Contributor’s Note: With Minderlithe’s debut album well underway, I thought it would be the perfect time to sit down with them and talk about their upcoming release. Rarely am I so excited to see what a band is going to do with their first album. They have some amazing acoustic version of their songs online that are begging to be fleshed out with drums, synths, back up vocals, and even a guitar solo or two. These people are talented, fun, and just awesome.
Fans can find Minderlithe at the following locations:
What inspired you to go into the studio now? What made you decide that now was the right time to record?
ROB: . When i joined the band Scott had an 8 song album idea that he wanted to execute. We’ve been writing, practicing, rearranging, and solidifying these songs since i joined back at the beginning of the year. The only thing to really do now is record them.
G: -I didn’t expect to go into the studio so quickly honestly, but I think once we started playing together we really meshed well. Having eight songs written and pretty much completed musically, the next thing to do is to just record them.
WILL: When I joined the band initially, Scott had 8 written songs in mind as a unit for what the first album should be. I met G and asked to jam with them and showing up to 8 songs written was pretty awesome and showed me how driven my new friends were from the start. I was playing bass at first, even though I’d never really played. I later asked Rob, who I’d been in a band previously with, and who can play bass better than I’d ever hope to, to play bass so that I could switch to guitar which is what I grew up playing. Scott has and always seemed to have a solid idea of how the songs should sound, but allowed me to be really creative with my own parts and we all have a part in the way they’ve come to sound now. When we played our first show, we knew four of the eight songs and it was a good starting point for us to get some live experience and through playing a decent amount of shows and practicing weekly for a while now, we’ve really gotten an idea for how we play together and the kind of sound we want based on Scott’s original vision and our own personal influences. During that time, we’ve become really good friends. I knew Rob beforehand, and we always felt a great songwriting connection between us and our other friend in the band Ben. After we broke up, I didn’t know if I’d find that again, so to be back at it with Rob and to have that with Scott and Gia is an amazing feeling. I feel a certain passion and energy that I don’t get from anything else and if you’re not feeling the people you’re playing with, it’s just not the same. At this point we feel like we have a really solid friendship that translates on stage and in our songwriting and we’re really excited to be working on our first release.
SCOTT: This band has been a long-winded project for me. Some of the songs we’re recording were written back in 2013. Luckily, G graced me with their presence back at the end of 2015 I believe (correct me if I’m wrong) followed by Will and, swiftly, Rob in 2017. I’m ready to have our first album in the books. Having everyone together helps me stay focused and motivated to keep things in motion for the band. It’s been a long time coming and I look forward to having a successful career and future with my great friends! Most of these songs are 3-5 years old. I’d write them, then either store them away in my brain or get quick voice notes into my phone. It feels like the right time considering I have so much more work queued up that I really want to share and explore with everyone.
Why did you choose to record at Gradwell House in Haddon Heights? What drew you to that studio?
ROB: .Scott is familiar with gradwell and their pricing is pretty good. Not much comment on this one
G: I’m from Haddon Heights. That’s all I got. Plus the price was unbeatable.
WILL: Gradwell House was a name I’d heard a lot about and only good things about before joining the band and Scott’s other band Heavenward has had a great relationship with them for years now. After working with Matt at Gradwell, and hearing the song we all had in our heads come to life, I was ecstatic. I can’t wait to go back.
SCOTT: I’ve been recording there with my other band heavenward since 2014. We’ve recorded an EP and are currently working on a full length with them. I love the atmosphere and the crew there; they also happen to be some of my favorite musicians. Not to mention, the prices are hard to beat! I’ve always been impressed that such a small place could be so nice and homey while also feeling very professional. I’ve had the pleasure of watching them grow as an organization, too. They recently moved to a new location that’s four times the size of their original space. It’s really cool to share that excitement with them.
Who are some of your biggest influences on this album? How have your influences changed from when you wrote the songs to now, when you’re recording them?
ROB: The bands influences i think ive really been the same through the whole process, jimmy eat world, mock orange, a lot of 90s emo and alt rock stuff.
G: -Personally, my favorite drummer is Venzella Joy Williams, Beyoncé’s live drummer. I watch a lot of her stuff on the internet and try to bring that energy and old rnb type of finesse to my style.
