A Guide to Oakland with Midi Matilda in Oakland, California

Looking for a new summer song? Check out “Tidal Wave” courtesy of Oakland-based band, Midi Matilda. This indie pop band is just two guys but guitarist/singer Skyler and drummer Logan have a crazy energy on stage that exceeds their physical presence. After a two-year hiatus, Midi Matilda is finally back and already has three new singles to share with its patiently waiting fanbase. Read on to find out Skyler and Logan’s pre-show rituals, what inspires their music and where they love to eat and drink in Oakland.

What is the best thing about Oakland? How quickly it’s developing into a city where anything is possible.

What is the worst? The crime is still a problem, but it’s slowly getting better.

What is the perfect day in Oakland? A morning run around Lake Merritt, breakfast and coffee at Beauty’s Bagels or Brown Sugar Kitchen, a few hours at our studio making music, then spending the rest of the day at the First Friday Festival and ending the evening over drinks with friends at Beer Revolution.

What is it like being a band in Oakland? It’s great! We’re close to San Francisco, there’s plenty of awesome venues to see bands and meet people, and there’s inspiration to be found everywhere.

If you could tour with any band or artist from any time in history, who would it be? Blink 182, 1999.

What inspires your songwriting?

Skyler: This is hard to define since songs can come from just about anywhere, but typically I start with a word or phrase that I like, or that makes me feel something, and I go from there. Seeing a really good band perform or a good movie can help get the wheels turning for me most times.

Logan: I love listening to music that just feels awesome. Listening to a classic Michael Jackson song, or Beatles song that’s super groovy will get me fired up and want to try and make something as fantastical.

A shot from Midi Matilda’s music video for their single “Tidal Wave” (via @midimatilda)

What’s your favorite way to interact with fans before, during and after the show?

Skyler: Before a show I try not to do too much talking to people in general because it will ruin my voice, but during and after the show I really love having a conversation with our fans directly.

Logan: I don’t have to worry so much about my voice so I love getting a few words in with fans before a show and then after I am all theirs. Interacting with anyone that supports what we are doing is the greatest.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?

Skyler: Some caffeine, a tiny bit of whisky, stretching of limbs and if possible about 30 minutes alone to warm up my voice.

Logan: Get pumped. Maybe an energy drink for maximum rocking power.

How do you get oriented in a new city?

Skyler: If I have a chance to see any of the city, besides the venue, I like to ask around for the best local coffee shop and then I’ll work my way from there. Yelp does help, too.

Logan: Yeah, I bookmark any thing I ever hear that is good on Yelp. My bookmarks page on Yelp looks like the USA is is being attacked by red pins top to bottom and whenever I am in a new city, I start investigating with that.

Which bands/artists are you listening to these days?

Skyler: Steve Reich, The Dirty Nil, Tame Impala, The Pixies, Jai Paul, Alanis Morissette. And everything on Classical KDFC.

Logan: I have been exclusively rocking The Beatles entire catalog in my car for almost the last year. It’s glorious. Also the new Tame Impala album has some great tunes.


This Yodel by Era Bushati



Favorite place to eat:

Skyler: For breakfast, Pretty Lady in West Oakland. For lunch, Ike’s Place on Broadway. For dinner, Mua.
Logan: Beauty’s Bagels, James and the Giant Cupcake, and Cheeseboard. My love for these places cannot be expressed in few words.

Favorite place to drink:

Logan: Portal

Local tip:

Many of the artists that make the art installments for Burning Man and Coachella work out of West Oakland on Mandela Parkway. On the weekends during spring and summer you can tour through their studios and see some really weird and awesome stuff.

If someone was visiting, what must they do?

Check out the Temescal area.  It’s an awesome blend of old Oakland and cool new shops and restaurants.