Getting Lucky With The Mitras

by | Jul 28, 2022 | MUSIC

Between musical goals and professional ambition, Richmond band The Mitras are truly attempting to do it all. From regularly releasing singles to grad school, nursing, fan festivities, and being the actual three best friends that anybody could have, they are getting a lot done. Best of all, it seems the harder they work, the luckier they get.

The Mitras — Sean Moran on vocals and guitar, Austin Miller on bass, and Russel Redmond on drums — got their name from an unlikely place: Moran’s former boss, Mitra. 

“She had this incredible work ethic I thought was so cool, and the name is very unique. I knew I was going to name the band after her and never tell her about it. One day if she finds out, then I’ll know word of us has spread,” said Moran. “I think it’s a name that means friendship, which is fitting for us anyway.”

Photo by Ashley Travis Photography.

The Mitras came together during their time playing in other local bands. After seeing each other play separately, Moran began to lure Miller and Redmond away from their projects to join his own. The respect and admiration remains reciprocal between them, and has helped them to develop a sound as unique as their name. 

“At some point in 2019, Sean started to steal Russel and I to his really small scary practice space on Broad Street, and that’s where we started playing as a three-piece and getting to know each other,” said Miller. “Things started to click and flow. We’re still going strong.”

“I totally stole you guys,” said Moran. “I checked out their band a couple times and just thought, ‘Well, I want a band.’” 

“I remember seeing Sean play one of our first singles, ‘Dirt,’ at an open mic, and I got goosebumps. I thought, ‘I really wish I had written this song.’ That was one of our first songs we got to develop together,” said Miller. 

After releasing their first EP, Meet The Mitras, in 2019, the band had to take a break due to the pandemic. However, they’ve come back strong, with numerous releases since 2022 began. They set out with a plan to release a new single every month this year, and so far they have released five fantastic, floor-shaking songs (two are available on Bandcamp; the other three are only on streaming services). With inspiration from the likes of Tom Petty, Nirvana, and New Zealand band The Beths, and a sound reminiscent of the era of 90s post-grunge, every song is new, yet wildly nostalgic to the ear.

“It’s been nice to release them on that cadence, to keep people engaged in what we’re doing, instead of putting out an album every year or something,” said Moran. “We thought it’d give us more traction, to put them out on a regular basis.” 

“With the pandemic we took a break and assessed what the world was doing. Now we’re playing catch-up with all of the singles we had intended to release already,” said Miller. “We’re looking forward to our newer music that we’ve been writing as a group since we started playing again last year.”

When The Mitras began playing this past year, it was no easy task. The pandemic had set the tone for a lot of postponed show dates and unused tickets, and the guys have faced their share of cancellations while trying to get their footing as a strong contender in the local scene. 

One show that got disrupted took place back in January at The Camel. It almost never came to be. The Mitras were meant to play with fellow Richmonders Toxic Moxie and The Firnats, but just two weeks before, both bands pulled out due to health concerns. The guys were now faced with a choice — lose the show they worked hard to put together, or change course and set up something new. 

“I decided we would keep the show, but just do seven 20-minute sets with any band who wanted to play last minute. I reached out to seven or eight bands we had played with before, and to my surprise they all agreed to play,” said Moran. “For a hot second, we thought the show would just be over, and we were worried it wouldn’t be a good idea, but we leaned into it and it was a big success.”

“It was really surprising,” said Miller. “Sean had gotten Adobe photoshop, and started teaching us how to use it. He made our Last Minute Fest flyer in the same style as the When We Were Young poster.”

“I think that helped our success with the show, because of how much of a meme that poster had become. I changed all of it to our bands for that night,” said Moran. 

Photo by Joey Wharton.

The Mitras are working toward more successes like this, as well as the steady release of more music. In the coming months, expect to see more singles and many more show announcements from the trio, as they are hard at work building relationships and a platform in the city. 

“We want to take our operation and go to different recording studios all over Richmond to work with as many people as possible and get our feet in the door. We have a few more singles that are ready to go and we want to record them with different engineers to develop the sound,” said Moran.

Coming up this weekend, The Mitras will be showcasing that well-developed sound on Saturday, July 30, at The Camel, their home venue. They will be playing with Toxic Moxie and Nancy Raygun at an event dubbed A Pink Moon Showcase. Doors will open at 8pm. For only $12 at the door, this will be the best money and time you could have spent on your Saturday night. And who knows, you might make some friends and share something as special as the bond between the guys of The Mitras.

“I love you Sean,” said Miller.

“I love you too,” replied Moran.

To find The Mitras, you can check them out at their bandcamp, on spotify, or through their social medias like instagram. They regularly update their platforms with show information and new music releases.

Top Photo by Joey Wharton

Alicen Hackney

Alicen Hackney

Alicen Hackney is a music journalism student at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg. Her passion is sharing and exploring music and it's cultural ties, and she is always looking for new artists and styles.

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