06th Apr2009

Minipop: The Interview

by Todd

Minipop is a self-proclaimed “dream pop” band from San Francisco, California, formed by Tricia Kanne (vocals/guitar), Lauren Grubb (drums), Matthew Swanson (guitar/keyboard) and Nick Forte (bass) in 2004.  Their album, “A New Hope” is filled with what we like to call, “perfect pop melodies”.  These are the songs that ought to fill top 40 radio with sonic goodness.  Tricia and friends were kind enough to share their secrets with us:

TDOA: There are few bands in the world that can write a hook as well as Minipop. Has there been interest from major labels or perhaps advertising agencies? Why on Earth haven’t we heard you on an IPod commercial yet?!

MP: The compliment is very nice, but we exist in a sea of people who can write good hooks.  There are so many other factors in the music industry besides the music that account for success.  The music industry is very fickle and stars really need to align for bands to make it.  I think that’s that what makes it so alluring.  All you can do is put your music out there and put yourself in a position to jump on any opportunities that come your way.  We aren’t trying to be famous or anything, the band has already far exceeded my expectations from starting on a Casio keyboard in my bedroom one afternoon.  There’s a few thousand Minipop cd’s out there making people happy.  That’s a good feeling.  Anything more will be icing.

TDOA: As a band, you must get tired of the comparisons to other bands. True? How do you define your music?

MP: If you are in a band and you get tired of comparisons then you are gonna be very very tired.  It comes with the territory.  People that write, “We hate being compared to U2 or whoever” are a bit egotistical.  Everyone sounds like someone else.  Great bands influence all of us and that’s half the reason we play music, to sound like someone.  The whole “They take all these influences and make a sound all their own”, nonsense is a joke too.  Really?  You sound like your band?  Shocking.  Every band makes a sound all their own, that’s a biological certainty.  No one is in this music thing alone.  We sound like Mazzy Star and early 90′s alternative bands and you know what?  That’s what we want to sound like.  We describe our sound as care bears on morphine and marshmallows on Xanax.

TDOA: Do you perceive a certain sexism in calling a female fronted band that writes good hooks, “pop”? (ED. NOTE: Did you just ask a band named Minipop, if they disliked being called “pop”?! You’re fired) There are plenty of male fronted bands writing good hooks that don’t get that tag which some would consider derisive.

MP: Nah, we have pop in our name.  What’s so bad about writing pop music. we aren’t hipsters and we’ll never be in Vice magazine or anything.  We aren’t that cool and don’t get offended by people writing popular music.  God forbid people listen to us and buy our records.  We haven’t really received to much sexism.  I think people are over it.

TDOA: Any chance we can get Matt to indulge the guitar geeks among us and describe his rig (guitars, amps, pedals)?

MS: Sure, we have few secrets.  I play a heritage 335 hollow body guitar and a Telecaster.  I played through a Fender Super Reverb forever and switched to Vox AC30 a couple years ago.  I still record with both amps. when I play live the pedals I use are a holy grail reverb, a deluxe memory man echo/chorus, a dd-3 digital delay, an ibanez de7 delay echo, and an MXR micro amp for boosty distortion.  I own a few more delay pedals and distortions for recording.

TDOA: When can we expect to hear new material from the band?

MP: We’ll be spending these next few months recording and plotting our revenge. We probably won’t release anything for reals until next year.

TDOA: What bands are Minipop listening to these days?

MP: Of Montreal, Santogold, MGMT, Leather Feather, Pearl Jam, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and Animal Collective.

TDOA: We like to jokingly (sort of) claim that bad music is making people…dumber. If you could eliminate one current band from the planet, who would it be?

MP: Put the gloves on.  The band that we would eliminate would be Iglu and Hartly.  They are the raddest, unintentional, comedy band of all time, but they indeed make people dumber, starting with themselves.  I implore you to check them out.  Jarvis Anderson we’re gunning for you.  It’s on…

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