Tag Archives: Interviews

A Chat With :Ryan Lindsey from Broncho

Photo Credit : Pooneh Ghana

We had a chat with Broncho’s Ryan Lindsey to talk about their new album ‘Bad Behavior’. We got into some of the intricacy and juicy elements of this luscious album while also discussing a petition for an Irish show, what they learned from their touring with Queens of The Stone Age and brief mention of Hanes boxer briefs and high dollar tequila.


You have released your new album Bad Behavior tell us about the concept behind the album?


We did our usual plan of not making any plans except to show up without a plan until things make sense. It’s my favorite plan

There are so many sublime tracks on this album each one bringing its own infectious slinky charisma and flirtation to the table. Talk us through the music writing process for this album? Was it any different to Can’t Get Past the Lips, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman and Double Vanity?


Very similar to our previous records in certain ways. Each record has been a mix of writing styles. It’s really up to each individual song. Some songs had been cruising around our minds for a while and some we came up with while recording.

I love how delicious the melodies are in this album, you never disappoint when it comes to melodies but these 10 tracks are deliriously mouthwatering. How do you come up with these melodies?


Well, first of all, let me say, thank you very much! you’re making me blush.  We always want things to taste good. I would hope that we are that healthy junk food, made with real sugar, to help you feel less guilty about the whole thing

It feels like, as a band, you guys are pretty tight – each instrument gels and weaves perfectly together. There are some slinky guitar moments with rich rhythms and groovy bass lines how do you guys combine your innovative elements together?


Touring tightens up the whole thing. And anything that don’t get tightened up on the road, gets tightened up in the editing bay. I like a healthy amount of loose, and a comfortable amount of tight. I guess we value comfort. And flexibility. And stability. Which is why I wear Hanes boxer briefs.

Ryan you sing with a mischievous twinkle in your voice, peppering the verses with suggestive uh-ohs and ahhs and at times barely pushing out your words to the point of whispering. What sparks these cheeky vocal moments which have now become such important characteristics to the songs?


Sometimes it feels good to get soft. It also feels good to push. It all starts with the diaphragm. Vocal control comes from the diaphragm. But above all things it feels good to be cheeky. Being cheeky also starts with the diaphragm. It takes a lot of breath.

There are a lot of bands and artists talking about the world events through their music lately however you guys depict the Bad Behavior in the world through a non-biased danceable, fun, sometimes dark and sleazy medium. Was this your attempt to take this discussion and perhaps put another less doom and gloom spin on it?


We’re taking a non biased reporters stance on the current times. Just reporting on what we observe and adding “facts” to support “our” “theories”. Doom and gloom ain’t fun. Unless it is! Depends on what party you’re looking for. We are that party where you can relax, because we all know what’s going on and nobody needs to talk about it. Unless you do!

The album version of ‘Get In My Car’ sounds a little different to the single version released last year did you re record it for the album and what did you choose to do differently?

We added slap to the vocals and ran it through a different tape machine and maybe some other itsy bitsy changes.  but you got a good ear because the changes were subtle.

You have seen your songs featured on influential TV and radio and have toured the U.S. and Europe, including arenas with the likes of Queens of the Stone Age, The Growlers, Portugal The Man, and Cage The Elephant – that must have felt amazing, is there anything in particular you took away or learned from those experiences?

There’s multiple ways to do this whole thing. Everyone you mentioned does there own thing and does it at an elite level. It’s all about doing what you do, and then doing it well. They all teach through example. The way they take care of their biz. None of those bands ever tried to tell us what to do, they just let us watch what they do, and that’s what I love and learned from all of them. That and also Josh Homme told me the easiest way to the other side is to go all the way through. And I love him for that and a lot of other things.

Did you get any advice or words of wisdom off any of those bands?

Queens introduced us to high dollar tequila

I saw you guys support Queens of The Stone Age in Dublin last year. Your performance was very suave and energetic evoking an effortless sense of awe in the audience. How have you worked on your live shows to make them so enjoyable?


That was easy because we were opening for Queens in Dublin! That show automatically gave us the motivation we needed. I also love doing what I do and that makes it easier to be enjoyable because I’m legitimately having fun. I also stretch from time to time, and occasionally work on my core

From watching that show and some youtube videos it appears like you have developed your own floppy signature dance, everytime I hear a Broncho track I can just see you bopping with your arm in the air can you remember when that dance began?


Sometimes you gotta move and there ain’t nothin you can do about it. Unless there is! But when there ain’t nothing you can do about it, you just gotta let that arm get up there, and let your leg get out there.

