Interview With Mild Minds

Words by Mariana V. Honorato  @marianavhonorato.
Photography // Mild Minds – press.

Meditation, creativity and new techniques, deep conversations and inspirations that mix nuances of Bowie and Daft Punk with other beats from the seventies. We had a nice talk about life, dreams and inspirations with the LA based music producer Mild Minds, who has recently released a new LP called “MOOD” – a true lo-fi dance masterwork. Put your headphones on and check the full interview.

How was the creative process behind your album MOOD?

It was a pretty new process for me. The intention was creating without expectations. I usually overthink the purpose of a track or it’s viability, which leads to a lot of scrapped and self sabotaged tracks. The mantra this time was ‘see what comes out when you don’t restrict yourself’. For MOOD, I also made the intentional decision to open my creative process very wide, discovered new music, use new tools, techniques and synths whilst ruling out everything I normally turn to. I’d recommend that package to anyone trying to find some new steam. It made the whole process fun and I was heavily inspired. It was like starting music all over again except this time with skills. 

What are the biggest issues you have been struggling with during this atypical year?

Probably the lack of social contact or the increase in social conflict. Regardless of the topic, I’m big on mediation and as with most people, I find it really stressful when people are this divided and extreme in their opinions, albeit mostly online. It’s also really confusing constantly battling fact vs disinformation and this year has been probably the worst yet. As strange as it is seeing social media companies stepping in to tag and silence disinformation, it’s probably needed in order to steer the ship back towards fact. Then hopefully with this slew of disinformation disengaged and tensions cooled we can work to be more understanding of each other in general. 

When was the most remarkable moment in your career? What insights or lessons do you take from that experience?

I’m sure there have been many that I’ve forgotten from years ago, but the most recent one was what spawned Mild Milds. It was basically a culmination of events that is going to be really hard to translate when you didn’t live through it. I was in Japan with my best friend, we’d just had a week of surreal adventure. Definitely on a high from one of the best holidays in my life. One night we stepped into this bar that only played ambient music, it was dark and stylised like kitch bars were in the 2000’s. It was playing a film on an old CRT monitor. The ambient music and space created this suspension of time and I was instantly transported to back to this feeling I felt towards music before music became my career. It immediately reminded me of why I got into music in the first place and what I loved about it. It was a major reset.

When did you first fall in love with dance music and how did you find out your style?

I think I fell in love at a pretty early age although I never loved the dance music I heard on the radio during the 90s or pumping from someones car, it was always cheesy or too clubby. I was always attracted to stylistic originality in music and in the early 2000’s. Once I started to properly hear electronic music my eyes opened very wide and there was no turning back. I think it would have been acts like Daft Punk, Mylo, Chemical Brothers and AIR that got me started. Specifically around then I was more into anything that had a 70s influence or euphoric feel to it ie Star Guitar. I would say the genre that really piqued my interest was house music as it seemed like the perfect vessel for all those wants above. From there I’ve explored several styles and projects, I am happy to jump around as long as what i’m working on is stylistically original and emotive.

Who are your biggest inspirations in the music industry?

This is a really hard one. I’m going to throw back to people like Bowie, someone who can bring culture into their music or in a sense lead a whole culture are the most inspiring. Doesn’t really matter about the genre as long as they’re doing something powerful, both visceral and deep. Daft Punk would also come to mind as the most successful dance music act in that sense. Although they don’t quite influence this project directly, I can still really appreciate what they’ve been able to do over 20 years. In a more underground sense,  Tony Wilson of Factory Records & the Hacienda was able to do that too. 

What are your short and long term goals for the future?

Probably to get a little deeper lyrically. MOOD was made quite quickly and viscerally, consequently the lyrics were whatever came out – logically the next step is to build on that. Beyond that my dream is really to just get this project into a position where I can tour Europe easily. 

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