Video Credit: Midnight Red’s Official YouTube Channel
Midnight Red is not your average boy band.
Joey Diggs Jr., Anthony Ladao, Eric Secharia, Thomas Augusto and Colton Rudloff may come from different corners of the country, but unlike most boy bands, the guys created their group on their own.
Anthony, who is from Seattle, and Eric, who is from Burbank, Calif., met through a manufactured boy band that didn’t pan out. “But we fell in love with the whole boy band brotherhood thing, and we wanted to keep it going,” Anthony says. The guys called up Thomas (from Dallas) who Eric knew from a project they both had done called Making Menudo, an MTV show that aimed to revitalize the Latin boy band. The three of them then found Joey (from Los Angeles) through a producer they had worked with, and Colton (Buffalo, N.Y.) through YouTube.
“As far as Eric and myself and Thomas go, I know we were in previous bands or boy bands or projects that were put together, and nothing really worked out until we did it on our own,” Anthony says. “So when it was organic and real, that’s when it really happened.”
The guys met up in L.A. where they were able to audition one another and get a feel for each other’s personalities and musical styles. Their musical inspirations vary between the five of them, but there are definitely artists that they all jam to.
Anthony, who got into the business as a dancer, cites Usher’s 2004 MTV Music Awards performance (“Confessions Pt. 2” and his collaboration with Lil Jon and Ludacris on “Yeah”) as being influential in his career goals. “I remember that day, I told my mom, ‘That’s what I want to do.’ And she was like ‘Ok,’” Anthony recalls.
Joey says his musical influences were a little closer to home. His dad (Joey Diggs Sr., the voice behind Coca-Cola’s “Always” campaign) was a huge inspiration. “All the years watching this guy, my hero, doing what he loves. I just sort of gravitated towards music,” Joey says.
One influence all five guys pull from is the late ‘90s boom of pop boy bands like N’SYNC and the Backstreet Boys, which is the reason that, when they were told they were going to be touring with late ‘80s pop icons New Kids On The Block and the Backstreet Boys on their 2011 co-headlining tour, Midnight Red were equal parts excited and nervous.
“The very first show, we were all really nervous,” Joey says. “Previous to that first show, at Mandalay Bay in Vegas, we had just performed in front of like 50 people. That was our biggest show prior to that, and Mandalay Bay was like 20,000 maybe.”
Touring with two groups who have been major players in the pop world for the better part of the last 20 years was not only great exposure for Midnight Red — it also introduced the guys to some of their idols.
Joey recalls that the night they opened at Mandalay Bay was a highlight from the tour. “Brian Littrell from Backstreet Boys actually came into our dressing room. He gave us some wise words. He was like, ‘Go up there, give them what you’ve got, but always remember you guys always have to be a unit. You guys are brothers now.’ … So that really helped us build the fire under our butt, get up there and we did it. We handled our business, and we’ve been great ever since,” he says.
Since the NKOTBSB tour, the guys haven’t slowed down at all. In fact, they recently finished a cross-country trip from L.A. to New York for an interview, a meet and greet, a show and a meeting with their record label. When they got back to L.A., they had a meeting with their producer, and then went to an iHeartRadio party — all in 48 hours. Put simply, a day in the life of a boy band Anthony says, “It’s freaking intense.”
The guys agree that it’s totally worth it, and all their work is paying off. Midnight Red signed with Capitol Records earlier this year, and they are already seeing positive progress. “We’ve been with them for about two months now, and they are pulling strings for us that haven’t been pulled in the last year and a half,” Joey says. “It feels like a family,” Anthony adds. “It is so much more helpful with them being involved in our business. We feel safe with them.”
They feel equally as confident about their relationship with Grammy-winning producer RedOne. “We are in the studio with RedOne cooking up some hits,” Anthony says. “I will definitely say that this is the best music that we have in our repertoire.”
Midnight Red’s forthcoming music, which will most likely be a single coming out in August of this year, is promised to be something fresh and exciting. “I can definitely say it’s different from what you’ve heard from Midnight Red previously,” Joey says. “And real different from what you’re hearing from other boy bands. Its definitely unique, and its definitely Midnight Red.”.
Their first EP “One Club at a Time” (2011) on RedOne Productions put them on the radar, and their 2012 single “Hell Yeah” has garnered the group much love from their growing fan base.
All of their achievements are extra impressive considering Midnight Red haven’t even had an official launch yet. They’ve already been compared to groups like One Direction, which makes them enthusiastic about the future of the group. “The fact that we still have all our tricks still up our sleeve and we’re being compared to an amazing group like One Direction, that’s an honor for me,” Anthony says. “To even be in the same category as someone who’s out there doing their thing, and I’m sitting here thinking, ‘Wow, our group hasn’t even given the world a piece of what we have for them, and to be in the same category, that’s really cool.”
With the promise of another single, a headlining slot on the Pop Explosion tour, (which begins June 22nd and runs through the end of August), and an official launch, this summer is already gearing up to be huge for Midnight Red. The guys are amped to be bringing their music to new and old audiences. “We have a lot of loyal Redheads, but I love going to these different cities and spreading our love of music with all these different people who love music just as much as I do,” Anthony says.
All five guys hope are in this for the long haul. Joey says his hopes and dreams for Midnight Red are simple: longevity. “We don’t want to just come and go,” he says. “We want to be around. We want to build a family around the world. Perform for as many people as possible.”
**A Version of this story was published in the June issue of Naked Magazine found here