Hailing from Manchester, N.H., Mindset X is an alternative hard rock band with a progressive twist consisting of Steve Haidaichuk (guitar and vocals), Paul Davidson (bass and vocals) and Adam Cote (drums). The band was founded over 10 years ago and has recorded four full-length albums and a few EPs. They are currently recording a new concept album, entitled Oceans, that will be released in early 2015. Over the past decade, they have opened for such national acts as Queensryche, Candlebox, Korn, Stone Temple Pilots, 3 Days Grace, and Halestorm. On October 21, 2014, they will be opening for The Stick Men (featuring Tony Levin, Pat Mastelotto and Markus Reuter) at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Mass. We recently caught up with the band who were busy recording their new album and rehearsing for their gig with The Stick Men.
Limelight Magazine (LM): Mindset X is opening for The Stick Men at the Regent Theatre in Arlington, Mass., on Oct. 21, 2014. How did that gig come about? Is the band looking forward to it?
Steve Haidaichuk: The indie label that we are on, Transit Music Group, really put this all together. We were just really on the sidelines relaying information back and forth (laughs). We actually were working on a show with John Wesley [of Porcupine Tree] that ended up falling through due to scheduling conflicts and it happened that this show just magically came together right afterwards…It’s an understatement to say we are excited. I mean, the talent in Stick Men is unbelievable. I can tell you that we are all working diligently on our chops.
LM: You’re going to be releasing a new single from your forthcoming album entitled Oceans on the same day. What’s the single called? Were you always planning to release a single in October or did you decide to do so after the band was asked to be the support act for The Stick Men?
Steve Haidaichuk: The single is called “You & Me”. We actually planned on releasing the album in October but decided that it was pointless to rush it out. We want it to be perfect and we really don’t have anyone breathing down our back so we pushed the album release to early 2015. It just made sense as singles are usually released a few months ahead of albums anyway. It was just good luck that The Stick Men show happened to pan out for October.
LM: Will you be playing the single at the Regent? Will there be any other new songs from Oceans performed that night?
Adam Cote: Yes, we will be playing the single along with mostly new material and a modified version of one of our fan favorites.
LM: Speaking of Oceans, it’s going to be a conceptual album. Can you tell me more about it? What’s the underlying concept?
Paul Davidson: The concept is simple. It’s about one’s life. The trials and tribulations one goes through to discover oneself, to find himself in the universe, and not alone.
LM: How much of the album has already been recorded? When did you expect it to be released?
Steve Haidaichuk: Oceans is pretty far along tracking wise. I just finished up all my electric guitars a few weeks ago and have a few acoustic parts to do and then it’s on to the vocal tracks. Adam and Paul have completed everything they needed to lay down. Our goal is an early 2015 release with a tour starting up in the spring.
LM: Could you walk us through the band’s songwriting process?
Adam Cote: Steve is the main writer, but we all have input into song structure, riffs, lyrics etc.
Steve Haidaichuk: Oceans was definitely a band effort, writing wise. Like all good stories, it started out on a cocktail napkin.
LM: You’re publicist told us that John Wesley of Porcupine Tree is making an appearance on the CD. He’s an amazing guitarist. How did you end up getting him to appear on the CD?
Steve Haidaichuk: He is quite a talented guitarist and all around great guy. His new album is fantastic. Early on, our goal was to set up a show with John in October. We discussed having him play a solo on the new album. The show, unfortunately, fell through due to scheduling conflicts but he did perform a really cool solo on one of the tunes. We’ve discussed shows together in the future and I am sure that eventually it will happen.
LM: You’re recording the new album with Grammy-winning engineer Jay Frigoletto whose credits include Alice in Chains and most recently Kix. How did you end up working with him? What’s the experience been like so far?
Steve Haidaichuk: We met Jay through mutual friends and have worked with him in the past, mastering wise. During the writing of Oceans, we asked him if he would be interested in recording it and, thankfully, he said yes. It’s a wonderful laid back studio with a great vibe. The chemistry has been fantastic and we are always bouncing ideas off each other.
LM: Over the past 10 years, you’ve recorded four full length albums and a few EPs. Is there anything different you’re doing this time than past recordings?
Adam Cote: There are definitely differences on the new recording. We are taking our time and doing it right and being open to direction from our top shelf engineer/producer and using everything we have learned over the years to make something special.
LM: Lastly, why should people come see Mindset X perform live on Oct. 21st?
Paul Davidson: They should come to the show not only for the experience, but to discover something real – something solid – something pure. The music by Mindset X!
Steve Haidaichuk: We do what we do for the love of creating and performing. The Stick Men show will be no different. It will be amazing to perform with such a talented line up. It will be a special evening indeed.