Late last year, Melbourne’s Right Mind played their final show. Right Mind seemed to fly under the radar for the most part, or maybe people just weren’t interested in what the band had to offer? Combining youth crew influenced hardcore with lyrical content that fused spirituality with social consciousness didn’t really land the band in the inner circle. Nevertheless, Right Mind always offered high energy live sets filled with energy and integrity. This interview was conducted with vocalist Tyronne Gietzmann in February 2014 as the band were preparing for the release of their debut full length The Paradox Of Our Age.

Interview by Allan Reid & Photos by Mitch Manz, Nicole Goodwin and Ryan Willmott.

What would say is your favourite aspect of singing in a hardcore band?

The best thing is being able to relay your message and try to inspire people. Getting the messages that you care about across to an audience. Also, hearing positive feedback. When people talk about things you've said or like what you sing about; that's probably the best thing. The best experience I've had being a frontman, is when we played with another local band, and their singer told me that Right Mind was his favourite Australian band. That was really touching, really nice. Just to know that the ideas and thoughts that you have reverberate with someone else. That's really nice.

Do you think that your ideas, thoughts and message are unique within the hardcore scene at the moment?

…trying to think of how to say it…I suppose they are in a way, because there aren't a lot of bands out there that are openly as politically and positively focused as Right Mind have always been, so I suppose that does make us unique. I'm not trying to take anything away from any bands that are around at the moment. I really like Australian bands with positive messages. I think the way that we do it is definitely unique.

<a href="http://untiltheendrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-paradox-of-our-age-2-song-promo" data-mce-href="http://untiltheendrecords.bandcamp.com/album/the-paradox-of-our-age-2-song-promo">The Paradox Of Our Age: 2 Song Promo by Right Mind</a>

One thing that I find interesting about Right Mind, and you as an individual, is the spiritual element in terms of your interest in Buddhism. Are you studying it?

Recreational studies I suppose. I do intend to study Buddhism at an institution down the track but haven't got there yet. I suppose that does make Right Mind a little different, especially with the LP coming out, which has a lot of content that ties in with Buddhist themes.

How much does your spirituality have an influence on your lyrics and message in the band?

It's grown as I've dived into reading about Buddhism and really tried to develop more of a spiritual practice. It has started to influence my writing and how I approach life in general. It does influence quite heavily these days, but I still try to write my lyrics to be quite vague so that it doesn't alienate or isolate people who aren't into that kind of thing. That's always in the back of my mind.


What was it that drew you to Buddhism as a religion?

I'd been brought up in a Christian family. My mum wasn't overly Christian but I did go to a Christian school, so religion was always around. Luckily my mum was quite open and exposed me to different faiths and spiritual beliefs. What appeals to me about Buddhism is the fact that it focuses on the self and how our thoughts create everything, and our actions have significance. It doesn't really rely on an all knowing power or all knowing path. Everyone can create their own path, and through Buddhism, they can be aware of this fact. When Buddhist's talk about Buddha's nature, you can really replace that phrase with human potential. In my mind Buddhism gives you the tools and guidance to realise your own potential. That's the biggest thing, and it really fits with me. The whole idea of karma as well. Karma is something I've always been drawn to, even as a young boy. I just really like the idea of cause and affect. I like the idea that your actions have consequences but we don't always see the consequences directly, but it will come back around and affect us when we least expect it.

Right Mind are in the process of releasing an LP at the moment…

Yeah, I get the masters this week…

…and that's being released by Life Lair Regret Records?

It is being released by them. We've just been waiting for the masters to come back before we plan everything else. We originally planned to have the tracks mastered late last year but we've had a few delays, so we didn't want to plan anything with Life Lair Regret until we had the masters…

…so now it's a case of sitting down with the guys at Life Lair Regret and planning the release?

Yeah, we need to organise the release and work out how many records will be pressed.

