Searching for something can be difficult if you’re not sure what that something is. While many artists can sometimes be on the hunt, other artists are seemingly lead by one thing or another. For Chris Simpson of the bands Mineral, The Gloria Record and now Mountain Time he appears to be the latter. Letting music be his guide has served Simpson well as its helped define much of his life. For the fact that he allows music to be his guide among many other reasons, we spoke to him for our podcast Self Released Songs.
Born in Nebraska before spending the bulk of his formative years in Colorado, it wasn’t until his teens that the singer songwriter found himself in Texas. While he grew up with a musical family that resided back in Nebraska, his mother helped shape his mind for music. Beginning at drums before moving over to guitar and even on bass, his early years in bands would be defined by wanting to write his own music. Playing in a metal band and in varying other projects between Colorado and Texas, when emo core group Mineral formed music wasn’t as it is today.
While few could see that the band would garner a cult following in their absence, his next project Gloria Record would suffer the same fate as many bands of the era. Form, tour relentlessly and release two albums before calling it quits. However with his first solo project under the name Zookeeper, Simpson was starting to change in terms of who he was as an artist and how he acted as a partner. After getting married and starting a family, the difference between the debut E,P, from Zookeeper and his second album Pink Chalk represented change. Change in now being a father, being a better husband and how he wanted his songs represented moving forward.
Coupling in a good amount of time for two Mineral reunions and and the subsequent tours that followed as well as two new songs and a 25th anniversary retrospective book, and a lot of time passes. So when he returned as Mountain Time, the vibes of Zookeeper were there but the name had changed. With his debut album Music For Looking Animals, his sound has come full circle. Aiming for the sound he made as a youth recording his own music, the album is a lush and introspective sound that feels personal and sounds amazing. After selling out of vinyls for his new label home at Spartan Records, and living with four children remote learning from home, Simpson seems perfectly okay with no touring for now as he lets his music now guide those of us who’ve chosen to lend our ears to it.
Music For Looking Animals is available as a digital download directly from Spartan Records. One Day When We Are Young: Mineral at 25 is available to purchase physically directly from Bandcamp. End Serenading is available on colored vinyl from Amazon. All music is available to stream on all streaming sites of to purchase through all digital outlets. This episode of Self Released Songs can be streamed on this website or on all podcast streaming platforms.
Image Credits: Photo by Daniel Cavazos.