DT: MAY 12, 2023
FM: KELLY WALSH / SRO PR
THE MENDENHALL EXPERIMENT (TMX)
UNLEASH NEW SINGLE
“BURY YOUR CASKET”
AVAILABLE TODAY, MAY 12 DIGITALLY
FOUNDER/GUITARIST BRANDON MENDENHALL
SHARES Q&A ON NEW MUSIC & OVERCOMING CEREBRAL PALSY LIMITATIONS TO PURSUE CAREER IN MUSIC
HARD ROCK GROUP SHARE “MAKING OF” MINI-DOCUMENTARY
ON 2022 EP
‘AGAINST ALL ODDS’
(VIA LUCENT RECORDS)
“Bury Your Casket” Single Art
Not only is AGAINST ALL ODDS the name of hard rock outfit THE MENDENHALL EXPERIMENT (TMX)’s recent 2022 EP, but it’s also the message behind the band itself. TMX was formed in 2008 by guitarist/songwriter Brandon Mendenhall who was born with the incurable neurological disease Cerebral Palsy which limits mobility on the left side of his body. Determined by his love of music, MENDENHALL learned how to play guitar which eventually aided in the rehabilitation of movement in his left hand without surgical intervention. Enlisting bassist Nathan Stockton—who also overcame his disability of childhood deafness—TMX was developed and eventually became the subject of the award-winning documentary MIND OVER MATTER (Sumerian Films) directed by French filmmaker Sébastien Paquet (Korn, Wounded Warriors). The band have since released music with guest artists including James “Munky” Shaffer (Korn) and Danny Lohner (NIN, A Perfect Circle) and performed in front of audiences across the country alongside John 5, P.O.D., Alien Ant Farm, Kill Devil Hill, Fear Factory, Prong, Flaw, Metal Allegiance, Smile Empty Soul, Flaw, Co-Op and Breaking In A Sequence (BIAS) in addition to festival appearances at Aftershock Festival and Rocklahoma.
TMX have today (5/12) shared their new single, “Bury Your Casket,” which is available digitally across all platforms HERE. The aggressive-yet-catchy track’s meaning is “Relationships are sometimes meant to die in order to move onto the next evolutionary chapter,” according to guitarist/songwriter MIKE LIRA. “Sometimes that can be one of the hardest things in life to accept.” MENDENHALL adds, “In life, death is the only absolute; everything else is subject to change. Everyone you befriend along the way is a lesson, good, bad or indifferent, and as you grow and progress your circle gets smaller.”
On writing “Bury Your Casket,” LIRA comments: “This song is definitely one of my favorites. It’s melodic, heavy and a bit technical. It was one of those songs that came together smoothly, but also challenged me at times.”
“‘Bury Your Casket’ has been a fan favorite in our live set for years and my personal favorite to perform, it’s thrashy with a splash of punk and a solid breakdown,” shares MENDENHALL. “It’s the perfect combination to get your blood pumping and the crowd moving with a hook that will get stuck in your head for the rest of the night.” Hear more about “Bury Your Casket” and the band’s journey in the Q&A with MENDENHALL below.
TMX have also shared a peek inside the recording process for AGAINST ALL ODDS in a new “making of” mini-documentary which can be streamed now below or directly via the band’s YouTube channel HERE. The documentary shows MENDENHALL, LIRA, STOCKTON along with drummer Justin Luebeck and new vocalist Alyce Hayes in the studio with a special appearance from Suicide Silence guitarist Chris Garza who guested on the EP’s debut single “Pulse Of The Lost.”
Witness TMX’s riveting live performance at Inkcarceration Festival in Mansfield, OH this summer where they’ll be performing on the Campground stage on Saturday, July 16. Stay tuned for additional touring announcements in the coming weeks.
Making Of: Against All Odds EP documentary
Q&A with Brandon Mendenhall
What and/or who inspired you to pursue a career in the music industry?
“Growing up I was influenced by bands and guitarists from Korn, Pantera, and NIN. It was Munky from Korn’s story about how he used the guitar to rehabilitate his left index finger after an ATV accident almost tore it off that became the catalyst for me believing in myself and my abilities on guitar and in music.”
You were diagnosed with the incurable neurological disease cerebral palsy which affects physical movement. Can you describe some of the challenges you faced when learning to play guitar and how you overcame and/or continue to work around them?
“My journey with Cerebral Palsy and the guitar has not been an easy one. I don’t feel as though I’m one of those naturally talented players, I have had to earn my skill level.”
“My left hand is heavily affected by the CP, practically paralyzed in a way. I had to figure out a work around from playing chords the traditional way, and it wasn’t until I learned about Keith Richards using open and drop tunings as an alternative that things began to click for me on the instrument.”
“My progress on the guitar, like most musicians is ongoing, probably more physical than most. I feel as though I have to work twice as hard as your average player to stay in the game and keep the mobility I’ve gained over the years crisp. Also, I’m still learning as a player and a songwriter. I’ll never stop learning, that’s part of the fun and what keeps things creative. I wouldn’t be who I am today without having Cerebral Palsy; it’s this immense gift that’s given me an ability (with my guitar playing) to inspire and help others around the world, and for that I am blessed.”
Your new EP is titled ‘Against All Odds,’ can you share what that phrase means to you?
“‘Against All Odds’ really lived up to its name…From overcoming lineup changes, living through a global pandemic and persevering though ‘the sophomore slump,’ we delivered a killer yet more well-rounded EP than our debut.”
“To me, ‘Against All Odds’ means decoding the matrix–metaphorically finding yourself and what works for you in music, your formula or sound, and then going all in on your path to victory and success.”
Tell us more about your new single “Bury Your Casket” and where the song’s inspiration came from?
“All the credit goes to our lead guitarist Mike Lira on ‘Bury Your Casket.’ It’s truly his creation. He wanted to create a modern catchy but heavy tune that really got the crowd moving. Lyrically the song speaks to closing the chapter on a toxic period in your life, to be able to grow and move forward from life’s lesson.”
What are some of the influences that go into creating TMX’s sound?
“Life and the world around us is the biggest influence on our music currently. We draw from the experiences we go through personally and others we see or hear about and become inspired to pull some energy from.”
If you had to describe your music in five or less words, what would they be?
“Heavy Melodic Inspiration.”
What is a piece of advice you wish you were told that you would give to others that suffer from disabilities about pursuing a music career?
“The advice I would give to others with disabilities pursuing music is that you CAN do it! Never give up. It’s a journey, so enjoy it and have patience while being persistent. Also, don’t waste time by letting others stall your progress, keep your goals in motion. Lastly, manage your spending and invest your capital into your career in ways that it comes back to you.”
You’ve previously collaborated with James “Munky” Shaffer of Korn and Chris Garza of Suicide Silence. What other musicians would you like to collaborate with?
“Collaborations are one of my favorite things about what we do. There’s five on the top of my list to achieve right now:John 5, Dizzy Reed, Wolfgang Van Halen, Rick Allen and Tony Iommi–in no particular order and all for various reasons. Some we’ve talked about, some others are still dreams but anything is possible, and we’ll see what the universe has in store for us.”
If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing instead?
“If I wasn’t a musician, I’d probably pursue a career in some sort of social work or counseling. I find that helping and giving back to others is the most rewarding thing in life.”
l-r: Brandon Mendenhall, Alyce Hayes, Justin Luebeck, Nate Stockton, Mike Lira
Credit: Stephanie Cabral
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