March 26, 2009

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Keeping their edge
Mindset X set to release new EP
By Dana Unger dunger@hippopress.com

Many bands have been formed out of the wreckage of previous incarnations, and the Manchester metal group Mindset X was no different. Vocalist Steven Scott and drummer Adam Cote were on the lookout for a new bassist in the fall of 2004 when they met up with Jerry Houle, and quickly the three formed a musical connection.

“All three of us have a wide range of what we like,” Scott said in a March 18 interview. “I try to be open-minded about a lot of stuff. I’m a big Rush fan and grew up listening to those complex arrangements, and like groups like Disturbed and System of a Down. Jerry grew up on music like The Beach Boys, and Adam is into Frank Zappa and King Crimson. None of it matches up, but each of it brings something different to the group.”

Shortly after the guys came together, they released their first CD, Statecraft, and in 2006 they released their next CD, Physics, and went on a tour of New England to support it. The band signed to Rat Pak Records and in 2007 self-produced the album Generation Rx, which became a top seller for the label. But the band decided to leave Rat Pak in December 2008 to go in a new direction.

“Joe [O’Brien, owner of Rat Pak] never put restraints on us or on the way we should write,” Scott said. “There were other aspects as to why we left, but really we kind of wanted to explore a way of doing different things. There were no big fallouts or anything.”

Now out on their own terms, Mindset X will release a new three-song EP on April 4, called This EP is Self Titled.

“It’s definitely a harder direction,” Scott said. “It’s more sarcastic, more aggressive, and shows our personalities more. We’re all over the place with our sound and range, but at this point we were angry — I think a lot of people are right now with the economy being so bad. All of these songs are written in a style that everyone can relate to, instead of just bitching about things. That does nothing for me as a musician.”

So will the band’s upcoming EP be a prelude to a future full-length album?

“We’re obsessed with writing new material right now, so I’d say yes,” Scott said. “The goal is just to really get our music out there.”

They are a metal band that wants to surpass metal stereotypes, particularly when it comes to lyrics.

“Our songwriting changes every album,” Scott said. “We all write lyrics, bounce them back and forth via e-mail, add in, take out, and sometimes it all changes during rehearsals, because you find out what rhythm is going to work with it. I guess we’re kind of unusual in that we write the lyrics first and the music after, but we try and write real lyrics, and not just stuff about swords and demons.”

Mindset X is lining up a string of shows, including JAGFest in Southbridge, Mass., on Saturday, April 4, and a special show at Milly’s Tavern in Manchester on Thursday, March 26.

“It’s called the Wounded Warrior Show, and is for soldiers that have been injured in war, so all the funds from the night will go towards that fund,” Scott said. “Kinetic Theory, Great Misfortune, and Before the Crash will be there too. We’ve played with Kinetic Theory before and we’re pretty similar in style, so it should be cool.”

The band is also planning an extensive tour for the spring and summer, and is hoping to do a full-length release before the end of the year. Scott said that, over time, the band has seen the metal scene change in New Hampshire.

“It changes every year,” he said. “Bands form, bands break up, venues open and close. I think it’s thriving, but is not at its peak at the moment. With some shows, you always have at least that one that turns out to be fantastic, but nowadays it seems to be on the other side, though you cherish anyone that walks through the door and spends money to hear you play.”


Hear them live
Wounded Warrior Project Charity Night w/ Mindset X
When: Thursday, March 26, at 8 p.m.
Where: Milly’s Tavern, 500 Commercial St., Manchester