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Monday, January 8, 2018

THE BEGINNER'S MYND - Don't Lose Your Mind

Originally conceived as a solo home recording project, The Beginner’s Mynd is Dan McNabb’s long-distance call to a bygone psychedelic era. Featuring Larry Ferguson on drums and Carrie Ferguson on keyboards, The Beginner's Mynd blends garage rock and pop psychedelia into a sound all their own.

1) For the viewers of this blog who don't know you, what would you tell about you and about THE BEGINNER'S MYND to introduce yourselves? How long are you guys together as a band? Were you, personally, in other bands previously? Who is playing what instrument in the band?

The Beginner's Mynd is me, Dan McNabb (vocals, guitars, keyboards), Larry Ferguson (drums) and Carrie Ferguson (keyboards). The Beginner's Mynd was the name I attached to DIY home demos I used to make for myself that were too far out for bands I was in. I never expected to do anything with them - they existed for my own amusement.  Larry, Carrie and I had played together previously, and while kicking around the idea of starting something new we talked about what we could do together, and who would sing. I brought up that I had songs, and they were into making it a project to do some recording while trying to keep everything totally analog. Those first recordings became the cassette EP on Burger Records.

2) THE BEGINNER'S MYND are described by some people as a 60's garage/psych band. Do you agree with this description or do you consider there is way more than that?  

I collect 60s garage and psychedelic records, so that is by far my biggest influence. For the purposes of people finding the music and hopefully liking it based on shared influences, "garage / psych" works for me. I don't get too bent out of shape over labels. To some extent, they have to exist for people to find and share music. At one point I really wanted the sound to be exactly like a record from the 60s, to where you couldn't tell the difference between our record and an old one, but I'm much more comfortable with our present being the time to do what we need and want to do and to be different than our influences in some ways.  It's always interesting to hear what people think of the music or what it reminds them of. Sometimes it will help turn me on to new music I haven't heard before, or to listen to music I thought I knew in a new way. People have compared our sound to 1980s 60s revival bands as well, and I like a lot of those too.

3) About the full length record " Don't Lose Your Mind",  what can you tell about the recording process? Was this a live in the studio recording or a track by track recording with
lots of overdubs? 

The recording process is live recording of drums and guitar or bass as foundational tracks. From there it's multi-tracking layers on top. We recorded our EP and first two singles completely in the studio, but for the LP, I recorded a lot at home and continued in the studio. The studio is as much of an instrument as the guitars. With the help of Mike Reina we get all of the sounds in my head onto tape and work in effects that compliment the songs. Everything we do is recorded analog to tape with real instruments - no computers, plugins, or any of that. It's important to me that is is all real. It's also more pressure, and that influences the decision of what is good and what needs to be re-done.
4) Since THE BEGINNER'S MYND was originally conceived as a solo home recording project, It is my understanding that you are the main composer in the band but what is the involvement of the other member as far as composing is concerned?

We'll get together as a band to play through songs I have that I think are ready to be recorded. I might have written keyboard parts or I might have a vibe for the drums in mind, but in an hour or two we'll find our way through the songs together and finalize the structure while leaving enough holes for experimentation in the studio with additional percussion or instruments.

5) To what kind of music did you listen to as a teenager and does it still influence your today work? What was your favorite band as a teenager? Name 3 bands that you consider still have a influence on your own work today.

An introduction to mod while at college changed my life and can't be understated. I'm not sure where I'd be now if not for that, but I suspect I'd be wearing less fashionable shoes. It was through that mod obsessiveness that I found my way to freakbeat, and then on to more obscure garage and psych records. It's a well that has yet to run dry.  Picking three artists is tough:  The Beatles, The Byrds, and Syd-era Pink Floyd would have to be named for no other reason than they influenced nearly all of the bands I like that came after them. 

6) Do you have a video on YouTube featuring a track from the latest release?  

Yes, I just uploaded "I Want Truth", which was written about (or at, really) politicians and their supporters and as a reaction to Trump and Trump-ism. 

7) What can concert goers expect at a gig of THE BEGINNER'S MYND? Are you playing any famous cover songs?

We play the tunes as they were recorded, but those songs with more instrumentation than we can manage are more stripped down. We have played covers on occasion. I'd like to do The Aardvarks "I'm Higher Than I'm Down" or The Dovers "The Third Eye" at some up-coming shows.

8) Does Washington, D.C. have a long history of rock bands, that goes way back to the 60/70's?
And are THE BEGINNER'S MYND in the continuity of this heritage?

Washington D.C. did have a pretty active music scene in the 60s. The Hangmen and Fallen Angels are probably the best known, but the surrounding suburbs of Maryland and Virginia were home to a lot of groups that put out cool records. I'm not sure I'm carrying the torch since there is no real scene here in DC at the moment, but I can't help but be influenced by my surroundings, so living here is an ingredient in the music. I (like all DC residents) am disgusted by our current President and the political climate he rode in on.  It's made me more politically active than ever before, and that energy definitely influenced songs and worked its' way onto the LP.

9) What are the plans for the rest of 2018 as far as THE BEGINNER'S MYND are concerned? Are you guys planning to tour Europe soon to promote this newly released vinyl record? 

We'll playing more shows, and I'd like to record another single or EP.  It would be nice to do some traveling. Europe would be tough to coordinate but would be amazing!

10) Anything you wanna add?

Thanks to you and to all who read this far!   If you're just finding out about us I hope you listen to some songs and like what you hear.


1 comment:

pompel said...

Keep it coming up!Very good indeed.