<a href="http://positiveandfocused.bandcamp.com/album/youth-crew-2014" data-mce-href="http://positiveandfocused.bandcamp.com/album/youth-crew-2014">Youth Crew 2014 by Right Mind</a>

Do you think the release of the record will see Right Mind head interstate again?

Yeah definitely. I'm going to organise a tour, hopefully a national tour. I'd like to go to Perth. I know it's the hardest city to get to. We definitely want to get back to Brisbane too. I would like to try and do an Australian tour but we need to work around Peter, because he's in his last year of high school.

What bands would you like to play with around Australia? What bands are you psyched about?

I'm psyched on a lot of bands from Adelaide actually. My dream would be to play with Miles Away. Right Mind have never played with them. They were responsible for pushing me in the youth crew direction early on. That'd probably be the dream band to play with when we do the tour. I really like the Weight and Crisis Alert from Adelaide. Starvation as well. I really like those 3 bands. I'd like to play with the Others as well. They recently came to Melbourne with Backtrack and I had a blast watching them the other night. I would like to play with Vigilante and Ill Brigade if Ill Brigade play another show. There are so many good bands. It'd be good if It Runs Deep did a reunion. That'd be cool. If we go to Brisbane I'd be keen to see anything that the It Runs Deep guys are doing. Sick People, we played with them last time. They're a bunch of rad dudes and always really fun. Outright too, we play with them a lot in Melbourne. Vicious Cycle. We haven't played with them yet, but we are playing our next few shows with them. I've been dying to see them and I get to do it in the next few months. Frozen Over are really cool as well. That's probably it for me. The other guys would probably add some other bands. They're all of my favourite Australian bands at the moment. Oh, Break from Perth too! They've reformed and they're one of the only bands in Australia who play the style of hardcore that Right Mind play.


Melbourne has a lot of really good things going on at the moment in terms of hardcore, but there is a really big division that's also evident in online interactions. What's your take on the division?

I wish that everyone would push aside their egos and not take hardcore for granted. The community is quite small and we all need to work together. In a way, that happens at the right shows even though there is a division. Everyone puts their differences aside and has fun. Throughout the duration of Right Mind as a band, it's been almost 5 years, and in that time frame I've seen a lot of groups rise and fall and shift. Everyone has gotten over that eventually and started to tolerate each other. It's good seeing the friendships and solidarity slowly form. There is still that divide though. It just really depends on what sort of show it is. The bigger shows, usually people come together, but sometimes situations happen and people get divided again. I think it is just people reacting negatively to negative actions within the scene like violence. I think that's the biggest issue. In Melbourne we don't have a lot of problems and we're quite lucky. We don't have a lot of fights, so when it does happen, the people that cause it usually get isolated and shunned a little by the hardcore community. I just wish everyone would get along and work it all out, because we don't really have a big scene in each city within Australia so it would be good if everyone was respectful and positive towards each other. I know that can be asking a lot at times, and I know that egos and anger get in the way and things get complicated, but we'll get there.

Last year, Right Mind printed shirts that were in aide of the…was it the Refugee Council?

…it was the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Melbourne. I organised shirts in support of them…


What was the motivation?

When the Rudd government announced the reform to their asylum seeker and immigration policies, I was feeling a bit disillusioned and powerless because before that things were moving in a more positive direction. It wasn't perfect, but things never are, and I was really excited to see what the future would hold, then the reform was announced and it was the direct opposite of where I thought the Australian government were going. I just had this flame in me that erupted and I felt like I had to do something. I felt that it was wrong. I watch a lot of documentaries on asylum seekers and I'm familiar with the United Nation's human rights codes and I knew it was in direct violation of those codes so I decided to try and print some shirts to help raise money for the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre. I looked at a few charities. Being a resource centre, they tackle a multitude of issues all at once. They provide food and clothes, support programs, shelter and housing as well as counselling for asylum seekers and refugees. They're really good, so check them out and send some money to them if you can.

Having an interest in human rights, how do you think that the Australian government could improve their policies in regards to refugees and asylum seekers?

