Ohio band to open for We Are The Fury at Frankie’s Inner CityWritten by Mike Bauman | | firstname.lastname@example.org
At 20 years old, Dean Tartaglia has toured the East Coast, Midwest, opened for several successful bands, worked with an established producer and in just two years played nearly to 100 shows with his band Mind Fish. As a young guy who wants a career in music, the 2008 St. Francis de Sales graduate hopes his résumé thus far suggests he’s well on his way.
“Any musical experience I’ve ever had is an influence on what I’m doing right now,” Tartaglia said in a phone interview with Toledo Free Press Star from Athens, Ohio, where he plays the saxophone as a music performance major at Ohio University. “Honestly, it’s something that I’m really looking to make a career out of however I can. That whole mentality of studying it and then really taking every opportunity seriously, it’s definitely the way that Mind Fish has always been about it.”
Tartaglia’s musical journey began at the age of 6, when his parents enrolled him in piano lessons. He started to play the saxophone when he was 10, and his best friend got him into Nirvana at the age of 14, which gave Tartaglia the itch to be in a loud rock band. Mind Fish officially formed in 2009, after Tartaglia (vocals, guitar, keys) and fellow St. Francis alum Steve Warstler (drums, back vocals) started making music together at OU.
Trent Rissover (bass, back vocals) joined Mind Fish in September of 2009, and the trio became a full band with the addition of Dan Barbera (guitar, back vocals) in April of 2010. The near 100 shows Mind Fish has played during the last two years have included opening for the likes of Electric Six, Fitz and The Tantrums, The Hard Lessons and Toledo’s own Tropic Bombs. In addition, Tartaglia has played saxophone for Detroit outfit The Sights.
“It’s been really cool lately,” Tartaglia said. “Down here it really started blowing up for us. We were doing shows every weekend wherever we could play and started noticing that we were getting a good following down here.”
Mind Fish put out an EP right around the time Rissover joined the band, recruiting the services of Steve Dwyer from local rockers Once Over to mix it. Dwyer also has ties with Tropic Bombs, which led to Mind Fish getting an invitation from Tropic Bombs’ vocalist Ryan Wayton to be an opening act at the group’s first headlining show this past April.
“We’ve played a couple of big shows in Toledo, but nothing until recently. I’ve felt like there was a real scene happening, and it was cool to get asked by Ryan about doing that show,” Tartaglia said. “Just the energy they brought to it, and the promotion and their music. I think it was the first time that when we were one of the opening bands that people really dug it and were talking to us afterwards and getting excited.”
Tartaglia couldn’t be more excited about the direction both his life and Mind Fish have taken this past year. The band, described their genre as a combination of indie/powerpop/rock on its Myspace page, released its first full-length album, “Measles, Mumps & Rebellion” last year and have been working with producer Eddie Ashworth for their next album. An assistant professor in the School of Media Arts and Studies at Ohio University, over the years Ashworth has worked with artists such as Sublime, Pennywise, Great White, Unwritten Law, Dokken and Izzy Stradlin (Guns N’ Roses), among others.
“It’s a crazy experience working with him because yeah, there is that whole element like he’s worked with some really huge bands and done some pretty crazy stuff, but he’s a total jokester,” Tartaglia said. “I don’t want to say it didn’t seem serious because we worked really hard at it, but we were just cracking jokes left and right for the 10-hour days that we were working. We never stopped laughing.”
Mind Fish will be back in Toledo on June 18 at Frankie’s Inner City as an opening act along with Tropic Bombs and The Strong Talk for We Are The Fury’s first show since 2009. Tickets are $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Doors open at 9 p.m. To preview Mind Fish’s music, you can check out the band on Facebook (www.facebook.com/pages/Mind-Fish/40586157541) and Myspace (www.myspace.com/bandmindfish).