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Midnight Manual keeps evolving

May 5, 2012
By RENEE PRUSI - Journal Staff Writer ( , The Mining Journal

MARQUETTE - Midnight Manual was created through a process of evolution.

The evolution has resulted in a band which produces an amazing sound incorporating a range of musical genres.

"I was playing guitar and singing on the streets of Marquette in the summer of 2010, searching for paying bar gigs," said Tyler Detloff. "Dave (Gleason) got his drum set. We started putting together gritty rock versions of songs I would play on the street. I got a call back from Ramada's Harley's Lounge asking me to play (I had given them my acousitic EP). Dave and I showed up as The Humblers and played a rock set when the bar expected an acoustic show. It went over well so they invited us back.

Article Photos

"Geoff (Kartes) moved back to Marquette. He started playing bass and singing with us. The Humblers adopted Ryan, Dave's brother, when he showed up on our doorstep. He's a phenomenal musician and bassist, so Geoff switched to guitar and we tried to incorporate all our musical interests."

Detloff went to Medora, N.D., for the summer of 2011, with Zach Mueller, a friend from the dorms at Northern Michigan University, replacing him on guitar and vocals.

"Alexis (Mahler) had been playing violin with Dave, Ryan and Geoff's side project Five Foot Somethings, which merged with Midnight Manual. I returned from the West and joined back up. Zach and I have approached out guitar playing very conscious of not being too muddy.

Fact Box

Take 5:

Here are five musicians/musical groups whose music you might hear at a Midnight Manual show:

- Originals

- The Beatles

- Led Zepplin

- Florence and the Machine

- Black Sabbath

Midnight Manual is:

Ty Detloff, guitar, vocals

David Gleason, drums, vocals

Ryan Gleason, bass, vocals

Geoff Kartes, guitar, vocals, cello

Alexis Mahler, violin, vocals

Zach Mueller, guitar, vocals

"We began playing as a six piece in September of 2011," Detloff said. "Our connections before the six of us organized had been strings that pulled us together."

Mueller, who hails from Plainwell, was inspired to pursue music by his father.

"I think my dad was the one who sparked my interest in playing music," he said. "When I was little, he would play his guitar out by the campfire and everyone would sing campfire songs. My parents got me started with guitar lessons for two years when I was 12 and I haven't dropped the instrument since."

It was at about that same age that brothers Ryan and Dave Gleason, who grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, started performing in talent shows with their older brother.

"The first music I remember liking was The Beatles, which my elementary school music teacher introduced me to," Ryan said. "The first CD I ever bought was 'Sgt. Pepper' age age 10, and after that, I decided I needed all of their music. And then, I decided that I had to learn to play all of their songs, so Dave and I got their songbook and learned them on a guitar our cousin had given us."

Dave added: "Our dad has an extensive vinyl record collection and the turntable was on all the time. So the music to our childhood were the sounds of the previous generation: The Beatles, Pink Floyd, CCR, etc. I learned drums by playing along with Beatles songs banging on pillows on my bed."

Marquette native Mahler, who attends Lawrence Conservatory of Music in Appleton, Wis., has a classical music background.

"I began playing violin in sixth grade and loved it right away," she said. "Throughout high school, I became more involved with chamber groups and clubs, and had many opportunities to travel and work with other musicians my age. I've always played in orchestras, and I've been a member of the Marquette Symphony since I was 14."

She played in smaller string groups as well, but then after high school, became part of the local band scene including with Pretentious Jacks, The Tallest Buildings, King of Kids and Midnight Manual.

"I have fallen in love with the lifestyle," Mahler said. "When I grow up, I hope to continue teaching music, playing with a string quartet/ensemble, and playing in a band setting. I feel a different sense of reward from each, and together they make me whole."

Midnight Manual members agree the best part of being with the band is the live shows.

"There's nothing like the energy and feeling of a live show," said Kartes, who grew up in downstate Fremont. "It's quite addicting and there are several of us in Midnight Manual who cannot get enough of it. We love to play music, especially for other people's enjoyment, and that's what it's all about for us."

Mahler said: "Hearing the crowd sing along with us, especially on our originals (is the best part)."

"The best part of playing is seeing other people moved by your music, whether they're out on the dance floor, or just sitting, smiling, bobbing their heads," Ryan Gleason said.

The six members of Midnight Manual are all about energy, Detloff said.

"We feed off of each other's energy so much at our live performances and the crowd gives us that energy," he said. "I'm in this whole music thing with the hopes to inspire, like I was inspired and saved by music when I was young. This group has a stage energy and sound that inspires me to keep on keep'n on. I hope that our crowds and listeners can feel and hear it like I do."

Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is



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