What’s the most bizarre thing to happen to you while you were on tour or onstage?

A gentleman in Tempe Arizona asked if he could sit in on didgeridoo and of course we obliged. And would love for it to happen again

You released a joint 12 minute video for Sandman/Boys Got To Go. Talk us through the concept for the video and who came up with it?

Pooneh Ghana came up with the whole idea. She had been in Tulsa with us and met our friend Mark. Over the next couple of years she started talking about wanting to do something with him. When we played Sandman for her she started writing out the whole thing. We just did some more filming with her on this tour and will have more things to come from her semi shortly.

Can we look forward to anymore videos from this album?

We have two more videos done and we got more to shoot. Lots of work left to be done!

Have you any plans to come to Ireland for a show?

Not currently, but I strongly suggest a petition to be made for us to return. That way all party’s involved will have a legal obligation to bring us back!

Do you have any advice for anyone starting a band ?

Work on your diaphragm

What’s next for Broncho?

We are finishing touring the eastern half of the U.S.. we tour the west coast in February and then play the UK end of February. And if the petition gets pushed through swiftly, we will be playing Ireland!

You can catch Broncho live at :

27 Feb – Glasgow, UK @ The Blue Arrow
28 Feb – Manchester, UK @ Yes
1 Mar – London, UK @ Moth Club
1 Mar – Brighton, UK @ Patterns

Watch  the video for ‘Sandman’/’Boys Got To Go’ below 


A Chat With : Robbie G from Modern Whale

We caught up with producer, multi instrumentalist Robbie G from Modern Whale to chat about his career as a producer, his new project Modern Whale and the new infectious single ‘Dead Wrong’.

Tell us how Modern Whale came about?

Modern Whale came about kind of organically, I’ve been a record producer and musician for all my adult life and in early 2016 I sort of went back to basics. What I mean is I did some things that were reminiscent of why I got into music in the first place, with the electric guitar and just doing some things for myself. In the many years that I have been doing record production and songwriting with other people I have consistently been very good at compromising, always happy to change for the sake of the artist or songwriter or whoever I was with at the time. With Modern Whale it was really an experience to do what I wanted to do and to be honest it was something I thought wouldn’t be released. I was just in my studio and I was just creating and one thing led to another and here we are. We’ve released 6 songs at this point starting in June 2017 and I’m very thankful and excited that people have loved what I have released this far, so it’s all been very good.

As you said you are a record producer and published songwriter, you are also a seasoned lead guitarist and bass player. Do you feel that it’s important for a producer to be a musician of sorts to bring enough to the table and make the tracks come to life?

My first instinct is actually no and the reason why I say that is because as I get older I continue to realise that there is really no rules.I certainly think that the more skill sets or abilities that a producer has the more he or she might be able to bring to the table but I don’t know that there is necessarily a rulebook that says that you have to be well versed in something to be able to do something creative. Music is an art form in general, you know there is really no rules. You can just have ideas and be able to direct or be able to hum but there is no question about the fact that again the more of a skill set that you have the more you can bring to the party. But I don’t necessarily see that you have to be a virtuoso at a certain instrument to succeed or to do something creative. Another thing that I have also seen in myself over the years is when I started as a kid I was just a guitar player. I was interested in Led Zeppelin and Jimmy Page and I was never thinking about singing songs.I was never thinking about writing songs really. I was just thinking about learning Led Zeppelin riffs and that sort of thing so even the idea of being a record producer and making music with other people you can’t help but learn and develop and that’s the thing about music you know, when you play with other people and you make music with other people you do end up learning just from the experience of it all.

It would also increase your experience with other genres of music and make your own music a bit more rich

Absolutely, it’s because of my experience that I am here on the phone with you right now. It’s because..of my heartfelt passion to make music and be creative,my many skill sets have been born because of my effort to make a living in music or continue doing what I’ve been passionate about and quite frankly it’s really what it comes down to.

You have released your new single ‘Dead Wrong’ talk us through how that song came into fruition?

Well ‘Dead Wrong’ is an interesting song I co-wrote with a good good friend of mine who I’ve known since about 2004.His name is Scott Harris.Scott has recently had great success as a songwriter, writing for people like The Chainsmokers and Shawn Mendes. Scott and I have been friends for many many years before one of us were really making a living in the music industry but we have written a lot over the years together and we still write together and Dead Wrong was a song that sort of happened naturally. The lyric itself is very much about something that was going on in my life where I have a relationship with someone, who like any other relationship, we are trying to figure it out and make sense of things. It really was organic and we wrote it on a little Casio keyboard and I had actually done the song in a couple of different versions after we wrote it. It was a little bit slower, in a higher key, I did more of a rock n’ roll version with a lot of drums and more guitars but I keep on coming back to that first version that Scott and I had done with the keyboard where the vocal was really the main point of it and I’m quite pleased with that song. I think it’s a really nice statement. I think it’s just very clear.

