Minuteman, born out of the demise of Ultrasound, are one of the best British Bands of 2002. With a limited edition single "Gave You All The Blame" out now and a proper single "Big Boy" to follow in the next couple of months expect to be hearing a lot more from these guys. With a return to classic British Pop in the style of David Bowie it looks like we've finally found the answer to all this Nu-Metal nonsense coming out of the States.
Q: "Gave You All The Blame" - the first proper single after a limited edition 7" last year. Fill us in with the Minuteman story since the demise of Ultrasound?
A: Its still limited edition release, the same as the last one was. "Big Boy" is going to the first proper release. I was writing alot of the songs at the tail-end of Ultrasound and it just seemed like a natural progression. I didn't have any expectations for it at all.
About six months after Minuteman as a project started I decided to do the vocals. Initially I was looking for somebody else to sing, only because I wanted to concentrate on playing the music. But I couldn't find anyone I liked and I'm really happy to be doing it now.
Q: After hiding behind a stack of keyboards in your previous band. How does it feel to be the main focus of a band?
A: F**king frightening to be honest!!! The first few gigs were definitely rabbits in the headlights. It is a completely different thing to find yourself stood up front with people actually paying attention to what you're doing. Rather than being a supporting castman at the back of the stage.
Q: I can't recap why Ultrasound actually split up. Was it the usual case of musical differences or was there something else behind it?
A: Friendships went sour. It was really difficult situation where just a group of people who knew each other really well just suddenly went actually you're all a bunch of pricks!!!! And we sort of walked away from it. It just got too difficult.
Q: At the beginning of the year when people were tipping bands, Minuteman were amongst the few. But it was always with the dig "the least likely band to make it - the keyboard player out of Ultrasound".
A: Not too say that there's a bit of re-invention going on. But its a completely different thing. Its completely different role that I'm taking so it comes across completely different. Which is a good thing!!!
Q: British bands, and I include you in this, do tend to be reacting to all this Nu-Metal. There almost seems to be a return to classic Brit-Pop at the moment. Would you agree?
A: I'm a massive fan of good songs, man. A big fan of Neil Young and David Bowie who write good heart-felt songs, without wasting time filling out with crap songs. There seems to be a pointless blandness to a lot of what's going on....I mean I say this and people might find Minuteman incredibly bland, but I hope not.
Its quite a tricky, transient period music's in at the moment. A lot of groove based stuff that has been going on since the Happy Mondays and you've still got it going on now....without much deviance from the recipe, if you know what I mean!!!
It kind of feels that Minuteman is different from all that. Songs are so important, don't you think?
Q: You mentioned Bowie a moment ago. He's a huge influence on the Minuteman sound. Is its fair to say?
A: I'm no expert on David Bowie, but I do appreciate what he does. I've got a lot of respect for him, as far as not compromising what he does. Now, he's an old man. But he did have a fantastic realm of nearly 15 years of fantastic music, respect!!!!
Q: You're in the studio at the moment. Are you working on the debut album?
A: Were just working on the B-sides for the next single "Big Boy". The albums pretty much finished apart from one track which needs mixing. I think there will be surprises, only that all the songs don't head in the same direction. I hate to use the word eclectic or bullshit, but it goes in a few different places.
For the B-sides I usually end up playing everything myself because its quicker, easier and cheaper...but its was a band effort on the album. I think the albums coming out in July and its just touring really for the rest of the year.
Q: Finally, if people have read this interview and they wanted one paragraph to sum up the Minuteman vibe. What would it be?
A: I was going to go into the whole politics of selling people something, but I'm not. I'm a musician and I love writing songs and I love people digging them. That's kind of what Minuteman is about. Just some good music for people to listen to. There's no sinister undertones. Were not trying to change the world. You can't change the world especially as an indie band. I've been there and done it once and it didn't work....we just pissed each other off!!!!
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