INTERVIEW: Minor Victories


A few months ago, I got the very special privilege to meet and interview Minor Victories at Iceland Airwaves. For those of you who are familiar, they’re a supergroup consisting of members of Slowdive, Mogwai and Editors. They released their debut self-titled album last year on Fat Possum records and have been touring ever since.

Hows it feel to be in Iceland? Is this your first time here?

Rachel Goswell: It’s my second time here. We got in quite late last night. It’s very nice, Reykjavik is very nice. I’m glad it’s not raining today because it was raining when we arrived yesterday. And last time we were in Iceland it rained as well.

Stuart Braithwate: It’s my third time here and I’m really happy to be back. I really love it here. there are a lot of similarities between Iceland and the highlands of Scotland. It’s obviously a very unique culture, great music scene, very nice people and a bunch of very expensive restaurants.

Yeah! This morning I had breakfast (with Frankie Cosmos) and all I had was juice and piece of bread with cream cheese and it cost me 1900 kronos (approx. $17).

R: I know, last time I was here was in ATP Iceland which wasn’t in Reykjavik so everything was catered and I didn’t have to spend any money on anything. and then coming here last night I was just slightly flabbergasted.

Are you guys going to have time to see any bands here? Or are you guys just in and out?

R: We’ve only got today.

Justin Lockley: Yeah back out in first thing in the morning.

R: We have a lobby call at 20 to 5.

S: I am going to see Múm, they’re one of my favorite sets of musicians so I’m really excited about that.

J: I did want to see the Sonics last night but I was far too tired so I couldn’t make it.

R: I wanted to see Dream Wives. They’re a UK band and they’re like 17 or 18 and they’re 3 girls and I think they’re pretty good actually.

Do you guys have any particularly interesting or exotic places you guys have played shows before?

R: Never exotic.

Well, to me I think Iceland is pretty exotic.

R: I always thought of exotic as being hot a tropical

(She’s right, poor choice of word on my part)

S: Mogwai played a gig in a school in a jungle in Taiwan.

R: I played in Tawian too but it was in a city, a city jungle. That wasn’t very exotic.

S: We went to India last year that was pretty exotic.

How was the turn out?

S: It was a festival so I don’t know popular we are. We weren’t as popular as Mark Ronson who was on at the same time as us. But people were there and they seemed to know the music.

How was SO36 in Berlin on Halloween?

R: We were the only ones who dressed up. None of the audience dressed up, I was a bit disappointed about that, but it was a good night.

J: It was a good night.

That’s one of my favorite venues. I studied abroad in Berlin and really enjoyed SO36.

S: Barry from Mogwai lives there and had never been there before.

R: It’s a nice venue. It’s got a lot of history and heritage.

Could you guys talk a little about the Orchestral Variations you’re putting out and how it differs from the original.

J: I think we’ve been wanting to do something like that for a long time. Originally, we did something for rough trade as a bit of an extra . we did a couple of tracks for that and it just didn’t stop we just kind of did the whole record.

S: It’s totally different. theres only a few elements from the original record. it’s really just a rearrangement.

J: It’s just a stripped down arrangement. You can really hear the strings on this project more.

It’s not yet, right? When’s it coming out?

J: It’s getting released in North America Nov 25th and then everywhere Jan 27th.

Is there anything else you guys are working on? Any side-side-projects or is it only Minor Victories for now?

R: I don’t think I’ve got time for any more side-side projects.

S: Well you’ve got the Slowdive record coming out next.

R: Well, that’s not a side-side project.

Main Projects too, just anything cool you guys are working on.

S: Mogwai are going to start a record in a couple of weeks.

R: Slowdives will be finished in a weeks time. The announcement will be coming soon and hopefully will be out in May.

Me: [screaming internally]

Mogwai just made a film score for Atomic earlier in the year. If you had to make a soundtrack as Minor Victories, what time of movie do you think it would be?

R: Slasher film.

J: Well-paid.

S: A Blockbuster (laughs). But I don’t know just something good, something we’re all interested in.

J: We’re open to offers, contact us.

Being a super-group comprised of three other groups. What’re some of your guys’ favorite super-groups?

S: I like the bad the Sisterhood which Andre Eldritch from the Sisters of Mercy did with Alan Vega from Suicide.

R: I like The Creatures but that’s not really a super-group, that’s just half of Siouxse and the Banshees.

S: I also like The Glove with Robert Smith and Steven Severin. I also like that Jay-Z and Kanye West album, that’s a super-group.

Last question, since you guys all come from really influential bands. Are they any bands that have cited you guys as influences that you enjoy?

S: A lot of bands that I grew up listening to have said nice stuff about my music, including The Cure.

R: Me included.

S: Yes, Rach is #1. As far as new music bands, I don’t really know. There’s tons of bands that say nice things about music and it’s always surprising.

R: I don’t know. It’s tough for me to say because I don’t really listen to shoegaze.

J: Vengaboys.

Listen to Give Up The Ghost off of their new Orchestral Variations album here and also check out Slowdive’s NEW track here. Wanna read more about my Iceland trip? Then check out my Iceland Airwaves Recap here!


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