Great, thanks for having us, we just finished a few sets at Hopscotch and we’re settling back into everyday life. It’s always an inspirational experience to be part of the festival, so many incredible bands and performances. Definitely gets the creative juices flowing, makes you want to write new songs.
Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Tiger”?
Out of any song on the record, Tiger was probably written in the least amount of time. The song revolves around the bass line, something that came about spur-of-the-moment in the middle of writing the other songs. It developed almost out of necessity, as if in response to the other pieces’ aesthetic. Something punk, direct, serving its purpose as conspirator to the album’s broader agenda. The lyrics are somewhat non-sensical, an attempt to offer a view inside the predator’s perspective. Is it possible to empathize with violence and blatant disregard of others in a way that makes the victimization experience less momentous? How can we use this point of view as a method for therapy, to move on?
Did any event in particular inspired you to write this song?
The song and album as a whole is ultimately a response to the breakup of our previous band Toddlers. It was a way to deal with the conflicting emotions that surrounded the events leading up to and following the band’s dissolution. The songs on the record all have this nasty I-know-what-you’ve-done vibe to them. They can get pretty vindictive, but, like I said, it was a way for us to process what had happened and a big part of that process was to look at the experience from both sides. The songs are a way to enter into another’s perspective, which is crucial to understanding the bigger picture.
How was the film experience?
Zoë Dehmer, sister to Noah Dehmer who performs on the record, had worked with us before in our previous project Toddlers to create a wonderfully bizarre visual interpretation for the song 19. We knew we wanted to work with her again. With 19, members Missy Thangs and Noah took on a lot of the production ideas for the video, whereas with Tiger Zoë definitely took the reigns; it really is her unfettered take on the song. We were eager to bring her creative direction into the fold and were pleasantly surprised with the images she concocted out of listening to the musical and lyrical content. It adds another layer of perspective shift that wasn’t there before that makes the concept even more engaging.
The single comes off your new self-titled album – why did you name the album after the band?
The name actually comes from a lyric from the song In The Valley. We were having some difficulty deciding on a name for the project and the lyric stuck out to us. It had multiple meanings: refusal to concede a singular point of view, exasperated resignation, play on the translation of the word “name.” It made such sense as a record title and project name. A major impetus in creating this music was to breath new life into working with each other as a collaborative entity. The collective vision of the record and our experience together is exemplified in the name.
How was the recording and writing process?
The songs were originally written and recorded as a set of roughly 20 demos I made shortly following the breakup of Toddlers. I lumped together about ten at a time and sent out two sets to Missy and Noah on Thanksgiving and Christmas Day 2013. We exchanged production, arrangement and compositional ideas and ended up scrapping more than half of the material in order to craft a cohesive product that would have a unified aesthetic. Over the course of the next year we were able to make it into the Fidelitorium in Kernersville, NC for two three-day recording sessions. Missy helmed the recording as Noah and I replaced parts and layered live takes on top of the demos I had created months before. Some of the most memorable moments were when Missy would start the recording, join the two of us in the tracking room and the three of us would create improvised soundscapes on top of the standard song arrangement. Most of those moments made it on to the final record.
What drew you to make a revenge record?
Feeling betrayed, abandoned, confused, angry, as if losing a friend or part of one. Feeling overwhelmed by self-doubt, aimlessness. Not-knowing. Wanting to use the defeat as fuel to work towards something else, to succeed, as in the next step.
What aspects of revenge did you get to explore with this material?
I think we got to live out our aggressive fantasies, to exploit the anger that came from our experience in the best way we know how, through music. I hope that the feeling is palpable, not to continue to drive the point home or obsess over it but to understand what it was we were feeling at the time. It was important, is important and necessary for us moving forward.
Any plans to hit the road?
We’ve got some ideas in the works. One of our favorite NC bands Zack Mexico has floated a potential tour. We love them and would be psyched to play together outside the state.
What else is happening next in No One Mind’s world?
We’ve recorded a cover of Anna Domino’s rendition of “Land of My Dreams,” originally sung by Aretha Franklin. We’re planning on releasing it as a split tape with our friends Flash Car as part of the Cassette Store Day event. We’ve also re-recorded a different arrangement of one of the songs off the record with live band members Sam Logan (Lilac Shadows) on bass and Joel Willis (GROHG, No Eyes, drumityourself.com) on drums. And as always, new material is on the horizon.