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Mineral singer-guitarist Chris Simpson has fond memories of playing Cleveland in the ’90s when the group was initially active.
“We played at Speak in Tongues our first few times,” says Simpson, who brings the reunited band to the Grog Shop tonight for two shows. “We played Euclid Tavern the last several times. One time opening for the Innocence Mission at the Odeon. They were popular at the time. It was a really big show.”
The emo band’s legacy is based on two albums: 1997’s The Power of Failing and 1998’s EndSerenading. Each will be remastered and reissued on double DMM 180 gram vinyl on October 20. The band will also release Mineral – 1994-1998, a double CD compilation of both albums with previously unreleased songs recorded during The Power Of Failing sessions, as well as bonus tracks recorded during various sessions. The current reunion tour marks the band’s 20th anniversary and will be its first shows since disbanding in 1998. So what’s it been like to revisit the songs from the back catalog?
“It’s been interesting,” says Simpson. “ The two records are so different. The first record has so much raw energy and exuberance. It’s fun to play those songs. If we would pick songs we enjoyed more now, we would probably lean more toward the material from the second record.”
For that second record, EndSerenading, the band worked with esteemed producer Mark Trombino (Blink-182, Jimmy Eat World). While the finished product features dynamic, guitar-driven post-hardcore tunes, making the album wasn’t easy.
“I don’t think we were having a great time when we made it,” says Simpson. “I don’t think we were happy to be there. The situation was very different. We had already broken up but agreed to finish the record. We had recorded the basic tracks but no vocals had been done. It was a different experience. We were confused about what was coming next. We wanted to finish but we didn’t have the same sense of moving forward as we did with the first album. We knew it was going to be our final record.”
Despite the band’s resurgence, Simpson says the band doesn’t have new songs in the works.
“We have had our plate full getting together enough material for the tour,” he says. “That’s really our focus right now. We need to do one thing at a time. As the interest has continued to grow, people have continued to discover the band. Younger people who weren’t around when we were around have discovered us. But there’s nothing scheduled beyond these tours. It’s impossible for us to have any sense of that yet. That takes time. [The emo act] Braid’s putting out a new record so It can be done. A band can take 15 years off and then start putting out new records. There’s a lot involved there. The Braid record seems seamless and still feels mature and current. It’s possible. But we have no plans of doing that. It will take more time together.”