Friday, July 11, 2014

Minot interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us a little bit about the band?
1. Minot is a three-piece, heavily-rhythmic instrumental band from the US, split between Oakland and San Francisco, California, and Asheville, North Carolina.  We've been playing together since 2011, and we've self-released an EP, released a 7" with the wonderful Mylene Sheath, and one full-length with the Mylene Sheath and Golden Antenna.  We've all been playing in bands for years and years, including The Mass, The Turks, From Monument to Masses, Low Red Land, Greenlight the Bombers, Sons of Oswald, Tartufi, and Houses of Light.  We love each other like brothers, and dislike each other just the same.  We have a great time playing together.

2.Recently you have released a new album, can you tell us a little bit more about the musical direction the band has taken with the new album and also how does it differ from the stuff you have released in the past?
2. The new album seems to be a bit more "realized," if that can be said without sounding pretentious.  The initial Minot releases were some of the first material we ever wrote together, and the new album features songs that benefit from us having several years of experience playing together under our belts.  Understanding each other as players and people is something that we value quite highly, and I think we have developed a level of comfort and knowledge that allows us to play to our strengths and write strong, cohesive songs.  We are very happy about, and proud of, the old material, and very excited to utilize several years of experience in this new batch of songs.

3.So far all of the music has been instrumental, are there any plans to use any vocals in the future?
3. The short answer is "no," and the long answer is "probably not."  We toyed with it in the beginning, and it was interesting, but we felt more comfortable doing what we do as an instrumental band.  I'll never say never, though, so we'll see what the future has to hold.

4.What is the meaning and inspiration behind the name 'Minot'?
4. Matthew really wanted a band name that would both be buried beneath hundreds of Google and YouTube results for military bases and town meetings, and aggressively mispronounced. 

5.What are some of the best shows that the band has played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
5. Honestly, I think there's something really awesome about every show we've played, from dirty (and I mean filthy) punk houses to festival stages.  We have a really good time playing, and it's very active and cathartic.  We may be three older dudes flailing around the stage, but I'd like to think we look (and sound) good doing it.

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
6. We should be doing some US dates in early September, up and down the west coast, and some European touring in October.  Keep your fingers crossed.

7.The new album came out on Golden Antenna Records, are you satisfied with the help they have given the band so far?
7. Certainly.  Timo had been a huge supporter of Matthew's old band, From Monument to Masses.  He's continued to be amazing to Minot, and we can't thank him enough.  We're stoked to see what he's done with the European version of the vinyl, and how he's been spreading the word.  People like Timo, and labels like Golden Antenna, may be few and far between, but we're lucky that we've got at least of few of them in the world.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of post rock?
8. I'm not sure, honestly.  It seems good, but who can tell who's a person and who's a Facebook bot these days?

9.Where do you see the band heading into musically during the future?
9. That's a good question.  Being split up, across the country, makes writing hard.  Let's hope we find a way to do it that satisfies us all. 

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on you music and also what are you listening to nowadays?
10. My bandmates like to joke about the lengths I can go when talking about bands and music, so I'll try to keep this brief.  We all were influenced, in varying degrees, by the punk, hardcore, metal, and all of the "post-" scenes.  Fugazi is a big one for all of us, on many levels.  As far as bands that I'm listening to these days, there are so many awesome bands doing great things that should be acknowledged.  Thou, KEN mode, Kowloon Walled City, Roomrunner, Young Widows, Pig Destroyer, The Body, Beastmilk, Ash Borer, Wolvserpent, Gaytheist, Helms Alee, Burning Love, Mutoid Man, Indian, Panopticon, Primitive Man, Run the Jewels, Wovenhand, and Mike Sempert are all making music that should be heard.  

11.What are some of your non musical interests?
11. Shannon is a fantastic photographer and dad, who also runs his own painting company and bikes hundreds of miles every weekend.  Matthew is a very skilled carpenter and contractor, and he's been on a big sci-fi reading kick.  I own and operate a BBQ catering company, train in Muay Thai, and keep telling myself that I'll get back to drawing things and screen-printing.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
12. It may be rote, but thanks for caring enough to ask these questions.  Hopefully, some folks will read this and check out our band, and then some of those folks will actually like it.  We're very fortunate to be able to do this, and to have the chance to play to/play with/work with wonderful people (Joel and Lindsay of the Mylene Sheath, Timo of Golden Antenna, countless friends, family, and strangers that have supported us) is something that we couldn't imagine.  It means a lot, and we hope to be able to continue doing this for ourselves and those around us. 

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