Interview: Mixed Emotions 2-5-21

(l-r): Garrett Mick, Tyler Hill, Skylar Prusa and Nick Trauthwein of Mixed Emotions. Photo by Brianna Schock, courtesy of Mixed Emotions

Interview by Kalie Belt with the members of the band Mixed Emotions.

Mixed Emotions seems to be new to the Manhattan music scene. How and when did the band form?

Nick: We all met in college, and our friends invited us to play a house show back in February 2020. We had just started playing music together maybe a week or two before, but we were really excited and threw together a set on short notice. Little did we know that first show would be the last for a while.

What is the meaning behind your debut EP’s title, Prima Materia, and why did you choose it for this EP?

Skylar: Prima Materia means first matter or first material, and I just thought it was fitting with this being the first project that we put out as a group. Definitely put our fair share of blood, sweat, and tears into it because we had absolutely no idea what we were doing.

Your EP already mixes a variety of sounds to achieve the right atmosphere, however, what would be your dream piece of gear to add to the group?

Everybody: Congas! That would be game over.

Nick: Or maybe a laptop that didn’t crash all the time.

Who or what is the band’s most surprising influence?

Nick: We don’t really all share one thing that we are influenced by. We all love a lot of the same music, but it’s really all over the place. For me, it’s been Gil Scott-Heron and Marvin Gaye musically.

Skylar: Definitely Stevie Wonder and Amy Winehouse on my end.

Tyler: Probably Incubus and John Frusciante.

Garrett: I’d say Yussef Dayes and JD Beck.

If one of the tracks from Prima Materia could appear in a movie, which track would you choose, and what kind of movie would it be?

Garrett: I would choose “Kaleidoscope,” and I’d probably put it in some old, noir film starring Harrison Ford.

Skylar: I kinda picture “Kaleidoscope” in a movie like Baby Driver with a car driving through the city, and everything is perfectly synced-up to the bass and drum hits.

Tyler: I think “Temple” could fit a James Bond film.

Nick: I would love for our music to be linked up to a skate video, maybe “Kaleidoscope.”

You wrote on your Facebook page that the group was able to find your groove during the COVID-19 pandemic. Do you have any advice for other groups trying to make it work during COVID?

Skylar: The pandemic gave us a lot of time to improve our skills as songwriters and musicians. The biggest thing for me has been making creativity a habit, not just something that I do every once in a while.

Nick: My advice would be to set goals and deadlines for yourself so you stay motivated and keep moving forward.

Tyler: Don’t procrastinate. No one will tell you to wake up and go create – or remind you to go record guitar.

Garrett: Strap down and drink a lot of coffee.

What is one thing you wish to do after COVID? Before then, what is in store for Mixed Emotions this year?

Skylar: I think we’re all looking forward to playing in front of people again. The energy of live music is unlike anything else, and we’ve really been missing that. Though, I do think it’s been somewhat of a blessing in disguise not having the extra element of performing recently. By the time we are back to playing live again, we will have better songs to perform and be even more ready to put on a show. We’re just gonna take things as they come, not have too many expectations, and just stay dedicated to doing what we love.

Nick: We’ve been recording a new single that will be out as soon as we get it all wrapped up. Until then, you can follow us on social media @Mixed.Emotions.MHK for updates.

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