Yeah it’s a lot more electronic pop root compared to your previous releases ‘Kill the Flame’ ‘The Dirt’ ‘How Deep We Get’ and’ Brave Face’.

Yeah there is actually a version that’s a little bit more like the Modern Whale that had been released earlier but I think you know in the grand scheme of things I’m a new artist and the music that I had made initially and I’m still making was fully for myself.But I’m reminded again about Led Zeppelin because if you think about Led Zeppelin I and how heavy that record was and then Led Zeppelin III and how it was very acoustic. Like growing up with mom and dad’s record collection and seeing an artist like that have multiple sides of them for me it’s completely ok and also, truth be told and this is not to throw myself under the bus but I think that Modern Whale is something that’s developing in many ways and over the last few years or so I have been finding my voice. I don’t mean that necessarily from the singing perspective but just becoming more comfortable as an artist…in many ways ‘Dead Wrong’ has opened up some doors for me that again I’m just struck by the fact that if you continue with something more doors open up. If you don’t give up and you just continue being creative and making music and being true to yourself the possibilities are endless. It’s quite nice to be talking to you about this and to be reminded why I’m doing this in the first place.

How does your work with other artists influence or aid your own material?

Ultimately I’m easily inspired, I’m the kind of person that if you came over with a piano part or you play the guitar or if you sang a melody its very easy for me to work with something and I think thats what makes me an ideal record producer. It just flows out of me. I don’t know. It’s kind of hard to answer that question, only because I think that inspiration comes from all different kinds of places – some of its subconscious so I never really set out and think well I’d like to write a song like this or I’d like to try to do this. I’m really doing it because I just can’t help myself and want to be creative and I want to do things and I’m sort of doing it regardless of anything. It’s in me to create and my passion has always been over welling. I think it’s a long career of being out on the road and being around a lot of talented people and you know whether it’s development of the different musical instruments or even developing my singing voice over the years, these are things I never saw coming, you just can’t predict how life is gonna go.Even with ‘Dead Wrong’  Scott came over that afternoon and we had this idea and in just a few hours we had the raw sketch of what ‘Dead Wrong’ was and it just was a very heartfelt melody and a heartfelt lyric and as much as I tried to produce it in some ways like the first batch of Modern Whale songs it just kept on calling to be this way. It’s a different side of me. I could see potentially moving forward releasing something acoustic I don’t see a reason when I’m able to make records by myself like this I find that I’m just being inspired and letting to not just let it happen.

You can tell that ‘Dead Wrong’ came from the heart the melody is very sweet and dreamy it doesn’t at all come across manufactured

Yes that’s true, I appreciate that, that’s a nice thing to hear. I’m just singing about things that are important to me or things that make me feel an emotion and being a human being. When you have to really try to do something it shows and it’s effortless and it comes out. That’s the thing about keeping the original Modern Whale songs I did them for myself. I didn’t even tell anybody I had done them for the first 6 or 7 months. In April 2016 I just started being creative and a few of the songs were born over a couple of days and then over the course of a few months I worked on them and I didn’t even tell anybody about it. It was really a thing that was special for me, I was just being creative and having a release. There were things happening in my life that were personal.I lost my father in 2015 to cancer, I had a bad break up in 2015 and by the time I started recovering in April 2016 it was a release and I never saw any of this coming. It’s nice to hear somebody be so real but I never thought I would be on the phone doing an interview with someone from Ireland. It wasn’t even a part of my equation. I didn’t even have an equation.

Do you have plans to release a video for the single?

Interestingly enough I’ve just watched the final video and some of my reason for being late was dealing with the final changes with the video.So the video will come out likely … I wanna say January it could be as late as February but it will be early next year. But the video is done, it’s very cool I wish I could share it with you right now because it makes me super happy and I think it’s very creative and I’m psyched about it.

What can we expect from your upcoming EP which is due out next year?

