Showcase: The Beginner’s Mynd
Published on September 3rd, 2013 | Jonny Abrams
We liked the cut of The Beginner’s Mynd’s jib – and their moxie, we liked that too – so we catapulted some questions over to the band’s front man Dan McNabb in order to find out more about them…
How would you describe your music, if pushed?
I say “psych-pop”, which I think is specific enough to give people an idea of what to expect if they haven’t heard it, but vague enough to cover all the bases for those who have.
Where are you based, and what do you use to record with?
We’re in Washington D.C. and record in a studio called The Brink owned by our friend Mike Reina.
It was important to us that everything you hear is “real”, so we record everything analog to tape without the use of computers or samples. Mellotron, harpsichord, Leslie cabinets…we’re very fortunate to have access to this stuff.
We also do a fair share of effects in the studio, including some backwards stuff and tape phasing. Fortunately for us Mike has enough tape machines (and patience) to allow us to experiment.
Are you signed to a label? If so, how did you come to their attention?
Burger Records is going to put out an EP in October consisting of the singles we’ve been releasing online.
Before the first songs were done, I’d emailed Matt Rendon of Resonars some rough mixes to see what he thought. He said he was into it and suggested contacting Burger.
At that point nobody had heard any of this stuff, so his feedback was a big deal to me, but even moreso because I love his records. I can’t thank him enough.
I eventually sent final mixes to Sean at Burger and the rest is history…or, in this case, the future.
Is there a full album in the works? If so, what can you tell us about it? (Feel free to be as abstract as you like…)
Sticking to our monthly singles plan is the focus right now, but once the EP comes out, I suspect we’ll call that done and start work on an LP.
I do like the instant gratification of doing the singles though, so we’ll have to see.
Where can we hear your music online?
Everything is available on our Bandcamp page.
We also have a Facebook page.
Which have been your most exciting gigs and/or overall moments so far?
Most exciting moment was without a doubt the first recording sessions. I write and arrange the songs, but they exist in a very rough conceptual format with mostly mental notes of how we can add to or arrange them in the studio, so I don’t think it’s entirely clear to anyone but me what the finished song should/will sound like.
To hear those first songs come together from scraps of paper into a vision realized was amazing and proved to me that it was possible.
Got any more coming up? (Gigs, that is…)
Yes! We’re playing with Jacco Gardner here in D.C. on October 15th at the Black Cat.
Are there any obscure and/or up-and-coming acts that you’d like to recommend or give a shout-out to?
There’s a killer, authentic ’60s-style garage band from Richmond, Virginia called the Ar-Kaics I like a lot. They just put out their first 45 and have releases planned on Windian Records. Check them out:
Finally, if you were forced to spend the rest of your days in solitary confinement, but were allowed to bring the entire works of five different artists along to tide you over, whose would you choose?
Man, “entire works” makes this a tough one! Ok – Donovan, John Lennon, Syd Barrett, Emmit Rhodes and Gabor Szabo could keep me distracted in solitary until I lost my marbles and started eating their records instead of listening to them.
Dan McNabb, thank you.