Minority 905 interview hosted by Michael Stealen

Standing Above the Crowd
Interview with Minority 905
By: Michael Stealen for Play It Loud Media
 
 
 
 
Having released in August their new album ‘Dangerous Ambitions’ Canadian band Minority 905 have taken the road less traveled as they continually carve their own path in music. Not wanting to be followers of any current trend their album brings a solid rock pop beat with it to match today’s music, but the heart of their influences from the 90’s vibes of Green Day and blink 182 still pulse through. This is the music they love and this is the music they give on this their second full-length album available now and it is a welcome union of Pop Rock flirting with Alt Rock.

 

Michael Stealen: Reading about Minority 905 it would seem you all have deep influences coming from a love of Green Day and blink 182, however, none of you look old enough to be so into them! When did those bands sound really begin to influence you?


Chris: The first handful of songs I learned to play on guitar were all Green Day, so, from the time I was 13/14.  Earlier “influence” was seeing them all over VH1 and MTV and E! and every other remotely pop-culture related thing in 2005, to me all of it cemented in my head that Green Day were the perfect pictures of “rock stars”.


John: I first heard Green Day when I was 9 during their American Idiot album cycle. I got more heavily into their music when I was around 17. I also started writing music around this time so they’re definitely an early influence for me.


Steven: I was 9 when I first listened to Green Day and I haven’t looked back. I started to get into Blink around 12/13.


Spasimir: When I was living back in Bulgaria around 2008 the brass band that I was in got sheet music for American Idiot and Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day. I had never heard about them prior to that. The songs were super fun to play and eventually I wanted to look up more of their music. I also got Green Day Rock Band around 2009 and that also sparked my interest in the band. Blink-182 I discovered mostly through friends in Canada, probably in 2011. I had heard songs like “What’s My Age Again?” and “The Rock Show” before but never got into their music until my friends showed me more of their songs. I loved everything that I heard and I was so impressed at how pretty much every song I listened to by them was a banger.


MS: How did their music and those with that style move you to create your own band Minority 905?


John: I liked the simplicity of the songwriting so I decided to try writing my own songs too. I also wanted to perform but I didn’t want to be a solo artist.


Spasimir: The drummers were a huge inspiration to me. They played so fast and were also so technically skilled that I also wanted to play like them. On top of that I loved everything about the music and so I knew I wanted to do the same thing in my life.


MS: What would be your top two songs from those two bands, in particular, that really speak to you and why is it that they do?


Chris: If by “speaks to you” you mean emotionally resonates, then I think Lazy Bones by Green Day probably speaks to me the most out of any song.  The song seems to be about Billie Joe’s view of life around him during/before the writing of Uno/Dos/Tre when he was having problems with substance abuse, leading to him constantly being anxious or depressed and sick of the world around him. That song resonates with me as a strange cry for help that also shows that he doesn’t seem care if he gets help, maybe even saying that he knows he should be asking for help, but doesn’t actually want it.  It reminds me of Bojack Horseman to be honest, haha.

A second song is sort of hard to choose, I can picture about five or six different ones that all resonated strongly at a certain point in my life, but doesn’t so much anymore.  Perhaps, Holiday. It’s the first song that my first band CrossRoads learned to play, it’s got a consistent emotional resonance to me, whenever I’ve heard it played by Green Day live, or even at the American Idiot Broadway show, the song’s performance never fails to produce tears for me.

As for Blink 182 however, I don’t have any.  I barely know their big singles, as I wasn’t into them until I joined this band, and even now I still very very rarely go out of my way to listen to them.


John: It would be hard to just pick two but I know for sure “Jesus Of Suburbia” is my favourite Green Day song, and my second favourite would probably be “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”. Another song that resonates with me a lot is “Minority”–obviously. “Dammit” and “All The Small Things” are my two favourite blink-182 songs.


Spasimir: I don’t really pick my songs based on if they speak to me or not. I mostly like how the instrumentals and vocals flow nicely together. Basing it off of that, my top two Green Day songs are “Basket Case” and “American Idiot”. For Blink-182 it’s “Dammit” and “What’s My Age Again?”


MS: Would consider Minority 905 to be more of today’s Pop Rock or Alt Rock rather than Pop Punk? Can you define where you think it belongs?


