Mighty Fine Music

I the Mighty came out swinging at The Paramount on October 22nd. The band opened up for Balance and Composure and Coheed and Cambria and the gentlemen displayed nothing short of pure enthusiasm to share the stage. They jammed to old tunes off of their EP Karma Never Sleeps and new ones from their first full length Satori.
Satori has been held favorably by critics and quite a few have compared I the Mighty to indie favorite Circa Survive as well as sharing much relish to front man Brent Walsh’s vocals and enjoyment for the aggressive yet balanced instrumental talent. Satori has also been praised for its ambition and ability to keep an even flow with a strong direction. When it comes to touring with known names like Say Anything, HRVRD, and others, I the Mighty remain humble and modest. It is this unpretentious attitude and respect for the genre that has members of similar genres clamoring for this adept group of musicians to join their tours. The California natives will continue their tour with Coheed and Cambria until mid November and from their they have fans eagerly awaiting their next tour announcement.
Cliché’s own Heather Glock sat down with the California locals to get the scoop on the construction of their first full length, their signing with Equal Vision Records and their personal influences.
Brent Walsh – Vocals
Ian Pedigo – Guitar
Chris Hinkley – Bass
Blake Dahlinger – Drums

Cliché:  You guys celebrated your five year “bandiversary” a few weeks ago.  Congratulations!
All: Thank you!
How does it feel to celebrate your milestone while being on tour with Coheed & Cambria?
All: Pretty Awesome.
Brent:  In a nutshell, good.
Chris:  Very surreal.
Ian:  We got a lot of Ben and Jerry’s.
Chris:  Yes we did! We got a lot of Ben and Jerry’s, we hung out in a hotel room, just relaxed and joked around… pretty much what we do every day. It was good to celebrate 5 years with theses knuckleheads.
In that five years you all have progressed from playing west coast tours independently promoting Hearts & Spades to playing across the US to with bands like Say Anything, HRVRD, and the aforementioned Coheed & Cambria.  What has the journey been like?
Blake: It’s been awesome. The last year has been pretty surreal because a lot of those tours has happened within the past year.  We did our first national tour last fall, like this summer was with Say Anything. Now with Coheed and Cambria, to have those tours to happen so quick back to back, I don’t think any of us thought a year ago when we first started really touring that it would happen that quick.
Brent:  And Say Anything and Coheed are very big inspirations and big parts of our songwriting development. It was like,  we thought that when we got Say Anything that would be the cataclysmic event of our year. It was like, “Oh my god, we got the Say Anything tour!” And then Coheed followed and we got the word of the Coheed tour while we were on that [the Say Anything] tour and I was like, “Ok… this sort of kicks ass.”  [Everyone laughs]

How has the team of Equal vision records and producer Erik Ron influence I the Mighty into becoming the band they are today?
Brent: Equal Vision is just an extremely supportive record label. I mean, when we first had dinner we were talking about like before we were ever even writing Satori and Dan our head A&R was asking,  “Oh so what is the new album going to be like?” And we were like, “I don’t know. We are just going to write and it will be probably similar to Karma.” And he said, “Ok well just write whatever you want to write. Whatever makes you feel fulfilled and we will push it the best way that we can.” And I don’t feel like that there are very many record labels that have that mentality and let you have that freedom and we really that about the label that we are on.
Many reviewers and critics have compared I the Mighty to Circa Survive.  Is this flattering or does it add more pressure for your next full length?
All: (In unison) It’s definitely flattering
Brent: The pressure is already on ourselves to write music that we love.
Chris: It’s just cool to be associated with such an amazing band, you know?  Someone that we looked up to for a while and has obviously made such an impact on the industry for, I don’t even know how long they’ve been a band, quite a long time.  It’s just cool to be put in that same category. It’s just kind of humbling to be there.

Satori has had a harder edge than your previous releases.  However, you find a way to create the album without taking away from what I, The Mighty has been previously known for, so was it difficult maintaining this balance?
Brent: I don’t think we put any thought into a direction.  We didn’t say that we were going to make some heavier stuff or lighter stuff or something that is similar to what we used to have.  We just sat in a room and wrote whatever we were going to write, and that’s the album that came out of it.

Well as far as lyrics go, Brent, you actually mentioned in a previous interview that you hope fans would relate to Satori.  What does Satori mean to you and what do and what relation are you looking for your fans to have?
Brent: Satori is probably a very relatable album because I went through something that everybody goes through, which is a really shitty breakup, which I think most people can affiliate with. So there’s a concept of loss and a lot of the once you’re over the hump of pain of the breakup and you’re by yourself and your sort of redeveloping and you… there’s a lot of personal growth that comes from something where you’re so codependent on something and then all of a sudden you’re completely independent.  There’s a lot of personal growth that stems from that and that’s why we chose the name Satori–which is a Buddhist term for “enlightenment.”  And it’s like kind of a personal enlightenment experience and stuff so, a lot of the record is about, I mean, there’s the politically charged songs–there always is, on the more really personal side is something that I think a lot of people go through which is why people can probably relate to it pretty well.
You did a video performing “Four Letter Words” in a studio last month with AltarTV.  The video in itself is very stripped, very bare and it’s in its most natural form: untouched by producers.  What made you want to do something so intimate?
Blake: They just hit us up, I think.  Yeah. [Everyone laughs]
Brent:  They’re like, “Hey you guys want to do a song?” And we were like “Yeah, Ok!”
Blake:  They had recorded our set the first time we played Pittsburgh last fall.
Brent: They recorded “These Streets Our Alive” and I did a brief interview with them and they recorded that song.
Ian: I think that’s one of our coolest live videos, too.
Blake: They’re really good dudes and it was a really good experience.
Brent: We’ll always do stuff with AltarTV.
 Yeah, there was a lot of energy in that video, you could feel it just watching it.
Brent: Thank you.
Ian: Yeah, we only did it like 500 times. [Everyone Laughs]
Brent: It was one of those cases and I was like, “Oh that felt so good” and someone would be like, “Oh we gotta do it again,” and we’d do it again, and then we’d be like, “Oh that felt so good” and someone again, would be like, “Oh we have to do it one more time.”  And we weren’t even crazy stoked on the one we picked, it was kind of like settling.  It was like, “Alright I’ll bow out on this.”
Blake: We were all soaking wet, it was so humid.  It was like July.
Brent: It was so hot in that room!
Chris: We ran through that song like 15 times.  Just like, going.  Playing as hard as we could.
Ian: It was fun.
Brent: It WAS fun!
Chris: It was fun; it was a really good time.  A lot of water consumed in that. [Everyone laughs]
Brent:  There’s a reason why I’m so friggin’ sweaty in that video.  [Everyone laughs]

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