Tuesday night continued the indie/alt interview series that began Monday with Beauty and the Geek (a.k.a. Superhighway). I met up with a local band, “Molalla and the Streets”, for a cup of coffee and a little talk. Now, their true identity is revealed.
Say hello to Mulino Road.
Not too far in the past, I ended up at a little coffee shop show that this four piece rock band was playing. Walking in, I had no idea who they were, what kind of music they played. All I knew was their name. However, as it goes, I walked out of that coffee shop with a satisfied smile on my face, EP in hand, and the thought that I just had to interview this band.
Well, as Lorde once told me, try to always. I did just that, and a few weeks after seeing them rock a coffee shop in Canby, I sat down for an interview with three of the four at a coffee shop in Oregon City.
We began our chat discussing their beginnings.
Mulino Road first began to form when lead vocalist Sedona Garcia needed a guitarist to perform with her at a talent show hosted by the Clackamas County Fair. She got a hold of Jake Bassen, now the guitarist for the group. After taking second place, the two thought that maybe this collaboration could really take off. They booked themselves a small coffee shop gig, and, in need of percussion, contacted Camrom Clawson, Bassen’s friend and ex-bandmate (who also happens to be Sedona’s step-brother).
“We kind of came together at the right time,” Bassen says. “We played this acoustic gig, and thought maybe we’d want to write our own original stuff.”
After coming together as Mulino Road, named after the street that connects Sedona’s hometown, Mulino, with the rest of the band in Canby, the band finally came up with enough solid original tracks to create their debut EP.
“It was a long process [recording it]”, Bassen says. “But I think we’re all pretty proud of how it all came out, especially being we did it all ourselves.”
Yes, Mulino Road’s self-titled debut was all self recorded, and self produced using Jake’s laptop. For such a cheap and simple production, the songs sound amazing.
After putting out the EP, the band came into contact with a company who saw something great in their music. This was where their first music video, for a song called “To the Ground”, came to be.
Though the band says it was weird to work with other people’s ideas, Clawson says, “You can’t really complain when we pretty much got a free professional music video making company to do a music video for us just because they liked our songs.”
Plus, this video boosted attention to the band that the EP hadn’t previously gotten them. Within the course of only two days, the video received more than 1000 views.
Besides albums and videos, Mulino Road has been rocking the live show. However, this doesn’t come without it’s downsides.
“If everybody was stressed in the band,” Clawson says. “That’s all of our stress just in Jake.”
Even if stress is a factor in the equation, the outcome is a great one. With the EP released, the band had a small selection of original songs to play live, however some instances required the band to play for much longer periods of time. That’s when they decided to fill the sets with covers.
To figure what songs to do, the band collectively looked to their iTunes library.
“We tried to find things that would appeal to both an older and younger crowd,” Garcia says.
They came up with a select playlist of songs to cover, which includes, but is not limited to, bands such as The Black Keys, Paramore, Fleetwood Mac, and Adele.
Many of the songs covered are favorites of the band, and if you want to hear what fills their iTunes library, check out our exclusive playlist, On the iPod of… Mulino Road.
Though a set full of covers works for a while, the band is trying to get some more original music together.
“We’ve been itching to write new material,” Bassen says. “So that’s our main focus.”
Bassen has spent a lot of time writing demos for new songs, and the band discussed this process.
“For me, [writing material] is really sparatic,” Bassen says. “I’m just playing guitar and I find this cool riff.”
After recording some demos, Garcia then takes what is given to her and writes the tune and lyrics, building upon each others ideas.
Garcia says on writing lyrics, “It’s usually what I’ve just been through or processed in my life.”
Clawson also writes a lot of material as well. “I used to write just on the piano these super depressing songs about break ups or being sad about something,” he says. However, now it has transitioned to happier songs about one particular girl.
As far as struggles for the band go, work schedules is up near the top of the list. All four members of the band have day jobs, so finding time to practice is difficult. Also near the top of the list: neighbors.
“We never practice for long periods of time,” Garcia says. “And we do always keep the doors and windows shut.” However, this doesn’t stop the neighbors from complaining about the noise.
We closed off our talk with some advice for people looking to go into music.
“Practice a lot.”
“Annoy the people around you on purpose, because the more you do it, the better you get.”
“Keep working at it and don’t give up.”
“Have a lot of patience. Patience with yourself, patience with you bandmates, patience with the music you’re creating, because all of that does take time to work.”
Listen to the full interview in the Soundcloud below, where we talk more about writing songs, playing live, the future of the band, and the much anticipated speed round, where the band answers tough questions like, “What’s your favorite fruit?”, and “Store brand cereal? Yes or no?”.
And don’t forget to show the band some support by sharing this interview to spread the word, and also by heading over to Amazon to check out their EP.
Check back soon for more indie/alt interviews. We’ve got more lined up for you, and one in particular we are very excited about. More hints coming soon…