- Fri, 2009-10-23 15:05
After an incredible 2008/09, which has included a debut top 10 album, 2 full headline UK and European tours, European dates with Simple Plan, Radio 1 B listed singles, over 125,000 singles sold and a whole run of festivals, Elliot Minor have released their second album Solaris.
I Like Music caught up with the band to find out more about Solaris, how they make music, their favourite new piece of guitar tech and the music they've been listening to recently.
"I Like Music because… It’s a huge thing for entertainment, and social lives! We love performing, recording and everything else that comes with it!” Elliot Minor
ILM: How would you describe the vibe of Solaris?
Elliot Minor: With the Solaris album being our second album, it was the first time we had to write, record and finish an album within a period of time, something Alex really doesn’t like to do. If he had his way an album would never actually be finished, he would just keep updating and changing things! The songs have lots of themes but are based on being positive in tough times, reaching out, standing by your friends and being there.
ILM: What is the Elliot Minor process of making music? How does it all come together?
Elliot Minor: Usually Alex will work on a track, starting with piano for melody and initially put it down as a demo, recording it on the basic studio equipment we have at Alex's house. All the tracks are put down as demos to start off with, which are sometimes re-visited to touch up. When it comes to actually recording the album we give the demos to our producer Jim Wirt a few weeks before so he can come up with ideas and his visions of the tracks! As far as recording goes... drums are tracked first, followed by bass, keys, guitars, vocals and finally strings! Then we go back and forth, changing things and sometimes going back to what we originally did, but always building on the track by adding excitement and supporting the melody.
ILM: What was it like working with Jim Wirt, what were some of the most important things you learnt throughout that process?
Elliot Minor: Jim is an awesome guy! We all love hanging out with him as a person and his music knowledge and skills are also awesome! During the recording process things he picks out and changes seem insignificant, but then when you stand back and hear the finished track, every little thing he does, from the instrument sounds to the layout of the song, makes it sound really good! He doesn’t need much sleep, so we'll finish for the day at 2am. Then he'll be back in there at 8am working and listening - it can be really tough to keep up with!
ILM: Who/What are your musical inspirations?
Elliot Minor: We are all in a period where radio and TV have gone very pop/dance. lots of solo acts perceived as rock are really session musicians playing rock/pop music. Thankfully there are still plenty of bands out there doing their own thing and breaking through. Having played loads of shows now we have been able to see, and in some cases meet, other musicians we respect a lot. That has made our influences very broad. We all listen to new albums by The Used, Biffy Clyro, The Who, Muse and loads of others, but our goal is for Elliot Minor to have its own sound. Our inspiration is to make our own music in our own way.
ILM: What can we expect from your upcoming November Tour?
Elliot Minor: November... we can’t wait! We have the new songs to work up into the live show and we'll also revisit the other popular ones! The show will be powerful but also make room for slower songs, which our fans always appreciate.
ILM: Out of all the gigs you have played so far, which have been some of the most memorable?
Elliot Minor: I have to say, London is always a high! Selling out the Astoria in 2008 was an amazing moment for us, we never thought that we would be playing a venue that size back when we were going to watch bands there ourselves! Then there are the hot and sweaty small room shows, there's too many of them to mention! It's incredible how different the shows are between Scotland, Midlands, Ireland and the South. Other moments such as the Simple Plan tour, Download festival, and all the other festivals were amazing! Playing in the rain at Wakestock with thousands of people getting drenched but singing along, moshing all the time and getting wet ourselves is one of the most recent best gigs!
ILM: What has been your most recent musical discovery?
Elliot Minor: Diezel amp head for guitars. An incredible piece of engineering that seems to deliver an endless variety of sounds.
ILM: What music have you been listening to recently?
Elliot Minor: We all listen to different stuff really! Alex listens to a variety of stuff along with Snow Patrol, Muse etc. Ed and Dan listen to bands such as Billy Talent, The Used, Steel Panther (awesome!), Audioslave, Motley Crue etc... Ali listens to Ash, Deftones, and also a lot of pop and dance! And Ed M listens to The Used, Bright Eyes and a load of other stuff!
ILM: Out of all the live gigs you have seen, which have been some of the most memorable?
Elliot Minor: I get so jealous when I talk to older people about seeing Led Zepplin, The Beatles, Beach Boys, Pink Floyd and loads of others. We all try to see as many shows as we can from Coldplay to Metallica, some of us are Festival junkies and others aren't. Between us we talk about shows like Audioslave and The Used all the time!
ILM: What are your future plans?
Elliot Minor: To keep making, recording and performing music. Hopefully our fans will keep supporting us and getting our tickets, CDs and keeping us as a band! We are indie now and doing it all ourselves. There is no one to invest money into us so we are putting back in rather than taking out.