Sixteen Different Minds – 16 Thumbs up! The Interview

Posted on February 19, 2011


Black and Blue Notes affords me the opportunity to take the occasional side road; to go off the beaten and well-worn musical path and in doing so I discovered Sixteen Different Minds!

Fresh, new, organic, accessible, and talented. Tell you what; listen to what they have to say and then check them out at

Jamie Bonk – Guitarist and Mandolinist

How did you all get together and tell me about the new record!

We’ve all worked together in different projects, both live and in the studio, for years, but it wasn’t until this last fall that we decided to form Sixteen Different Minds.  For us, what’s been an absolute pleasure is how effortlessly we work together.  From the writing to the recording to the mixing and even to all of the business stuff, things have just flowed!

Right now, we’re in the process of finishing off our debut album, Dancing Castles and we’re looking to have the record wrapped up in about a month.  Then we’re going to be playing everywhere and anywhere anyone will have us!

The entire record has been a mostly in-house affair.  We did the majority of the work at Dave and Wendy’s studio, DaWG Music Studios and some guitar overdubs at my home studio.  Also, all of the mixing and mastering has been done in-house.  The goal in the recording process, and for that matter on the business end, has been to be as self-reliant as possible.

That said, not everything you hear on the album is just the three of us.  We were lucky enough to have Steve Zsirai (Royal Wood, Kathleen Edwards) play bass on the entire album and have some terrific back up vocals from Wendy’s sisters, Marsha and Melissa.

The sound is very”organic”. Are people tired of the cookie cutter sound today? Your sound is uniquely your own!
 Thanks for the compliment Brent!

We actually spent quite a bit of time talking about what kind of “sound” we wanted for this record and for the band in general.  We certainly drew inspiration from artists/bands such as Bruce Cockburn, Joni Mitchell and Black Dub, but when Wendy, Dave and I make music, it pretty much always sounds like us.  Personally, I wouldn’t want it any other way!

Is there a lot of “cookie-cutter” music out there right now?  Yup, there sure is.  But there’s always been that sort of thing.  I think the difference right now is that in the mainstream, the balance between “cookie-cutter” music and non-”cookie-cutter” music is massively out of whack.  I truly believe there’s an audience for Sixteen Different Minds — we just have to find and connect with them.

Dave Patel – Drums

We wanted to retain our individual personalities on our instruments as well as in the writing process, harmonically, melodically, rhythmically and lyrically. It was important that we kept our own sonic colours and listened carefully to one another, allowing the band’s sound to gel.

Dave; what are you going for in terms of sound when it comes to the final mix?

The whole process (writing, recording, playing, mixing ) has been a true collaboration. We all gave input on each others performances during the recording and mixing of the record and it was important to all of us to do so without marginalizing anybody’s personal stamp. Having played in many bands/ projects over the course of my career let me say emphatically that it is rare to have so much genuine collaboration, care, passion and ease in group situation. Anything that we create with this type of process will undoubtedly meet our artistic goals.

Dave – How hard is it for a folk/rock group to break the musical “glass ceiling”?

I don’t know…we’ll find out!  

In all seriousness, the music industry seems to be imploding. It’s key in these economic times to ensure that artists can effectively self-manage before being given the opportunity to have help that’s beneficial.  We like to think that our authenticity will be a big help and yet we know we have some serious work ahead.

Historically, this genre of music has relied on less traditional methods of marketing to connect with it’s audience.  This hopefully, will work in our favour




Posted in: Jazz