SXSW Meet the Band: Minas

We are nearly there people. SXSW starts next week and I think we MIGHT be ready for things to get wild. Hopefully our short interviews have made you feel somewhat more prepared as you enter into spring festival season. Our latest, and possibly most thoughtful interview to date, comes by way of Welsh based artist Minas. You can check out all the responses, music, and festival dates after the jump.

ATH: What’s the name of the band/group? Where are you from?

Minas and were from the Valleys in South Wales.

Give us a short pitch for your band, describing sound, ambiance or whatever you feel like.

We pretty much make music that tells stories about life in the areas were from, the way I (James) see the world, how I process things – music has always been a way to figure things out in my head, I enjoy sharing those processes in tunes.

What was your most recent release? Any planned releases for 2024?

We dropped our EP Grazes in February just gone, were just figuring out what would work best next. I’m sat on about 30 demos at the moment so just need to figure which would make the most sense for the next step.

SXSW is often called a sort of initiation which can lead to increased exposure. As a band, why did you choose to play the festival? What’s your aim for the week?

I played it as a house producer back in 2014 really early on in my music career, had such a sick time but knew I wasn’t making the music I wasn’t meant to so I swore to myself Id return when I do. Seems like now is the time. I guess the aim is the standard stuff, exposure, potential label interest, agents and all that. We have our manager with us to help with the networking but essentially I’m looking forward to connecting with other creatives and anyone who connects with what were doing.

What has everyone in the band been listening to, or, what plays in the tour van/car/bus?

It’s a massive mix but we all get gassed when the likes of Blackhaine, BENEFITS, Tirzah, Soft Kill, GEL, Murkage Dave, Ojerime, Deftones, Burial, Novelist, Sega Bodega, Whitehouse, Video Prick, Show Me the Body, The Prodigy or Yves Tumor come on among loads more.

If you’ve had a chance to check out any of the artists coming into town for the festival – Anyone you are excited about trying to see during the week?

Yeah a few of my creative mates like Crae Wolf, Harvey Whyte and obviously my fellow Welsh lot I’m excited about being out in Austin with. Outside of that were really hoping to see obviously GEL and obviously Dry Cleaning, The Armed, Jack Freeman, Gliiico, Gareth Donkin, Carvena, Bodine, Jimmy Duck Holmes, AUDREY NUNA, Young Miko, Victoria Bigelow, Teezo Touchdown, Flo Milli, Invoke, Lola Brooke, KAROL G, DANA, trauma ray, Chalk Talk, Astragal, Asha Devi, Miso Extra, Chalk to name a fair few, that playlist is massive its gonna take us a while to find everyone we love.

Disregarding the constructs of space, time, and availability – If you could construct a power group of artists to make the supreme, all powerful super group of a band, who would be in it? Pick as many members as you like. Who is on vocals, drums, guitar, etc.? All submissions will be judged with a winner awarded during the festival.

A mix of Chino Moreno, Ian Curtis, Beth Gibbons and Keith Flint on vocals depending on song intensity and melody requirement, Johnny Marr on lead guitar, Mike Einziger on rhythm guitar, John Bonham on drums, Joey Jordison also on drums, Fieldy on bass switching with Jaco Pastorius for the more melodic numbers. Fatboy Slim on decks, Arca on synth, Machinedrum with Arca on co-production with Burial as main producer and grand master overseer of vibes.

Any road survival or SXSW survival tips for newbie bands? What are some must haves to survive the road?

GET YOUR VITAMIN C IN. And if you have ADHD like every member of Minas get your B12s and D3 in. Aside from that a sneaky beer stash in your airbnb for afters, a fly swatter to shut your drummer up when he’s chatting absolute wass and maybe a good book if you have the concentration and awareness and trust that no one in the band is gonna throw pegs at you when you’re deep into your reading like.

What concerns do you have as a band or a human or both? In regards to music, the world, really… where does your mind tend to wander these days?

I’ll be honest cus that’s always best. Being an artist nowadays isn’t what I imagined as a kid, I find having to learn how to be a marketing guru/content creator exhausting, it feels really weird to promote yourself daily especially when there’s bigger things like a massive genocide in Gaza going on and climate change. Its often hard to tell myself I’m helping the problems when I’m just trying to promote an EP or a gig or something. Mainly I try to make sure that every song I write is real, I stay consistent in addressing issues when performing and do my best to ensure anything I or we do as a band is through compassion, awareness and care for those who were lucky enough to have join us for the ride. If we can improve the world even a little bit through our art then were doing good but its always a concern and something I think about often.

As always, thanks again for taking the time to speak with us. For now, we have this confirmed date for Minas next week:

Wednesday, March 13th, 2024 – FOCUS Wales at SXSW 2024 – The Creek & The Cave, Austin TX

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