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The Minutes interview – To live well is to change often…


Dublin rock and roll three-piece the Minutes made an explosive return recently with their second album Live Well, Change Often. With the band having to reschedule their upcoming Whelan’s show due to illness (update: the show will take place on August 9th), vocalist Mark Austin took the time to speak about the group’s latest record. 

“Second time around was a different ball game” says Austin about recording the Minutes sophomore release in comparison to their 2011 début Marcata. “You wonder “will it be as good” but both the band and our producer put in a big effort, it was a bizarre ride”.

Showcasing a palpable growth and confidence Live Well, Change Often found the Dublin trio expanding their sound. “For me personally, it was ‘Supernatural’ that did it” states the vocalist as he reflects on what song best captured this evolution. “It’s like something from an old 70’s rock album, it’s just mental and I don’t think we would have had the guts to do something like that on our first album”

“We felt that the song should be in the middle of everything” continues the musician “and that we could build the album around it. ‘Low and Behold’ which is a quieter track than anything we’ve done before is another example of that. We weren’t sure what people would think of it, but it has become one of the songs that people constantly point out as their favorite on the record and at live shows”

Indeed, the album receives it’s title from a lyric in ‘Supernatural’. “When we came up with it as the album title we thought it really said it all about the album. Some people have looked at the title and said “Live well, not changing at all” but I think they don’t understand what lyrics or the song  are actually about. It’s not about drastically changing everything about yourself or who you are” insists Austin.

From the outset the Minutes have blended a rich array of influences into their own sound, from Elvis inspired rock ‘n’ roll to the glam-rock of the 70’s. Speaking about how these elements appear in the group’s music Mark Austin says “I think when we began writing ‘Cherry Bomb’ we instantly heard the T-Rex influence and we just went with it”

“Sometimes that happens, we will either go fully for that sound or we’ll veer off away from it. It’s just about whatever suits the song”. Austin further explains.

Elaborating on the importance of having lasting influences within music, the Minutes band member continued “Shane (Kinsella) made a good point recently, that you’d be hard pushed to find a song on the radio that would inspire kids today. A lot of it is so formulaic, so maybe through us playing songs influenced by the likes of T-Rex some younger band go back and find that music and get inspired”.

After releasing such a stellar sophomore album it doesn’t seem like the Minutes are content to stop building their sound with Austin looking towards the group’s future. “If you look a lot of the older bands that have come before us, a lot of the time it’s the third or fourth album that gets picked out as the one that’s really them. I think this album is us starting to show that, so by the next record it’s just going to be full-on Minutes, the biggest version of us to date. That’s exciting and by album number four who knows?”

Live Well, Change Often is out now. Read the Last Mixed Tape’s review of the album here. The Minutes will play Whelan’s, Dublin on August 9th.

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