Shots & words by BEN SHOOTS PEOPLE
Mindsnare are gearing up to perform at Stay Gold for the 15th anniversary of their album ‘The Death‘ we look back at an interview from earlier this year when EM chatted to Mindsnare guitarist Beltsy about their achievements and upcoming tour:
Mindsnare rarely come out of hibernation these days, but when they do it’s a sight to behold. Having recently celebrated some milestones, we chatted with guitarist Beltsy to discuss the past, present and future.
Congrats on Mindsnare reaching its 25th year in 2018, that’s no small task for any band. What do you feel has been the key to your longevity?
I don’t think there’s any one thing that has kept us at it for so long but the two biggest factors would have to be that firstly, aside from family, music is and always has literally been the most important thing to us and secondly that we have always treated this band as a passion and NEVER done anything that wasn’t one hundred percent for love of the music. If we aren’t all in it one hundred percent, it doesn’t happen.
Following your intimate, albeit sweaty and chaotic, Melbourne show at the Bendigo Hotel, you celebrated in style by headlining the massive Resist Records 20th anniversary show at Sydney’s Factory Theatre. What are your thoughts on Resist Records, what they have achieved and provided for the Australian hardcore scene over the years, and on Mindsnare’s longstanding status as one of the scene’s most enduring and influential bands?
You cannot overstate the importance of Resist (and a small bunch of other labels) and what they have done for the scene, not only has Grazza given countless bands opportunities to release their music or play their first gigs but also bringing out international bands, giving local bands supports on bigger shows and exposing the underground to a wider audience.
Now that your 25th anniversary and the Resist Records 20th anniversary shows are both under your belt, is there anything else you guys have in the pipeline for the near future?
We just announced a show with a killer line up (Mindsnare, Born Free, Desecrator & Porcelain) an awesome mix of styles and every band is legit sick, so I’m keen for that. Aside from that, I’ve been working on riffs and can’t wait to start smashing them out in the rehearsal room.
Recently we have seen quite a few bands perform entire albums to celebrate anniversaries. Is this something you guys have considered at all, and if so, which album would you personally like to play live from start to finish?
Haha…. The gig mentioned above is also the 15th anniversary of our album called The Death, we have never done the “play the whole album” thing, we’ve thrown all kinds of ideas around to try to mix up the set and that is one of them…. I don’t think it will happen this time but maybe at some point, we’ll see.
I can still remember the first time I ever saw you perform on stage. It was 1999 and 28 Days were supporting Unwritten Law at their underage show at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne and they got you up on that little side stage to do guest vocals for one of their songs. Next thing I know, you and one of the security guards both came tumbling into the crowd and were on top of us. A few moments later, you were back on stage saying something along the lines of “if security tries to get you off the stage, kick their ass,” which sent the crowd wild. At that point I didn’t have a clue who you were and hadn’t even heard of Mindsnare yet, but it’s always stuck in my mind as one of the most rock n’ roll moments I’ve ever witnessed. What’s a favourite memory you have of a seeing a live band that really blew your mind?
Haha yeah, I remember that, the fuckhead bit my finger! Hands down, the funniest rock moment I’ve seen was Danzig getting shitty with the stage mix at a show in Brisbane. He threw the mic, pushed the stage sound guy out of the way and started mixing himself…. mid set!
I’ve seen a lot of intense moshpits over the years, but very few get as crazy as a Mindsnare pit, especially here in Melbourne. What it is that makes your fans turn things up to 11?
I don’t know man; we have been so lucky to have people continually turning up and making our shows something to remember. I’d like to think it’s a vibe from the band, maybe they can sense the no bullshit, one hundred percent passion for what we do, but…. it’s probably just the beer. Either way, I fucking love it!
If you had to pick one Mindsnare song to play to someone who’d never heard of you before, which song would that be?
Hmmm, fuck… I’m gonna go with Gateway to Madness. I am actually really proud of most of the stuff we have released but Gateway started out as quite a different song than it ended up. While we were writing the album “Unholy Rush”, Gateway was one of the first tracks we had down but something about it wasn’t working for me. I pulled it apart, changed some riffs and rearranged it a bit and it ended up becoming one of my favourites, so that song stands out for me.
You guys have achieved a lot over the years, having released a handful of albums plus multiple EPs and splits, you’ve toured overseas, shared stages here in Australia with numerous international bands, and headlined countless shows to a loyal fanbase that froths at every chance to see you perform. Do you have anything on your to-do list that you’re yet to achieve?
Yep… Play more than once a year!
Please leave us with some wise words of advice from Uncle Beltsy.
Respect each other and don’t be a dickhead.
Mindsnare will be playing at Stay Gold in Melbourne on Saturday, September 21, alongside Born Free, Desecrator & Porcelain.
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