As you know, we love discovering new bands and today we introduce some of you to a band you haven’t heard, but will definitely hear soon. That band is Mindset Evolution. The Peoria, IL based band has paved their own way to success and are about to embark upon the release if their first full length album titled Brave, Bold and Broken. Mindset Evolution has signed on with Prospect Park (Fuve Finger Death Punch and Korn) as their label and are impacting radio with their brand new single “Burn It Down“. Our newest Unsung Artist is a mix of modern rock and we’re glad to welcome them to the family.
Listen to the entire Rob Ulrich interview below:
Today, I’m joined by Rob Ulrich. Rob is the vocalist for the band Mindset Evolution. First off, thanks for taking the time to speak with us today and welcome to the Unsung Melody family.
Thank you so much for taking the time to have me on. It’s an honor to be here.
We’ll get started with a little bit of history on the band. You’re by no means a new band, but for a lot of people, this will be an introduction of sorts. You guys are from Peoria, IL and are set to release your debut album, Brave, Bold and Broken. Fill in a few of the gaps for me.
We started back in about 2005. We’ve been spreading mostly through the Mid-West region. Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and Missouri. Just kind of pushing as hard as we could to go out an meet out fans in the mighty, mighty Mid-West. They’ve lined up behind us in a very incredible way. They allowed us to win multiple battle of the band titles and all kinds of things, until it finally culminated back in 2011 with the Rockstar Energy Drink Battle of the Bands. We entered that and the fans got behind us in the battle once again and pushed us to take home the title out of over 5300 bands across the nation as the victors. As such, we got to go out to Anarchy Studios in Hollywood, CA and we got to record with the amazing Jay Baumgardner and his crew out there. We produced a 5-song EP with him and that got passed along to Roxy at Hard Drive and that got passed onto now our label, Prospect Park. They came, we sat down and talked and we were very like minded in the way we wanted to approach our future and so here we are. Preparing to release our brand new record.
Being from Peoria, is there much of a music scene there or did you kind of have to branch out to build your fanbase?
It depends on the way that you are using the word scene, but in terms of is it a vibrant music scene? Absolutely. It’s incredible. There are so many great bands there. We have everything from country bands, to hip-hop and r&b artists, to indie artists, metal artists, rock artists and there is quite a few bands. All very connected and very friendly, very helpful. It’s actually like that all across the entire Mid-West. There is a very, very healthy scene here right now and it has been for quite a few years. I think that is a big part of why we are, where we are, is because of all those bands helping us out. All the fans of those bands and fans of our band helping us out. It’s a pretty special thing happening in Peoria.
Having heard the album, I gotta say that I’m extremely excited for you guys. You have already had success with Burn It Down on Sirius and the single is just now starting to impact radio. Give us a little insight into the song itself.
Burn it Down, that’s the ultimate frustration song. That’s a song about, I’m right here and don’t step on me kind of a song. There’s a lot of ways that it can be taken and I think for me personally, writing that song, it was more about watching people with ambition and drive to want to get to that next level in their lives push for that, but it’s blind ambition. They don’t realize that while they’re trying to get to the next level, they’re stepping on people all around them. Hurting people all around them, hurting themselves and hurting their chances. It’s difficult dealing with that kind of mentality. The intentions are good, but the actions are detrimental to everyone. It’s kind of like, if I was an ant and you were going to step on me, that would be what I would be screaming at you.
There’s a video coming soon I hear. What can you tell us about the story of the video?
The video is awesome. I’m excited to see the full finished version. I haven’t had a chance yet. We do have the lyric video out. That was directed by Dave O’Paul and it’s brilliant. He did a fantastic job of telling another side of the story that this song can tell. Then the official video by Don Tyler is not quite finished. It’s being edited now. I have seen a rough version of it and it’s much more metaphorical, not as direct as the lyric video is. I think it will let people think and let the song evolve in whatever fashion it does for them in a very unique way. I’m excited about it. It looks great.
You worked with Johnny K on this album. He’s done some tremendous work in the past and it seems he got the most out of you guys. What was that experience like for the band?
Johnny is amazing. He’s a super cool guy who really knows his stuff. Obviously by his history, his track record of bands that he’s worked with is pretty apparent. But now, seeing that applied to our style and our sound it’s pretty amazing. It’s awesome to have watched and to be a part of his process. He can make you feel absolutely amazing, like the biggest rock star in the world, then in the very same sentence bring you crashing back down to earth and make you realize you have quite a bit of work to do still. It was really cool. It was every bit enjoyable as it was torturous and I think being in that situation of going back and forth of, that’s fantastic to, I don’t know if this is good enough, it really brought out our voice and brought out the best in us. I’m very, very, very, very proud of this body of work.
