Minimal Complaints – introduction to one of the newest bands playing at Shindignation

With Shindignation quickly approaching, we interviewed one of the newest indie and alternative bands from the line-up, to find out who they are and what they’re about.

Find out more about Shindignation here

Tell us about your aims when creating music, and where does that aim stem from?

We want to create music that is influenced by our love of indie music but also has our own lyrical twist. To quote a cricket commentator we want to try and best but not take ourselves too seriously.

What was the catalyst for picking up instruments and wanting to start a band?
We all have different reasons for wanting to join a band. I read Patti Smith’s book Just Kids. She paints this incredible picture of the music scene in the late sixties and seventies New York. She meets highly influential musicians and artists that make a mark on her career as a musician and poet. It inspired me to start writing my own lyrics and to join a band.

Were you very influential to music when growing up or did you establish your own musical preferences?
Johnny (guitarist) found a CD in his Golden Grahams and it had Disco 2000 by Pulp. Pierre (drummer) was in a band that covered music from Buffy the Vampire. Apparently, they were awful! Jake (bassist) tried to learn the bassline from Rappers Delight by The Sugarhill gang. I remember watching Paul McCartney singing Hey Jude on TV at the Royal Albert Hall. It’s a really mixed bag of early influences.

Tell us about what it was like when you first started writing?
My first experience of writing a song in its entirety was when Johnny sent me some demos. I picked one out that sounded to me like a night out that starts out as harmless fun and turns into a complete mess. He does tend come with melody whilst hungover. I wanted the song to set the scene of dirty night club filled with regrets. That’s our song After Midnight.

What’s the music scene like in your area of London at the moment? Any band recommendations?
Old Blue Last and Shacklewell Arms have a great live music scene. We mainly play gigs in Bow so that’s really our end of town. We recently went to the third year anniversary of Bow Engine rooms and we saw a band called Princes of Maine and they were cool. I would also recommend Nova Twins they are explosive live!

[Recent performances {gigs, supports, festivals}] Tell us about that?
We started hosting an indie Music night called Behind the Bunhouse at The Widows Son in Bow. We are hoping to do that every month and we really want to promote a diverse night of music. Last time we had an R&B singer -songwriter called Mushana and a band called Little Pebbles who are also playing Shindignation Festival.

What and who influences you musically?
Early noughties Indie Rock from Strokes, Arctic Monkeys, to late 70s punk like Patti Smith, Talking Heads, The Clash etc. We also like a lot new music, Sunflower Bean, The Blinders and Alvvays.

Describe your songwriting process?
I used to write poetry at Uni so I try to flip poetry into lyrics. Sometimes the guys will send over a demo they recorded on SoundCloud and I’ll try and interpret the music into lyrics. I like writing in the early hours of the morning, I think it’s the best time to write.

Although you are in a band, do you still have to work day jobs in-between live shows?
We all have day jobs we have to pay the bills after all. London’s not an easy place to live in without earning some dosh. The Government hasn’t made it easy for young people to live in this city. We want to use our indie music night to support new artists.

How would you like people to respond to your music? Do you wish to connect emotionally with the audience or is it just about having a party?
We want our audience to have fun and connect with the lyrics. There are feminist and anti-racism messages within some our songs that we want to share with our audience.

Do you ever see your sound changing from the type of genre you write?
We are a fairly new band so we are still trying to listen and absorb music from this great city and see how it influences our music.

Do you ever see Minimal Complaints expanding with more members?
We were looking for another guitarist but who knows we could turn into the Sugarbabes. Let’s see what the future has in store!

Have your say!