TULSAROCKS247 SPOTLIGHTS SEVERMIND'S DEREK SANDERS

After 16 years and 3 studio albums, Severmind is still making a scene, with drummer Derek Sanders leading the charge.

Derek’s musical journey began with a Fireball guitar from Sears at age 7. As it started to gather dust in the corner of his room, he realized he didn’t really care for the meticulous nature of the fretboard. He then moved on to trumpet but says, “I was always more interested in what the percussion section was doing behind me. So, after listening repeatedly to Rush’s 2112 cassette, which I had stolen from my older sister’s room, I begged for a drum set for Christmas in 1982.” His parents obliged, and 39 years later, he’s still hammering away.


He formed his first band, Asylum, in 1984 with Severmind’s current lead guitarist Stacy Lane. “I was 14 and Stacy was 15. We did cover songs like Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild”, Deep Purple’s “Highway Star” and we covered some Sabbath tunes. But what I really enjoyed was writing our own original songs and hearing the finished, albeit rough, product on tape. We had no idea it would all come full circle over 3 decades later.”


When Severmind initially formed in 2005, Sanders says it was more of a creative outlet for their “own brand of in your face metal.” The sound was more raw and angry. Today, he says, it takes on a much more refined and technical approach. “Personally, the writing, arranging and time in the studio is still the part that’s most enjoyable. It’s always nice to play live and get feedback from the audience for the hard work we’ve put in, but ultimately, the four of us just want to continue to hone our musical writing skills, develop our own unique chemistry as players, and push ourselves to be better song-writers and performers overall.”

Sanders believes that Severmind couldn’t do what they do with any one of them out of the picture. He says, “the whole is definitely worth more than the sum of it’s parts!” Although collectively they operate as a unit, each individual member brings a unique contribution.

Photo courtesy of Severmind


Lead guitarist Stacy Lane, is “a total music theory genius, and is all about crafting the song with the necessary elements to pull a listener in and keep them entertained” he says. Vocalist Thad Timothy “always brings great riffs to practice, and he is excited to see how his initial ideas get sort of “Severized.” While Timothy is keeping the crowd energized and entertained, Sanders says, “I couldn’t do what he does. How he sings and plays at the same time is beyond amazing. People who can do that use more of their brain than the rest of us.” Bassist Blake Horton, who is the newest member of the band, has made a seamless transition into Severmind. “Blake and I have developed instantaneous chemistry which is critically important for any good rhythm section. As time has passed, he has definitely come into his own with this band. He continues, “he is getting more and more experimental in what he lays down underneath all of the melodies in the songs. I love it when a bass player charts his or her own path in a song.” And as for himself? “I just hit shit with sticks and do all of the artwork!”


Derek is thankful to be part of the Tulsa music scene as he says, “This has to be one of the best music scenes in the country. So many great bands, so much talent, so many incredible fans that get so pumped about the local scene and all of the great shows. Venue owners, club owners, promoters, podcasts, we’ve got it all right here in Tulsa.” He believes that the scene is truly more of a musical family rather than just a group of individuals who are into music. “People really care about their fellow brothers and sisters, and it’s really not much of a mystery why everyone loves being a part of it.”

Severmind is working to get back into the studio to complete album number 4, so in the meantime, catch them on May 15th with All’s Fair at The Venue Shrine located at 112 E. 18th Street in Tulsa.

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