WILL: I’ve been really into Four Year Strong, Knucklepuck, Keep Flying and more recently Homesafe, Movements and Remo Drive. It’s probably not surprising that I like mostly guitar driven rock music. When I first started playing, I went through the classic rock stage I feel like a lot of people experience and it still holds a special place in my heart. Led Zeppelin, Queen, ACDC, and Hendrix were my top four. In highschool I got super into Red Hot Chili Peppers and they have been a mainstay for me for almost as long as I can remember. Dani California came out around the time I started playing and for a while, I literally wanted to be John Frusciante. I think I’ve gravitated more toward guitar interplay whereas when I was younger, I was more into the guitar hero archetype and liked a lot of bands with one guitarist who would solo for twenty minutes. Now I really try to focus on what the song needs rather than what I can do and being able to play off of my bandmates in interesting ways is really satisfying. Scott has introduced us to a lot of the music he listened to when he wrote the songs and I’ve come to like it a lot as well. Particularly HUM and Mock Orange.
SCOTT: HUM, mock orange, My Bloody Valentine and Julee Cruise. I want this album to feel 90’s at its core – like it’s been around for a while. I want the tagline to be something like: heavy rock meets emo meets softly noisy dream pop. Around the time I began writing, one of my great friends started getting me into 90’s punk bands like The Get Up Kids, Saves The Day and Jimmy Eat World. I believe those are some staple bands for me, no matter what I decide to listen to in the future. My interests transitioned to emo bands like American Football, mock orange and Gods Reflex. Then I grew to like Into It. Over It. who takes things to a whole new level. Now, I’m huge into bands like The Cure, Joy Division/New Order and Depeche Mode.
Who of your peers is really inspiring you now?
ROB: My bandmates and every band we play with has been really inspiring to me. Which sounds kind of like a cop out answer, but when i joined i was in a different place musically and wasnt sure i could play this type of stuff, but after seeing so many different bands play so many different styles, its really opened me up to trying a lot of new things musically.
G: Two bands we played with that I really, genuinely love are The Stewart Dolly and Stand and Wave. They’re just really nice guys and they just look like they’re having real fun when they’re on stage.
WILL: As for peers of ours who influence me, Keep Flying is killing it. I’m honored to have known those guys for a while and although in this project we haven’t played a show together yet, Rob and I used to play with them a lot when we were Take#13 and they were Survey Says and they’ve always been the nicest people. They’re so passionate and energetic on stage and full of life and love for music and performance and it makes me want to play and be better.
SCOTT: I very much respect what Save Face is doing right now. Their songwriting is exceptional and they have the ability to interest me in a genre that I otherwise wouldn’t particularly care about. They’re grinding hard and it’s paying off for them. I couldn’t be happier to see friends like that succeed.
What TV show, movie, or video game do you think your music would be best for?
ROB: I have no idea
G: Tony Hawk Pro Skater.
WILL: This is the toughest music related question I think I’ve ever had to answer. Now I just want to hear our music in some kind of non english speaking soap opera completely out of context with no explanation just because I would personally find it hilarious.
SCOTT: Twin Peaks. I envision us being a band that could get a gig at the Roadhouse.
And where did your name come from?
ROB: One of the fallout games
WILL: I had absolutely nothing to do with the naming of the band, however, I really like the name. One of my favorite things is listening to people trying to pronounce the name. Scott told us it was a level in one of the fallout games. When one looks up the word Minderlithe, our bandcamp is the first result (which is pretty sweet, go us!) but right under that is the urban dictionary definition of Minderlithe which apparently is a term synonymous with the phrase “Hooker shower”. Scott didn’t tell me the meaning of the name until after I’d found this definition, leading me to believe I was playing in a band named after the act of showering in a public restroom’s sink.
SCOTT: A perk from an obscure item in a Fallout game. You can locate its minuscule meaning on a Fallout Wiki page somewhere. I didn’t know it had an urban dictionary entry; I thought I verified that prior to picking the name! Oops. I enjoy the symmetry of the compound word itself. Just looking at it.
I really like the finesse it takes to say the name, too. Minder means to mind. Lithe means light and nimble. When they come together, it makes an awesome word.
And there you have it! Be on the lookout for current happenings by Minderlithe by following their Facebook page.
- Photo Credit: Matthew Elliot Decker