We got a chance to interview Stuart (Mogwai) and Rachel (Slowdive) who together with Justin Lockey (Editors), and film-maker James Lockey of Hand Held Cine Club form the band Minor Victories.
indieberlin: Stuart you said starting a band where people have never met each other is something you’ve never heard of. Why so?
Minor Victories Stuart: OK me and Rachel knew each other. Rachel was making music with Justin, who I’ve never met, and Justin’s brother James who I’ve never met. I met James because he came to Glasgow, Rachel had also never met James.
We’ve literally never met
Even though it was an unusual way of starting a band and making a record, I was never actually concerned about it.
indieberlin: Rachel, why and what makes this the most exciting thing you’ve ever done to date?
Minor Victories Rachel: It was an easy process making this record. Not being in a studio, and just sending pieces of music around. It felt more free. It was really exciting, you know the inbox ‘Ping’ with another bit of music coming round.
indieberlin: So was it a harder or easier process recording, since you weren’t recording in a studio together?
Minor Victories Rachel: It was very different.
Minor Voctories Stuart: It was easier with the amount of records we had already put out. I think if this was your first album and you do it like, you’d probably have a nervous breakdown. But because we’ve released albums before, we were all quite comfortable on how we work, and what we to do, it was quite unique.
indieberlin: Rachel, you spoke about a conventional route having been followed.
Minor Victories Rachel: A lot of the bare bones stuff would get sent to Stuart. Then it would get sent to me. I would input my idea, add some verses with piano, then send it out, James would send it back having re-worked it, and add some strings.
I think we were all quite respectful of each other
indieberlin: Stuart, can you talk more about ‘The Space to Add’.
Minor Victories Stuart: Music like anything if you put too much in it, it becomes cluttered. When I said ‘space to add’ I meant express yourself, put your own thing in. I think we were all quite respectful of each other.
indieberlin: Stuart you also said that there is a lot of excitement about this record, which is different in how you work with Mogwai. What makes this record fun and exciting?
Minor Victories Stuart: Because it’s new people, new relationships, new songs. This is just a different way of doing an album, compared to what I do with Mogwai.
indieberlin: What do you regard your music as?
Minor Victories Stuart: I suppose we’re a rock band. I think it’s pointless to categorise, I actually hate categorising music. I think our music categorises itself. I think music gets lost when people think of categories and files.
indieberlin: What track are you most proud of?
Minor Victories Stuart: It’s hard to answer. I’m just kind of proud of the thing as a whole. There is so much variety. I’m going to sound somewhat arrogant, but I’m just happy that it’s hard to pick one.
I’m looking forward to the next 21 years!
indieberlin: Is this a long-term project?
Minor Victories Stuart: I don’t think we’re stopping, that how Mogwai kept on going for 21 years. I’m looking forward to the next 21 years!
indieberlin: Are you looking forward to touring, since there are so many different personalities?
Minor Victories Stuart: It would be interesting, that’s for sure. But I just want to play music.
Minor Victories Rachel: For me it’s the travelling bit which gets a bit tiring. Sometimes I wish there was a transportation door that would take you instantly to the next venue.
indieberlin: Do you think that these music collaboration projects should be encouraged more?
Minor Victories Rachel: Yeah I think so. I think for me personally the majority of records I’ve done have been with Neil. So working with completely different people, and the fact there isn’t any expectations, you don’t have history with people, so yeah its a really great process, so I would absolutely encourage people to collaborate, to think outside of the box, to not be afraid.
Minor Victories Stuart: You learn things about yourself, you learn how other things work. I think its good to collaborate with people you like also.
indieberlin: Thanks guys for your time.
Interview: Shawn James