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Currently recording their much anticipated 2nd album, the lads take time out from the Studio to chat with Bandpages.ie. In true rock star fashion they arrive at our rooftop terrace... beers in hand.

The Minutes InterviewMany know The Minutes are a 3 piece rock outfit born and raised in Dublin. Since forming in 2006 they have gone from strength to strength boasting support slots for the likes of the Foo Fighters, The Cult, The Pigeon Detectives, Supergrass and Flogging Molly. Following their massive Headline European Tour last year where they performed over 20 shows across 8 countries, they are being hailed as one of this country’s must see live acts.

 

So how did the minutes form?

Shane "I started playing drums when I was 10 because I really looked up to Mark who's my cousin. They were starting a band and the drums were the only instrument left to play."

Mark "Yeah and then I met Tom our bassist when I was in college."

Shane "Mark left college with a wife and a bassist!"

Mark "Yeah I've known people to leave college with less......like degrees and shit like that."

 

Ok guys, so what are your main music influences?

Mark "Right now? Eh... the commitments. I know it sounds shit but thats what we listen too."       

Shane "We are massive fans of the film and the book. It's a classic! We like 70s Rock’n’Roll too and in particular Irish Rock’n’Roll bands like Thin Lizzy, because like us they are Dubs and we can relate to that. They have done exactly what we want to do, Dublin to Holyhead to London in a van, doing gigs. They broke the States and stuff like that too. Which is what we are trying to do. They just made great music!." 

 

Alright, and what is on your iPods at the moment?

Mark and Shane "Black Sabbath." 

Mark "Yes I love Black Sabbath and Kurt Vile."

Shane "Queens of the Stone Age, I am just obsessed in their new album." 

 

What do you hope to achieve with the new album ?

Mark "Totally obliterate what we achieved previously with the old album. This one was just what we should have achieved on the last one. The last one was dipping the Mickey in. Were going fully in this time. Because we have to. Were in this now. We've made our bed now and we have to lie in it. We are a band. We are a rock and roll band we have to go through with this. We made another record, which is hopefully a better record than the last one. And we have to get somewhere with it. Because we can't sit around drinking cans on roof tops all day. laughs

Shane "We Want to achieve what we should have achieved from the first one. Because a lot of people didnt get the first album. Our last album contained live elements and we really enjoyed making it."

Mark "That was an album of love."

Shane "It was a really band album. This album is probably gonna be accepted more by the regular listener."

 

So when did you guys decide to go full time at this and give up the day jobs? Was that a hard decision to make?

Mark "We decided to give it a lash full time about 2 and a half years ago. We Quit the jobs. I think we thought we'd get where we wanted to be quicker. But during those 2 years, it was just a lot of hard work to build the foundations."

Shane "Yeah, You couldn't have a job with the touring were doing. It would have to be one or the other. You can be in a job and get payed a wage at the end of the month or do what we love doing and get paid nothing. And all that hard work, is hopefully gonna pay off now for this new album."

 

You guys have been pretty inventive in the past with launch parties and mystery tours, do  have you anything cool planned for the launch date?

Mark "We will do something good."

Shane "Usually we have done few different things before."

Mark "Boat parties, rooftop parties... ."

Shane "...some of which people just copied us. We launched our single like 2 years ago on the Liffey and, we have seen another shit band doing the exact same launch on the exact same boat only recently! But yeah, we've done cool things like mystery tours up the mountains, and gigs somewhere just for our fans because they want to come out to gigs."

Mark "The frames used to do a gig down in Britis bay. Playing a gig on the beach. Although when I think about that I just think about the mixture of sun, drink and Irish people. It would be great craic but i wouldn't wanna be responsible for something that goes wrong that could happen when we organized it." laughs

 

In terms of the creative process - how do you guys approach writing material?

Mark "It's a collective process really... Me and Tom might come up with the riff, and ... I think we are so lucky that, we don't do the same way as other bands. That's why maybe our songs are slightly different because they always come from different places. If say for example Me or Shane or Tom write the song, then that's the song, we play it and that's it. That's not a band!"

Shane "Yeah That's not a band! It's like some p***k like dictator. I Was in a band like that for 4 months. In a band, you all work together. We have all made sacrifices to get to this point so we should all have to contribute "

 

You’re popular abroad and have toured extensively around Europe. How did you manage to break out of the Irish music Scene?

Mark "Dog determination. Not being one of those bands thats stuck in Ireland playing shit gigs. Cause we have seen it like a hundred million times. A new band break onto the scene.... ah there album is out....ah there on the late late show....ah they are playing the olympia....take a break and then do that process all over again but thats as far as they ever go.  They never go anywhere. Their heads got stuck in the success of Ireland which is too small a place to sustain a band properly."

