Phoenix band Troubled Minds, founded by songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist Matt Aldawood, commonly writes angst driven songs—Aldawood’s description—but with a memorable hook.
“Your dentist might hate it, but it shouldn’t be uncommon to grit your teeth to our music. But, melodically, I’m always shooting for catchy hooks that’ll put a smile on your face.”
Aldawood started the band in 2013, which has usually been comprised of anybody who wants to play his songs with him, and their sound has elements of Midwest emo, mid-2000s pop punk, and grunge from different eras. Aldawood’s vocals have been compared to that of Simple Plan, and the band as a whole is reminiscent of groups like Balance and Composure, The Wonder Years, Title Fight, and Fall Out Boy.
“I was a teenager working at a Sonic drive-in when I started the band. One morning on an early shift, my inner dialogue said something along the lines of, ‘This job is giving me a troubled mind.’ I thought it was overdramatic, hilarious, and had an oddly nice ring to it. So, I started a band called Troubled Minds, and here we are,” he recollected.
For his songwriting, Aldawood typically starts with a guitar riff he likes and builds around that, but he’ll sometimes begin with a chorus and go from there.
“Whether it’s an instrumental or lyric driven section, I start with something that hooks me in, and then I figure out how to build a song around it. For inspiration, that comes from living life and watching sick bands rip gigs.”
After 10 years since the band’s inception, Aldawood and the band still find motivation to write, record, and perform because of the “good vibes at our shows,” as he puts it.
“We love hanging out and meeting people who enjoy our music, who also generally like bands we enjoy. I just love connecting with people through music,” he explained.
“I value people’s unique interpretation of our music, and I appreciate when people think for themselves. You can think we’re cool, you can think we suck, and I respect it all the same.”
Troubled Minds kicks off a 17-date tour on October 10th at Crescent Ballroom in Phoenix, and they’ll be criss-crossing the US through the end of November.