Midland were backstage at the ACM Awards when Jason Aldean was declared the ACM Award Entertainer of the Year winner, and the trio, made up of Mark Wystrach, Jess Carson and Cam Duddy, say it was Aldean who deserved the honor the most, and not just because of what he endured at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.
"Jason endured the brunt of what happened not long ago, here in Vegas," said Duddy. "And, I think it's a great thing. Not only does he deserve it, but it's also a reminder that everybody in this genre, and the musical community at large stands behind each other, in times of crisis. And look, the guy's put in his 10,000 hours, there's no question about it, regardless of Route 91."
Still, it was Aldean who was on stage when guman Stephen Paddock started shooting, and it was one of Aldean's own band members who later found a bullet in his guitar.
"But I like that, flying in the face of fear, really," Duddy said. "Because that's all it is. I want people to come out, and buy a ticket to go see a live act. We got to keep people entertained, and that's why we do this. We go out, play music for you guys, seven nights a week, so we can forget about our nine to five jobs. And once you introduce fear into that equation, things go sideways. I do believe country music is stronger and bigger than that.
"We need to persevere, and continue that conversation about spreading happiness," he continued. "And the positivity, and that's a very important thing. And the ACMs are a reminder of that. Everyone's smiling, when you turn the camera to the crowd. And that's the point of all of this, is to spread joy."
"And Jason deserves it," Wystrach chimed in. "He's an incredible entertainer, he's a superstar. So congratulations, our hats go off to Jason, he's going to have a long and continued successful career."
Midland won their first-ever ACM Award prior to the ceremony, for New Vocal Duo or Group of the Year, another reminder of how far they've come since their early years. The threesome had a No. 1 hit with "Drinkin' Problem," the debut single from their Top 5 freshman album. They are currently on the road with Little Big Town, on LBT's The Breakers Tour, and will then perform at fairs and festivals over the summer, and join Thomas Rhett on his Life Changes Tour. It's a far cry from Midland's humble beginnings.0comments
"I thought we were going to be a honky tonk bar band," Wystrach says. "That's where we started. I mean, this last year's been crazy: the acceptance of 'Drinkin' Problem' at radio, and it's success at radio, has surprised a lot of people. But we're just happy to be along for this ride, and to be here. We try to take it one day at a time, and be here in the moment and experience it."
Find a list of all of Midland's upcoming shows on their website.