Out of every story that surfaced in 2017, few were quite like The Mendenhall Experiment.

The metal band dropped their self-titled debut EP this year with a killer backstory to boot.  Founder Brandon Mendenhall, who plays rhythm guitar, was born with cerebral palsy that has paralyzed his left hand.  Even in the face of his disability, he still wanted to pick up a guitar and has since proved a number of naysayers wrong, including members of his own family.

Mendenhall started the band in 2008, but there was a lot of turnover in those early years.  So, when did he realize he finally had the right group of musicians together?  Here’s what he had to say:

“I realized the group of guys I have now were the right ones when I had five people in my band who stood behind the cause of wanting to raise disability awareness and get up for my community and be a voice for disabled people and raising awareness for the community, aside from just doing the music.  And when I realized I had a group of guys who were behind the cause, behind the music and behind the movement we were trying to create, that’s when I knew.”

 

In addition to releasing their debut EP, a documentary about Mendenhall’s life called Mind Over Matter was released and premiered at the Los Angeles Documentary Film Festival where it won the Audience Award and received a standing ovation, which was an experience that was beyond words for Mendenhall”:

“Speechless.  What other reaction can you have?  You think about me as a human being, and I was really the kid that got the short end of the stick in kind of all aspects of life.  I’ve always kind of been the underdog, the kind of ‘Rocky’ story.  To get a standing ovation like we did, to have Munky from Korn come out and do the Q&A with us and walk the red carpet with us and say some really heartfelt and genuine things about me and my life and our friendship over the past 15 years, I can’t ask for anything more.”

For the latest on The Mendenhall Experiment, check out TheMendenhallExperiment.com.

 

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock blogger that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.

Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock news blogger who's well versed in etiquette and extraordinarily nice.