Terrell and Rodenbough met in the Morehead-Cain Scholarship program and started jamming together as first-years. Terrell initially started Mipso with two other students and quickly added Rodenbough to the band.
“There was no one moment that we said, ‘Now that we figured this out, we’re gonna be professional musicians,’” Terrell said. “We wanted to make a record, and that was the goal.”
Rodenbough never imagined a life as a working musician.
“I did not think I could make money from music,” she said.
“I could imagine the end of the spectrum where you have a real job and play gigs at open mics and on the other end where people are famous and sell a lot of tickets. And I wasn’t quite aware of the middle ground of people who just work hard at being musicians and never make a ton of money, but it is their jobs.”
In the music industry’s current state, it is difficult for upcoming musicians to break out due to streaming dominating the market.
Now that people don’t make enough money off of record sales, artists have to do shows to get by, Terrell said.
“Don’t do it if you want to make money," he said.
Besides playing the music, the two spoke about the less glamorous aspects of starting and sticking with a band.
Terrell said he isn't sure whether or not to recommend being a musician for a career.
"Every step of the way, we had to reconsider why this was worth it," he said.
“There’s about 10 categories of things you have to do well, unless you’re lucky enough to be so good at one of them,” Terrell said. “Like if you’re Joni Mitchell, you have a team of people around you, but if you’re starting out young, you have to do all of it.”
Terrell and Rodenbough described the communal aspects that come with starting a band, such as what it’s like spending weeks on the road with the same people and how they collaborate in songwriting.
"We come up with the music together, which is hard, and we make all the business decisions together, which is hard,” said Rodenbough.
Rodenbough continued to say that Mipso’s music is the product of the members’ individual tastes in music.
“The types of songs that get made are the intersections of a complicated Venn diagram,” she said.
The two members agreed that working as musicians takes time and patience, just like any other profession.
“We learned by doing it poorly first,” Terrell said. “In most situations, you got to do it for a while and not be good at it in the beginning.”