Since the release of your latest album “Sworn To Secrecy” are you anticipating the tour?
It is very difficult to actually tour since Roby and Danny live in Italy and I live in Los Angeles. However, we managed to do a short tour in the southern US this past spring. We are hoping to have a mini tour of Europe this fall and then another mini tour in the southern US in the winter.
How do you promote your band and your shows?
Mostly through word of mouth and social media. We are trying to sign on with a promotion company, but it is a bit expensive.
What are your dreams and goals?
We feel very fortunate to be able to play and record music we love. Obviously we would love to play more and larger shows, but it is pretty difficult. We hope to spread the word of Mindwars and see where it takes us.
Who writes the songs and what are they about?
The writing process is a bit unique since we live on different continents. I write a bunch of riffs and try to formulate songs. I’ll send them over to Roby and he will lay down some drum tracks. We do this sort of back and forth thing until we are happy with a song. So far it seems to work for us. I write all the lyrics. I try to leave the theme open to the imagination, but most of my lyrics involve politics, injustice, mind control, the struggle between good and evil. There is also some personal element, but people can use their own experiences to interpret as well.
How did you come to collaborate with Bill Metoyer?
Everyone in metal knows Bill. He has done so many great things over the years. When I was 16, I was fortunate enough to play on Metal Blade’s Metal Massacre III and Bill was the engineer. I hadn’t seen him in probably 25 years, but we ran in to him when we were playing a show in North Hollywood. We were playing at a place called Skinny’s Lounge and Bill was there. Roby started chatting with him and they worked out an arrangement for him to mix and master STS.
Describe your show visually and musically.
I would love to have an elaborate stage show, but with the limited amount of shows we have, it doesn’t make sense. We are smack in your face speed and aggression.
What is your outlook on today’s record industry?
Well, it is a strange business. Since the digital music revolution, there doesn’t seem to be a “traditional” business. Nowadays, anyone and everyone can record and distribute music. There is an over saturation of bands and music, it is really difficult to separate yourself from everyone else. Unfortunately egos and competition between bands seems to be a major roadblock in really making metal and thrash bigger than it is today. Just the other day I was reading an article in Blabbermouth about Decide being upset with Slipknot for not supporting them more. Now I have no idea what this is about, but I think the underlying theme is that bands don’t support bands the way they could. Whether it is ego, insecurity, or some other stupid reason. I get it though. It is tough to make a living in music and once you start making money, you want to keep it going.
With two full-length albums in just 3 years of the band being together is pretty impressive. How do you deal with such a rigorous schedule?
Thanks for the acknowledgement, but it really isn’t that tough and we hope to have our third out by the middle of summer 2017. I have so many riffs in my head and there are certain times when they just flow out. I have been playing guitar for a long time and there is a lot I want to say both musically and lyrically.
What inspires you to do what you do?
I think the main thing that inspires me is that I am not in this for the money or the fame. That stuff doesn’t matter to me. I have a separate life and career outside of music and it allows me the time to be able to create what we have done with Mindwars. Would I love to have my career be music and not have a day job? Of course! However, I am a realist and it is a very demanding and difficult process to “make it” in this industry. There is also a lot I don’t like about the “music industry.” It actually mirrors what is considered “traditional” lifestyles in many ways. The hours are just different. The more money you make and the more important you become in a business, your ego can take over just as it does in the music biz. I really try to stay grounded and focused on doing right instead of being right.
If you mean obstacles in our way of breaking out as a band, I would say the shear saturation of bands. Although I listen to newer music, I tend to fall back on what I know. There are so many bands it is difficult finding the gem in the bunch. So much music sounds the same or at least similar. Time and money are always an issue and having our band spread out between the US and Italy, time and money is even more of an issue. Just getting us together in the same place is expensive and finding the time is equally as difficult. It’s not like I can just walk or drive over to the Roby’s studio and show him a new riff.
Any advice for fellow bands?
There are a few newer bands that I know and really respect. Night Demon and Resistance are two bands that take their music serious and are trying to break through. They are not following the latest trend or musical style. They have their own thing going on. I think that might be the most important thing…stay true to what you like and feel. Don’t let anyone tell you that you should sound or play a certain way. Music should come from the soul. If you really want to take a shot at making a living in music, you better be prepared to work harder than you ever had in your life. Be prepared for countless disappointments and always stay true to who you are…as I said before, it is better to do right than be right.
What’s new in the recording of your music?
We have close to 7 songs almost complete. The structure is there. We just need to mold them a little more. We hope to have 10 – 11 songs for our third release. We should be ready to record by winter and hopefully mix and master by spring. We will keep playing and recording as long as we can!
Final thoughts for your fans…
Thank you so much for all the support and we hope to see you in the near future! Speed Kills!!!
by Keith Stout
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