We come again across this incredible rock band “MINDFREE” after listening to their extraordinary album “MindFree” which was released on the 22nd of August, 2022, but this time we’ll know more about the band through the following interview that will enlighten us about their future music career and how the music that they create is done. It’s such a pleasure to interview this incredible rock band today.
Tell us how this band came together and assembled “MINDFREE”?
Mark Abbruzzese: MindFree formed in Dec 2019, when I, Mark Abbruzzese and Keith Walsh (childhood friends) began to work on some original music together. We based the name of our band, MindFree on one of the songs from our debut 2021 album.
Why have you decided to call both the album and the band the same name? And what is the backstory of calling the band MINDFREE?
Keith Walsh: Mark answered this in question 1. The name of Mark’s song turned out to be an ideal band name.
What influenced you to play this genre “Motown grunge” and what is the source of inspiration while creating music?
Mark Abbruzzese: Motown Grunge was a name we coined because it existentially fit our mix of rock/pop genres.
What makes you different from modern bands these days?
Keith Walsh: We don’t use software or commercial strategies to write songs, we write from our emotional resources and from our experiences. We also use organic instruments, like hardware synths, guitars, analog pedals and drums, rather than being in the box with virtual synths. MindFree recalls the singer songwriter era where music was authentic and came from the heart, along with outstanding musicianship rather than programming.
Are there any videos that MINDFREE is going to publish for the tracks you got in the album for the future?
Mark Abbruzzese: We have a new video 2022 based on a song, Sky Blue from our debut Album. The video is a mix of animation and live performance from Molly Malone’s in Hollywood.
Before the band came together, what were each member’s musical projects? Were you always into Motown grunge and rock music that you play now?
Keith Walsh: Mark has been a vocalist and played guitars in bands for a while now, including Ghost Electric, Scenario and Rocketwolf. Keith has been a keyboard player in 80s band Fahrenheit , played on early Berlin and Stacey Q records, and with 2018’s Ska and Bones. Ric Rosario studied drums at Musician’s Institute in Hollywood, where he met our producer and bass player CD Rios.
Where would be the band’s dream to perform the first album in front of a crowd and will it be soon?
Mark Abbruzzese: As for now we are focused on playing our debut album at the world famous Troubadour in West Hollywood. The Troubadour is a music venue legend.
The name of a track caught my attention “What’s so funny bout’ peace, love, and understanding?” Can you tell me the story behind this track?
Keith Walsh: This is a song by Nick Lowe, made famous by Elvis Costello. He’s an awesome artist, you should check him out. It’s from “Armed Forces”, 1979 or so.
Come to think of it, each track in this album seems to have a story in them. Can you tell me your side of the stories that relate to them?
Mark Abbruzzese: Yes that is true, there are stories behind the music and lyrics in our songs. “I am the Wolf”, is about how humanity should really a bonded pack of wolves, helping each other out. “She Will Be”, is about accidentally finding your soulmate. “Hollywood Heroes”, is about Hollywood Blvd, tourists and the artists that flock there to make it. “Storks and Vultures” is about the cycle of birth, life, death and rebirth. “Shoshone”, is about a love affair that dies, but embers remain. “Skeleton”, is about how we the living are connected to death. Aspects of the afterlife as portrayed by the ancient Mayans and ancient Greeks, are featured. “Sky Blue”, is based on the concept of travel and finding yourself. This concept is explored post WW2 during the Beat Poets decade roughly 1952-62. Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” is background for this song (Also our 1st video is for this song). “MindFree”, is about being overwhelmed by life’s asks and obligations, and the need to take a break and be MindFree, a take on Jimi Hendrix’s Stone Free. “The last two songs on the album are our hazy MindFree versions of cover songs, Neil Young’s Cinnamon Girl and Elvis Costello/ Nick Lowe’s Peace Love & Understanding. We covered these two songs as they are amazing works of art, by amazing artists.
I feel that you guys had an awesome time making this music, can you tell me the favorite moments you all had together while making a masterpiece?
Keith Walsh: It’s so much fun to get together with friends and make music. From the rehearsals while we nail down the songs, to getting in the studio and capturing lightning in a bottle, it feels special to be working with Mark, Ric and CD. There are many favorite moments, including meeting other bands at cool Hollywood venues, or have late night snacks and cocktails at Boardner’s in Hollywood after finishing up tracks at the studio.
Can you walk us through your creative process? Who comes up with the musical ideas and lyrical context?
Mark Abbruzzese: The writing process for MindFree, usually begins with Keith or I bringing in a song or parts of a song. Then we four Keith, Ricky, Cirilo and myself add and subtract, re-arrange and get the song down, in our bones.
It’s been a real delight to get you guys in this interview and introduce us to this extraordinary band music. Tell us what will be your next steps towards the band’s music career.
Keith Walsh: We are working on the second album and will head into the studio to record soon. It’s an expansion on the band’s sound, adding CD Rios as the bass player instead of me playing synth bass. As such, I will be adding new electronic textures now that I have a free hand. The second album by MindFree promises to feature proggier, groovier, and more rocking tunes!
Check out debut album review here.