Saturday, March 19, 2016

Chicago band Wired Minds releases debut EP, will perform March 26 at the Metro


The members of Chicago band Wired Minds have a love for early '80s post-punk, new wave artists and '90s Britpop. 

That love shows up on the band's debut EP, "Saudade." Wired Minds will open for Big Paraid on March 26 at the Metro, 3730 N. Clark St., Chicago.  Revolt Coda, Blood Red Boots, Sex Therapy and Dimwaves also are on the bill.

The show starts at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are available at

I had the chance to talk to Wired Minds frontman Matthew James Kayser about the band.

Q - Great talking to you again. The last time we spoke, you were fronting the band The Bright White. How did Wired Minds come together and what are your goals for the band?

Thanks for having me. Wired Minds formed last year after I approached Fred O'Neal. He's a superb guitarist/songwriter who posted some of his songs on Craigslist.

I was immediately enamored with his sound and his knack for writing inspiring music. Within a week, I was recording vocals on top of all this really cool '80s and early '90s-influenced stuff. We recruited Christian Volpe, from The Maharishi, to play drums and soon had our first show booked.

Our bassist, Torey Freeman, joined us through his friendship with Fred. 

I'm very happy with the vibe of the music we're creating and the vibe within our group. We intend to spend 2016 playing increasingly more important shows at Chicago's best venues. We want to get folks to hear "Saudade," our debut EP, and then hit them with new music later this year. 

Q - Is there a story behind the band's name?

There are two reasons why we chose Wired Minds. First and foremost, we thought it had a ring to it. A memorable name is a must.

Second, it is a statement on how connected we all are nowadays and how much stuff is constantly flying through our brains. It is so incredibly hard to turn off these wired minds when there is so much information flowing through them.

The information comes fast and furious, and it comes at all times of the day. 

Q - Wired Minds has drawn comparisons to such bands as The Church and The Stone Roses. Do you consider those bands as being major influences for Wired Minds?

Absolutely. We decided when we formed that we want to write the type of music we would love to hear on the radio.

If we had our way, rock radio would be oozing early '80s post-punk and new wave and '90s Britpop. But it doesn't.

So we decided to create music that brings back the feelings of those genres. There's something about unfiltered melancholy, restlessness, and hope that really strikes a chord with us.

I hope that comes across in our music. 

Q - In sitting down to make the band's debut EP, "Saudade," what were your goals and do you think you accomplished them?

The goal of "Saudade" was to offer listeners a sneak peek at what we're all about, knowing full well that we will soon release another EP. We had ten songs completed, so we chose the three that best represent where we are right now.

We're so new that the sound could radically evolve from what's on "Saudade." I hope not, though, as I dig the general direction of "Saudade."

Q - The video for the song "Strange Kind Of Love" has a retro feel to it. I know the definition of saudade is "a feeling of longing, melancholy, or nostalgia." Is that one of the EP's themes?

I live a life of nostalgia. I have become somewhat obsessed with the people and places of my past, partly because I can no longer have them. It's a very bittersweet feeling, visiting someone or somewhere in your mind while knowing that you can't ever really get them back. So yes, nostalgia has definitely become a major theme in my lyrics.
Growing up an '80s child, I definitely have a soft spot for some of the videos of that era. "Strange Kind of Love" was made with an early REM video in mind.

Q - How do you see Wired Minds fitting into the Chicago music scene?

Honestly, we don't fit in with most of what I've seen of the Chicago music scene. Bands such as Cassettes on Tape, Dimwaves, Forgotten Species, New Canyons, and The Maharishi share our affection for post-punk, new wave, and Britpop, but I would not yet call it a scene.

Hopefully we can form a stronger bond that moves us from mere like-mindedness to a more organized coalition of bands that write and perform what we consider really cool music.

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