Treefort spotlight: ‘Bittermint’ lead singer Kyler Daron discusses new album ‘Pill’ and Boise’s community-oriented music scene

Photo of "Bittermint" by Jan Ng

Bittermint, a local Boise indie rock band, dropped their new album “Pill” on Jan. 19, 2024. “Pill” explores the theme of utilizing coping mechanisms to portray the appearance of proper self care that is in turn, merely performative. 

Bittermint’s lead singer and rhythm guitarist Kyler Daron discussed everything from how the band formed to the process of creating their new album. 

Bittermint was originally formed through Daron and his brother and bandmate Jesse Goodwin creating comedy videos online that centered around the indie rock scene. After receiving positive feedback on these videos, Daron and Goodwin decided to establish an official band in 2022.

“My full-time job is running a recording studio called Den Studios Recording, but I needed an outlet to write music that didn’t involve anything with regard to my work,” Daron said. “I think my brother and I working together to make those bits was a great place to start.”

Daron explained that the thought process of naming the band Bittermint was to take contrasting terms mint (mint condition) and bitter,  and carry that theme over to the band’s overall vibe. 

“When we did these bits, the philosophy was to take the music part of it really seriously, which is like the ‘mint,’” Daron said. “But then the actual content not meaning anything — that’s the bitterness, these two contrasting elements that make [the band] what it is.”

For Daron, the joy of creating music stems from a sense of community and the ability to express oneself. 

“The means of making music comes from a place of wanting to be observed and wanting to observe oneself through the art that you make,” Daron said. “There’s kind of this empathy that we can create through the music, when I write I want to relate, I want you to hear something.”

Daron feels that the strong sense of interconnectedness between Boise bands provides space for a music culture that is not grounded in competition.

The inspiration behind “Pill” was for the album to serve as a response to the unpredictable nature of our world in recent years. Each square of the album cover represents a different coping mechanism.

“Everybody has their different coping mechanisms, [on] the album ‘Pill’ every song is a different coping mechanism,” Daron said. “Every song on the record portrays a different version of the way people deal with stress.”

Although Daron enjoys the songwriting process, creating lyrics poses a challenge at times. 

“I love the song creation process, the most difficult thing that requires a lot of time is lyricism,” Daron said. “It’s the part of the process that I feel least myself in [but] the thing that I love more than anything else is melody, that’s what I’m always chasing.”

Daron’s songwriting process is to gain inspiration from other artists’ base beats and begin to develop a song’s framework around that. 

“My tendency is to write slow and melancholy- that’s where I start but that’s not really where I want to go, especially with Bittermint nothing about Bittermint is melancholy at all,” Daron said. “Imitation is the greatest way of creating.”

The album’s title track “Pill” serves as a critique of performative self-care or betterment. 

“‘Pill’, I co-wrote with my brother, that song is pointing a finger at a lot of people,” Daron said. “Specifically people who use therapy not to work on themselves but to flex on other people.”

Although this song was Daron’s favorite song to create, it is his least favorite song to play as the song’s contemplative nature does not always blend well with the band’s rock vibe. 

Daron shared what he believes is an accurate summation of the album’s overall message. 

“We all have our ways of dealing with things, so you might as well be self-aware about them,” Daron said.

Bittermint will be performing many of their songs from “Pill” at Treefort Music Festival at 4:10 p.m. Wednesday, March 20 on the main stage. Be sure to catch this incredible band and experience their phenomenal set. 

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