The EP is another thing that is pretty mind blowing to me.It’s almost like its the term paper of my life, It’s this thing where I’ve been on this road this whole time making music, being creative, finding my way, touring the world, making records with people, developing my own skill set and I think for the first time ever I have the opportunity now to focus on myself and it’s a gift that is indescribable.So to have December and January to do the EP and to work on this balance of four songs – basically it will be a five song EP so one of the songs is ‘Dead Wrong’ and then there will be four more songs which I’m working on right now.I’m just arriving at a place of being more confident and also being more comfortable with understanding my position as an artist and just being a little bit more self aware of who I wanna be and I just couldn’t be more happy about it. I feel like I’m on the precipice of doing the best work that I’ve ever done.

To round out the lineup for your  live performance you have added bassist Rocky Russo and drummer Kerel Lacy how did you choose who you would add to your line up?

Well, it was a timing thing it just happened. With Kerel I met him through a mutual friend at a bar in New York City he’d just moved from Texas. I was looking for a drummer and about a month later after we met that night at this particular bar he hit me up, he found my phone number through another friend and it was the day that I had a number of different drummers scheduled and the guys scheduled at 3 o’clock had canceled and Kerel hit me up literally in that window. It was like it was meant to be and the rest is history. He’s been a great teammate and he’s been a great inspiration to me.With Rocky it’s a similar story. I was trying to get this girl to be in the group as a bass player and I went to a venue in New York to check out this bass player. I actually had opened up the show, so her and I sort of became friendly and we were raising money for those being held by ICE for their legal fees, etc.. The girl I was trying to get as a bass player was playing the next set after me and I ended up hitting it off with the sound guy who is Rocky Russo and he just was really cool. I asked him for his card because I thought he was professional and about two or three days later I peeled his business card away from my phone case and recognized on the card it said audio design or sound guys or whatever and it also said bass player. I thought aww man! Maybe I should have a backup plan just in case this particular woman doesn’t work out and that’s it.

What is a live show with  Modern Whale like?

It’s definitely energetic. It’s very true to the way the stuff is recorded. Sometimes it gets a little bit heavier than the record just because of the way the electric guitar is but it is upbeat and it’s fun. At the end of the day I’m really just trying to entertain people.I want people to lose themselves in the moment and be happy. When I go to a concert and it’s great and it’s exciting I forget about my day and my problems, that’s the kind of thing I want to put in peoples lives. Make a really nice vibe and entertain people, get back to basics of just  being around a campfire and making people at peace or comfortable and enjoy the show


Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to start a music career?

Don’t give up just keep on going. That’s the easiest way to put it. Like I said earlier I never saw any of this coming and I think it’s fully because of my sticking with something. I guess it’s easier to give up isn’t it? Sometimes the hardest part is just sticking with something but I think that a real parable about life in general whether its a relationship or if its a job sometimes things aren’t easy and if you continue to weather those storms good things can happen. I think it’s a matter of staying true to yourself and doing what you are passionate about – that’s my best advice.

What’s next for Modern Whale?

Right now I’m totally focused on the EP. Doing very little outside production work. It’s an absolute blessing that I have the opportunity to make an EP and to focus on the EP. So right now my head is totally in the studio game just wrapping up these four songs. I have them written so right now I’m in the production stage and I’m really just developing the material. My feeling is that I will have them all done by February 1st. I’ll likely release them throughout 2019 and they will ultimately be bundled as one EP which will include ‘Dead Wrong’.

Stream ‘Dead Wrong’ below


A Chat With : Bane Riff

We caught up with Bane Riff to talk about his new single ‘Out Of Our League’ and to get to know this new singer songwriter a little better.

Tell us about yourself?

Born and raised in Denmark, but always wanted to see the world, and at 18 I moved to the US for some time. Along the way I’ve been around the Netherlands and Switzerland as well. I’ve always been a free spirit and a bit of a rebel, always wanting to do the impossible…If someone said it couldn’t be done, I would want it even more. That’s how I came into running my own insurance company and partly why I’m now in the music business. The music takes up a lot of my time, but I do find time for hobbies such as hiking and keeping in shape in general.

You came from a background in the finance industry where you were running your own successful insurance business, what sparked your decision to leave all that behind and pursue a career in music?

Music has always been in my blood and I had a lifelong dream of being ‘the lead singer in a rock n roll band’, but truthfully, I never had the courage to pursue it. One day, not so long ago, I felt I had come to an impasse in my life and something needed to change. On the outside, I seemingly had it all, but I wasn’t happy and I spent quite some time figuring out why. In the end, music was what was in my heart and no matter the insecurity that came with it; I had to go for it. So, I mustered up the courage and took a leap of faith I guess.

Your friends and family must have thought you had gone crazy?

