Simple Mind is an act devoted to exploring the relationship between acoustic and synthetic instruments. Its first project to date, a full reimagining of Brand New’s seminal album The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me, was started in early 2014 and completed in early 2015. An EP of original music will be released under the “Simple Mind” moniker in late 2015.
The Devil and God Are Raging Beside Me is due for release in early March. To download the album the instant it becomes available, sign up for the Simple Mind mailing list.
We had a chance to speak with the person behind Simple Mind regarding the mysterious process behind recording. ‘Limousine’ can be streamed after the interview.
Where are you based?
Currently based out of Boston, MA.
What made you want to start Simple Mind and how long have you been playing music?
I’ve been playing music my whole life. Simple Mind is a means to get this style out of my system. I’ve always been interested in exploring analog and digital synths, and combining them with live instrumentation.
Who would you consider to be your primary influences?
For this particular album, the obvious answer is Brand New. But as far as the tones and sounds within, I’d have to go with Tycho, TNGHT, Alt-J, Bassnectar, Deadmau5 for his kicks. Tame Impala and MGMT were big influences on a lot of it too.
What first gave you the inspiration to take on such an ambitious project?
In December of 2013, I caught Brand New for one of their discography shows, as well as their Bell House show in Brooklyn. That show went down in their fanbases’ eyes as one of the best Brand New shows of all time. It was an incredible experience for me as well and I realized that this band was pretty much in my musical DNA. I wanted to delve into their songs and put myself into them, because I felt like they were all a part of me. I also just love the Brand New community and this project is very obviously catered to them.
It’s still early days but would you consider exploring and reimagining other records?
To be honest, I haven’t thought too much about that! I was more excited to begin writing originals with the style I had developed around this project. If I did it would probably be Congratulations by MGMT.
Regarding the recording process, did you produce the entire thing yourself? What was your set-up like for recording?
Everything was recorded, mixed and produced in my home studio (read: combination of walk in closet and bedroom) and everything you hear on the project is played or programmed by me. The only exception is the violinist on track five, ‘Limousine’, who is Josh Knowles of Nemes.
Do you feel like this project has influenced your songwriting or would you take a different direction for your upcoming EP?
It absolutely has. I feel like I’ve only reached the tip of the iceberg as far as manipulating sounds and mixing things. I’m excited to inject my own songwriting into the style I’ve developed over the course of this project.
Interested in premiering a track with us? Feel free to drop an email to george[at]onrecordmag.com