By Cady Kuzmich
Clifton Park — Mitch Todorov, a 2010 Shenendehowa graduate, is trying his luck in the New York City music scene. Todorov formed a band called Dirtpope with friends in the hilly city of Oneonta where he studied Mass Communications and film. After graduating from SUNY Oneonta in 2014, Todorov moved to Brooklyn where he has been pursuing his music with his new band KLOZAPIN in a city bursting with creativity.
Q: How has your band morphed and evolved since its creation? How and when did the band form in the first place?
A: The band came together in January of 2014 after I had made some demos for a psych-noise rock project. I recruited Paul Simone, Nick Connor, and Niden Kolev to help me recreate the project in a live setting. It’s morphed and changed a lot. Just like anything else the environment of which we’re in, or the people that our within the band, reflects what we’re creating. The “genre” of KLOZAPIN is what I’d call Psych-Jazz-Pop. Maybe we get a little noisey but it’s not like the early days of Oneonta when we were just f*cking around. It’s a really well polished thing now. I think that always takes a bit of time.
Q: Who are the other band members?
A: The band is made up myself on guitar and vocals, Paul Simone on bass, Andy Sky on guitar, and Jack Walter on drums.
Q: How did you all meet?
A: Paul and I met in Oneonta. Andy went to Purchase but had always been a good friend of Paul’s, so he ended up moving in with us. We had him on drums at first but his friend Jack, also a Purchase kid, joined on drums very recently. Andy moved to the guitar. He’s quite versatile.
Q: Where in New York City are you based?
A: We’re based in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.
Q: When did you graduate from Shen?
Q: Did you play instruments in the school band or did just play outside of school?
A: I played trumpet for a bit and played the guitar in the middle school jazz band. I really wasn’t that interested in playing or creating music until I was 21 or so.
Q: What changed when you turned 21 that made you want to pursue music?
A: I think it was when Dirtpope was done and I realized I still wanted to create within the medium of music and especially be in a band with Paul.
Q: When did you first start playing guitar and writing music?
A: My dad always had guitars around the house. I didn’t really attempt to play until I was around 13.
Q: In Oneonta, you and some friends formed a band called Dirtpope in 2012. Do you consider KLOZAPIN a totally different band from Dirtpope or do you consider Dirtpope a stage of KLOZAPIN?
A: It’s a completely different band. Dirtpope was a doom metal band…maybe hardcore. I don’t know. None of us really took that band seriously but it was a fun time.
Q: How would you describe your sound and how it has changed over the years?
A: It’s much more textured and polished; a more realized vision. I want people to listen or experience KLOZAPIN as an escape from what their normal reality is. Influence-wise, we try to do our own thing, but I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was obsessed with Sterolab and Italian composers from the sixties and seventies. Guys like Piero Piccioni and Gianni Ferrio. Piero Umiliani, too. So, the new sound is almost like lounge, cinematic dreamscapes meet the future of psychedelic pop, in my eyes anyway.
Q: Can you tell me about your album art and music videos? What kind of visual imagery do you gravitate toward? Do you make your own music videos?
A: I think all of the art of Kloz is reflective of the music. It’s cryptic and mysterious, maybe a bit supernatural or out of body, like looking back at your past, or past selves, old friends and family. I’ve made the couple videos we have online but to be honest, I’m pretty ‘whatever’ about them. I’d like to be able to have a budget to make something fully realized, but until that point I want work with other artists and collaborate on videos. We shall see.
Q: What’s your writing process like? Do you write the songs on your own or is it a collaborative process?
A: I usually come in with demos or the skeleton of the songs, meaning the guitar part and the vocals and general structure. But things always change once we interpret the song live. I never tell Paul what to play on bass or anything like that. I like the idea of not knowing everything that will be.
Q: If you could tour with anyone, who would you want to tour with?
Q: What do you use to distort your voice? Why did you decide to do that?
A: Just an effect machine. Sometimes, I’ll use an effect that doubles up what I’m singing, but at an octave above. Maybe I’ll grow out of it, but right now I still really enjoy f*cking with the idea of the illusion of it all.
Q: Do you have any anxiety about being on stage and singing in front of strangers? If so, how do you deal with that?
A: I did at first but I don’t really think about it anymore. I’m usually in a kind of meditative trance state when I play. Paul is the real stage personality, which I love. I wish I could be playing on stage and watching him dance around at the same time.
Q: Can you try to describe the atmosphere at your shows? Has that changed dramatically since the Oneonta shows?
A: The atmosphere now is much more of a full experience. We use visual projections when we can. It allows us to distort that line between band and audience. I want people to not feel like they have to watch me playing an instrument. KLOZAPIN is four guys creating the illusion of something outside of just four guys playing instruments in a room.
Q: Do you write when you’re struck by inspiration or does it feel more like work?
A: It never feels like work. It’s more like… I’ll go through a week of intense inspiration and get everything I can down, and then I’ll move onto something other than music for a bit. I have a bad habit of being a scatterbrain.
Q: What are you working on this year?
A: Right now we’re close to putting out a new single, and then working on the rest of the album.