We caught up with Tyler from Mini Mansions to chat about their new album The Great Pretenders, touring with Royal Blood and ‘lots of subterranean desires repurposed to create a deeper foundation’.
How would you describe your music for people who don’t know you?
To the deaf, I’d say that it has a lot of round edges and sharp turns, romantic inscriptions from very primal cutlery, lots of subterranean desires repurposed to create a deeper foundation, the constant casting of shadows and the occasional opening of trap doors, with an entire staff made up of unidentified shapes serving artisanal popcorn.
To the blind I’d simply say that it’s eccentric heart-felt psych-pop.
You’re in the middle of a huge UK tour supporting Royal Blood – how’s it going?
It’s great. It’s taking us to a lot of ancient British venues filled with young people who are ready to lose their shit.
How have the crowds been?
They’ve been lovely. It’s always tricky being an appetizer to the main course, but they’ve been eating us up like pancakes. We all love pancakes.
What’s your favourite song to play live?
I guess it’s a song called Mirror Mountain. It’s the combination of stark simplicity and chaotic improvisational noise that allows me to change the approach every time we do it.
You’re just about to release your new album, The Great Pretenders – was it easy to write and record?
Yes and no. It took over two years to make. We write very quickly as a group, especially since Michael and I write a lot of the material separately, so we weren’t stilted by absences or if someone was on a sabbatical. The lengthy production process of it was entirely due to having to tackle this huge river of content – by the time we’d be done with five songs, we’d have a new set of ten songs that would march right on in. We just charged forward with everything until we had this perfect lake of rubies to choose from.
If you could only play one Mini Mansions song to someone who’d never heard of you before, which would it be?
Probably Fantasy because we’d both dance on the couch to it.
What made you want to start making music in the first place?
It requires no educational background, very few life skills, and it makes me feel amazing.
Who’s your ultimate musical icon and how have they influenced you?
Stevie Moore. He did what he had to do for decades, regardless of the outcome.
Out of every song ever recorded, which do you wish you’d written?
Carly Simon’s You’re So Vain.
What do you hope to do in the next year?
Play our record to the world, witness the dawn of a new one.
What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you through your involvement in the music industry?
Probably imitating Fred Schneider on a song, then having Fred Schneider actually sing on it.
Describe the band in three words?
Gangsters of Love.