Mindset is a four (now five)- piece youth crew band from Maryland. At Youngblood Fest I overheard Evan, frontman of Mindset, talking about some crucial non-hardcore shit -- you know, the environment, religion, etc: the things that get overlooked that people feel very differently about. I also found out he was a "schoolie," much like myself, absorbed in his academic interests. I made my mind up that I was going to get his take on some things for the blog/impending 'zine. The following was conducted via the Internet in late May 2008:
IYC: Name, age, location and what's your favorite Warzone song:
EW: Evan "Ev" Wivell, 21, Baltimore MD, Fuck Your Attitude
IYC: How many years have you been X'ed up--when and how did this lead into you fronting Mindset? Who else is in the Mindset and what y'all 'bout?
EW: I've always had that weird feeling that all edgemen tend to have, that little voice inside your head that sounds like Jules and is constantly telling you that what everyone else is doing isn't all it's cracked up to be. I never understood why everyone wanted to party so much and I always felt uneasy in those situations. Then I met Mike (MINDSET's guitar player, Ev's best friend) in my tenth grade biology class and he introduced me to the straight edge. We grew up in a small town, I grew up on a farm, so finding a kid like Mike who agreed with everything I was thinking and had the records to back it up was pretty amazing. Anyway, I was always the kid who hung out with my friends' bands but I was never in a band because I'm tone deaf and can't keep a beat for more than a few seconds, and I'm generally just confused about how music works in general. I started a band with all the current MINDSET dudes and another friend that started out as a joke to give me a chance to be in a band. That band was called "once we were girls..." and was pretty fucking radical shit. MINDSET (Anti-Wasteoids at the time) was a three piece with a rotating fourth man looking to expand with Mike on guitar and vocals. Once it was discovered that I was a competent frontman I was asked to join the band. Phil "Cold Cut" Price joined shortly after on drums, and the original Anti-Wasteoid bassist quit the band to pursue a glamourous tattooing career. Chad filled his vacancy. We're all best friends and collectively love Diane Lane movies, twizzlers, hot tubs, wednesday night basketball, indian food and creating music together. It's hard to put into words how much I love those clowns.
IYC: You guys have been really busy playing shows from Chicago to the East Coast lately--what does the future hold? Records? Tours?
EW: My last response was super long so I'll keep this short... the next year has the potential to be more awesome than we ever expected a year could be. We're going to California in two weeks with THE RIGHT IDEA for what I can only imagine will be the most crucial of times. And there will be records. Right now we're planning a 7" for late summer and an LP in early 2009 on REACT! Records, which is currently the classiest label in punk rock.
IYC: So at Youngblood fest, in between ripping through a Chain cover and several smokin' originals, you said something like, "Saving the environment is great, but when companies turn that around and sell it to you, that's messed up..." Sorry if my paraphrase is wrong, but how do you feel about corporate 'greenwashing' of so many things these days?
EW: The whole situation is a little sticky. First, I'l paraphrase myself: The world we live in is an incredible and beautiful place, but it is also increasingly delicate and sensitive. I feel like the general public takes its environment and the inherent quality of it for granted and our respect for it has been decreasing for some time. I'm not saying anything new or revolutionary (see John Muir, Henry David Thoreau, 4 Walls Falling, and to a lesser extent, hippies) and I don't claim to be. However, it has become incredibly popular for people to strive to 'do their part' for the sustainability of our planet in the name of being 'green.' I should be happy, right? Wrong. I'm irritated as hell. Like most trends, the powers that be (and the powers that want to be) have swooped down on a beautiful, innocent concept and tainted it for financial gain. It's become a political tool, a marketing ploy, and a green, soy-based flag to be waved by pretentious 20-somethings. Its like those damn magnetic yellow "Support Our Troops" ribbons. Now don't get me wrong, my brother is a Marine and I love that asshole. I think that soldiers deserve our respect for taking an active and incredibly dangerous role in support of a cause that they believe in. It's incredibly admirable and more than most of us can ever claim to do. I also happen to think that supporting troops and buying a $1 piece of plastic from a 7-11 have absolutely nothing to do with each other. Its all a facade, man. You wanna support the troops, send a soldier some clean socks or buy them dinner (or body armor), and do it without putting a sticker on your car. You wanna support the earth? Live consciously. Take less, give more. Waste less and put the waste you can't avoid in its proper place, and stop throwing your fucking cigarettes on the ground. Instead of buying "green" products, try not having to buy anything or make sure what you are buying is really the best option. Sure, you can ride your bike to Whole Foods and buy a mango in Baltimore in January because its organic, or you can realize the total energy expended to get that mango to you and maybe do without it for a few months. I guess what I'm saying, if you skipped that whole rant and ended up here, is that we beautiful ideas will become a grotesque cartoon of themselves if we can't realize them in their purest forms. This "green" trend, like all trends, will be cast aside for the next big thing when it's been played out. There shouldn't be a separation between green people and regular people, just conscious people.
IYC: You're studying Architecture, what perspective does that bring to your day-to-day that other HC kids might not have?
EW: Although I can't comment on how other HC kids see things, having an architectural background has definitely changed the way I perceive the world. I feel like I'm able to see a lot of beauty in things that other people might overlook. I see things as patterns and forms, solids and voids. The way ice breaks, how a field of millions of individual blades of grass can move together in the wind, the sound of rain, the way shadows move, how objects can change in different lighting... the world is a dynamic place. Architecture, at least good architecture, is inspired by the world in which it exists, not by the precedent of other architecture. The whole world is just a series of interconnected spaces. I enjoy trying to find the beauty in mundane things, I like the way concrete feels, and I get really upset over vinyl siding.
IYC: Do you see any links between your life as an edgeman and an aspiring Architecht? When you see a giant Franciscan Church, are you just like, "look at that altar--stage dives!" or what?
EW: Now that you mention it, I've always had an overwhelming desire to creepy crawl through a Borromini church, or maybe circle pit in the Pantheon. I feel like being an edgeman gives me a unique perspective that others might not have. That and I would probably design a pretty inefficient bar. Mostly out of spite.
IYC: Does considering the built environment make you more aware of your surroundings, socially, environmentally or otherwise?
EW: I'd like to think so. Architecture is only successful when it serves the needs of society. I feel like I take more notice of the spaces I'm in than a non-architect might, but I'm mostly criticizing. People interact differently in different environments, Architecture has the ability to encourage human interaction. Architecture should complement the environment in which it exists. The awesome thing about being an Architect is that you have the power to literally build the future, to affect the way people live and think and see the world through the spaces they inhabit... fucking awesome.
IYC: If I hired you to do something on Autocad, could you do it?
EW: I am an Autocad master.
IYC: Shot outs, recommendations on bands, zines etc?
EW: First off, it's awesome that someone within hardcore has an interest in my non-hardcore interests. It's nice to be able to discuss things other than records once in awhile, so thank you for the opportunity. I'd like to give a shout out the to rest of the dudes in MINDSET: Mike "Oxbig" Clarke, Cold Cut and the Chadillac for providing crucial jams for me to rant over and make people want to listen to what I have to say. Keep an eye on REACT! Records for ushering in the new wind of unstoppable edgemanship. Current bands I really believe in include: The Right Idea, Get the Most, Let Down, Reignition, Lion of Judah, Police & Thieves, Coke Bust and Fired Up. Check out Region of Ice fanzine. Buy records, take care of yourself, leave the world better than you found it and always KEEP THE FAITH!