albums w/ jackets & lyrics
Not to be confused by the numerous techno or pop bands with the same name, Mindstorm was centred around Brandon, Manitoba natives singer Travis Mitchell (not to be confused either with the new age country artist) and guitarist Al Rodgers. They moved to Winnipeg in the mid ’80s and with Russ Boswell on bass and drummer Bruce Moffet (both having just left the Corey Hart camp), they started touring the bars through Ontario and throughout the West for the next couple of years.

They signed with Aquarius, and the band was introduced to former April Wine guitarist Gary Moffet (no relation to Bruce) and Bill Szawlowski. Released in 1987 and self-titled, Mitchell wrote all the material, and tho no singles were released, the record got enough airplay throughout Canada it warranted a cross-country tour. Compared to everyone from Led Zeppelin and Whitesnake to King Kobra and Zebra, the album also did well in the UK with distribution via Barricade Records. From the lead-off “See The Future” – which made it to the compilation INDIE-CAN ’88, to “Go My Way” and “Witch Doctor,” they were formula-driven hair metal that critics that weren’t slowly getting off the band wagon seemed to like.

Their 1991 follow-up BACK TO REALITY served up some more power chords with a heavy back beat, but this time Mitchell had been working with both Gary Moffet who returned as producer, as well as Ian Auger. The lead-off title track made its way to video, which got a decent push, as did the acoustic-driven radio single, “Love Goes Blind,” Again it was a headbanger’s delight with “Neptune,” “Burnin’ Star,” and “Feelin’ Satisfied,” but right when the album was ready to be released, Mitchell was involved in a car collision, putting the band out of action for the better part of a year. Eventually they made their way across Canada and the US for a series of dates. European distribution was handled by Long Island Records, but to complicate things even further, six months in the owner died of a heart attack, which put things in limbo overseas.

But unimpressed with sales, Aquarius dropped the band and Mitchell took the next couple of years writing and re-evaluating things. Eventually released on Seagull International Records, Moffet returned once again to produce MINDSTORM III in ’96. More April Wine alumni stopped by the studio, when Jerry Mercer joined Moffet for the cover of “Weeping Widow.” Although the record didn’t set radio stations or record stores ablaze, “Secret Dreams,” “Sweet Lovin’,” and “Days Gone Bye” made it another critical success, with the band showing signs of evolving out of the stereo-typical hair metal label.

Following a series of shows through central Canada, Mitchell put things on hiatus while writing some new material and re-evaluating things. Reuniting with Boswell, Rodgers, the Moffets, and in the early ’00s with new demos in hand, Mitchell went label shopping. He ennded up releasing FREE ‘N EASY on his own through KYA Music in July of 2012. A true throwback to metal’s bygone heyday, the title track, lead-off “Falling Star,” and “First Time” covered the metal basis, and “Only In Dreams” and “Feels Like Lovin’ Again” took care of the obligatory ballads.

The first three studio albums were re-released via Unidisc in 2014, and PASSAGES OF TIME was out in time for the Christmas rush in ’18. Along with five new tracks, it all also included five previously released songs.

  • With notes from Kevin Kamphaus