Local Spotlight: Kardashev


Local Spotlight: Kardashev

by Tayler Williams

photo from Kardashev’s Bandcamp


When the members of Tempe, AZ group Kardashev walk into a room, minimalism is definitely a word that can be used to describe them. According to dictionary.com, minimalism is to design or style a piece in which the simplest and fewest elements are used to create the maximum effect.

“Don’t define yourself by what you own,” vocalist Mark Garrett said about his minimalist lifestyle. “It’s about owning less and living a more simple life.”

From the solid color T-shirts to the simple shoes, the guys don’t stray far from their minimalist beliefs, but their music is anything but simple.

Members Garrett, Chris Gerlings, and Nico Mirolla play with a style – commonly referred to in the metal genre as atmospheric – full of intricate guitar riffs, heavy screaming vocals and a drum machine. Since they don’t currently have a drummer, they make their own drum accompaniment with editing software.

In order to make up for the lack of a drummer and the use of a drum machine, there is usually a video playing on a screen showing geometric shapes or spacial images. Abstract art complements their music because it is simple, yet intricate.

“This element of Kardashev’s life performance draws in your attention,” said Jared Fron, drummer for local band A Distant Calm. “Instead of being a metal band that you mosh and lose your mind to, your attention is grabbed and it becomes a visual experience.”

It has also helped them breeze through the “how do I get a record label to sign me” phase most small bands go through when they first formed.

According to Mirolla, it took just a year and a month to get signed onto a record label. Canadian Label Subliminal Groove Records signed them. They have also given Kardashev the opportunity to travel to the United Kingdom to play in a festival overseas.

The band said it hopes this festival will be a gateway for more exposure and more opportunities to play on bigger tours.

“When I was last in New York City,” Gerlings said, “I saw a quote from a rapper, Nas, and it said, ‘The further that I get, the further I want to go,’ and that is how I feel with this band.”

In order to get further, Kardashev will begin by releasing its first full-length album this summer.

“We have a home studio that allows us to be constantly recording,” Mirolla said. “It’s not as ‘rockstar’ as it was in the 70s or the 80s, but it allowed us to get this far this quickly.”

“As long as none of it gets mysteriously deleted…” Gerlings added, later explaining that they had previously recorded some tracks and that they had somehow been deleted.

Joking aside, the members of Kardashev are excited to release their new album, and hope that their fans will enjoy hearing their new music.

“We just want to thank the people that listen to us.”

Kardashev will be playing at the UK Tech-Fest this July, and hope to have their new album out by then.


Kardashev is:

  • Mark Garrett- Vocals
  • Chris Gerlings- Guitar
  • Nico Mirolla- Guitar
  • Jared Fron- Drummer for A Distant Calm (jared.fron7@gmail.com)