Thursday, July 2, 2009

Vegan virtue times two: HERE plays it serious

By Aaron Short

Deep in an unmarked loft building somewhere in downtown Brooklyn, twin philosopher rockers Dan and Matt Mims want to change the way you think about the world.

Their band, HERE, aims to incorporate a naturalistic philosophy that challenges the politics of food and the accumulation of wealth while exploring sonic landscapes. Did we mention both twins are vegans?

“The world is constructed upon a lot of practices and institutions,” said lead singer Dan. “When you assess those institutions and how those economies works, it comes down to one point in human history: When mankind laid claim to land and animals as their own and to direct as they see fit. You can’t build wealth without natural resources. There’s the assumption that you have a right to build wealth and we question that.”

The Mims twins have been playing together for the past 15 years and formed their band a decade ago. School and college got in the way of their artistic pursuits, but they have been playing at loft parties in and around Williamsburg for several months.

“We’ve had a lot of incubation time,” said Dan. “For a lot of that, we were without a vocalist, and we recently decided I would just do it. I’ve had to grow into it a little bit. It’s definitely something I’m growing into and getting better any day.”

The music has evolved, with Dan’s brother Matt piecing together melodic parts by himself before collaborating with Dan over the rhythm and lyrics, which they describe as classical-style compositions in a melodic technical rock idiom.. Sometimes it can take as long as five months to put a song together, and when it is released, it “nurses the entire being,” as Dan said.

“If you’re into it, and you let yourself go and be swept up into it, it can be quite an experience, because it really does traverse this extremely diverse landscape,” said Dan. “We definitely think in terms of tension and release. We build a lot of tension.”

One thing that Dan will never write about is his private life, instead favoring songs about the environmental and political consequences to the natural world of consuming meat.

“For me, it seems, I’m just not that important,” said Dan. “My personal love life is not very important to anyone other than myself. We take ourselves pretty seriously.”

Their current studio, located near Cadman Plaza, is a raw industrial space with a sound proof room that functions as a practice space by day and a stage two or three times a month. With their next show, when they headline a performance by the Daniel Striped Tigers on July 11, expect to sweat a lot.

“They’re scions of the new do-it-yourself,” said Dan. “They have an element of punk, and also super crazy complex rhythms, atonal progressive rock with punk chanting and a guy yelling into a mike. It’s just a trip, live show is amazing.”

We don’t doubt it.

For the location for the July 11 show featuring Daniel Striped Tiger and Here, RSVP to Also visit,, and for more information.


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