Artist Spotlight: Mind Offline

High school friends and two brothers came together to form this emerging group

Twins Joaquin and Julian Borderas and old friends Derya Gwynneth and Gabriel Diaz are the members of Mind Offline. (Submitted)

A classical guitar major, a jazzy singer-songwriter, and two twins with a shared passion for Latin music are the members of Mind Offline, a local group that made it into the Roxy launch project this year.

That project, which will see five finalists face off on Nov. 8, ends with a cash prize and bragging rights being awarded to the victor. While there are usually four groups in the last round, this year’s event will include five, with Mind Offline on the bill after spending only one year together as a band.

“We were not expecting that at all and we’re super stoked to be a part of that,” says vocalist Derya Gwynneth. “Normally it’s only top four, but they were like, ‘There are too many good bands this year. We have to make it top five.’ It was super, super cool to get that message.”

Julian and Joaquin Borderas play drums and bass, respectively, and Gabriel Diaz plays guitar in Mind Offline. Diaz is a classical guitar major at Douglas and both of the Borderas boys have studied music in their own areas of interest over the years. Gwynneth, who is currently studying environmental sciences at Langara, is a longtime poet who writes the lyrics for the band. She and Diaz have been playing music together for four years.

“I think the reason why we sound different from other bands is that we didn’t really start playing music based on music that we mutually liked,” says Julian. “We get a little bit of jazz from Gabe and then a Latin side for the percussion from us, the twins, and then we get soulful, grand vocals from Derya. I think that’s kind of what gives it a different vibe compared to other bands. We don’t really sound like Mac Demarco. That’s kind of what shapes everything.”

On working with his brother, Joaquin adds, “Since seventh grade we’ve been on and off with musical projects. It’s probably the fourth band we’ve been in, so we already have a decent amount of experience. With how long Gabe and Derya have been working together, it’s almost a coalition of two different songwriting groups into one, so it’s interesting.”

Before their place in the Roxy launch project had been confirmed, the group’s most significant milestone was performing alongside Los Angeles rock group Cherry Glazerr at Van Pop Fest. Historically most likely to be seen playing at Stylus Records, Mind Offline is planning on branching out into other scenes in the near future, and is playing a show in Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast during the first week of November. Their next local show will be at Red Gate Arts Society on Nov. 30 with Club Sofa and Kai Bravewood.

Still, live performances will be taking a backseat as they record their next EP, which is being laid down at Nimbus and will be preceded by the release of a series of singles. With this five-track record, the group plans to “put their best foot forward” according to Gwynneth, with “bright songs” and “dance-y tunes.”

“The EP is more of our chill stuff. We have a couple of songs we’ve been writing recently which are more grunge and a little bit louder, more rock kind of stuff, but the EP is softer,” she says. “People will dance to it. It’s not our hardest stuff or our softest stuff either. We’re trying to fit in our favorite songs, basically.”