2015 MindMaze interview with Jeff and Sarah Teets
The best new bands seem to be the ones with a rich appreciation of the history of music. Pennsylvania’s MindMaze is such a band. Composed of founding guitarist and songwriter Jeff Teets and vocalist Sarah Teets, along with drummer Kalin Schweizerhof and bassist Rich Pasqualone, the quartet has grown nicely into a sound that blends progressive and power metal with traditional hard rock and metal elements.
The group began over a decade ago as teenagers making music under the moniker, Necromance. As the band grew up, their sound matured as well, and in 2012 they changed their name in time to record the impressive debut album, Mask of Lies.
With a growing fan-base and acclaim for the debut record, Jeff, the band’s primary songwriter, began working on the group’s sophomore effort, Back From the Edge. His sister Sarah brought her lyrical ideas to the table and one of 2014’s best progressive power metal albums was born.
This week, as MindMaze announced the forthcoming release of its Dreamwalker EP, Metalholic and Metal Nation Radio had a lengthy discussion with Sarah and Jeff to discuss the history of the band, go track by track through the making of Back From the Edge, talk about the Dreamwalker EP, and get a look ahead at what might be in store forth band’s third record, likely due out early next year.
MindMaze also announced this week that bassist Rich Pasqualone, who had taken a temporary hiatus from the band, has now returned full-time to the fold. In our hour-long interview below Jeff talked about having bassist Mike Lepond (Symphony X) perform on Back From the Edge:
“I genuinely think Mike is one of the best bass players in the world in this style of music. He just happens to be a friend of ours. It was a really fortunate thing that we got to know him. Working with him has always been incredibly easy. Mike is pretty much the most professional musician I’ve ever worked with on any level. He always came to every rehearsal, every recording session–showed up completely prepared. Playing wise he completely destroyed. He recorded the bass tracks in about–I think it was a four-hour studio session. It was ridiculous. I definitely think the bass is a bit more in your face with it being Mike than if it would have been with most anyone else.”
The Dreamwalker EP will feature seven tracks including the original “Dreamwalker” single off Back from the Edge, as well as a duet of the song with Urban breed (Serious Black, Project Arcadia, ex-Bloodbound). Among the other tracks will be covers of W.A.S.P.’s “Arena of Pleasure”, Pat Benatar’s “Promises in the Dark”, and Savatage’s “Strange Wings”. An acoustic version of “Remember” from the Mask of Lies album and a brand new song, “Slave to the Cycle” will round out the EP. Pre-orders for the EP can be made HERE.
Grab a tasty beverage, kick back and listen to the full in-depth interview with Jeff and Sarah below, including insight into the new song, “Slave to the Cycle”, Sarah’s love of AOR music, and why the band prefers to keep their live performances organic.