The Beautiful Mistake - Sound In The Signals Interview

We recently had the chance to interview Joshua from The Beautiful Mistake. We talked about their reunion, new EP, and their legacy. Check out the full interview below.

First, thanks for the interview.
Joshua Hagquist: Thanks for having me!

I guess the first question has to be what inspired you guys to get back together, perform, and release new music?
We had been apart since 2005. Being in a band is difficult at times. Sometimes it’s the most awesome experience, and sometimes it gets complicated with money, manager, booking agents, and unreal expectations. All these things coming at you and you’re young and don’t know better due to a lack of life experience and not being fully developed emotionally. We went through some rough times but by 2018 we had all done the work to get right with each other and want to put our friendships back together. Once that was taken care of the desire to make music together came back. None of us had any expectations when we got together for the reunion shows in 2018. We just enjoyed it for what it was. Anything since has been beyond our expectations for sure! We still had that spark that we had with each other back in the day when it came to making music together and having fun rocking out.

What has it been like to return to the band after all these years?
It’s been a blast. That’s an understatement. We all feel like better musicians, and better humans. We all have stable lives outside of the band. Some of the guys are married and/or have kids. Some of us are single. We all have jobs outside of the band so getting to make music is just pure fun for us. It has been rad coming back to writing and playing shows with my friends but coming back to it from a good place in life. We still have gas left in the tank so to speak.

I had a friend say the other day that he was really surprised when you originally disbanded because you had the sound that was fixing to make a lot of bands huge. What happened and did you ever feel like you were about to break into that more mainstream audience at that point?
We felt like things were going really well from a band-trajectory standpoint in 2004. Our new record was out (“This Is Who You Are”) and we had fulfilled our 2 record deal with Militia. Our management was talking to major labels and we were getting booked for some awesome tours. When original band members left it essentially took the wind out of the sails. Our booking agent and manager bailed. Militia was done with us. We got to the point where things could have “blown up” in 2004 but it just wasn’t in the cards so to speak. The running joke with us was that if you opened for us you’d get huge. All American Rejects opened an entire tour for us and they blew up. Fall Out Boy opened an entire tour for us. They got huge. More bands should have toured with us…that may have been to ticket to stardom ha!

"Memento Mori” is the first single. I really like it a lot. Can you tell me about the songwriting process for the song? How long did you work on it?
We all had ideas for this song. Started with a basic structure and kind of took off from there. We literally finished writing it along with 3 other songs over a weekend in Longmont Co.  in 2018. All of us worked out the structure and I wrote the lyrics. Everyone had a say in arrangement and the whole process, and we were on the same page with it. It’s just a song about reflecting on your own weakness…and your mortality. Life is finite and wrapping your brain and heart around that are difficult, especially when life takes a turn what upends everything stable. We felt like the music and lyrics captured the sentiment we were going for.

Why did you decide to release it as the first single?
It just happened to be the song Rob liked and he thought it would be a good reintroduction to our old fans but sounded current and fresh for people who hadn’t heard us before. He’s a wise man!

The new EP ‘You’re Not Broken. I Am’ is out in March. It’s five new songs. What can fans expect from it?
It’s heavy. Probably the heaviest music we’ve ever done mixed with the most texture. We really worked hard getting all three guitars to be doing different things for much of the record. That can be challenging! Beau Burchell did an excellent job capturing the heaviness with the bass tones and the guitar tones. He also did a rad job mixing everything together so nothing overpowers even the most subtle melodic parts.
The new EP is coming out on Wiretap Records. What made you decide to go with that label?
Rob from WireTap Records was excited about our new songs and that meant a lot to us. We knew Rob from back when we were working with the Militia Group and we always thought highly of him. When we got back together we did it because we were having fun making music again. It wasn’t us thinking we’d be catapulted in to teenaged stardom or something nonsensical like that. Rob believed in what we were doing so it was the right fit for us. He’s done a stellar job putting out quality records without all the record label nonsense.

You guys are on the line-up for ‘Furnace Fest’. That tour has an awesome line-up with so many great bands playing. How excited are you for the fest? What bands are you looking forward to seeing?
We are incredibly excited for Furnace Fest! With each band announcement it just got more ridiculous. Ridiculous in a “whoa that band is rad” kind of way. Part of why we’re so excited to play is because we’re getting to see a lot of our friends that we toured with back in the day. Hopesfall, Every Time I Die, Open Hand, Further Seems Forever, Glasseater. We’re also getting to see bands we played shows with and had a massive amount of respect for: Boysetsfire, Beloved, Code Seven, With Honor. Plus, legends like Cave In, Converge, Mineral, and Jeremy Enigk are playing. To say we’re excited just to be included is a massive understatement!

Your early albums have become classics in the genre. Did you ever expect when the band ended that those albums would maintain their significance and still be albums people listen to over a decade later?
I don’t think we did. I mean, we were never one of those bands that people name-dropped. We never made any “top albums” lists in magazines or anything like that. I think the best part has just been hearing from fans years removed from us touring those old records. It means more to us to get an email from someone who was encouraged or moved by our songs vs critical acclaim. That stuff is just horse shit for the most part, and it’s fleeting. It is humbling that people still listen to us, and that people still connect with what we did, and with what we’re doing now. Means a lot. Seriously.

'Light A Match...’ is such a great album. Do you have a story from the recording session you maybe haven’t told before?
Oh man, recording that record was tough. Ed Rose was/is a legend. We looked up to him and loved his work prior to going in to the studio but being in there was intense. He has zero time for nonsense so we really had to push ourselves and work to get good performances. It was pretty surreal to think about it even now. We lived on food from the Chi/Mex restaurant next door and probably felt pretty alone during the whole process being away from family and friends. It’s a snapshot in time that we’re pretty happy with!

I guess that wraps it up. Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions? Do you have anything else that you would like to add?
Just thanks. It’s always rad for us to be able to do these interviews and have people still be interested in what we’re up to. Our new EP “You’re Not Broken. I Am” will be out on March 27th on WireTap Records (US) and Disconnect Disconnect Records (UK/EU).

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