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Since their formation in 1994, Virginia Beach, USA-based Mindset have strived for a hard-hitting sound without compromising their direction and attitude. Don Campbell (b. 25 July 1963; guitar) left his previous band and recruited long-time friend John O’Neil (b. 29 May 1964; bass) to start the new group. They then found Kenny Windley (b. 30 May 1976; drums) and Roddy Lane (b. 3 August 1967; vocals) to complete the unit. From their diverse backgrounds the various members brought a range of influences to their sound, ranging from Tool and Soundgarden to Deep Purple. The result was a hard-driving, melodic sound, tempered by layered and passionate vocals. With the line-up in place, four weeks were spent writing and arranging material for their debut EP, which was recorded under the guidance of Stacy Heydon. The bass-heavy crunch and hardcore-influenced stance meant that the band fell neatly into the burgeoning category of extreme metal. The EP was impressive enough to secure the band a slot on the 1995 Ticketmaster Music Showcase in Virginia Beach, and they subsequently attracted record label interest. They signed to Noise International Records and eventually emerged from a 15-day recording session with a set comprising raging hardcore and industrial-tinged heavy metal for their self-titled debut. Drawing inspiration from personal experience, the bulk of the lyrics dealt with relationships, but the band also proved to have a sense of irony and social awareness with tracks such as the memorably titled ‘If The Devil Wore Adidas’, a sarcastic dig at the US propensity for following the latest fads. The inevitable comparisons with Korn followed, but Mindset proved to be far more than mere copyists throughout the inevitable bout of touring that followed.

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