Obviously, they need to reform their policies to get them up to standard with the United Nation's human rights codes. I think that's the first step.

In what ways are the currently not up to standard…

…the conditions in Naru are deplorable. People's basic rights have been taken away. I read that at Naru the legal aide for refugees and asylum seekers has been removed from the island, so they don't have a voice at the moment. Medical facilities are little to none even when there are pregnant women on the island. The fact that they are being detained and being labelled as illegal immigrants when being an asylum seeker isn't illegal, so the Australian government are failing them in those aspects. More importantly they have failed them as human beings. We as a country have dehumanised a group of vulnerable people who should have our compassion, and they are only greeted with cold policy and steel bars. The UN recently found Australia guilty of over 150 human rights breaches in relation to the treatment of asylum seeking refugees. I find it disgusting and I don't think that they should be detained on an island. The government is really putting the “out of sight, out of mind” routine into action. Asylum seekers should be incorporated into the community, because we have enough resources to do so. It's shameful that they're just thrown on a small island with horrible living conditions. They get a really raw treatment and most, including myself, will never know of the horrors and suffering they face everyday in the hands of our immoral government.


Can I ask about your lyrics?

Yeah, that's fine.

One of the first Right Mind songs that I heard was Architects of Our Fate. I know that there is a brief explanation of the lyrics in the 7 inch sleeve, but do you mind discussing what that song is about?

I'm glad that you asked this question. That's probably the most important song on that record for me personally, which is why it is  the namesake of the 7 inch. Basically, it's a personal song for me because it's about an old friend of mine who was sexually abused quite violently and the song is about that feeling of helplessness when you feel that you can't help a friend in such a complex situation. You see them in pain and they do what most people do, and go down the path of alcoholism to try and numb the pain, which just put her back into a position where she was abused again. It was really horrifying to watch a friend go down that path and not really knowing what to do or say. That's what the song is about. It's called "Architects of our Fate" because even though I felt helpless at that time, it still taught me a lesson and strengthened my resolve to always try to not repeat the inaction that I exercised in that situation, and to always help my friends and reach out to those that are in pain or suffering.

Did seeing someone close to you struggle with the horrible experience of being abused by another person change the way that you approached others?

(Tyronne pauses)

I haven't really thought about this before…


It's ok, it's a good question.

Maybe a better way to put it would be, did being witness to something like that make you go through a conscious process in regards to the way that you treat people, the way that you view people and the way that you approach certain situations?

To an extent. I think it just strengthened my resolve to care and look after people more. I've always naturally been caring and I didn't want anyone that I was close to going through anything like that. It strengthened my caring instinct for others.


On a more positive note, Right Mind supported Youth Of Today at the Reverence last year, how was the show?

It was crazy! I was talking to Daniel (drums) about this the other day. We were talking about how mind blowing it was, and how we never thought it would happen. Someone asked us to play with a band that are coming to Australia, and we said "if we play the show, that's cool. If not, we've already played with Youth Of Today". We've already done one thing that we never thought we'd do. It was a really great experience. Going from Daniel and I hanging out and listening to Youth Of Today and joking about playing with them as a fantasy, then starting Right Mind and getting to play with them. I still get blown away by the whole idea that the opportunity arose. It was really nice to meet them. I had a chat to Ray (Cappo) which was really cool.

Who was your favourite out of Ray and Porcell?

Ray, I suppose, in terms of personality. Ray aligns with my personality a lot more than Porcell. This is controversial but I am a bigger fan of Better Than A Thousand and Youth Of Today than Judge or Project X, or anything that Porcell has done. Mostly because of how inspiring Ray's lyrics are.

<a href="http://rightmind.bandcamp.com/album/architects-of-our-fate-ep" data-mce-href="http://rightmind.bandcamp.com/album/architects-of-our-fate-ep">Architects Of Our Fate EP by Right Mind</a>

What's next for Right Mind after the LP and tour? What's in line for the band after that?

