Record Setter, a Denton pop-punk band, is currently focused on re-recording their new album and creating a safe space in the DIY scene. The band continues to experiment in new ways of creating content and promoting their new album remotely.
Band members Judy and Jake Mitchell are siblings who grew up playing for their local church. After a friend asked them to play a show outside of their church, Judy and Jake decided to continue playing DIY shows (which refers to artists who create and perform music without a record label or middle man). The two met Kyle Pennington in 2011 and then later added Jake Morrison to complete the band. Judy is the frontwoman and lyricist, Pennington is on guitar, Morrison plays bass and Jake plays the drums.
The creative process for the band, Judy said, sets them apart and gives them a raw and memorable sound. Each member has creative freedom to come up with their individual contribution to the songs.
“I pretty much write my parts, my guitar and the vocals,” Judy said. “Sometimes I’ll have the lyrics done, but I at least know what I’m wanting, like the cadence and the melody and stuff like that, even if I don’t have words, and then they make up their own parts.”
Through collaborative communication and practice, the group works as a collective unit to put Judy’s vision into their music.
Record Setter is currently re-recording their new album, “I Owe You Nothing” at Civil Audio with Denton audio engineer Michael Briggs. The band plans on releasing this album sometime in the fall. This album will follow their first album “Purge,” which was released in 2017. Judy said both albums discuss identity, confusion and gender dysphoria.
While the band initially planned on touring their new album, the members are now looking for other ways to promote their music because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“[We are] trying to figure out another way to flush this out content-wise with some videos and other creative ideas, since live shows are kind of nonexistent for the foreseeable future,” Pennington said.
Judy said the pandemic has caused bands to rethink their promotional methods.
“Bands and music projects are going to be slowly morphing and forming more into art projects or content-creating entities of some kind,” Judy said. “The music scene as a whole is turning to create new content through videos and art to get the same attention a tour would.”
One way in which Record Setter has adapted to the current circumstances was by joining the live stream movement. A few months ago, the band started streaming through Twitch. The group quickly realized these streams would not be the same as a live show, and Pennington said the physical barrier from performing over Twitch has changed the way the band interacts with fans.
“It’s separated and isolated because you’re on camera, and you’re reacting to literally just texts,” Pennington said. “[But] it’s cool for everyone to be in a digital spot of sorts, and everyone is just talking and having a good time.”
Jake said they started recording their set weeks before having the virtual show. During the stream, they would play the video and react to comments as they came in, which he said gave the band a cathartic feeling.
“It’s nice to be able to talk to the people in the chat,” Jake said.
As members of the local DIY music scene, Jake said it is important for community members to look out for one another and for local bands and house show venues to foster a safe environment for fans. Judy said she and the other band members want the local DIY scene to be an inclusive space for people to be accepted and have fun.
“Do it yourself means do it together,” Judy said.
Featured Image: Denton band Record Setter records music in the studio on July 11, 2020. The band has been streaming performances online and re-recording music since the pandemic began. Image by Samuel Gomez