What are your names?
James Minas, also in the Minas live band are Bob Williams on bass and Greg Davies on drums.
How did you come up with the band’s name?
Minas is my second name, it’s derived from ‘mini’ in Greek which means moon. Minas means “the one who is bright in the darkness”. My mum always used to say when I got upset “come on you’re a Minas” because the Minas name is tough and brutal. I wanted to represent that… and keep my grandad happy.
What is your genre of music?
I call it “ramblewave” as a joke, as I’m basically rambling against weird noises.
Give us a little bio about you as a band.
Minas started as just me making beats and abstract shit, until I decided to some test vocals because I was initially going to get other vocalists to sing over my work but a few friends like the demo as it was so it grew from there. Experimenting with sounds and genres until we ended up where we are now.
What made you go in to music?
It’s always interested me more than anything or anyone else.
Are you signed?
Minas releases off the independent label Gutterbreed and has worked with Disrupcíon Records in the past.
You have released your new single ‘Drinker’, tell us more about the single.
The single is an introduction to the album. It won’t be on that album as it didn’t quite fit with the final tracks, but I still felt like it was important to share.
What is the meaning behind the single?
It’s about the point you get to when you – a person that thrives on helping friends – realising you’ve been wrapped up in your own head and you that you haven’t been helping or even in a position to help. It’s the melancholic feeling you get when you accept you need to change but regret what you’ve failed to do until that point.
Describe the track in two words.
What was the writing process like?
It started with me reversing some synths that I made, and it just happened within an hour. I went back and redid the first verse but that’s all that changed. The writing process and the recording process is the same for me.
Who did you work with on the single?
I work alone on most of my music unless it needs added bass or drums. Charlie Francis mastered it
Will there be a music video for the tracks?
Yes, a visual representation of the song, completely.
You are also working on your debut album; tell us more about it and when we can expect it?
It’s a big change in style, but if anything it’s a body of work that represents me best. There’s no clear release date yet, as there’s a lot going on, but we hope it comes out soon. Coronavirus hasn’t helped.
Do you have any online shows coming up?
Not currently, but if there’s no indication of gigs any time soon it’s something the band and I will look into sorting.
What else can we expect in 2020?
Another single and another video
Do you have any collaborations coming up with any up coming artists?
There’s loads going on; Luke RV, Razkid, Mogan and Ubongg (an awesome soul singer from London) to name a few. I produce for all of them. As far as Minas the artist, there may be something soon
Would you be up for collaborations if other musicians wanted one with you? Who would they have to contact?
Slide into my DMs!
Do you play any instruments?
Yeah, a few… mainly piano and shouting.
Who are your influences?
Deftones and Burial
How do you get inspiration to write songs?
Recently it’s been frustration and stream of consciousness – hence “ramblewave”
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Where does anyone see themselves in five years at the moment? Get back to me on that one.
When you’re not doing music, what do you do?
It feels like I don’t do anything else but music. Hang out with the boys and my girlfriend, yeah.
What was the song you listened to that most influenced you to go more into the music scene?
Shell of Light by Burial. It showed me that – at least for me – music made me feel more than anything else could. Plus have you heard the ending? Holy shit.
What’s the best advice you have ever been given?
From my mum: “Always hold on to a bit of yourself before handing everything over”
What advice would you give to aspiring musicians not about the industry but just as an artist?
A lot of people say “push yourself as hard as you can” – you can push too hard so just be careful.
What quote or saying do you always stick by?
“I get paid Friday, trust me I’m good for it”
Where in your hometown is a must go to visit?
Kostas in Athens – best Souvlaki joint going.
You’re coming off tour;
1/ Where do you go first? Pint
2/ Who do you see first? My girlfriend and my cat Patti (after Patti Smith)
3/ What do you eat first? Souvlaki
When you are at a gig, what are 5 things you cannot forget?
A lead, another lead, a stage drink, some pent up frustration and a nice pair of creps.