They thought I had gone mad, yes ha ha. It was quiet support, but I could see in their eyes the question “how could you leave the safe and secure existence of being a CEO?”. And on top in a industry that never runs out of money so to speak.It also cost a few relationships along the way, where I guess they identified me with being a certain person and when that person was gone, so were they. But hey, some lasts a chapter, some a page – life goes on.

Had you any involvement in the music industry or experience with writing or playing music before?

None, and I had no idea on how to even start or what would be my first step. I didn’t know anything about song writing, music composing, recording or the industry in general. But I knew what I wanted and I had a story to tell. So I set out to make music with substance that would bring emotions to the listener, to make music that made you wanna sing along. With that in mind, I put one foot in front of the other and off I went. In addition, I thought my journey would serve as inspiration to others to follow their own dreams, whether that be in music, finance, raising a family or something else. That’s actually what the title song of upcoming album ‘We Go Out’ is about – ‘follow your heart, let go of fear and control, take your hands off the wheel, put one on your heart and let life show you the way’. You might end up with exactly what you always didn’t know you wanted!

Were you nervous when you released your debut single Less Than Enough?

Very, ha ha! Writing a song from scratch, pouring your heart and soul into it and then giving it to the world, is an intimidating thing I can tell you. In so many jobs, in so many things and situations, there are things you can hide behind – with music you’re ‘naked’, nowhere to hide. So, it was an exciting day on this Friday in June, but when it ended at 2 in the morning, I was completely exhausted from all the excitement and tension. Fortunately, it was well received, got radio airplay and it is a favorite amongst the audience at live shows. Good for singing along!

Your style has a pop rock vibe with some country thrown in, does this reflect the music you like to listen to?

Funny you should say that, cause that’s actually what my producer said the first time he heard me sing. I don’t hear it myself, and I rarely listen to Country, only if it’s somehow played on the radio I’m listening to. I guess it’s just my voice, the way I sing and the fact that my songs have a story-line, which is not so common these days except in Country, Folk, Americana and the likes.

Talk us through your song writing process?

Usually I come up with a title and then a hook or even an entire chorus. I don’t know where it comes from, it sort of shows up out of the blue when I go for a run, work out, or just busy with something else. Then the real writing process start…I sit down and go to work, find the theme of the song (which of course is half done with having the title), the song path and I write a lot of raw material. Depending on the song, I do a lot of research as well, anything from places I write about; to human emotions and making sure the lyrics are in alignment with the song in general. So when it goes ‘tired of living life on the ground, I gotta get up off this runway’ as in Less Than Enough, the rest of the lyrics need to match that aerial/flying theme, which I think I succeeded with on that one!

How do you find the recording process ?

I love it! This is where your words come alive for the first time and you start to get an idea of what the end product will be. It’s countless hours in the studio. I mean it took us 18 months to record 9 songs, but I absolutely love it and we have a lot of fun. And you get to experience a lot of different emotions yourself, not only from the songs themselves, like I did with Out Of Our League, which at times was quite emotional to sing, cause it still hurt. But also, you’re working in close quarters with other people in a creative process…it’s great and most times a positive experience.

You have released your new single ‘Out Of Our League’ tell us about that track and how it came into fruition?

Well, this song basically wrote itself. This is a broken-heart song and it is one-to-one what happened, so it was more or less just telling the story. My ex-girlfriend and I split up and it wasn’t because of the lack of love. I guess you could say, that the idea of her and I was bigger than what we could handle. We wanted the relationship badly, but in our own way and in the end, too stubborn to compromise…the love was simply out of our league. There’s a lot of emotion in this song, which you can hear both in the lyrics and in my voice as well. I find that the song works great and it is well put together (thanks to my producer), and because of this, it’s one of my favorite songs. Great for live as well. It’s fairly easy to learn the chorus and to sing along to. However, it’s one of those songs when we play it live, you can see the audience quiet, listening, really feeling the song. When you write and make something like that, that’s all you can ask for.

There are some lovely guitar moments in your tracks ‘Out Of Our League’ in particular has a Bon Jovi- esque solo how do you come up with these?

Ha ha, I don’t know if it’s Bon Jovi-esque – I think it’s all Bane Riff! All credit goes to my producer Martin Daus on this one. Not only is he a seasoned producer, he’s also a guitar guru, ha-ha! He came up with it and played the solo in the studio. But I agree, it sounds very good, and to me it brings even more emotion to the song.

Do you find it easy to create the melodies for your tracks or is it quite the lengthy process?