The album is really pretty diverse. There are a few barnburners and even a few, not quite ballads, but slower songs. One song in particular that I really enjoy is The Change. That has radio hit written all over it. Without giving too much away, what does the song mean to you personally?
With The Change, that’s hard to say. It’s really difficult to try to explain where you are coming from with a song. A lot of the fun in listening to music is developing your own interpretations of what it says or means. I don’t like to let people down, where they think it’s this and then they go back and Rob says it’s this. Maybe they like their version better. (laughter) The Change is an action song. Our mantra as a band for years has been, “Happiness is a change through strength, struggle and perseverance.” I think The Change is one of those songs that covers the perseverance angle of that mantra. You’re going through what you’re going through and you challenge that obstacle or that challenge to get what you want out of it. I think that’s where that song is coming from. Screaming in the face of life, I’ll be damned. I’m going to make this happen.
Speaking of touring, I see there is some upcoming news. Anything you can drop here for your fans?
It’s all in the wind right now. It’s all developing. I’m seeing some cool things that I’m excited about, but the details are still too far up in the air for me to talk about them yet. I’d hate to talk about something now that doesn’t materialize.
You played Rock on the Range this year. Were you guys able to take in much from a fans standpoint or was it much too busy?
It was kind of a little bit of both. It was an extremely busy day for us, because there was a lot of media and a lot of people wanting to meet us and find out who Mindset Evolution was. Which is exciting, because I don’t know if we’ve ever had that many curious what our story was. So, that was really, really awesome. We actually had a lot of friends and family there, so we spent a lot of time with them. We did get to watch some of the show, but we had to roll out and meet up with Korn the next day in New York. So, we wanted to get the jump on them and be prompt the next day. So, we took off a little early, but what we did get to see was amazing and even from our stage, just when we played, the crowd was huge and amazing and electric. I’m so happy that there are people out there putting together festivals like that together. Showing that rock is still very much alive and still very, very vibrant. It was just really cool to be a part of that.
You guys won a coveted spot on on the Uproar Festival. I read where a friend actually got the ball rolling on that battle of the bands. Comparing the hard work you put in before that spot on Uproar, to the hard work you’ve put in since then, does it seem a bit surreal that things are finally really starting to take off?
Expectation isn’t something that I believe in. I don’t believe that anybody should have expectations. I think expectations are a very arrogant thing where you’re telling life, like hey I expect you to do this and this and this, and you’re going to follow my plan life. Life is going to do what life is going to do. I think it’s proven that time and time again. So for us, it was always that we had a goal to tour the nation one time. We want to get Mindset Evolution out in front of as many crowds as we can and see what happens. What are the fans going to think? We got to do that last year on the Rockstar Energy Drink Uproar Festival. We got to go across the whole nation and the fans responded amazingly and are still pushing and responding now. So yeah, it’s kind of surreal with all of the work that we did before and all of the work that we’re doing now. It’s kind of like, “Oh God, I don’t know what to do next. ” I’m floundering a little bit, but it’s exciting. It’s very fun, it’s very exciting and it’s very rewarding to know that with the support of our community behind us that we can come this far. Who knows what the future holds?
Alright, I always end on a random question. I’ll make this one a two part question, since the first one is a little mean. So, here goes yours. The band is given the opportunity to open up for Justin Beiber, do you take it?
(laughter) That is the most random question I have ever been asked in my entire life. You win Sir. Points to you. Wow. Do we take it? I don’t know. I guess it would depend on the situation and the venue and what was happening. I don’t know man, I don’t have anything against Beiber. He’s doing his thing and he’s been doing it more successfully than I have for longer than I’ve been doing it successfully. So, I mean I guess if the situation was right, maybe. (laughter) No, we wouldn’t open for Justin Beiber. No, I don’t think so. I don’t know. That’s a tough question man.
Okay, for the second part, I can hear a lot of modern influences on the band. I can hear some Corey Taylor in your vocals. What would be your dream tour at this point?
Avenged Sevenfold. I would love to go do a full US tour, European tour with Avenged Sevenfold. Just to experience that. Those guys, watching the way that they’ve modeled their career and what they’ve done from the bottom up. We get a lot of comparisons to them, in terms of that. Not musically, but in terms of how they’ve interacted with their fans and stayed true to their roots. I think that would be a great thing to be with those guys and see how they do it. Learn from them and reach the next level in that fashion. I definitely look up to those guys a lot, so I think that would be one of my ultimate dream tours.
Well, I’d much rather see you on that tour than the Justin Beiber tour, so there you go. (laughter) Alright Rob. I’m sure we’ll cross paths on the road soon enough. So, you guys be safe and we wish you nothing but the best.
Thank you so very much and thanks again for having us on. I look forward to meeting you face to face.
Preview or purchase the single Burn It Down below:
Check out the lyric video for Burn It Down below: