MindMaze are, in this journalist’s eyes, a force to be reckoned with in the progressive power universe. What makes them even more special is that they are relatively local here to us in the MD/PA/DE area when a lot of bands of this genre hail from Europe. This is really incredible to have right here in our backyard. Jeff Teets, founder and guitarist was kind enough to do a interview with me in early March. Enjoy.
Shockwave: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me Jeff.
Jeff Teets: Yeah, No problem
For those who don’t know MindMaze, can you tell me a little about how you guys started?
We officially took on the name MindMaze in 2012. This band sort of grew out of a project that my sister, Sarah (lead singer), and I started when we were very young. I was 14 and she was 16. It was called Necromance and we played for about seven years just writing songs and just feeling ourselves out with what we liked to play. Eventually around 2011 or 2012 we decided that we needed to overhaul everything and start over so we changed the name and MindMaze was born.
The new album Resolve comes out on April 28th.
It’s our first concept album and our first attempt into getting into that whole world. Its sound is taking us to new levels and styles that we didn’t even know we had, and it really pushed our boundaries writing that we didn’t think we had.
Now did you do all the producing on this album?
Yes and no. This one felt more of like a team effort with all of us producing it. We’ve done all of our albums with our engineer Brian J Anthony who we have a great working relationship with. It’s more or less our decision on calling all of the creative shots, like the actual role of the producer.
How is this album different from the last musically?
The last album Back From The Edge was a power metal themed album. We’ve always been very big on having melodic big hooky choruses and this album has more of a progressive overtone to it. I don’t want to necessarily scare people away and I don’t want to make the big prog guys out there to think we are going to be the next big art/rock thing. It’s taken more of a Dream Theaterish overtone though. There’s more of everything across the board. It’s definitely more diverse than the last. There are some very fast and heavy songs on it and it’s all about telling a story.
Do you have any guests playing on this album?
No, actually and we made a conscience decision not to do that. The last album did because we thought it would give the album more legitimacy, but with this album the band line up is very solid now and we are happy with what everyone brings to the table so we did everything ourselves this time with no special guests.
Another big thing you guys have is a tour with Arcona and Sirenia coming up. How did that come about?
For the past year or so we have been affiliated with a agency called Infinity Concerts. They are involved in the ProgPower concert in Atlanta every year as well. They have periodically come to us with opportunities and until now nothing else ever really made sense to do for one reason or another to take largely because of time. But in any case, they pitched this to us, thought about it, and said yes to it. The timing couldn’t really be better as the tour starts roughly two weeks after the album comes out. It gives us the chance to play in areas we haven’t ever been able to get out to yet as well.
I was at ProgPower in 2004. It was a great experience. Have MindMaze been offered to play that festival yet? I’m sure it’s a bucket list item of yours.
I can’t confirm this, but we were supposedly considered for one of the replacement spots for it last year but it’s something I’d very much would love to do in the future. I’ve attended the festival in 2014 and 2016 and I know a lot of those people who are involved with it. I am hoping this album will give us the push to sort of get us a little more solidified in that community and maybe play it.
Are there plans in the fall or winter to go back out on tour or sometime this summer maybe?
Not at the present because of our work situations. It’s hard to take large chunks of time off and we only get so much to afford to do every year. When we do get back from the tour in May, we will probably take the summer off and concentrate on writing material for the fourth album. It’s always good to keep writing and start the next album as soon as we can. I can see us playing though here and there in the fall just to keep playing live. But again, nothing is concrete and it’s all in the planning stage.
What about playing festivals? They have to be in your plans as well.
Besides ProgPower, there really isn’t another festival in the US that caters to our genre. Europe is where all the festivals are really and that is going to be our next hurdle to leap in the next couple of years. We’ve sold a decent number of albums in the UK and Germany so there is interest there especially since our label has a lot more European contacts than we do personally. I’m looking at 2018 or 19 for that to happen though, but we’ll see.
MindMaze are truly a fantastic band live and you can see them open for Y&T in Baltimore at Soundstage on April 25th and you can also buy their new album there as it will be on sale. Look for Resolve coming out April 28th on Inner Wound Recordings.