Monday, 25th June 2018. 4:08:37am ET
Interviews Ethereal Interview- Mark Mendieta (of Transcend with Time)

Grave Concerns: Hello Mark, it’s wonderful to be able to have this interview with you. How are you doing?

I am so grateful for this opportunity. I am doing fine.

Grave Concerns: When did you first discover that music was your chosen path?

Well, I started out playing drums at around 5, but it was not until I joined the school band that I really got into playing music. So, I’d say probably when I was 9 or 10 years old that was when I really thought that music was what I wanted to do. However, I went through some time in my life that I completely abandoned music because I didn’t feel the passion. It was not until 2005 when I finally found the passion again to play music, and thankfully, that’s what I’m doing now.

Grave Concerns: What do you hope listeners will be able to identify your music with?

Well, I hope the listeners are able to identify the purity and sincerity that my music provides. Hopefully, a positive experience will come after a listen.

Grave Concerns: Tell us about your first album “A Voice of Calmness”. What were the inspirations for it?

My debut CD “A Voice of Calmness” is a 69 minute disc of what I call Progressive New Age/Ambient music. If you’re into bands like Dream Theater, and Symphony X (the lighter side of them), and artists like David Arkenstone or Jon O’ Bergh then maybe I might be the artist you’re looking for. In this album, expect a different variety of emotions displayed. From the light-hearted “Inside the View” to the melancholic “In Memorandum.” Also, the musicianship in this disc explains my eclectic musical influences. From progressive passages, to downright New Age moods.

My inspirations for this CD came from wanting to play something different. Since I’ve always enjoyed symphonic type music, and I also started listening to New Age music, that was when I really got into playing this type of music. There’s something about being able to express your emotions thru music that really captivates me. However, I wanted to try to do something original, not your normal New Age/Ambient music. So hopefully, I’ve succeeded.

Grave Concerns: I read that you’re in the creative process with your sophomore album ”Reflections of the Soul”, and already have five songs under wrap…congratulations, Mark! Is this album about your own reflections, or does it have to do more with the reflections of nature’s soul…or is it both?

Well, I now have 9 songs completed. I just need one more to complete the album. To answer your question, I’d have to say that the album is about my own reflections. This album is about staying true to whatever you believe in. When I sit down to write a song, I always go in with a set idea. For example, if I’m in a happy mood, the flow of the music will follow that certain mood; however, if I’m in a more mellow or somber state of mind, the music will pertain to that style.

Grave Concerns: What do you feel are the strengths and the weaknesses of Transcend with Time? And how will you go about keeping those strengths alive, while reaching for improvements?

Well, I guess my strengths in TwT are my songwriting skills, the ability to express very vivid emotions thru my music, and my keyboard playing skills. I like to write and play music that has substance, something the listener can gravitate into another world when listening to the music. One weakness I would say is my inability to write music that is popular. I consider myself a “real” musician, so no way will I ever compromise my music in order to play what’s popular in radio. My other weakness is the inability to write short songs. I guess my affection for Progressive music has something to do with that.

I’d say that the only way to continue with my strengths is keep playing music, and keep practicing everyday. As for improvements, I guess that comes with time.

Grave Concerns: Do you promote your music by playing in or around Brownsville, Texas?

At the moment, I do not play live; however, hopefully one day.

Grave Concerns: When do you find you’re most creative with your music?

I’d have to say everyday.

Grave Concerns: Are there creative side projects you’re interested in pursing?

