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Psychedelic rockers Outer Minds go dark in sound

Chicago-based indie outfit Outer Minds is touring in support of its current album, "Behind the Mirror."
Chicago-based indie outfit Outer Minds is touring in support of its current album, "Behind the Mirror."
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Playing the waiting game sometimes pays off – just ask Zach Medearis.

He performed in various bands around Chicago for years. Three years ago, he met Aaron Orlowski and things started to take off musically with what would become the psychedelic rock outfit Outer Minds.

“I met Aaron and we started making music,” he says during an interview while waiting to cross the Canadian border. “Then we started to put the puzzle together with the rest of the members.”

Then the rest – Mary McKane, Brian Costello and Gina Lira – were added to the band.

Since the band’s inception three years ago, it has put out two albums, with the latest being December’s “Behind the Mirror.”

Medearis says the band’s lineup made for a quick process in creating “Behind the Mirror.”

“We’ve all been playing music for some time and when we get together, our ideas just flow,” he explains. “It’s important for us to keep communication open among all of us.”

Outer Minds took a dark direction with “Behind the Mirror.” It’s a sound that Medearis says suits the band.

“Sonically and lyrically, we were in a different place and dark was the direction that music seemed to sway towards,” he says. “The sound suited the sound we were going for.”

Medearis says that every member of the band writes songs and contributes to each track.

“There’s not a lot of fighting because we figure it out together,” he says. “If there’s something that one of us doesn’t like, we tell that person. If we all don’t enjoy what we’re doing, then what’s the point?”

“Behind the Mirror” has 10 tracks, and Medearis says they represent the strongest songs the band had to offer.

“It’s difficult to cut some songs,” he says. “But while you are working on the album, it’s often clear which songs just don’t cut it.”

Medearis admits that the writing process does take some time due to the vocal harmonies in the band.

“We want the harmonies to fit properly. Then we also weave the organ into the mix and that has to sound correct as well,” he says. “We don’t want to force anything either, so if it’s going to work out, it will happen. If not, we’ll just move on to another song.”

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