September 30 , 2002 /

We recently had the opportunity to interview last week's featured artists Mindscape. Here is that interview:

An Saturday afternoon with Mindscape
Have you ever been curious about how your favorite band formed? How did they get started?

We at have the same curiosity that you do. We know what we like to listen to but who are the people that make the music? We contacted Mindscape and asked them if we could have a couple hours out of their time. We all met at a local establishment known for blinking amphibians and got to find out their individual and collective beginnings.

Mindscape is 4 guys who collectively have nearly 80 years of musical experience. The founding members are Scot who has played guitar for 20 years, and Matt who has been a drummer for 10 years. In June of '97 they started working on arrangements and lyrics together, where else if not in a garage but "The Basement". Their first compositions didn't have titles as much as they were given a number, because song titles were not the priority, the music was. Practice was calling a number out and working on the hook or the bridge or the time signature or a phrase.

2 years later Vaughn joined up with his bass and 22 years of playing and perfecting his craft. His hard work paid off as he was a sought after session man. Being on the quiet side he let his axe do his talking. With song writing and playing he tightened up the bottom end.

Y2K brought the missing part in the person of Steve, by way of the Wisconsin heartland. Steve has been singing since he was a young boy, as a cast member of a community theatre performance of "Oliver", then on to his church choir. School productions in both elementary and high school along with his continuing choir involvement led him to where he is today. By the way he secretly wants to learn how to play keyboards but will probably deny it if asked.

During the recent years Mindscape has averaged 30 gigs a year. Between you and I that is a lot of performances considering these guys have day jobs just like the rest of us.

Some of their personal favorite performances are opening for Dokken, Jacobs Dream and Overkill. They have performed at The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Cleveland Music Festival. Reviews by the local, world  press and interviews on WJCU, WXTM, WONE,WMMS and WRUW  have gained them a sizable and more importantly, loyal following here in Cleveland.

To their credit they haven't signed a contract with one of the major labels. You might think that they might be a little crazy for passing up an opportunity that most local bands will never see. But like I said, they have seen what kind of compromises other bands have had to make in search of the almighty dollar. They are persistent if not stubborn in doing their music their way. With all the pitfalls that lay in front of most bands, along with R & D men, agents and venue owners they learned some hard and painful lessons along the way.

With that in mind they manage and promote themselves and their music. Being the 2nd or 3rd band on stage is just fine with them. Watching and gauging the audience dictates their stage energy. You will never hear them perform the same playlist 2 nights in a row. As a matter of fact they have been known to change their list in the middle of a show because it was the right thing to do.
Their partnership on stage has been tested by the long hours of practice and rehearsal. Disagreements about a chord or lyric or hook or bridge don't result in the petty bickering that many bands fall prey to. Hard work and months of collaborating give them an impressive catalogue that they are all proud to perform.

Just don't label them as strictly a Metal band. I am not sure that would cover all of the musical knowledge and experience they bring to one of their shows. Formula metal is not what they do, because if you listen closely you will pick up the influences of many types of music and genres. Their personal favorite bands that they like to listen to include, but are not limited to Dream Theater, Tony Levin, Dokken, Motorhead, Slayer and Metallica.

Mindscape are following their dreams and are having a great time doing it. After talking to them we finally asked them what their goal as a band was. "We want everyone that wants one of our CD's, to have one".