What is FocusedXMinds and How did this band begin?
FocusedXMinds is a Straight Edge Youth Crew band from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I (John Taylor) and Drew Meierhad played in a couple other bands before and had always discussed how much we would like to play in a youth crew style hardcore band. He and I attended This is Hardcore this past summer and after seeing Mindset with their raw energy and passion I approached Drew knowing this was something that needed to happen. After that Drew found Chris our drummer and we got our friend Brian to play bass and we've been jamming since the end of August.
I heard the news that you have been signed to 6131. How did this come about?
After hearing some fairly positive feedback about "Straight Edge Overload" the demo we released in November we decided it was something that was worth sending out to some labels to see if they were interested. We sent it to Hellfish and React Records. and Joey ended up getting his hands on it and he approached us about releasing something with them.
What are your plans for the spring/summer?
Our spring is not going to be as busy as we had hoped, I am currently attending my last semester of college so we are trying to work around that and using whatever breaks in my classes to our full advantage. We are doing two dates with War Hound in Illinois on the 11th and 12th of February and playing Chicago on the 25th with Face Reality and Thought Crusade. In march we will be hitting up Minneapolis for the first time on the 3rd and then going to North Dakota on the fourth to play with Agress, Steppin Stone, Expire,Life Wont Wait. March 20-27 we will be doing dates with our buddies in Big Mouth and we're gonna go out as far west as Denver but mostly doing dates in the midwest. Once summer hits we are going to try and tour as much as possible. There has been talks of touring the month of June as well as trying to head out east in May and heading back out West in July. All of it is still getting sorted out but we have plans of becoming very active as quickly as possible.
What will FocusedXMinds release in the future on 6131?
We will be releasing a 7" called "Stay Focused" with them in early may. We hit the studio for that record in early February.
I think we'd all like to say yes, but I don't know how realistic of an answer it is. We all love hardcore music so much and it is such a big part of who we all are, we just put together a demo that we were really proud of. The fact that it has been recieved so positively is unreal and we all couldn't be more greatful.
How have the local shows in Milwaukee been lately?
Milwaukee shows have been on the rise as far as attendence, crowd participation, and energy. For awhile it seemed like a lot of kids liked listening to hardcore but never really made an effort to come out to shows.Things seem to be changing and with a lot of younger faces anyone aspiring to play music or trying to tour Milwaukee should be very excited in the direction it's heading.
With all the fest announcements lately, will we be seeing you guys on one of those soon?
We're not really about how many fests we might be able to get on this year being that we haven't been that active because of the band being so fresh. We do have plans of being in california at the end of July so we'll see what that means, but we're trying to play every where, always.
As of now, they have been announced to play East Coast Tsunami Fest. Here is a link to flyer:
What will be your favorite releases in 2011?
Expire's new 7". War Hound, Big Mouth, and Agress are some homies of ours in the no coast that I'm excited to see what they put out. Doubledealer's new record as well as Joyce Manor and Rotting out's new records are all releases I'm looking forward to.
What will be playing while you guys are in the van?
Attack Attack!, Hatebreed, Ke$ha, Lights, Man Overboard, Warzone, Hawthorne Heights, and Hybrid Theory.
Do you fully endorse the saying "MIDWEST HARDCORE ALIVE AND WELL 2011"?
Absolutely. With bands like Expire, War Hound, Harm's Way, Weekend Nachos, Rattletooth, Feeding Lies, Agress, Big Mouth, Steppin' Stone and countless others I think it would be hard to argue otherwise.
Anything else you would like to say?
Hardcore is alive in 2011.