January 27, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 64  

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The Heard Mentality succeed in long distance relationship

By Anna Coutts
Gazette Staff

Gazette file photo
KEEPING THE MENTALITY. Formerly known as Corduroy, The Heard Mentality are on tour to promote their self-titled debut.

What does a band need to make it in the industry, to be well-known and respected? Perhaps a proper mentality that allows the musicians to work well together and connect strongly with their listeners.

If this is the measure of success, then pop rockers The Heard Mentality have a good chance of hitting it big.

Formerly known as Corduroy, the members of The Heard Mentality understand it is vital to connect with each other, as well as with their fans. According to vocalist/keyboardist Michael Windover, being in the band is similar to “maintaining a long-term relationship.” Since most of the band is based in Toronto, and Windover is a Western student, it is necessary for each member to work independently on music.

“Often we each end up bringing a fragment of our own into a song, and then we build up that idea with each other,” Windover explains. “Then when we get together, we focus on collaboratively, ironing it out musically, then lyrically, trying to find the sort of ‘mantra’ theme line of the song, and work from there.”

Even more importantly, Windover understand the importance of connecting with listeners. “It’s a two-way street. If we give fans a positive vibe, hopefully they give us one back. It’s just the way it works.”

A good show comes not just from The Mentality’s performance and ability to play, but from having enthusiastic fans to keep the show going strong. “When you’re playing, you give so much, and it’s exhausting. We have to have a good audience to feed off of.”

This need for love and respect from their fans explains why Windover feels the best show they’ve played to date was at the B-Side in Toronto, where their fan base is currently strongest.

“The audience was really into it, and we just felt the music was really tight. And the sound there was really great. And sound is key, especially in a band like ours. We’re very vocal and harmony-driven, so if we can’t hear ourselves because of sound problems it’s hard to play a good show. But the sound was great and the audience was cheering. We could really feed off their energy,” he said.

Windover says he finds inspiration from bands who have something to say; he is inspired by artists such as The Beatles, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Rufus Wainwright and Radiohead.

“I really don’t like bands whom corporations have a stranglehold on,” he says. “I’d have to say I’m even a bit jealous, because some of these artists are being put together by corporations and making it big, and they can reach such a huge amount of people with their music, but they’re not saying anything with it.”

Windover assures The Mentality’s material has a bit more meat in it. “Our lyrics usually have an evident message, but I like to play around with them to give our songs a little ambiguity, so that the audience can create their own little picture as to what [the lyrics] mean. Every song has a different style; some are a story, some focus on a moment in a relationship, some are ironic or sarcastic comments on what’s going on around us.”



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