Shane "Yeah, it is very easy to get stuck in if you are successful in your own country straight away. Because our music is not commercial ... like they don't play our music on the radio because it's to heavy. So we have to break of of Ireland to be recognized".

Mark "There is more people in Germany ,and because of that, there is a high percentage of the population that like Rock music. You go to the place where there is more people to like our music and you stand a better chance of making something of it. Therefore, with the right people backing you and promoting your shows abroad you will yield rewards."

Shane "You can get more people to a gig in Berlin than you can get at a gig in Galway. We have to leave the country to get people to a show. And it's a great felling, when you go to a place in Germany or somewhere or France, and there is a crowd there and they know your music."

 

Did it take you long to build up a reputation abroad?

Mark "We went out the first tour by ourselves, rented a van and booked most of the shows ourselves. Then the second time we went out we went with a band called Flogging Molly and were playing massive f***ing venues.  The third times we came back on our own tour. And the fourth tour we did there were lots of people there just to see us. Which was great! I don't know why bands just to stay on their own. They are afraid to take their chance. But we have to do that because we are not played on the radio. So Its a lot of hard work! Like for example even in Ireland you have to put in the time. We played to 2 people in Limerick and then it built up and built up. Until we could get our music out there. You have to play to no one to start. I can’t wait to get back to Germany to play, that was the one place that was really good for us."

Shane "We chipped away in France playing a few festivals and a few in Spain too. But Germany was the main place wasn't it?"

Mark "Just amazing. And that's just in one place. If we work with the right people in the right countries we can play to people who want hear our music and to listen to us and have a good time. That's my dream job."

 

The Minutes are well known for being very active on social media. Who’s the most active?

Shane "We all contribute. We understand the importance of engaging with our fans and we want them to be as involved in what we do as much as possible".

 

How did the idea of the Magical Mystery Tour come about ? 

Shane "We always try to think of different things to do. People coming to our gigs are paying good money to see us and we wanted to run a competition. So when you bought your ticket and sent us the receipt, we brought everyone back to our studio and Mark played a few acoustic songs. Then we all went back to Dice Bar for another gig. I just think it’s a cool thing to do. Something different."

 

Are you gonna do another mystery tour? 

Mark "We are gonna do it on a plane or something!"

Shane "Yeah we would love to do something different outside Ireland."

Mark "We will come up with something stupid don't worry."

Shane "You have to like think outside the box. You can't do the same boring shit."

Mark "Someone will copy it too."

Shane "Sure isn't that the best form of flattery."

 

Do you have some advice for new bands? What do you need to succeed in the music industry ? 

Shane "Don't listen to anyone! Listen to yourself. Especially people reviewing bands and CDs giving people shit. Don't listen to them at all. They don't have a clue. Believe and understand in what you are doing. It took us a while to find our sound because we were concerned with getting played on the radio. We thought if you get on the radio, then we would be made! But that's not the case. There is an element of compromise as well though, and we don't want to be playing in the same venues forever."

 

Do you think you are running out of music venues to play in Ireland? 

Mark "Yeah and you have to deal with Irish promoters. We don't want a lot from the gig, just a couple of beers and some money. Is that to much to ask? Anyway we were at this gig and we asked for some beers backstage. They brought us 4 beers... between 3 of us for the night. Some promoters are pretty awful at looking after you."

Shane "In comparison with Germany when we get to a venue before the soundcheck, they really look after us backstage. There is usually a big table with bread, cheese, booze.. everything you could ask for! They look after you because they appreciate what your are doing."

Mark "And then we sometimes take advantage of that. laughs

Shane "On tour we can't even drink the drink we have, so the back of the van usually fills up with drink that we can’t finish."

 

Do Irish promoters take care of you in the same way?

Mark "Oh yeah they do, but every know and again some promoter pops up and wants to put on a gig. They say to themselves "lets get The Minutes! They'll play wont they?!". And then they don't really look after you, but most promoters in Ireland are spot on."

Mark "There is a compromise and you have to push and pull if you want to do something that is bigger than you have done before. But I can't comment to much because we don't have a finished album. When it's put together, then come back to me and ask me about everything."

 

Where is your favorite venue in Dublin to play?

Shane "The Olympia."

Catch The Minutes at this weekends Longitude Festival playing the Woodlands Stage at 4pm on the Sunday. For more info on The Minutes and their upcoming new album you follow the guys on Twitter here.

by Sarah & Jonnie @bandpages