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Local indie band Mr. Breakfast delivers tasty sounds

Local indie band Mr. Breakfast delivers tasty sounds

Mr. Breakfast performed at Bear Cave on Saturday Sept. 16th. Kelsey Shoemaker

Local indie band Mr. Breakfast delivers tasty sounds
September 19
22:39 2017

The back room of the Bean Cave was empty when Mr. Breakfast took the “stage.”

It was nearing midnight, and it seemed as if everyone had left the small house show venue. However, as riffs from the guitar began to fill the house, people poured in from every door, flooding the vibrantly decorated back room.

The now-packed crowd swelled and cheered as the lead singer knelt to the floor, guitar in hand, as if the pose somehow gave the instrument life. He had one lone black earring that dangled two inches from his earlobe — the UNT student was a rockstar for the night.

“Every day that you play a show is the best day that you’ve ever had,” said Matt O’Donnell, the lead singer and guitarist for Mr. Breakfast. “And I hope that feeling never fades.”

Mr. Breakfast is an up-and-coming Denton band comprised of current and former UNT students. The band members attended high school together in Keller, Texas, and formed Mr. Breakfast in 2015. They released their first self-titled EP in 2017.

Their name came from one of O’Donnell’s early childhood memories.

“The first memories I have [were] watching Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” O’Donnell said. “The first line he said in the movie Pee-wee’s Big Adventure was, ‘Good morning Mr. Breakfast’ when he is talking to his pancake breakfast. I always thought that was funny and it always just buzzed around in my head. It was kind of a placeholder, and it was kind of silly. We were always thinking we might rename it or whatever, but it just stuck around. We really liked it more and more.”

They have performed in many professional music venues, such as The Door in Dallas and Tom Cat’s Curtain Club, but the band prefers to play in Denton’s house show venues.

“Playing at a house show…there’s nothing like it,” O’Donnell said. “The community, Denton specifically, is just very welcoming. Everyone is there to get down and listen to some good music. There are tradeoffs. The sound is really good at a venue if you have a good sound guy, but we would rather play a house show and get paid nothing than play a venue for a bunch of regular drunks at the bar.”

The band is difficult to place within a single genre but is frequently described as psychedelic, dreamy or synth pop. The men of Mr. Breakfast prefer to not be labeled.

“Starting out, we wanted to treat every song as a separate project,” O’Donnell said. “We didn’t really ever care about genre. I think it’s important not to put yourself in a box that has been created by some other music movement or genre. You should find your own voice and just do anything that you want to do. I think that is the basis behind the creative process of Mr. Breakfast.”

The Denton house show scene has been receptive to the band’s unique sound. Their recent performance at the Bean Cave was just one example of the packed audiences they frequently perform to.

“Mr. Breakfast has a really interesting sound,” said Darby Byrd, advertising junior and co-runner of the Bean Cave. “Their music is very dreamy and unique. It’s nice to see them and bands like them establishing their place in the DIY community.”

The band describes every performance as a unique rush.

“Every second is like a millisecond, and every song is like one chord that you played,” O’Donnell said. “Time moves really quick. The people that come to see the shows — they just bring an energy. I mean you can rehearse and rehearse and rehearse, but if you are playing for three people who are uninterested, you are going to play badly. You feed off the crowd.”

While O’Donnell has been responsible for much of the original songwriting, the band is moving into a more collaborative direction in terms of sharing roles.

“It’s really totally collaborative,” said Garret Cook, an ecology junior and bassist and vocalist for Mr. Breakfast. “There’s not a single song that we don’t all have influence on. It is really just a collaboration of all of our styles put into one song. I’m starting to write more stuff, and we’ve got some jams that I’ve recorded — stuff of my own. I’m excited to see the direction that we’re going into.”

Simultaneously being students and band members poses a challenge for the band’s work and progression. It has become a balancing act for them to keep both their academics and art afloat.

“When we started Mr. Breakfast, I took a hit with my academics, and it just made my time management way stronger,” O’Donnell said. “It was like I’m doing this thing, I’m setting up a life for myself and I need to make sure my art and my academic endeavors are in check. It’s hard — really hard — but you do what you have to do to express yourself and get your ideas out.”

Released in March, Mr. Breakfast’s first EP was self-produced by their drummer Austin Longbine, who is also a music teacher. It was recorded on a low budget at his mother’s house.

“I’ve been doing producing for a while, just on my own [music that I wrote],” Longbine said. “But it was definitely a huge learning curve recording a band, bringing all of the different natures of our talent to the table. Like for me, I’m only recording myself, so I can do as many takes as I want. I get frustrated at myself, but you know when you work with other people it takes longer, but for the most part it was a blast.”

Mr. Breakfast is currently writing music for a new EP, and they have several shows lined up such as Killer’s Tacos on Oct. 8, the Curtain Club in Dallas on Oct. 29 and Jagoe Fest in late October.

Featured Image: Mr. Breakfast performed at Bear Cave on Saturday, Sept. 16th. The group is made up of current and former UNT students. Kelsey Shoemaker

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