On Tuesday (October 30), Deevia Fierro and I met with Spotless Mind before their concert to talk.
Spotless Mind started in 2015 with Jake Bosch and Trenton Smotherman.
Originally called Black Light, Bosch received a message from a rap group in Atlanta claiming to have the copyright. So, they immediately went on a search for a new name, settling on Spotless Mind because of the 2004 science fiction movie, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.
The guitarist (David Berg) and drummer (Bryton Hill) both joined around the start of the summer. Apparently, Berg was playing his first show with Bosch and Smotherman on the night they reached out to Hill about replacing the drummer at the time.
Most of the writing is done by Bosch and Smotherman. They record everything on their computers, drafting their ideas in GarageBand. Their influences include Fall Out Boy, Weezer, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Panic! at the Disco, Relient K, and Muse, all of which are clearly heard in their self-titled EP.
When asked what their plans for the future were, they revealed that an album is currently in the works. The tentative date (hopefully) will be late January/early February, with a stretch goal of December. In confession, they would like to eventually apply for labels but want to gain more traction before doing so.
One reason to look forward to future works is that each member admitted their favorite songs to perform haven’t actually been released yet.
We asked what their favorite performance has been and received a vague response.
Each performance gets better, they insist. As they grow as a band, every performance replaces the last as the best.
The next question, “What is your writing process?” sounds like it would have brought out the juiciest answer. Perhaps any other band or artist would have taken this and spent the next hour describing the exact process.
Their answer: “Hear it in the head, write it down.”
Bosch and Smotherman do most of the writing. Apparently, it’s sporadic and random, and each bit is done in pieces until they’re ready to sit down and spend the next few hours pump it all into a song. Then, after the track is turned into a demo, it is sent to the others in a group message, where common responses are “cool” and “that’s neat.”
The duds are either reworked or scrapped. Bosch revealed that when writing a song not too long ago, he ended up rewriting “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk. He had to change the majority of the song in order to avoid copying it.
Their song, “Tragic,” was surprisingly one of those duds. When first making “Tragic,” it apparently sucked.
“It was too slow,” they said. “It was too boring.”
They had to rework the song before adding it to the EP. Now, none of them hate it.
Most of their shows occur in bars. According to them, this dictates what music they play. With forty-five minute sets, they will generally add one of their slower tracks to give the audience a break (to go to the bar and get a drink). However, with thirty minute sets, like the one they would be playing at the end of this interview, they only do the high energy ones. The audience needs to dance, to feel the energy, and throwing in a slower song would bore them too much.
Even if it means cutting out songs they adore, claims Bosch.
If you didn’t already know this, Spotless Mind recently did a music video for “Leather Rollercoaster.” In the making of this, Berg brought over his camera – only to have the camera not work. So, they called up an old friend and met in a hot garage, sweating for three hours, before driving “halfway across the county to Coweta” to record the second part.
The smashing of the records was described as “fun” but “dangerous” and “sketchy.”
“I’m surprised we’re still alive,” was the united opinion of the guys.
It turned out really well, though. The whole video consists of them performing the song in a garage with cuts of smoke and the smashing of records in a backyard.
On the music scene in Tulsa, the guys were very complimentary. Evidently, the scene has recently hit an all time high. Name dropping bands like The Odyssey, NeoRomantics, When The Clock Strikes, My Heart and Liver are the Best of Friends, Undervalued, All For More, The Busty Brunettes, and so much more, they were very insistent on the incredible quality of local artists.
An acoustic show at Gypsy in downtown with Bosch and Smotherman is coming up, though no dates have been set. Bosch gets all of his advice from a book called How to Make it in the Music Business, and one tip it gives is not to play shows too often. Combining that with working on the upcoming album, it would probably be best to hit their next show to avoid missing them completely.
Their parting message for potential fans is: “We’ll be your friends. We’ll be good to you. We love all of our fans.”
Spotless Mind has been nominated for the We Are Tulsa Music Awards, hosted by the online radio, We Are Tulsa Music. The nominations are for Album/EP of the Year and Punk Artist of the Year. You can vote for them here. The first round of voting lasts from November 1 – 30.