Chris: I’d say we skirt between pop rock and alt-rock depending on the song.  I never really saw us as “pop punk” even though that’s typically the descriptor we use.  We ride the lines of genres a little too hard for our own good I think. We typically play with “pop-punk bands”, and every “pop-punk” band we’ve played with to me has seemed 100% more pop punk than we are, so much so that when we go up to play I almost always feel we should be at a different show.


John: I don’t really know I guess closer to Pop Rock in my opinion. I try not to think about genre too much. I find that a lot of my favourite bands have explored different sides of the spectrum when it comes to Pop Punk anyway so it’s hard to say.


Spasimir: I also don’t think that we are exactly pop punk, but we do have pop-punk elements in our songs like faster tempos, distorted guitars, palm-muted verses, etc. When I think of Alt Rock  I think of bands like Foo Fighters and Queens of the Stone Age, who I don’t think we sound close to at all. Pop Rock is a fair comparison if we’re talking about some songs by Fall Out Boy, Paramore, etc. In the end, I think our sound is a blend of Pop Rock and Pop Punk


MS: An album is a massive undertaking. Why this album, Dangerous Ambitions, and why now?


Chris: Our last album was released in 2015, and as of around 2017, the previous album didn’t really reflect what we were or wanted to be as a band anymore.  Lineup changes and maturing as a group definitely brought around a different feel to what we felt needed to be seen by our audiences, so much so that playing those old songs just felt too outdated.  Also, I think we wanted to outgrow the “Green Day” comparison a little bit. We don’t completely lose it, but we grow upon that foundation for sure.


John: It took a little while but I just think it was the right time because there were enough good songs written and collectively, there was a consistent theme among all of them.


Spasimir: Our audience has grown a lot between 2015 and 2018 and over the years as we were making covers/medleys and just playing together, our skills as musicians/songwriters also have grown a lot. We wanted to show our fans what we can really do and give them an album with no filler.


MS: Talk about the development of the album- as the songs each seem to be a reflective development.


John: I think as the album progresses, the narrator faces different internal and external challenges when it comes to going after their ambitions. Different songs deal with different challenges such as self-doubt, finding motivation, fear of failure, criticism from others, etc.


MS: Do each of you have your own favorite song from the album?


Chris: It’s probably Soundtrack or Don’t Panic for me.  Soundtrack is really poppy and weirdly nostalgic and happy, and Don’t Panic is really hopeful and a great album opener to me.


John: I like “Don’t Panic” and “Run This Town” the most.


Steven: Don’t Panic, Picture Perfect, What If and Future is my favorites off of the album.


Spasimir: I honestly love them all but if I had to pick I’d go with Future or What If.


MS: Let’s let your fans get to know you better: Ages, Education, Occupation, Hobbies and if you could date Taylor Swift and become one of her ‘Dear John’ songs would you?


John: I’m 22 and I graduated from the University of Toronto. My program was called Interactive Digital Media; right now I’m just working. I like watching TV, anime, Netflix, wrestling, sports, etc. I also like playing video games. Of course, I would date Taylor, she’s one of my favorites. If I dated her, she would have to write another “Dear John”  but only this time it would be all positive thoughts.


Steven: I’m 22, studied music at Humber College for 3 years then dropped out, I love Netflix, basketball and I like to enjoy the devil’s lettuce. Hell yeah, I would date Tswift, she can call me John if she wants to.


Spasimir: I’m 23, currently in my last year of university, studying computer science. Some hobbies are playing video games, going to the gym, practicing drums at home and going out with friends for movies, food, etc. I don’t think T Swift is my type but I’d be down to give it a shot


MS: Where to from here? You have toured a bit in Canada to support your new album, released a music video for the song “Soundtrack” off the album.. more music videos, more touring, more?


John: I don’t really know, hopefully, all or most of the above.


Steven: Yeah that’s the goal. We’ll continue to upload videos to our channel on YouTube as well.


Spasimir: More music videos will come. Other big videos on our channel will also come, such as medleys, “punk goes the 80s” covers, pop-punk covers and we’ll continue to promote our album through those. Hopefully, we find a good management and label soon.

Please follow the link here for original press release announcing the release of the new album ;Dangerous Ambitions’ back in August 2018