Patrick: We just moved into this new studio space so we are writing a whole bunch. We are trying to get together this new record. We are pushing the next single right now, and we are hoping to drop that when it is ready. We are writing what we think is our best.

Cosmo: There is stuff we learn from every record. We are always like, “What comes next? How can we do things differently? How can we do things that sound more organic? How can we make more conscious decisions?" It’s been so gratifying because we dropped our 2020 record and immediately went into isolation.

Patrick: Two years later, playing tracks off that record and having people sing along is that validating moment a lot of artists needed.

Where do you guys see your future in five to 10 years? What do you want your legacy to be?

Patrick: Personally, I want to write a film score. I’m also very keen on sound design. There is a festival in Australia called Vivid Fest, and it’s a lights and music festival. It’s meant to be about the interaction of light and sounds. I’m writing this backing for this installation that will be super creepy. That’s something I’d like to do more.

Cosmo: I’d like for Cosmo’s Midnight to be a household name down the line.

Patrick: I want us to play in any major city in the world and play in front of thousands of people. We would be content with that. We don’t need arenas.

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