Between 1998 and 2020, Mind’s I issued six official releases, was featured on a regional indie-band compilation, and appeared on the soundtrack of an independent film.
Where The Secret Lies
Recorded over the Summer of 1997 at the AFM Records building in Beaver Falls, PA, the debut album from Mind’s I was warmly received by local music fans and critics alike upon its release in January 1998. The album featured a laid-back collection of strum-pop songs penned largely by lead singer Tom Panei, and received airplay on several regional radio stations including 97.7 FM WLER, 105.9 FM WXDX, 102.5 FM WDVE, and 91.1 FM WYEP. The buzz around the new album, especially the song Angel, helped propel the band to the semi-finals in the 1998 Graffiti Rock Challenge (where they were eliminated by the eventual winners that year – Buzz Poets). Other perennial favorites on the album include the upbeat Plug and the rocking anthem My Time. Fun fact: Where the Secret Lies is the only album in the Mind’s I catalog to have been recorded on tape… Specifically 2 inch tape on an Otari console. The masters were taken to California by AFM Records and were lost when the label folded shortly thereafter. Personnel: Chris Compton (drums), Scott Herbst (bass), Greg Muiter (guitar and vocals), Tom Panei (vocals and acoustic guitar), and Willi Stolz (harmonica, vocals)
Fearless of Ever
Eager to capitalize on their second appearance in the Graffiti Rock Challenge (1999 – where they finished third overall), but still finding their footing following the departure of both drummer Chris Compton and harmonica player Will Stolz, the band tracked one new song with rising young producer Buzzy Beck at The Audio Loft in Ambridge, PA. They combined this track (the raucous In The Dark) with two unreleased tracks from the Where the Secret Lies sessions (Nosebleed and Spoke) as well as a handful of crowd pleasers from the first album (which had sold through its first and only pressing by this time) to release the limited-run EP Fearless of Ever. In The Dark was selected to appear in an independent paddling (kayaking) film called Silent Thunder: The Legend of Team C, which was very well received at independent film festivals and sold strongly among paddling enthusiasts. The film also featured music from close friends of the band Once Hush, and other awesome regional bands like Dharma Sons and Bitter Delores.
Mighty Shoves and Tiny Pushes
After tracking Burn at Aardvark Studios in Steubenville, OH (using studio time won in the Graffiti Rock Challenge), the band decided to return to The Audio Loft to record their next full-length album. Working again with Buzzy Beck, Mind’s I crafted their Y2K release Mighty Shoves and Tiny Pushes. More elaborate instrumentation, and a focus on an edgier guitar-rock sound made for a fun power-pop album that featured set list staples Burn, Easy Chair, and Inside. Again, strong radio support from hometown 97.7 FM WLER, as well as 102.5 WDVE and 105.9 WXDX in Pittsburgh helped the band reach a larger audience and book steady work throughout Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and New Jersey. Personnel: Jason Anthony (drums), Scott Herbst (bass), Greg Muiter (guitar and vocals), Tom Panei (vocals and acoustic guitar), with guests Les Dean (trombone), Scott DiTullio (trumpet), and Rick Gallagher (keyboards).
Pittsburgh X-Files 2000
Pittsburgh radio station WXDX 105.9 FM “The X” put out a compilation album of local bands to celebrate the new millennium and raise money for charity. The previously-unreleased track Cry was included on this terrific time capsule featuring the biggest bands in the ‘Burgh during the late 90’s, including The Clarks, Buzz Poets, Sho’ Nuff, Grapevine, New Invisible Joy, Crisis Car, Wade, and many more. If you can find this somewhere, it’s worth checking out!
After the high pressure sessions that spawned Mighty Shoves and Tiny Pushes, the band opted to spend time in the studio in a less structured fashion. The hope was to foster a more relaxed and enjoyable recording experience, while allowing the band to strike a better balance with their demanding performance schedule and “non-musical” obligations. Unfortunaltely, exterior pressures forced Mind’s I guitarist, co-lead vocalist, and co-founder Greg Muiter to announce in late 2001 that he needed to step down from his post at stage right. The band decided to wrap up the work they had started and release it packaged with a track they had contributed to the Y2K WXDX local music compilation (Cry) as Metamorphosis (2002 Mind’s I / CD Baby). The album features set staples Show Me and Faded. This album is currently unavalable.
After Scott returned to Mind’s I in 2007 following a nearly three-year absence, the band did some recording at a friend’s home studio in an effort to capture some of the music that had been written since the departure of original guitarist Greg Muiter in 2002. The band invited Greg to lay down the remaining tracks that had not been recorded prior to his departure during these sessions as well, for the sake of posterity. A formal album release was not originally the plan, however the sessions began to be fruitful, so the rough tracks were moved to Soundscape Studios to be mixed by Doug Kasper. The result is the 2010 release Train Wreck – an eclectic mix of old and new Mind’s I that showcases all the amazing strengths of this band. 97.7 FM WLER regularly played tracks In The Afternoon, Jaded (As A Flight Attendant), and Train Wreck.
When the debut album from Mind’s I was released in 1998, online music streaming didn’t really exist. As a consequence, for over 2 decades the only way one could enjoy Where The Secret Lies was on CD. In 2020 we decided to fix that with a remastered and expanded album that included the previously unreleased tracks from the 1997 recording sessions that spawned our debut, along with some other gems “from the vault.” The result is Back Catalog.