Yes, very easy. Melodies come easy to me and sometimes even before I have a single word of the song. The second released single ‘Falling’ came about that way. I came home from the studio one day. We had just finished Less Than Enough, which was the first song done. I was happy and in a good mood, and all of a sudden out of the blue while cooking, came the chorus-melody. I was just humming it out loud feeling love, love that I had created something completely from scratch and my very first song (and also a little bit because I was having a teenage crush on this girl!. Out of those feelings came the words pouring out and I just started to write…ending up burning the food.

What is a live show with you like?

Live shows, they are what I wanted to do when starting making music. I like the writing process, I like being in the studio, but live is where I come alive! My music is made for live playing and I always have this in mind when writing songs, creating melodies, and often I even have a ‘stage-show’ in mind when I write a song. All goes into making sure that the people coming to our shows are getting more than what they expected. People should feel the show, not just hear it, whether it’s the power of We Go Out, the sing along on Less Than Enough, the happy feelings of love in Falling or the more straight from the heart feelings in Out Of Our League.

Is there a particular track you like to play live?

I like’em all for different reasons. For me, there’s a story to be told at a live show and the song order is no coincidence. It takes the audience through emotions, feelings, experiences and stories, and what isn’t said in the songs themselves, I narrate in between. I guess out of the released songs I like to play Less Than Enough. Of our unreleased songs, I would say ‘Grey Over Night’, cause it’s a beautiful song with a humoristic twist, or ‘Make Sense’ for the social importance it carries. Both will be released early next year.

What’s next for Bane Riff?

Well, it’s a process of milestones. First, writing songs, recording and releasing them, to performing live. We are building on that, but we are ready for the big break. At the moment I’m in talks with several different parties who might be able to assist opening up the very big door. We wanna go to the big arenas, we wanna reach a larger audience to share our music and hopefully start to make a living doing it as well. I’m writing a lot of new material too. I guess I have about 20 songs eligible for studio recording, enough to keep us busy for the next couple of years.

You can follow Bane Riff on his socials here

Website : https://baneriff.com/

Instagram : https://www.instagram.com/bane_riff/

Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/baneriff/

Twitter : https://twitter.com/BaneRiff

Spotify : https://tinyurl.com/baneriffspotify

Stream ‘Out Of Our League’ on YouTube here


 

A Chat With : Mini Mansions

I caught up with Michael Shuman of LA’s Mini Mansions ahead of their show in Paris tonight to have a chat about the trios new EP ‘Works Every Time’ and decipher how these guys create their exquisite sound. After some technical difficulties, phone adjustments and comical “can you hear me now” frustrations we settled in for a chat.

You guys have released your new EP ‘Works Every Time’ it has been a few years since your fans have had new music from you, were you nervous about the release?

I’m never really nervous about releasing new music, we take the time to make sure that we are proud of it and I usually feel really comfortable with it or else I wouldn’t put it out in the world.But the only thing I think is different for us is lyrically the subject matter is a little more personal and emotional than most of the content we have put out before.That’s the only thing.. who knows if people even read too much into it but for us it means a lot more, but I’m not usually a nervous person.

So you are exposing yourself emotionally more than you are used to

Yeah we are and there is no rhyme or reason to it I think it’s just maybe because of our age, maybe we feel more comfortable in our skin where we feel like we can do that. But in doing that I also kind of realise that all my favourite songs all the classics are love songs that are pretty straightforward and honest about love and heartbreak and because the three of us have gone through that in our life we connect to those songs that we love and we feel ok to do the same.

You guys manage to take a cover track to new levels by dissecting it and making it your own with Blondie’s Heart of Glass and Sparks Sherlock Holmes, it was like your own song a fantastically dark ominous cover and now with this EP you do a thrilling cover of Edwyn Collins‘ ‘A Girl Like You’, how do you choose these covers and what is the process the track goes through to become sprinkled with Mini Mansions goodness?

Well the first one we did like you said was Blondie’s Heart of Glass the reason we did that originally was we started the band and like a month into it our friends Autolux asked us to go out on tour with them and we had a handful of songs and you know you’re going out there to a crowd that at that time for sure didn’t know who we were because we were brand new and so you have to figure out some kind of way to connect with them and covering a song is one of the best ways so there is something familiar to them but yet we totally turn it on its head so they then connect with you in this way and they didn’t even know why. A lot of people thought it was a Beatles cover but yeah that’s the reason we did it – for a new band it’s the best way and people seemed to love it so we did a couple of others and the thing with ‘A Girl Like You’ I wanted to do the same thing, re-connect with some people that never had heard us. I heard it when I was young. I thought it was such a hit and in the States it didn’t really do much but I thought it was such a hit song and I know it did do well in the UK. But when we were looking for a song for this EP that one in particular not just because of its musical implications but lyrically  it kinda fits right in to what we were trying to convey lyrically and so I thought it actually could have almost been our words and that’s the best thing about doing covers. You shouldn’t just do a cover and do it exactly the same you should make it your own and you should feel like it is part of you so when you are done you’re like Oh this is our song. So that was the big reason for that song in particular for this EP and just making sure you do it justice without ripping it off

Glorious melodies are something you guys are pros at creating there isn’t one melody that isn’t catchy, sweet and honey soaked, How do you come up with these?

