Feb 20th – It’s been a good year for Mohawk Bends so far – the indie rock band just released the powerful new single ‘See What You Do To Me’, and fans everywhere are rocking out to the infectious new song. We were lucky enough to get to interview Mohawk Bends and talk with them about influences, their writing process, and playing music in Austin, TX!
First off, tell us your name, pronouns, where you’re from, and a little bit about what you do!
Hey there, we’re Mohawk Bends-an indie rock band from Austin, TX comprised of Chris (vocals), Colin (guitar), Jonathan (Bass) and Alex (drums). We all go by he/him.
What made you pursue music? Did you always know you wanted to be musicians?
It’s always hard to pinpoint it to one specific thing. Chris was taken to a Broadway production of Les Mis as a kid, and that seemed to be when he more seriously pursued singing. But otherwise I’d say music was always a big part of all of our childhoods. Whether it was family or friends who inspired us to pick up instruments, or songs we heard on the radio and wanted to emulate.
Who would you say are your biggest influences?
It’s constantly changing, but some of the ones that are always on rotation are Queens of the Stone Age, Foals, Cage the Elephant, and Spoon!
How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard your music before?
No-frills indie rock.
You said you’re from Austin, TX, how has the city influenced your writing?
The nightlife of Austin is incredible. There’s so many talented artists here and they always bring interesting and unique people. Our latest single “See What You Do To Me” is pretty much the perfect amalgamation of several nights spent in downtown Austin or the East Side.
Has there been a stand-out moment for you as an artist where you felt extremely proud, passionate, excited, etc? Anything that made you think ‘yeah, this is worth it’?
We’ve been really fortunate to be asked to perform aftershows for national touring artists such as Hippo Campus, the Districts, and Local Natives at a venue called Stubb’s in town. I think the continual support that venue shows us is always a reminder that we’re doing something both we and other people enjoy.
Musicians face a lot of challenges, from rejection to financial expenses to writer’s block. How do you stay positive while dealing with the negative parts of making music?
We’ve definitely faced all of those things at least once, but the most persistent is probably writers block from time to time. The only thing you can really do is relax and be confident that something will come eventually. You’ll drive yourself crazy trying to force it, but all of a sudden something can click and you can just hammer out a handful of songs in a blink of an eye.
What do y’all hope people get out of the music you put out?
An escape, I think. We avoid politics, religion, etc. in our lyrics-partly because we all have differing views and beliefs ourselves-but it’s mostly because that stuff is constantly shoved down people’s throats on social media or other media outlets. We are all about inclusion at our shows, with the exception of people who propagate hate or harassment towards anyone with differing views, orientations or beliefs, and we want people to be able to switch off for a night and just enjoy some fun songs without feeling alienated.
Do you feel more at home in the studio during the writing/recording process, or do you prefer playing live shows?
I think shows are definitely where we feel most at home. Although we love the time we spend in the studio, we’re a live band who gets completely thrilled when we get to perform.
Speaking of the writing/recording process, y’all just released a new song titled ‘See What You Do To Me’! Congrats on the release! Can you tell us a little about the song?
Thanks! As I said before, the track is pretty much a blend of the emotions we’ve felt from our multitude of nights out in Austin with the addition of using the badass women in our lives as inspiration for the main character of the song. Musically, it was a song that just clicked for all of us in the rehearsal space and quickly became a fan favorite when we played it live.
What was the process like for this song, from the writing, to the recording, to the release?
The writing process was probably one of the smoothest we’ve ever experienced. Once we sort of stumbled on the opening riff, the vibe of the song just propelled the writing forward. We all locked in and had the basic structure of the song finished the night we started it. Beyond that, the lyrics just came so easily that by the time we got together again for the next practice, the song was finished! We tested it live at a couple shows, got some amazing feedback, and then we took it to the studio to be produced by a fantastic engineer named Kevin Butler. Once it was done we reached out to Muddy Paw PR about helping us with the release and just had a fantastic experience!
What’s next for The Mohawk Bends? Do you have anything in the works?
As of now, we’re focusing on writing and prepping for a couple performances we have during SXSW! I think the goal is to release an EP before the end of 2020, but that may turn into two EPs or a full length!
What’s the #1 reason why everyone should check out The Mohawk Bends?
Any last words?
Are we about to die?
Cover photo by Rachel Hunter