Thomas Augusto of Midnight Red, an up-and-coming boy band, has always known the music business would be the life for him. “In school, I would never do my homework,” the 22-year-old Arlington native says. “I was like, ‘I don’t have to do this. I’m going to be a rock star.’ My teachers thought I was crazy, but I guess it’s worked out.”
Earlier this month, Midnight Red released a five-song digital EP in addition to a cover of ’N Sync’s Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays. That’s on top of a nonstop concert tour schedule. The work is paying off. The five-member group is building a fan base of mostly teenage girls. The guys were mobbed by devoted “Redheads” after a recent performance in San Diego, Calif.
Meanwhile, Seventeen magazine named Midnight Red one of the “Four Boy Bands You Should Know.” Augusto says he believes this is only the beginning. “If you’re determined,” he says, “world domination doesn’t seem impossible.”
1 How did you hook up with Midnight Red?
Eric [Secharia], the founding member, and I have known each other the longest of anyone in the group. We met when we were 15 or so, and we remained friends. I was in Texas and he was in California when he started forming a band with Anthony [Ladao]. They called me in. I packed my stuff and moved to California when I was 17. Looking back, that’s horrifyingly reckless, but I didn’t realize then how difficult it could be. After that, we found Colton [Rudloff] on YouTube and then Joey [Diggs Jr.] through our producer.
2 Were there ever any reservations about being associated with the term “boy band”?
There’s totally a stigma attached to that phrase. But honestly it makes the journey more challenging for us. We want to prove people wrong and show them what we’re capable of. We work hard, and we’re good at what we do.
3 Does anyone else in your family have show biz experience?
There isn’t much of a musical background in my family at all. I’m the first. Both of my parents have two left feet as well, meaning I had to figure out the dance moves on my own, too.
4 Can you tell us about the near riot at the mall?
We did the Christmas show for the big radio station in San Diego. There was no official meet-and-greet scheduled, but I guess word got around that there would be one. So after the show, we tried to slip out. But it took only a couple of girls to spot us. Then just about every girl who was there kind of mobbed us. It became really chaotic really quickly. Mall security literally locked us into the hair salon in the mall. It was insanity outside the store.
5 Speaking of hair salons, shouldn’t your tower of hair be credited as the sixth member of the band?
It does have a life of its own, doesn’t it? People are like, “How do you get your hair to do that?” But it’s always been naturally big. I hated it when I was a kid. But I’ve since set it free to do its own thing.