Welcome to Sentinel Daily, Minus One dudes, and thanks for being part of our My 2018 Series! First up, for the benefit of our readers please identify yourself and the role you fulfil within the band “Answering the questions are our manager GP, and Harrys, one of the two guitarists of the band and the only one with sexy looks. This is the only part of the interview that Harrys had nothing to do with”
Good to meet the pair of you! How has 2018 treated the band? With a new album (the soon to be released Red Black White) in the can you must have been busy… “As you might know, two years ago we had some lineup changes and thankfully we can now say that the band is a well oiled engine, with all the parts working as they should. So it feels like 2018 is the year that the seeds we planted are starting to grow, with the making and release of the new album. Yes we were very busy throughout 2018 and still are with future work. The work done by the band was constant jamming to write songs and spending hours perfecting them. Our livers worked hard too since we like to consume and get inspired while jamming . Meanwhile GP was pulling strings to get us to Soren Andersen‘s studio located in Copenhagen, to record and to play some gigs while we were there. The studio is called Medley Studios and we went there twice to complete the recordings. With Soren we recorded, mixed and co-produced the album. In between the recording sessions we played three times at the Copenhagen Hard Rock Café, and you know, they had never heard of us, so they said, ‘OK, we will host you but you have to pay for everything, drum set, food, even the drinks’ -which are our biggest budget. When we came back for the next four songs in February, Hard Rock Café stated “OK guys, you are our guests, drinks, food, drum set and we want you for six nights” and at the end they wrote to us “We host fifty bands each year, and you have been by far the best so far”. So we were happy, and working with Soren gave us a strong morale boost. Then we went back to Cyprus and we were back on the hit scene again, which was even better”.
Talking of Cyprus, can you tell us a bit about the Cypriot rock scene – Everyone is familiar with the Greek metal scene – is Cyprus just as metal-mad? “Unfortunately the population of Cyprus and consequently of the rock/metal fan base is not big enough to support any sort of rock/metal event with ease. In the case of local bands, we have been one of the very few exceptions, but it takes a huge amount of continuous effort to build and maintain a fan base, and often times we also take into consideration what the crowd would like to hear to be able to maintain that. Therefore, it is a pity to say this but not many organisers and sponsors take the risk to bring big international names here because the expected attendance wouldn’t be so high. The upside is that these circumstances make the crowd thirsty for concerts and when you get them all the crowds are much like Greece’s mad fans”.
Tell us a bit more about the new album – and how did you end up on Danish label Mighty Music? “It was through Soren. We had met Soren when we had opened for Glenn Hughes on a short tour in Europe at the beginning of 2017, and we loved the production he did for Resonate, Glenn Hughes’ 2017 album. When we went to his studio, I think he had not great expectations about us and our music. Within one day, we were on the same line, and within three, we were best buddies. It was great to work with him. I mean, we came with almost all our songs already quite advanced in production, as we are used to being as independent as possible on our tiny island… But what he gave us, was like hot chilli pepper in the blistering sun… So at the end of our work, he spoke with Michael Andersen, the Mighty Music CEO; Michael listened to our music, and of course we like to think that he fell in love with it and asked us to join his label”…
Of course! Speaking more generally now, what were the best rock and metal albums you heard in 2018? “You mean aside from ours? Ah, that’s right it is not out yet… Don’t know really, There are too many to mention but one band that stands out for me and that I have been listening to it recently is this amazing band called Nothing But Thieves. If you haven’t heard of them do yourself a favour and check them out. They blow my mind with their ability to bring about new sounds in such a saturated music style like rock and also how melodic and groovy they are at times. It kind of reminds me of us when we were young. Like last year!”
And who impressed you live this year? “Basically, we are playing every weekend for the past few years with few exceptions, so this doesn’t allow us to see many bands live. Usually we are the entertainment. One of the few we have seen was the Electric Guitars because we opened up for them earlier this year. This is Soren’s band with another crazy guitarist called Mika who throws guitars in the air and kicks them on their way down. Their energy on stage is great and they definitely know how to handle a crowd. As you probably guessed by now, I am also saying this
because Soren is a friend and a colleague”.
Would you say overall that 2018 was a good year for metal and hard rock? “No. We think it is getting more and more difficult as more and more people are becoming as stupid as President Trump and thus don’t understand the difference between a shot gun and a good guitar solo”…
Wasn’t that a problem that used to afflict Ian Astbury? Never mind. Not strictly a question about 2018 but we couldn’t let you speak to us without mentioning Eurovision, which you entered in 2016. It’s often derided by rock fans but there’s no denying the popularity of the event – what was Minus One’s take on the whole thing? “You know… It is so fucking difficult when you are a good rock band, you know you are good, you know you play well, but you come from a tiny island no one knows where the hell it is -you know how many people spell our island as “Cypress” and absolutely no idea on where it is?- and when you have a mega hit on the island you get 40.000 likes on YouTube…. So what do you do? With the money we make on our local concerts, we can allow ourselves a tour to Greece for a weekend. So fuck whatever people think. We went to Eurovision because it brought us in front of a live audience of sixteen thousand people six times (in Stockholm!), with two hundred and five million watching the final event. It would take us about ten thousand years of playing to reach the same audience in Cyprus. When you are a less than mediocre rock band in the USA, you get millions of views at least in your home town… if we get even the toddlers to look at our video, we get eight hundred thosuand views views. So stop the crap, Eurovision was amazing, was good for us, and we would do it a million times again. And the audience was spectacular, like the event! Mind boggling! Wonderful!”
We’re sold! – and the official clip is approaching five million views now! So what plans for 2019 – will you be able to do much touring in support of the new album? “As much as we can. Every day of the year if possible. We have been doing seventy live concerts a year for the last nine, almost all in Cyprus. The feedback we get is constantly positive and we can see it with our own eyes that people are having a blast at our shows. We know that we have a good product here and we want to present it in front of everybody. We want to show that we rock, and we rock well, to the rest of the world”
Anything else you’d like the readers of Sentinel Daily to know about? “Yes… Guys, listen to our songs. You do not know, unless you are musicians yourselves, how very important it is. We live for our music. We love our music, and we need your ears, your opinions and your support to keep making it. Write to us, send us to hell, but listen and if you like it, talk about it with your friends
and share it goddammit! We bet our asses that you’d be pleasantly surprised. Like Soren was”…
Thanks for taking part!
Minus One will release their new album, Red Black White, through Mighty Music on December 14th.