We are just really really smart… (Laughs) I mean I have no idea.The only thing I can think of is that it’s just years and years and records and records and being a music fan – just kind of soaking in all the music you can and all your favourite bands…as it goes inside of you it kind of all swirls up together and comes out, out of your lips and your fingers and your body and that’s the only thing I can think of.

You guys are like the dream team of bands each of you taking part in some of our favourite bands Queens Of The Stone Age, The Last Shadow Puppets, Arctic Monkeys has your experience in these bands aided Mini Mansions?

The great thing about the bands we have been in and the situation that we are in is that you have all these friends that are so talented and you get to tour the world with them, you get to record with them, write with them and just hang out, make records together and I think I make sure that I try to take something from every musician or every tour I go on. Whether that’s what microphone did you use on that ? or what do you do for sound check? you know, talk to their crew. I think it would be a shame to not open your eyes and pay attention to what’s going on or what everyone is doing around you and I think we are just fortunate enough to be around a really great creative group of people and we all share things with each other and we will all influence each other. I think it goes both ways

Not only that but Tyler is part of Mister Goodnite and both You and Tyler have written scores to movies most recently Feed and Kate Can’t Swim and Zach has worked with Brian Wilson and Alexandra Savior as well as a host more artists, all of these showing different musical styles. Is this exposure to different musical styles what makes Mini Mansions so unique?

I’m sure. You learn things along the way but also I think that it’s actually the reverse. The reason that we get to be apart of these different and totally stylistically different projects and bands is that we just have a love for all kinds of music, I love punk rock but I don’t just listen to punk rock and I think some people make a mistake by living their lives that way, it’s not very punk to just listen to punk your confining yourself so much you really ought to open your mind. I think that’s how we get put into these situations, we are very open to all kinds of music.

Your sound has progressed steadily from your debut self titled album with Majik Marker and Monk through to The Great Pretenders, Flashbacks and now Works Every Time it feels like you haven’t lost the original glorious obscurity we all love, just refined it down into manageable sweet doses, how do you feel the albums have progressed?

We just focused more on songwriting. When we first started the band we didn’t really know what we were doing. We knew we wanted to do something different and we knew stylistically where we wanted to go and what artists we wanted to influence the beginning of the band. But now it’s like lets just write really good songs. The music, the production and the style – that’s gonna come naturally to us because we would never let each other stray too far but its always gonna sound like Mini Mansions, that’s what i’m really happy about with these songs when I listen back I’m like this sounds like us for sure.But I think our song writing has just elevated and it goes back to the lyrics really. That’s everything simple chords and lyrics is really all it’s about and then you can put all the bells and whistles on it to make it yours but I think that’s the big leap I see.

There is a natural swagger dripping off every track ‘Midnight in Tokyo’ in particular is pretty suave talk us through how that track came to fruition?

Well, even though it’s a pretty fun, danceable track the content is maybe the most literal song I’ve ever written. Midnight In Tokyo is about a trip I had in Tokyo it was a really deep existential one for me. It was with a ex of mine and I got engaged at midnight on new year’s eve in Tokyo and the song kind of starts there. I don’t know how you can talk about a relationship within 3 and a half minutes but it kind of spans the whole thing because I finished the song after we broke up so it was a really weird thing to do, to try to get all that information into a song.

But then production wise I’m a big fan of Damon Albarn and I started as a big Blur fan and I like how he has progressed. He has gone from punk rock to pop to hip hop. Whatever he does- The Gorillaz, which I think is so unique and I think he is one of the great innovators of our time. So it was a little inspired by that. I listened to a lot of Blur so musically that was my biggest inspiration too.

So you guys really put yourselves into the songs, emotional experiences and all when you are coming up with them

Yeah and that is scary to do that. It’s scary to tell you that, I don’t know you, I mean now we know each other but I’m telling you some of my deepest shit and I’m telling the world some of my deepest stuff which I’m not used to. I’m used to being a very private person.I didn’t want to have instagram, I didn’t have instagram until recently. I don’t want anyone to know anything about me I just want to play music and make art and that’s it. But now, I don’t know why but I’m just open to it and I don’t really care anymore. I didn’t give any fucks before, but now I really don’t give any fucks

Do you have a favourite track on the EP?

