Mindset X's Steve Talks Studio Process of New Album, it's Single, and Touring

Mindset X is an alternative hard rock trip that has a progressive twist that delivers a blend of intellectual lyrical driven songs with powerful rock melodies that makes the music drive into the body's soul. This trio consists of  Steve Haidaichuk (Vocals and guitar), Paul Davidson (Bass), and Adam Cote (Drums), they promote people to being themselves and it greatly shows within the diversity of their powerful yet in-depth music. Frontman vocalist and guitarist Steve Haidaichuk discusses the band's progress with what would be their fifth album to date along with details on their new single and touring plans for the upcoming year.

1. Can you give those of us who aren't familiar with Mindset X a brief history of the band and can you please describe your sound for those who have yet to hear your music?

The band got together in 2004 at a rehearsal space in the small town of Atkinson, NH.  The intention was to create a rock band with no limitations – meaning that we didn't want any musical rules tying us to any certain style. Throughout the next ten years we released 4 full length albums and a few EP’s (with most of the material from those EP’s making it on albums). As far as are sound goes – it seems to change every album (lol) but, in the end, we've always been a hard rock band skirting with prog and a dash of metal.

2. How did you guys come up with your band name?

We've always been big on lyrics and musical experimenting so, when coming up with a name, we wanted to convey that. “Mindset” signifies the fact that we wanted to make the listener think and the “X” signifies the unknown factor musically.

3. Can you describe your style? What bands have influenced your music?

We’re a progressive rock band at heart. It’s where we feel the most comfortable. With that said we also like a challenge & love so many other styles and try to incorporate that into the music. All 3 of us have different influences – which is a big reason for our sound. I am a huge Rush, Foo Fighters and Queensryche fan.  Adam (drums) grew up on bands such as King Crimson, Zappa and metal bands such as Overkill. Paul (bass and keys) likes it all (but leans towards the prog side). He is really into technology and loves experimental type stuff.

4. Could you take us through the writing process of Mindset X? How does one of your epic songs come to be?

In the past, someone would bring a riff and even most of a song to practice and we would jam it and work out the kinks. The new album ‘Oceans’ was written completely as a band.  I had some basic ideas for a conceptual type album and we discussed it at rehearsal. We wrote the entire album together as a band – both lyrically and musically. I found it such a great way to write as the ‘vision’ was never lost and it kept us on the same page. I feel it is our strongest work to date.

5. What lyrical theme do you guys use in your music? What message do you want to send?

Every album we've done has a theme running through it although the new album is the 1st one we've done with a comprehensive story line. As far as a message goes – well, that depends on the album (laughs). Physics, Generation Rx, Thread and the self-titled were all themed but not conceptual.

6. What's the story behind your single for "You & Me"?

“You & Me” is a double-edged sword type of song where the main character in ‘Oceans’ finds comfort in love. It’s about two people pulling themselves out of tough times and growing the relationship out of mutual low points in life. However, the song also takes another angle where blame takes hold.

7. Where are you in the recording process of the new album?

I just finished up all my electric guitars last week. There are so many guitar sounds on this album. We recorded with 4 different mics on 3 different amps and used 6 different electrics. It’s crazy. So, basically, we have some acoustics to record and next up is vocals. Once that is done we will head into the mixing stage. Paul and Adam’s tracks are complete.

8. What was the recording process like compared to your past releases?

Much more sober (laughs). We have been recording the new album with Grammy-award winning engineer Jay Frigoletto and he’s been amazing. It’s been a fantastic collaboration. We also have a friend, Tom, who has been documenting the entire process via video and numerous cameras with intention of releasing a documentary type film.

9. Who is producing the album? How has the producer aided the recording process?

Jay Frigoletto is the engineer. He has worked with bands such as Alice in Chains, Shinedown, INXS and so many more. He has been such a key player in ‘Oceans’ not only as a great engineer but also in bouncing ideas off each other.  Our sessions usually start out with some random Rush jams (laughs).

10. What runs through your mind about this being your fifth album to date?

Where has the time gone? That’s what runs through my mind (ha). Seriously, I haven’t really thought about that. We are more driven then ever right now. The band has a solid vision for this project and some really big plans for, not only the album itself, but the tour that will follow.

11. How is the vibe in the studio?

It’s great. We are all on the same page and heading towards the same goal – creating something we are really proud of. Of course, the occasional shot of Bourbon helps.

12. What label will be releasing the album? Are you continuing your relationship with the Transit Music Group? Were you happy with how Transit Music Group handled the release of your last few albums?

Transit Music Group and its owner, Dave Roberge, support this album 100%. We are definitely continuing our relationship with them. TMG is a huge supporter of music from all around the world and has been a key player with Mindset X. In fact, he just secured us a slot opening for Tony Levin’s band, Stick Men, in October. We will be releasing our single at that event. We’re going to have to practice our chops (laughs).

13. Did the band have any definitive goals they were shooting for before the recording process began for this album?

The main goal with this album was to stay true to ourselves and write something we would be proud of. We were ready to tackle something bigger. The timing was just right for a concept album.

14. Are you using any new instrumentation you've never used in the recording process before?

Paul has brought keyboards into the band and the new album is full of them. They play an important part in the story telling and the musical interludes. The album isn't fully recorded yet so you never know what instrument is lying around the studio that may make it on the album?.

15. When did you start writing for this album? How was the songwriting process different/similar to previous Mindset X albums?

We started noodling around with idea’s in the fall of 2013. We wrote this entire piece as a full band when, in the past, it really wasn't like that.

16. Did you feel any pressure to do this follow-up?

I think, as a musician, you always feel a little bit of pressure in that you want your new material to be better than the last. It’s all about moving forward.

17. Can you go into one or two tracks on the new album? If so, can you give us the track title and brief description of how the track sounds and how it came about?

All the tracks sound the way they need to in regards to the story line…I hope any way (laughs). For example...

The album opens with a track called “I Imagine”. It starts fairly quickly and is about a young man ready to take on the world. Those beautiful days of no fear. The ending of the song builds on a musical theme that is heard throughout the entire story. (Not e- it is actually the 2nd song on the album as it opens with an instrumental).

The closer is a song called “The Great Divide”. Currently, it clocks in around 15 minutes and is the moment when Jacob reconnects with himself and realizes what life is really all about.

18. When can we expect the new album to be released?

We are hoping for early 2015 with a tour starting early spring.

19. What are the remaining plans that you guys have for the rest of this year, leading right into next year?

Right now it is all about getting the recording finished and rehearsing for the tour. We have a lot to do as this live show is completely new and includes lights, video’s and even the possibility of live actors. In the middle of all of this we will continue to play some shows.

20. Would you like to say or want to add anything more?

We are grateful every day to be able to create music that we are compelled to create. Our fans give us the ability to do this. We appreciate you all and look forward to seeing you on tour in 2015!

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