[This interview was originally published on June 23, 2010]
Last April MNDR and Amanda Blank played a special Breast Cancer benefit show for Keep-A-Breast at the Bell House. It was a rainy night but it didn’t keep us away from that kick-ass double-Amanda line-up. Prior to that show, I’ve been to nearly every one of MNDR’s NYC-area shows (+ SXSW) since seeing her for the first time at the Ace Hotel for CMJ.
It’s amazing to see her grow and develop her craft, stage presence and sound. And people have noticed! Heavy hitter Mark Ronson and iconic trip-hoppers Massive Attack have knocked on Amanda Warner’s door and this is only just the beginning!
At the time of our interview she gushed about the Mark Ronson collaboration which materialized into Mark Ronson & The Business INTL‘s Bang Bang Bang. Check out my interview with MNDR as she spazzes out about her incredible journey toward MNDR 2.0! Keep your eyes and ears open and follow MNDR on Twitter.
> I don’t really have anything prepared but at this point we already know each other pretty well! [both laugh]
MNDR: Okay go.
> I first saw your live show at CMJ in October, it’s about 6 months later now. What has that journey been so far?
MNDR: It has been like a total, what I would describe as a New York City minute. I started there and now it’s at a different level…and I think you’re going to be really excited for the next level it goes to! I’m writing a ton of songs and touring, trying to make sure everyone feels everything and anything if they see me live. New York has been really rad to me.
> How long have you been in New York now?
MNDR: Just about a year ago now. I didn’t expect to be doing anything like this and its been. I just want to make everyone feel awesome all the time, I want everyone to cry.
I didn’t ever expect it to be like “Yo Amanda do you want to open up for Massive Attack?”
> Tell me about the Massive Attack tour.
MNDR: I am so fucking exc-it-ed, yea-ah! That is going to fucking blow my face off. I am literally so excited I’m spazzing out. Like everyday I wake up I have a spazz. Again, I didn’t ever expect it to be like “Yo Amanda do you want to open up for Massive Attack?” So yeah it’s going to be crazy, its going to have the whole production. I’ll be running it solo and there are surprises to come in the future.
> How far along are you in the recording process? Do you have more songs done than you play live?
MNDR: I have more songs and I think I’m like really close to completion. I want to have 16-20 songs to pick from for the record. I’m at 12 or 13 now, but I also have some features on other records. Surprises!
> What’s the story behind the song Caligula?
MNDR: I really wanted to make a dance record in the style of taboo topics, like an Egyptian lover or something like that. I thought to myself “What is taboo in 2010?” I still feel that concept of Caligula is still taboo, and the song sort of about an experience I had living in a rave collective and a bunch of punk spaces in Oakland. I would walk into a room and the ceiling felt like it was on the ground and the ground felt like it was on the ceiling, it was carefree attitude to the max and that song is about that. Conceptually the song is about Isis who is a mothering, nurturing goddess. She’s also an oralist on the control tower, so the song is kind of like “Get crazy but shes watching you!”
> Keep it under control…
MNDR: Yeah but get free as always. I want everyone to get free, get crazy!
> What else do you have going on beside touring and your new album?
MNDR: Massive Attack. I’ll be in Europe in July and also doing some stuff with Mark Ronson…
“Also in our secret chamber of secrets, we’re developing MNDR 2.0!”
> For your album or his?
> Oh you can’t say..? [both laugh]
MNDR: It’s going to be exciting and right now I’m producing Silk Flowers. They’re a New York-based band, they’re on Dean (Allen Spunt) from No Age‘s label. We’ve done all of the basic tracking, I could not be more excited to be producing their record! I’ll be working on producing that record all of June, their new set of songs are amazing. I’ll also be finishing my record, going to Europe and then after that going next level with the live stuff.
> You have a technical background, obviously. Who do you work on with your live visuals?
MNDR: Yeah I work with this artist named Jamie Carreiro. I didnt do any programming on his patch though. It was an idea I had that I wanted to do with one of my other groups, an interactive light patch. I met Jamie and he literally programmed it in Java the next time I met with him. Also in our secret chamber of secrets, we’re developing MNDR 2.0!
> What is this right now, 1.0?
MNDR: I would call this 1.3 or 1.5 it’s growing all the time but the next level is going to make people feel electric. I just keep writing music with my collaborator Peter Wade.
> When can we expect a new album or EP?
MNDR: We have an EP on iTunes that’s kind of a sampler right now. I have another single coming out on another artist’s track…this summer. As far as my full record we’re right at the point where we’re going all out.
[girl: That was sooo awesome, I loved it!]
MNDR: Thank you! This girl’s name is Isis! The record will be out in 2010 and it’s going to have slow songs, pop and dance hits. I’m excited to play it for you and Hannah. I’m really psyched, I’m psyched for how this record is turning out.
> And we’ll be up front singing along!