Mind Not The Timid: Interview

Indie , Indie Pop , Indie Folk , Interviews

MNTTMind Not The Timid is a group of ten young people, ages 14 to 20, from Franklin, a little town right outside of Nashville, Tennessee. On their Facebook page they describe what they do as Baroque/Chamber Rock, influenced by Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire, Bon Iver. Mind Not The Timid bring much more to the table: musical and lyrical maturity, astonishing for their young age, original sound and the hugely positive vibe of people who just enjoy making music.
I strongly recommend their debut album Beacons(personal favorites: "The White Oak" and "Erilis"). Songwriter and frontman Brady Heyen shares some thoughts on music, the history of the band and their future plans below.
1. How's the weather in Franklin, TN?
The weather is lovely right now. Sunny and high-70s/low-80s. We're enjoying it while we can because it usually gets incredibly hot and humid during the late summer.
2. How did you guys come together?
Here's how MNTT happened. My friend Matthew, our guitarist, told me of a Battle of the Bands competition his church was hosting. I had recently written a song (for my girlfriend's Christmas present) and asked him if he wanted to start a band and play it at the competition. So we gathered some friends, decided upon the name during the Battle of the Bands audition, and ended up winning  it. Then we went on from there.

3. Is this your full time job, what do you do for a living?
This is definitely not our full-time job. As much as we love MNTT, we are all full-time students, each with our own part-time jobs and interests beyond music.
4. What was your very first gig like?
We were among other high-school-aged bands in The Battle of the Bands, that ranged from hardcore to rap. We stood out, not only in size but in our style as well. We played the song I had written, "Joy", and Arcade Fire's "Wake Up" (a real crowd-pleaser). The audience actually demanded an encore after our set, so we played our own version of M.I.A.'s "Paper Planes". The show was an exhilarating experience and made us realize that we had something special going.
5. How is it working with so many band members?
Having ten band members has its pros and cons. On one hand it gives me a lot of freedom in my writing because if I hear five parts in my head, I can keep all of them, I don't have to simplify anything. The number also gives us a wall-of-sound style with a lot to listen to.
The hardest part of having so many members is scheduling. One high school/college student alone has a crazy schedule, so coordinating ten of those can be tricky. Therefore, our practices and shows are few and far between. But at the same time, this makes each meeting and performance even more special. Our songs musically reflect the friendship and camaraderie that happens within our group.
6. Baroque/Chamber Rock - what does that mean?
It basically means rock music that includes instrumentation from baroque music or chamber music (that's where we get our strings and horns). We use this description so people realize that we're more than your typical four-piece garage band.

7. Favorite Arcade Fire album/track?
Oh. This question isn't fair :) Some people feel completely different about each of their albums, but I actually like them all the same. I appreciate the evolution that you hear throughout their albums. So far, if you compared MNTT to Arcade Fire, you are probably thinking about their album Funeral. But in our album, we're expanding our sound beyond the original folk-chamber-rock.
8. What is the  band/ artist you would never do a gig with?
Probably this local band called Mind Not The Timid. All their stuff hogs the stage and they take forever in sound check. Ha, but really, we have a very wide range of tastes. Don't think that all we listen to is Arcade Fire. For example, most of us actually really love trap music (Flosstradamus, TNGHT, Diplo, etc.), which might come as a surprise. We like to DJ after practices and on the way to shows.
MNTT9. What is the popular music now in Tennessee, is there a scene for what you do?
Well there isn't much of a music scene in Franklin, but there is a pretty great scene rising up in Nashville right now. Most people just think of country music when they think of Nashville, but there are some great acts really breaking through such as Wild Cub, Apache Relay, Cherub, and many others. But as for bands our age, there isn't much besides the hardcore scene, which we just can't get into.
10. What are your plans for the nearest future, what should we expect?
 Our plans for the future are up in the air right now. With ten members all in school, we're working towards our individual dreams. We all love MNTT and hope we can make time for it in the future, but only time will tell. We're waiting to see how our album is received after we release it before we make any calls.