Don't Mind Dying
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Don't Mind Dying

Columbia, Missouri, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2012

Columbia, Missouri, United States
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Rock Blues Rock



The best kept secret in music


"Don't Mind Dying rocks local crowds"

Don't Mind Dying is a heavy blues, soul and rock 'n' roll band that brings a loyal following with them wherever they play.

The Columbia band has come a long way since it was formed in 2008 by vocalist Brian "BC" Craig and bassist Graham Greer. The band now consists of Craig, Greer, keyboardist Travis McFarlane, drummer Brian Kent and guitarist Jason Caton.

Don't Mind Dying frequently headlines shows in town. The group won Best Rock Band of the Year and Best Blues Rock Band of the Year at the 2016 Mid-Mo Rock Awards. They also recently opened for Clutch at The Blue Note.

I had the chance to talk with Don't Mind Dying's frontman, Brian "BC" Craig, about the band's new album, their fans, and where they're going next.

What is the band up to right now?
We have an album that we’ve been working on at the Mansion Studio in Columbia with Bruce Barkelew and Adam Roehlke. We’re trying to get it done by New Year’s Eve because we’re going to play the New Year's Eve party at Rose, and we’re going to try to do our CD release party then. We still have another two songs left to mix, and then the pressing of the CD and vinyl and stuff.

We’re really excited because it’s going to have a lot of diversity on it. There’s some heavier tunes, there’s some more bluesy tunes, there’s a little gospel number that Travis wrote at the end, and then there’s a weird progressive math metal-type number thing on it. That's a strange instrumental that I’m not even on, but it’s just really good.

Does your new album sound different than previous ones?
Oh yeah, definitely. On our first EP we have Rudy Brynac on the keyboard and this one we have Travis on. His style of playing is different than Rudy’s, so it’s definitely keyboard heavy, but it’s still a lot of guitars. We feel like we’ve progressed as songwriters really. On the first one we were just kind of feeling each other out, but now we’ve all settled in and know how to play with each other.

Are there common themes to your songs?
There’s a lot of depression and darkness and stuff like that, and there’s also funny stuff. We don’t like to take ourselves too seriously -- at least I don’t.

How did you build a local fan base?
When we first started, a lot of people in Columbia knew me just from Slug Trail. They were expecting Don’t Mind Dying to be another death metal band, but then when they came and saw us, they were like, “Oh crap, this is totally different, he’s actually singing and not screaming his head off." We started building with that, and then once Jason and Brian got in the band, we started just focusing on writing good songs. People took notice whenever we played live, and the word just spread. People were like, "Hey, these guys are good; they bring it live every time consistently." They know if they go to a show they’re going to have a good time because we drink with everybody.

What are the crowds like at your shows?
We definitely have a loyal fan base, but it seems like lately we’ve been seeing a lot of new faces -- like a whole lot of new people. When I go grocery shopping now, it’s like, “Hey you’re the Don’t Mind Dying guy!” and I’m like, "Yeah, thanks for liking my music, that’s awesome."

What is your favorite part about playing in town?
A lot of our friends are always there, and everybody’s always just really into it. It’s like we never have to try too hard, because we just get up and do our thing and everybody digs it, and we have beers with everybody. Everybody seems to like to get drunk with us. - Vox Magazine

"Review: Don't Mind Dying reaches rock's haunted edges"

The first strains of Don’t Mind Dying’s latest record sound as if they were piped in from another moment in time.

The static and crackle of moving a record player’s needle into place; the sound of shaking dust off old steel strings; the patina of distance that cloaks Brian Craig’s powerful vocals. All these factors conspire to make opening cut “Swinging with Lou” sound like a field recording from a haunted rock landscape.

On “I Drink with Ghosts,” the Columbia band isn’t fighting off or hiding from the specters and shadows of rock past, present and future. Rather, as the title suggests, the band invites them in to have a couple tallboys and jam on a blues scale.

Don’t Mind Dying has carved out a musical niche where bombastic stadium metal meets humid Delta blues. The band continues to plant its flag on that common plot of ground but, this time out, leans a little harder into the roots-rock portion of its influences.

From "Swinging with Lou," the band re-positions its antennae, dialing in some serious rock on the title track. Deep, throbbing sonics suggest something from a 1980s B-grade science-fiction flick. Brian Kent's big drum sounds and Jason Caton's crunchy guitar set the stage for Craig to wail and keyboardist Travis McFarlane to take a gleeful synth solo.

"Swamp Ass" is another chance for McFarlane to shine; he accents the band's swampy metal with piano passages that borrow equally from The Band and a Sunday morning at church.

Musical curio "Graham's Number" opens with a recording detailing a mathematical phenomenon; the band follows suit, finding a seemingly boundless sort of funk as it first shows off bassist Graham Greer's talents, then expands the field to the rest of its lineup, worshiping at the altar of prog-rock throughout.

Another album highlight, "Heavy Rest," opens with Kent's thunderous drumming before settling into a funky, organ-led groove reminiscent of Led Zeppelin. Caton's guitar solo should prompt more than a few raised lighters. "Pull You Down" is deep and dark and showcases the nooks and crannies of Craig's voice, which somehow seems to evoke Robert Plant, Chris Robinson and Bon Scott — sometimes within the same phrase.

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With help from sister band Violet and the Undercurrents, "Rest Your Spirit" becomes a rafter-raising gospel number, indicative of the Saturday night/Sunday morning, drunk on spirits/drunk on the Spirit divide Don't Mind Dying embodies so well on this record. McFarlane is key to minding and bridging that gap, his playing so versatile and soulful. But each member of the band more than pulls his own weight here, adding tone, mood and touches of darkness and light that make "I Drink With Ghosts" a compelling listen. - Columbia Daily Tribune



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