MA: Yes, I think that when you’re writing music you should be open to letting all of that out and sometimes it’s hard to let out the more honest of the emotions. Sometimes it’s easier to write an upbeat, fun, funky song than kind of let out those deeper emotions of maybe what you may be feeling with a tragedy or something bigger happening in your life. So I’m always very proud of the ballads that I write because it takes a little more courage, I think, to let that out and to record it and put it out there on the table, but you always hope that someone else maybe will feel the same or will feel something when they hear it.
Smitty: I think that speaks volumes for the entire record, because I could feel your desire to dig deep within yourself and to come from within with each song. But “Rain” just kind of stuck out there for me, and I think a lot of people will connect with that song. I also have to say…… now “Rain” is Track 5 and then I’d move to Track 6, “True Blue,” I’m just in love with that song!
MA: (Laughing) That’s awesome!
Smitty: That is a hip party song. It’s got great sax lines and bass lines. I mean, the chords are killer. It’s just one of those complete songs that just does everything for you. Even if you’re in the car you want to just stand up in your car and dance, you know?
MA: You know, everyone that I’ve played that song for so far has just sung along.
MA: But, you know, it starts out with circles and it has circles in the chorus and it’s an instrumental, so it always comes to the chorus and everyone’s “(singing),” you know?
Smitty: Oh yeah.
MA: They’re just singing along, and I always think that’s fun, like that’s a good meter of, you know, someone’s feeling a song, you know.
Smitty: Yeah, I do.
MA: They’ll sing along, so I always get good vibes when I hear that song and that song just came out of just a lot of kind of good feelings and coming off the road and just having these great experiences with my band out there, having fun, and it’s just a really “feel good” song to me.
Smitty: Yeah, it is. When I heard this song, I said to myself “This is gonna be some great music to do live.
Smitty: It’s like “Oh, she’s gonna burn this,” you know?
MA: Yeah, I think another song that’s really gonna be fun to do live is “The Joint.”
Smitty: Oh yeah.
MA: “The Joint” is just this dirty, fun, throwaway jam song, and I think, listening to it now, I still get the same perspective as when we wrote it, and I just…….I was kind of feeling that we were in one of these places that I kind of came up the ranks playing in.
Just some joint……and I’ve played so many nights in these teeny little places, you know, to people dancing all night and eating and drinking and making noise. So for me it’s fun to write a song and kind of have that spirit of where you can just kind of feel those bodies moving on the dance floor and you’re just kind of playing and it’s a fun kind of hang, you know.
Smitty: Absolutely, yeah.
MA: So that’s what that song was kind of borne out of. That one’s gonna be fun to do live. Hopefully we’ll get to do it in places bigger than the places where I used to play. (Both laughing)
Smitty: Oh, I’m sure you will. When you put this record together, if you could make one statement about this record, what would it be?
MA: Wow, I don’t know if I could put it down to one statement. But I guess if I had to, it would be the title of the record because that’s always a very thoughtful point for me, you know, what does this record represent, and the title is Life Less Ordinary. And I think there’s many, many emotions and personalities reflected in this CD, and I feel that that’s the obvious title for me because it was a less ordinary year and the music reflects that. It’s less ordinary music. I mean, if you have the other two CD’s, it’s gonna be a little bit of a departure from those, but there are, you know, threads where you can tell it’s me and everything, but hopefully we keep evolving and we keep using life as our mirror for what we should be doing and what we should be feeling. So this is an honest representation of that, so I think that’s it: “Life less ordinary”.
Smitty: Yeah, I can feel that that…..I know this is Mindi, when you hear the record, you know, the first song, “Do You Miss Me?” which is a great song, by the way.
MA: Thank you.
Smitty: But then you start to feel the other elements, you know, you feel the elevation, you feel the maturity and the emotions and all of that as you go throughout the entire book of the music. I think it’s a wonderful mix.
MA: Thank you. Yeah, I always want a record to be a fun journey; it takes you through different feelings like a good concert. You should be up there rocking out and just feeling good, and then you can go to a ballad and then just kind of feel that for a second and then go on to something else. I think its fun to go on a journey on a record.
Smitty: Yeah, absolutely.
MA: Yeah, if every song sounds the same, it’s just………it’s not as entertaining to me.
Smitty: That’s for sure!
MA: At least as a fan, hearing different people’s albums. I like when people take you different places.
Smitty: Yeah, absolutely. And I must give some props to Matthew. What a great job he did with this record.
MA: You know, Matthew Hager’s an amazing producer, he’s an amazing songwriter and musician, I can’t say enough about him, and that’s why I really thought when I signed to Verve/GRP, to get him to produce and write on my CD’s, I really didn’t know if he was gonna be the right person. But we wrote a few things and we’d written since college together, but he was never really the job type, so I didn’t know if he’d want to, if he’d fit in or whatever. But the stuff that we were writing was so cool that it just became the stuff that was on the record, and from there, it’s like I don’t want to do this with anyone else. I just think that we have such a cool chemistry and we know each other so well from being friends since college that we’re not trying to be anything we’re not. I’m not trying to impress him as some bigshot producer and be something I’m not. He knows me well enough that if I play something that’s not me or that doesn’t sound like me, he knows.