Mellow Cassette

Mellow Cassette (Indie Rock) - St. Paul, Minnesota




When Mellow Cassette first formed, in the long forgotten summer of 2017, it was little more than three friends hiding in a home studio trying to see what it sounded like if they all made noise at the same time. The resulting sound was something akin to lyrically driven indie rock, played by a punk band that was having an increasingly hard time hiding their affinity for funk music. Comprised of Blake Johnson (Drums), Dan Olson (Bass), and John Kargol (Guitar), the group has gone on to play at SXSW and in March of 2019 they released their self-recorded EP, “Pilot.” Future ambitions for the three midwestern Noise Boys include recording their first full length album, hitting the road with lots of new music, and teaching John to trust again.

Upcoming Shows:
6/28/19 - The Pourhouse - Minneapolis, MN



"Pilot" EP Review
The opening track "The Arbiter" is a rockin' beginning to the EP. There's a throwback vibe throughout as it has infectious vocals, smooth guitar riffs and melodies for days. "Kidnapped" keeps that old school Rock vibe churning. At certain parts of the track is a more Mumford and Sons vibe that incorporates a more Folk/Blues sound. "Grace Like An Anchor" opens with another guitar riff that kicks things off. The track builds until the 50 second mark until the chorus which doesn't have the impact it should. The second verse kicks up the pace with more driving riffs and has a payoff of a pretty short but stellar guitar solo. "Not Getting Stronger" keeps the energy up throughout its near four minute length. The track is solid in all aspects and should be a fan favorite with its delivery. The Halo video game influences continues with "The Cartographer's Incentive" (see "The Arbiter" for the first reference). The track is a two minute romp that amps things up with more Nirvana-esque riffs. The closer "Improvised Jean Tourniquet" is a near five minute track that sounds like it should be on a Zach Braff movie soundtrack. It's Indie Rock at its core and just as passionate. Towards the ending of the track it really takes off into another level. Everything works and works quite well on the EP as a whole. The EP is incredibly easy to get into and at just six tracks, you need to give it a chance at your music collection.

Verdict:
Mellow Cassette have created a throwback Rock sound that's fresh and catchy.

-Interview- (5/30/19)
1. How did you get started with music and how did you develop your sound? Who thought of the name “Mellow Cassette" and is there any meaning behind it?

Mellow Cassette began playing together originally as the backing band for a local singer songwriter, a few years back that project went on hiatus and the three of us just never stopped playing. Eventually we took the then unnamed project into the studio to demo out some songs and by the time we had three or four tracks started we were deadset on becoming a proper band. It’s hard to imagine now, but we spent three or four shows telling the audience we were called Foxblood before a friend pointed out that there was a new Australian Metal band with the same name. Rebranding at that point really only consisted of making some new social media pages, so in an effort to get the gears turning and think of a new name Blake turned to a random name generator and Mellow Cassette was the very first thing it spat out. As far as our “sound” goes, we really started to settle into something unique to us once we started writing together. There’s a big difference in bringing songs to a band to flesh out and writing those songs in a room with the musicians who will play them.


2. What do you want people to take away from your music?

It makes us really happy just to know that someone finds anything about any of our songs they enjoy. There are a lot of elements that go into the work we produce and at the end of the day if all someone grabs onto it “I like those drums” or “fun shouting” then that’s enough for us.


3. How would you describe your sound to the average listener?

The closest we’ve come to describing our sound is like Yacht Rock for people who don’t own a yacht or have yacht-related issues. We’re more like Raft Rock or Funk Punk.


4. Who are three bands you’d like to tour with?

When we first started putting long shows together we inevitably reached for some covers to fill the set and we used to play some old Surfer Blood tunes, I think we’d fit in on a bill with them. There’s a local band called Bad Bad Hats that we wouldn’t mind supporting on tour, either. As long as we’re dreaming we’d love to open up for Charly Bliss, too.


5. What are your three desert island albums that you'd never get tired of listening to?

That’s a tough one but we’ve been listening to a lot of ELO lately, so maybe Out of the Blue or Discovery. The first Charly Bliss album should be on there, too. I’d say any given Vulfpeck album but would happily swap that spot with any band that has a concept album about desert island survival strategies.


6. What’s your take on the current state of Rock?

Rock music has never been stronger! Its the one genre that never stops leeching off of the music around it and keeping those things for itself. There’s a lot of dance and disco and funk in rock/pop music right now, things bands like Sly and the Family Stone or The Bee Gees set us up for, so it’s cool to see elements like that replace other staples that might have since gone out of vogue. The age of the guitar god is supposedly passed, depending on who you talk to, so there’s a lot of pressure to keep finding fresh ideas in those old blues progressions. We mostly try and add a fifth chord.


7. What’s the current music scene like there in Minnesota both locally and state wide?

Cutting our teeth in the Minnesota music scene has been such a blessing. There’s so much talent here and you can’t swing your own severed arm without hitting a venue. We had a few good ones bite the dust recently, The Triple Rock has earned its own eternal flame. RIP, best punk venue in town.


8. What’s your take on legal/illegal music downloading?

We give our music away. If you want to hear us and you don’t have Spotify or Apple Music you can always listen for free on Bandcamp. The way artists make money off of their music is starkly different now and we spend more time worrying about how little return there is off of album streams than we do illegal downloads, but even that gets lost in how exciting it is to know that people are listening to your music.


9. What’s next for Mellow Cassette?

We’re almost finished writing our first full length album, and we can’t wait to get in the studio with that. It’s the first project we wrote entirely together and it’s what we’re most proud of right now. Beyond that, we just want to keep playing shows and selling t shirts and being loud. It’s fun to be loud.


10. Any shoutouts?

Shoutout to Dylan (RicX) for the use of his studio in making Pilot, and to Huntley Miller for the incredible masters. Shoutout to Joe Kvasnicka for the album artwork and logo and everyone else that has been supporting us and paying attention to the things we make and throw at you. Y’all make these three noise boys feel loved.