I recently got to do a Q&A with Matthew Swanson from one of my favorite-ist bands, Minipop. They hail from the great Bay in San Francisco, CA and their album A New Hope has been a constant in my CD player for the better part of this year. I first heard about them via an article on Spin.com that was highlighting acts at the 2008 SXSW conference. They had a single to download called "Like I Do," I swear to got I listened to that damn song like 10 times in a row. It's catchy as hell and has a rich, warm sound. If you like early 90's female fronted bands then you'll love these guys. Oh, and there's a mp3 and video after the interview.
To start off, I'd like to ask the obvious (at least to me) question about the inter-band dynamic. With the band being two dudes and two girls, have you guys gone all Fleetwood Mac and hooked up with each other? The road does get lonely, ya know?
Non amiamo parlare realmente di ciò che continua nella nostra banda o viveri personali. Lei può usare la sua immaginazione ed è probabilmente vicino alla realtà.
Is Minipop your main thing in your life or do you guys grind the 9 to 5?
We have jobs outside of Minipop, nothing 9 to 5, more part time work and such. Lauren and Tricia are actually about to go to school in January so we're going to be taking a break while they start school and we work on the new album.
What do you think about blog hype? Do you see any benefits from it?
I'm sure there's a lot to the blog hype thing. We never got much blog hype, we're not really an in the moment band, our roots are in the early 90's alternative music scene, which isn't really a big thing these days. Maybe it'll come up as the 80's thing dies down.
It's been about a years since A New Hope was released--do you have plans on a follow-up soon? Are you in the studio now?
We'll be tracking drums in december and doing over dubs throughout January (and) February.
Will your new music sound like what you've done on your debut LP or do you want to go in a new direction?
Since Tricia's voice is at the forefront of what we do It'll be similiar in emotion to our past recordings. Some of the music has some new flavor to it but I'd say it'll be a Minipop record and have the Minipop sound.
What other music are you guys listening to currently?
I've been listening to a bit of UB40, Metric and Deerhunter lately. Tricia is most likely listening to Christmas music and Etta James.
Is any one band in particular influential on the band?
Not really. Tricia is influenced a lot by Hope Sandoval of Mazzy Star. Musically we are influenced by early 90's music like Catherine Wheel, Smashing Pumpkins and My Bloody Valentine.
I've listened to A New Hope a bunch of times now and the comparison that keeps coming to me is an American version of The Sundays. Has anyone drawn that comparison before?
We've got The Sunday's, Cranberries, Mazzy Star, Belly. There aren't a ton of girl fronted alternative bands so it's a pretty small group to grab comparisons to. We're down with all those bands.
I read that you played in Oklahoma with the Smoking Popes to like 10 people. I'm originally an Oklahoma boy, where was that show?
It was a venue called the Mooch and Burn. It was actually a really fun show. Everyone there was really cool and attentive and we played really well. One of those small shows that you remember really well and fondly. Fun night. Tulsa was a bit of a trip, good mexican food.
I've read that you guys have a big following in you hometown. What is the reaction like to you guys when you're on the road?
We've had a lot of positive feedback on the road. We aren't drawing that well across the country but it seems to be growing a little bit. We weren't able to tour quite as much as we'd hoped this year but hopefully next year we'll get back out there.
Do you have any future plans of touring in Dallas? Are you planning on going to SXSW again this year?
Our next show will be SXSW, we'll be recording up until then.
What is the best show you have played? Best show you've seen as a fan?
Our best show outside of the bay area was probably in Boston at The Middle East. We headlined there on our last tour and it was a truly great show, great turnout and we played with some great bands. Playing in Omaha with Tokyo Police Club was nice too. This year I think Sigur Ros at The Greek Theater in Berkeley was my favorite show.
I always ask this, so, I have to know: what do you guys listen to on the road? Is there anything all of you agree on or is the driver in charge of the music?
Some albums we listened to on our last tour were In Rainbows by Radiohead, The Heartless Bastards, Lauren's mix CD's. We have a DVD player in the van so we watch a lot of My So Called Life, Family Ties, Strangers With Candy and Quantum Leap.
MP3: Minipop - Like I Do