I think Midnight in Tokyo is my favourite just because I’ve sat with it for so long it means a lot to me but I would never put out a song that I didn’t fully love.so it’s hard to choose – it’s like choosing your favourite child you know.

Have you played ‘This Bullet’ live yet?

We don’t (laughs)

What! I imagine that track would be epic live

To be honest it’s not going to be a hard one to play live but we just haven’t done it yet we haven’t had the time. I mean literally for London and Paris we met up with Tyler because he has been in the UK with Arctic Monkeys so we had one day to rehearse so we didn’t have enough time to dial that one in –  but we definitely will

How do you choose what tracks make the live shows?

A lot of the shows we play are supporting other bands which is a blessing but you only get to play like 40 minutes so you gotta choose wisely and choose which songs – maybe specifically for which artist your supporting what their fans might connect with. It’s like a job interview. You got a really short amount of time to make a good impression so you gotta choose wisely. Then when we play our own shows you wanna give some old songs, you wanna play some new songs, you wanna play songs you think people really connect to the most and that has a natural flow.

I have seen you guys perform live 3 times now and each time the energy is kinetic you give it your all, nothing done by half measures and then you say hello to fans after, that must be pretty tiring ?

It is. Sometimes I just wanna shut my head off and sit by myself because I do put everything out there so my body is fully drained both mentally and physically. So yeah I usually don’t wanna do that. Its funny we just played London and it was quite a small show and they had the dressing room next door.The door to the dressing room was a big glass window out to the street where everyone could see us. So we finished our set and we are standing there changing out of our sweaty clothes and doing all that and there is all of our fans at the window,  it’s like ah! …. You know, I love it and I love our fans and I want them to have a good time and I’m happy to do anything for them but it is tough.

I can imagine that was a little unnerving

Yeah yeah it was.

You have the addition of  Dash Hutton on drums for the live shows what brought about this decision?

Honestly probably since the first year of the band we have discussed having a real drummer, I’m not much of a drummer I just learnt just because we needed one for Mini Mansions and Im a guitar player too so I always write everything on guitar and there was always guitar riffs – they are on the records, so we always talked about it and then I think finally we got to a point where with all our new songs I played a lot of guitar and I was like you know what, i think this is important, important to the song when we play it live and we needed someone that’s better than me too and honestly as soon as it happened it was like oh I can’t believe we didn’t do this years ago, because it really elevated all our songs. It allows me to be free and I’m not restricted to be behind the kit anymore. It just totally changed our world. Dash was in my first band called Wires On Fire. He was our drummer so I have a deep connection with him and so immediately it was like he’d been there forever

Your merchandise has been pretty creative from vintage wine to denim jackets do you have any plans to release some unique merchandise with this EP?

We haven’t fully got into it but we are in the process of making new jackets but only for us so far. We haven’t figured out all that stuff yet, I mean there is this EP but there is gonna be a whole bunch of other songs coming out too so we haven’t fully got into it yet, so no I guess, the answer is no.

Do you have any advice for anyone who wants to start a band?

Don’t… I mean, the music world is so fucked right now it’s so hard. It’s hard for us so starting a new band.. I can’t imagine… I would never want to start a new band right now. The only thing I could say is if you really really really want to do it is you just can’t quit. There is a million bands and some just aren’t gonna be good enough and that’s the sad truth but if you really believe in yourself you can’t stop because it takes a long time.Some bands they have one song it’s a fucking hit and they never even tour in a van they just get a bus so good for them but that’s not how most of it works. I don’t know… that’s not how it worked for me it took me a long time you know. But look we are still a very small band and we have been a band for 9 years so it’s just hard. You have to be willing to….I don’t know- just suck it up.

What’s next for Mini Mansions?

We play Paris tonight we go home for 2 days then we do a tour supporting Arctic Monkeys, hit the States and then we get ready for next year. There is a lot coming next year.

Any Irish Shows?

Of course but they are not booked yet but of course we are coming.

Stream ‘Works Every Time’ Below

 

 


A Chat With : Crazy Town

We sat down with Hasma Angeleno, Shifty Shellshock, Filippo Dallinferno Giomo and Luca Pretorius from Crazy Town before their show at the Bowery Dublin. We chatted about the music industry, their experiences so far and got some advice for those heading into the recording studio for the first time …. “tune your guitar guys”

Watch the interview below