Interview with The Mendenhall Experiment

Sofa King Cool Magazine caught up with Brandon Mendenhall of The Mendenhall Experiment and we talked about the challenges of forming a band with Cerebral Palsy and how he overcame them and to become a nationwide touring band

The Mendenhall Experiment is proud to announce the release of their latest single, “Say It.” This dynamic track is set to drop today, May 10th via Lucent/UMG, a division of Universal Music Group and marks the second release from their forthcoming EP, Chasing Ghosts.

Mendenhall talks about the single, “‘Say It’ was a different process for us, the song came together organically as a full band, with everyone throwing in their flavor on the fly. It was one of those ‘magic moments’ as a band where everything just flowed out of us and the song came together in an evening. It stands as one of our heaviest songs in the catalogue.”

Vocalist Alyce Hayes adds, “‘Say It’ is a song about speaking your truth, even when you’re scared, or when you feel unheard. It’s a personal mantra and reminder for myself, really. We can’t fully become who we’re meant to be until we can speak for ourselves. When the guys sent me the music, I was immediately inspired. I think I had the lyrics written in about 30 minutes. ‘Say It’ is asking the question: ‘What if I don’t stay silent? What if my words have power?’ Because they do. Words absolutely have power.”


The Mendenhall Experiment Say It Artwork

“If you asked me why I want to be a rock star…it’s not about the fame or money,” guitarist/ songwriter Brandon Mendenhall states. “I have a unique opportunity to inspire people and kids with disabilities with my playing, my music and my story. I truly believe that’s what I was put on this earth to do.”

Born with Cerebral Palsy, an incurable neurological disorder affecting movement, coordination and, balance; Brandon Mendenhall faces numerous challenges. With limited movement on his left side and zero mobility in his left hand, the odds were stacked against him from birth.

However, inspired by acts such as Korn and Pantera, Brandon taught himself how to play guitar at the age of 19, rehabilitating his left hand without surgical intervention. “Once I was able to get a guitar in my hands, it changed my life,” he says. That passion for music sparked something in his soul and a dream began to form…a dream that was thought to be impossible: Brandon wanted to play guitar and form a band. He recalls, “My grandfather told me, ‘You’ll never be a guitarist. Don’t even try.’ And that crushed me. Those words lit a fire in me. I was determined that I could do this.”

The Mendenhall Experiment was born as Brandon’s own personal aspiration to be in a world-famous band while working within the limitations of Cerebral Palsy, knowing full well that the cards were stacked against finding musicians willing to work with him. Possessing a fierce desire to succeed, Brandon went to visit a friend in the Rock & Roll Mecca of Los Angeles- and never left, pursuing his dream with relentless tenacity and bulldog determination. Failure was not an option.

Formed in 2008, The Mendenhall Experiment also features bass player Nathan Stockton, who overcame a disability of his own-childhood deafness-through the power of music. He and Brandon are joined by Alyce Hayes on vocals, Mike Lira on guitar, and Justin Lubeck on drums.

Based in Southern California, TMX has been regularly performing on the infamous Sunset Strip in addition to gigs throughout the region opening for the likes of such metal mainstays as John 5, POD, Alien Ant Farm, Kill Devil Hill, Fear Factory, Prong, Flaw, Metal Allegiance, Smile Empty Soul, Cold, and more. In 2013, the five-piece performed at the Monster Energy Aftershock Festival in Sacramento, California, sharing the stage with Korn, Megadeth, and Five Finger Death Punch.

A breakthrough occurred on June 17, 2014, when TMX made it to the final round of The Battle of the Bands for Warped Tour. After an electrifying performance that left the audience screaming for more, The Mendenhall Experiment took second place. The subsequent buzz reached the discerning ears at Liquid Bit Music Productions and in August 2014 TMX inked a publishing deal with the company, six years to the day after the initial incarnation of The Mendenhall Experiment performed its first show in Brandon’s hometown of Kankakee, Illinois. Shortly thereafter, the quintet put pen to paper again to sign their first development deal with Lucent Records, including national digital distribution through Universal Music Group.

TMX’s inspiring and energetic performances strive to bring a positive message to the masses. They stand strong for disability awareness in support of Brandon, who observes, “At our shows, we are starting to see the impact of our mission to inspire others on a consistent basis. Our fans and supporters come to us and give their personal testimonies and praise about how we are touching their lives, and the lives of others with disabilities.” The music and lyrics resonate far beyond the disabilities, inspiring people to seize every day and celebrate life.

The Mendenhall Experiment began recording their current EP in various studios in Los Angeles with the help of some very special guests: James “Munky” Shaffer (Korn) and Danny Lohner (NIN/A Perfect Circle). The EP is available everywhere online and the debut single, “Seize the Day”, has received over thirty-thousand views on Vevo/YouTube.

The music video was acclaimed Video of the Year at the 2015 LRT Music Video Awards in Hollywood, California, celebrating independent music, while Brandon was deemed Trailblazer of the Year at the 2015 United Cerebral Palsy Los Angeles Art of Care annual event. In addition, he was also named celebrity ambassador for Day Trippers, a UK-based charity assisting disabled people in Great Britain. A feature documentary film detailing Brandon and the band’s story, Mind Over Matter, was released in 2019; directed by French filmmaker Sébastien Paquet (Korn,Wounded Warriors). In 2016 TMX made a triumphant return to the Aftershock Festival in Sacramento, California, graduating to the main stage and playing to over four-thousand wildly enthusiastic fans. TMX has also performed at the 2017 Rocklahoma festival. In 2019 they released the singles “Unwanted” and a surprise acoustic version of “Nothing Good Came Easy” to much acclaim from fans.

On November 11th, 2022 their second EP Against All Odds was launched with its hit single “Pulse of The Lost” featuring Chris Garza from Suicide Silence. Within the first eight minutes of its release on Spotify it amassed over one hundred and thirty thousand streams. After the successful launch of their EP, TMX received an award from Daniel’s Music Foundation in recognition of their continuing efforts to raise disability awareness in the music industry and performed to a sold-out audience at the award ceremony which took place at the Symphony Space Performing Arts Center on Broadway in New York City. The Mendenhall Experiment is currently sponsored by Monster Energy, Ibanez Guitars, EMG Pickups, SIT Strings, EVH Amplifiers, Evertune Bridges, and InTune Guitar Picks.

Brandon maintains a vision for TMX that some may deem unrealistic: “I am confident that as The Mendenhall Experiment brand continues to grow and see greater success, we can begin to inspire people on a global scale with our music, touching not only the lives of individuals but also changing the global perception of people with disabilities.” But considering all that he’s overcome thus far, it would be difficult to bet against Brandon and “The Experiment” that bears his name fulfilling those goals!

The Mendenhall Experiment is:

Brandon Mendenhall – Rhythm Guitarist

Alyce Hayes – Vocalist

Mike Lira – Lead Guitarist

Nathan Stockton – Bassist

Justin Luebeck – Percussionist

For More Information Please Visit:

Official Website