Well, to tell you the truth, Transcend with Time is the side project. My main project is called Subject to Thoughts. This is my two-man band, but this is what I call Dark Melodic Progressive Rock with a New Age mood to it. Our influences for this project are Dream Theater, My Dying Bride, Enchant, Anekdoten, and Katatonia. This music however does have vocals provided by my vocalist Brandon S., and he also provides guitar solos. If anyone is interested in checking us out, go to www.myspace.com/subjecttothoughts or www.soundclick.com/subjecttothoughts. BTW, we have a new CD out now entitled “From Sunrise to Sunset.” It’s 76 minutes of pure Progressive/Atmospheric bliss. If anyone is interested in purchasing a copy, please email me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Grave Concerns: As a musician, how does the music in movies affect you? And if you were asked to compose a song for a soundtrack, which genera would that be in? Now let me take that question even further---actually backward; if you were to go back to the past, with your current music in hand, and were asked that same question, would any of your songs stand out as a good fit? If so, which song and movie would it have been?

I believe that music always helps build the movie plot up. Yeah, I would really enjoy the idea to compose a song for a soundtrack that would be awesome. To answer your question, I guess my music would best fit in a drama, thriller, mystery, or horror genera. I would like to believe that my music could stand the test of time, so to answer your question, I would have to say yes. As to which song I would pick, I'd have to say “A Voice of Calmness” in Halloween.

Grave Concerns: Other than musical inspirations, where do you turn to become inspired?

My own personal experiences. That in itself, provides me with a lot of inspiration.

Grave Concerns: Write whatever comes to your mind after reading the following:
1. As I walked down the dirt road… I was lost.
2. In the garden I tended to… look at the flowers.
3. Bursting in color the… serenity took me away.
4. The beauty of the… sky appeared before my eyes
5. Ladybugs appeared after… the rain.

Grave Concerns: What do you feel are the biggest misconceptions about your style of music? Have you’ve been able to sway those who once weren’t to keen on it; or do you just let it roll, and continue to do what you love? And what is it about the Ambient/Healing & Easy Listening/Progressive scene that is so appealing to you?

The biggest misconceptions about my style of music would be that it is too repetitive, mellow, or some people just don’t get it. Well, to tell you the truth, I really don’t care what people think of my music. If you like it, that’s great, but if you don’t, it really doesn’t matter because I’m not going to change. This was a vow I swore to myself, that no matter what happened with my music, I would never change the style of music that I play in order to please the masses. That was either for Subject to Thoughts or Transcend with Time. I guess people sometimes don’t know how to react to music that’s so original, but the beauty of being a musician is I get to write and create what I want. As long as I’m in peace with my music, that’s all that matters to me.

I guess what I find appealing from the Ambient/Easy Listening scene is that with this project, I can write music without lyrics. Also, musically, I have no guidelines or boundaries. The music itself tells the story. With the Progressive scene, I have been an avid fan for the last 15 years, so incorporating the tempo changes, etc. was something that helps Transcend with Time become a different entity from the norm of New Age music.

Grave Concerns: How many instruments do you play, and where did you learn to play them?

I play keyboards, guitar, bass & drums. Well, the keyboards, guitar, and bass I was self taught, and everyday I practice, as I tend to learn something new every time. As for the drums, I began to play them correctly when I was in the school band.

Grave Concerns: If it were possible to have trees and flowers which only bloom in the springtime, be able to bloom once every other year in complete safety, for three extra weeks, which trees and flowers would you like to see, and what season would they bloom in for you?

I can’t answer this question because I’m not familiar with the blooming of trees or flowers.

Grave Concerns: Same question as above, although this time it’s in regard to birds. I’d love to see the Hummingbirds…in winter. It would look amazing to see snowflakes and a thin glaze of ice on their wings, and iridescent bodies.

I can’t answer this question because I have no idea which bird I'd choose.

Grave Concerns: If you were able to have an artist paint two murals, one from each of you albums, which two songs would you choose, what would you envision the murals to look like, and where would you want to display them?

1) The Façade of Elegance, and I’d hope the mural would display a man with his eyes closed thinking about something. As long as it’s on the Internet, that would be fine.
2) The Winds of Silence off my yet to be released Reflections of the Soul CD. I’d hope the mural would display angels flying through the sky. Same as above.

