MNDR On The Definition of Digital Genius

Posted October 14

MNDR (pronounced thusly, not “Minder”) may not have released its first LP yet — that’s due out later this year — but that didn’t stop the electro band from nabbing an O Music Award nomination for “Best Web-Born Artist.” The band, headed up by gear head Amanda Warner, managed to make a name for itself through the web, resulting in the release of E.P.E., a power-packed EP that’s got us fiending for the full-length.

Check out our Q&A with Warner below, replete with musings on digital genius — and a slight dig at MySpace.

How do you see the rise of social media and tech fitting into music?

It’s great because it really lets you build your fanbase. Because a record company cannot really do anything for you unless you’ve built it up yourself. It doesn’t work like how it used to work. If you’re a bit different, you really have to build your fanbase up. Another thing it allows you to do is be able to set the stage for what you’re about, what you believe in, what your music is about, what the world you’re trying to create is about and letting people connect to that.

At the bottom level, songs have to be great before [you get to] social media and networking. The songs have to great and the live show has to be great. So when it’s time to take the step into a label situation, everyone can elevate what you’re trying to do and your vision, rather than the label trying to develop the vision from what they think an audience might like. That’s the power of it.

What were the biggest tools for you when you were starting out?

I have a writing partner and producer that I work with solely for this material and his name is Peter Wade. We had just started to make music together. This was two years ago so MySpace was still sort of relevant, so I put [that music on MySpace]. I had been DJing under that name [MNDR] so enough people were like, ‘Oh yeah, it’s Amanda,’ heard it, and then started sharing.

The other thing I did was I started a blog and wrote about every studio process and how we were making the songs and what the songs were about and what the lyrics were about and sort of built up a blog about making the record. And it just sort of was like a domino effect.

So what is your definition of digital genius?

Taking the zeroes and ones and making them into something tangible — visually and through music and building your fanbase one person at a time. Connecting with people that way. I don’t know if it’s really genius, but it’s creative.

By Brenna Ehrlich