Looking back on the past year, Mason Winter and his fellow MMEND bandmates have a lot to celebrate.
Almost one year ago to the day, the relative newcomers to the local music scene took the summer crown at Velour Live Music Gallery’s Battle of the Bands series. Since then, MMEND has released two singles, amassed a strong local following and graced the stage as part of this year’s Provo Rooftop Concert Series.
“While in high school, my bandmate Dallin and I would drive down to Provo every month during the summer to listen to all of the amazing artists perform at Provo’s Rooftop summer concert series,” said Mason Winter, lead singer and guitarist of MMEND. “This, of course, was back in the days when the crowd could literally fit on a rooftop. To see how much it has grown and how the community has embraced local music has been incredible. We’re deeply humbled to have been offered the chance to play at such an exciting and popular event.”
Mason will be joined by siblings Mitchell Winter (synthesizer, keyboard), Elise Winter (piano, keyboard), and friends Dallin Orr (drums) and Bryce Johnson (bass) this Friday for a headlining show at Velour.
MMEND’s ambient style of rock impressed judges in last year’s Battle of the Bands and has come as a breath of fresh air to some fans of the local music scene. But, as with every creative risk, there are some challenges.
“It is hard for me to pin down our sound to one specific genre,” Mason said. “I know the things that influenced me when I began writing any given song, but when the songs get handed to everyone in the band, it begins to take on a life of its own. People have had trouble narrowing in on our band’s sound, and I take that as a compliment!”
Instead of allowing the band’s free form approach to music making to become a problem, Winter sees their music as an expression of the personalities within the band.
“We try and put as much of ourselves into our music,” Mason said. “It can be over-simplistic trying to match a certain artist with a certain sound. Although it helps listeners identify with bands that they are unfamiliar with, we are a band with five strong personalities that cover a wide spectrum of emotion and musical influences. That comes through in our music and is something that we take great pride in.”
Mason explained that MMEND plans to bring out all the stops for its show this weekend. Touting an art installation and a number of exciting announcements, Mason explained that the band wanted to make this show a night to remember for audience members.
“Dallin and I have been working for a long time on an art project that we plan to unveil at the show,” he said. “It has everything from abstract art to classical illustration and will be tied thematically to the songs that we will be performing. We want to give fans a visual interpretation of the things that we will be singing about to try and tie the experience all together. We will also be playing some never-before-heard material that we hope people will like. It is going to be a pretty action-packed night.”
The band looks forward to sharing the stage with Mia Grace and Caleb Darger, the latter of which currently fronts the band Child Ivory, promising that the trio of acts will make for a memorable show.
“Mia is a fantastic songwriter,” Mason said. “We have nothing but nice things to say about her and can’t wait to share the stage with her. We know Caleb Darger from his days in the band Mighty Sequoyah, who we had the pleasure of playing with. Caleb is a class act and an accomplished musician.”
What’s next for MMEND? Mason has remained tight-lipped about plans for the future, insisting that fans will have to be at the show to get details on things in the works. There is, however, one thing that the band feels comfortable about: MMEND is here to stay.
“It has been a really great experience to work with everyone in the band,” Mason said. “I can’t think of anyone else that I would rather play music with than my siblings and my best friends. Really, what more could you ask for?”