Grave Concerns: Name four places, yet to be traveled to, that you want to see?

California, Sweden, Denmark, Norway

Grave Concerns: Do you believe in ESP and ghosts or “other” unexplainable occurrences?

Yes, I do believe in ghosts because I had a horrifying experience when I was young; however, I do not wish to go into details.

Grave Concerns: I’m extremely connected to nature and animals… and I feel the energy that they exuberate, while finding it deeply spiritual and a simply beautiful gift to be apart of. Sometimes just walking in the woods, smelling the rain in air, feeling gusts of wind, watching the snow dance as it falls down…to be enchanting and peaceful…magical. And so much more. Do you believe that there is more to nature than we see?

Probably, but I just can’t explain it.

Grave Concerns: What are some fun hobbies you enjoy?

I enjoy watching sports, especially football and basketball.

Grave Concerns: Do you have any pets?

No.

Grave Concerns: If you were able to put on a concert for charity, which one/s would you be supporting, and which artists would you like to headline?

A concert for cancer research. Bands I would love to headline would be Dream Theater, Enchant, Symphony X and Vanden Plas (an awesome Progressive Metal band from Germany) check them out.

Grave Concerns: What is it about each of the seasons that make them so special to you?

Spring: I don’t like because it’s too hot here in Brownsville.
Summer: The same thing as Spring.
Fall: I like the fact, we finally start getting some cool weather, which I enjoy.
Winter: Same as Fall.

Grave Concerns: I’m giving you 13 letters to choose from, in any order; you only have to use 6 of them (you can use more if you want, but not less than 6) and you have to make up a phrase describing a lake, surrounded by lush woods during an autumn thunderstorm, early in the morning. But only with these letters...ROIALDHEMBVPW.

Sorry, this is too confusing.

Grave Concerns: What are you feeling most proud of right now?

One is that I have my life. Second, that I’m finally getting the chance to do what I always dreamed of doing and that is playing music.

Grave Concerns: Have you thought about adding a vocalist to any of your songs?

No, not really. I started this project with the intention to never have vocals in any of the songs, that is why I have Subject to Thoughts for.

Grave Concerns: If you had the chance to have any dream within your lifetime come true, what dream would that be? And this is actually a dream---you know the one that comes to you in your sleep. (:

I’ve really had this dream, so I guess the only dream I would like to come true would be to see myself making a living off by playing music either from Transcend with Time or Subject to Thoughts.

Grave Concerns: Shroud of mist creeping over the Wisteria. What’s the first visualization that came to you from seeing those words?

Where the hell am I?

Grave Concerns: Since nature is very precious to me, I tend to be drawn more toward the Earth element. Although each one has its own special attributes, together they are priceless. Which element do you see yourselves more drawn toward?

I would have to say Fire because there’s a fire deep inside of me to be the best that I can be.

Grave Concerns: Besides the obvious necessities of life, what are six things that you can’t be without?

Music
Family
Musical Instruments
Computer
Internet

Grave Concerns: Mark, anything else you’d like to share about yourself and/or your music?

I would just like to add, I would appreciate any support I can get. Please, go to my websites, hear the music out, if you can, purchase from me a copy. Being an independent musician can sometimes get tough, but hopefully my music came bring some peace into your life.

Grave Concerns: Thank you so very much Mark, for wanting to have this interview. We here at Grave Concerns hope that life continues to show its peacefulness and beauty to you, so that you may be inspired to create more music for your upcoming album “Reflections of the Soul”. Keep in touch. Cheers.

No, thank you for providing me with this wonderful opportunity. It’s an honor and a privilege that you all at Grave Concerns gave an independent artist like myself the time of day. Keep an eye out for “Reflections of the Soul,” I will probably be releasing it sometime in November.

For more information on “Transcend with Time” check out at http://www.myspace.com/transcendwithtime and http://www.soundclick.com/bands/pageartist.cfm?bandID=691597

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