It's really uncertain at this stage. We have always said that we would assess the band on the 5 year mark, which is in November. We always said that we would reach that point and assess how we are and whether we want to continue or not. It's undecided at this stage. I'm really looking forward to the rest of this year and what's in store but I honestly can't say what will happen in the future in terms of the longevity of the band, so I'm just trying to enjoy the process of releasing the LP and playing the shows that follow.

Lastly, where do you see yourself in ten years? Where do you hope to be and what do you hope to have achieved?

Hopefully I will have finished my degree in counselling and started to develop a counselling practice focusing on youth counselling, specialising in anger management with young males…

…is that something that you get to practice being involved in hardcore?

…yeah I suppose. I am interested in it because I went through a lot when I was younger and still battle some anger issues. It's an unspoken issue within society and I'd like to be able to give young people the tools to manage their anger. Hardcore does help in getting experience because I'm always around a lot of angry people including myself. I've also started doing residential care work with youth in state care. I deal with a lot of angry clients so that is really helping me get a feel for the industry and the types of clients that I will be dealing with if I want to go down that path. I'm excited about the future, and I'm looking forward to it. It should be good. I'd like to become more active socially and politically, or even just volunteering my time to help with refugees or going overseas and building houses or teaching english. That's a couple of goals that I'd like to achieve in the next few years. I just really want to do my part in making this world a better place.


RIGHT MIND 2009 - 2014

The second part of this interview was conducted with front man Tyronne over email, shortly after the news of their impending break up came through. Consider it an exit interview if you will.

So what happened? Why is Right Mind breaking up?

Nothing major happened, no huge falling outs or anything. I think it was just the financial and other pressures of touring and being in a band for long time had an impact on some of the members.

Personally how do you feel about the band ending?

I am actually at peace with it, at first I was a little but of everything as it was such a huge part of my life for so long, I sort of grieved a little. Odd, but it's the only way I can explain it. I'm glad I am still friends with all the members and that we can look back on our accomplishments without it being tainted by bitterness.


And what about the new album, what is going to come of that?

Due to the premature ending of the band and canceling the tour, the album will no longer be released as an LP vinyl and now released on CD. I'm glad that it still will be released on a physical format, as we are all very proud of the record.

Looking back on Right Mind, what are you most proud of?

The two things that stick out in my mind is the response and support of asylum seeker charity shirts, I still get asked about them and see people wearing them at around or at protest and I'm like "that's so punk rock" ha-ha. The second is when we played with Youth Of Today last year. I never thought that would ever happen. It was a great honor and a memory we all in the band will hold onto with great fondness.


Is there going to be a last show or anything?

Yeah we are currently working on one, which is looking to be a banger!

So any new bands on the horizon?

I just started a straight edge band called Rebirth which is influenced by 90s metal-core. Daniel and Jake are currently doing a PV influenced band called Sick Machine. Jake also is shredding in Hornetz Nest. Petey is keeping it real, doing his label Until The End Records releasing some mad bands here and from overseas. Heath is thrashing it out in his new project called Overpower. So yeah everyone is keeping busy, which is rad!

Any final words or thanks?

Thanks to anyone who has supported us during our time as a band, it means a great deal to us, more than you'll ever know. Get involved where ever you can in the hardcore scene, we all have different strength and we should try to support and utilize everyone's talents to make it a better place.  Always strive for peace and love, I don't care if anyone thinks it's hippy shit, it's better than being hateful. There is too much of that in already! Thanks Ryan for the interview and the support. It's been a pleasure.  

Do yourself a favour and give this album a listen. You can grab a CD version off Life Lair Regret here for a mere $5. That's roughly the same as a drink from a servo. Think about it...

<a href="http://rightmind.bandcamp.com/album/the-paradox-of-our-age" data-mce-href="http://rightmind.bandcamp.com/album/the-paradox-of-our-age">The Paradox of our Age by Right Mind</a>


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