Mustardmind takes a little bit of everything and lets it influence its sound—a tad experimental, a whole lotta uniqueness and thrill. Their vocals are melodic, over dark bass lines and sharp guitar riffs, with lots of high hat and eerie undertones.
The band is comprised of Bobby Lewis (lead vox/ guitar), Yianni Tsesmelis (bass/ vox), Guy Paz (drums), and Aviv Goldgeier (keys/ vox). The NYC-based group released Peep EP earlier this month—a six-track album that really gives you a glimpse into who Mustardmind really is.
The self-described pre post-rockers are constantly playing all over NYC and are intending to get a US tour going by sometime next summer. Lewis intends to keep the creative juices flowing and hopes to be back in the studio at some point next year to create their debut full-length album.
BTRtoday chatted with Lewis about Facebook stalking, peeps, creating music, and what Mustardmind has in store for the future. Check it out below!
BTRtoday (BTR): How did everyone in the band meet and decide to form Mustardmind?
Bobby Lewis (BL): We’ve gone through a few members since our inception. With the current members, one of them was a Craigslist dude, and he’s become a very good friend of mine and I live with him now. The other two, I was getting really impatient about finding band members, so I went on Facebook and looked at everybody’s profile pictures and if they were playing drums, I sent them a message, and if they were playing keyboard, I sent them a message, and that’s how we formed. Just me doing some groundwork—I’m a professional Facebook stalker.
BTR: Wow. A very handy talent in this day and age! So how long has Mustardmind been together then?
BL: Since February 2015. We released only a couple singles last year and now we’re just starting to get real serious about it with this new EP.
BTR: Did you guys always intend to have this sort of experimental sound to you?
BL: I don’t really know… It’s never been talked about. The way that we typically create a song is I put something together, some ideas, and we just have this really open forum where no one is married to any ideas and we all just try to be object at figuring out what’s the coolest sounding thing possible. So I guess just by function and by our method it ends up being experimental, but we never come out right and talked about it.
BTR: What was the creative process in your newest release Peep EP?
BL: It was mainly a DIY situation. We just passed it around and made sure everything was right. These were all songs that I wrote when I first moved to New York. It’s kind of weird how delayed the release is, because I moved to NY probably like 3 or 3 ½ years ago, and that’s when all these songs kind of came about. They were just sitting in my back pocket and I got the right guys together and we just decided to put the recordings together. We didn’t really want to spend too much money at first, it eventually became quite a money eater, but it started off very DIY and everybody’s apartments. Then we needed to record the drums in a studio, so we hit up the studio about that, then we needed to master it in a nice place, and then it became a bigger thing. Basically, it started out in our apartments though.
BTR: Why did you call it Peep?
BL: [Laughs]. This was an idea we had a long time ago. We didn’t have any song titles or any cool lyrics that I thought would be a good album title, so… I don’t know, it’s kind of just funny to say “Peep EP.” It’s kind of just a little joke. Nobody gets it until they say it out loud. Like a lot of the write-ups we’ve had, people just called it “Peep” and I’m like, ‘that’s stupid, that’d be a terrible name…’ It’s just funny. We’re going to go with the theme of it for a little while, until the Peep Company sues us…
BTR: Where did the name Mustardmind come from?
BL: It’s the opposite of a mastermind!
BTR: Wait. Is that a real word that I just don’t know?
BL: No, no, no. It’s definitely not a real word… It was a former band mate of mine who said it. I was probably just calling myself a mastermind or something in the way that I do, and he called me a mustardmind and I was like, ‘that’s it!’ We used to be called Toast, and that was a terrible name and many people have that same name. We even changed it to Tøast with like a line through the O… Then we just decided to go with something brand new, and that was Mustardmind.
BTR: Haha! Cool! So how would you describe your live shows?
BL: We try to keep things light… there’s a lot of improvisation in the set, a lot of that experimenting we were talking about. I do a lot of sound around the city, and I met this guy doing really cool lights for a band, like he has this whole set up that he put together really quick, like it wasn’t anything to arduous, and he’s going to start doing that for us. So we’re going to have this cool light show with our gigs now, which I’m really excited about. I think we’re just continually going down the rabbit hole of making it a full production and just keeping it a fun event for everyone to be at, instead of just like a couple guys on stage playing songs.
BTR: What’s your background in music like?
BL: I guess it started when I was around fourth grade. It’s actually kind of funny, I got really into Weird Al Yankovich and I started writing these parodies of songs, like stupid parodies about how much hated school, just bubblegum, foods, whatever, he was my guy. Then I decided I wanted to learn how to play these songs, so I picked up a guitar. Then around middle school I learned how to play all those songs and then got into real music, not parodies. Then I went to the University of Michigan for sound engineering. Throughout all this I had bands and had always been writing music. Then when my band in college broke up and I graduated I decided to move to, what I thought of as the best music scene in the world, to NYC, and it just started from the ground up there.
I do a lot of sound engineer around the city and I was working at a studio and stuff. So that’s typically how I meet people—that was always the hope of how I’d put the band together, not just stalking people on Facebook… But yeah, that’s typically how I get involved. I get deep into the scene here through my work.
BTR: What’s in store for the future of Mustardmind?
BL: We’re working on the production aspect of the live show. We’re getting going with the promo for this EP. Next year I’m hoping to get a tour together and get going with that ASAP. We have a couple students in the band, so we kind of need to cater to their schedule. I’d say by summer we’re going to do at least a regional tour. Hopefully, I want to get back in the studio and start creating again—I love having a deep catalogue and we really don’t at this point, we only have the six songs online. Hopefully, that’s the next step.