the miniatures
Gig Seeker Pro

the miniatures

Band Rock Pop


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Dead Flowers - CD Review"

Dead Flowers, the third album from Kitchener rockers the Miniatures and their second for venerable Canadian indie MapleMusic, finds the band both expanding upon and streamlining the pop rock sounds that dominated 2004’s Maple debut Coma Kid. Produced by Scott Shields (Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros, the Marble Index), Dead Flowers opens strong with “Any Day Now,” a catchy appropriation of the hook-filled dance rock currently burning up the airwaves, and rarely lets up throughout. Indeed, much of Dead Flowers is driven by similarly danceable guitar numbers (as on the falsetto-laden title track) but there’s also room for good old fist-pumpin’ rockers (“Loosen Your Grip”) and bona fide rock’n’roll ballads (“Help Me Fall”). Elsewhere, the band are able to stretch out musically on the mid-tempo synth rock of “Curious” and the moody “Would You Kill If You Had To.” And, despite the bitch-slapping of commercial radio administered on the angry “Sleaze Radio,” Dead Flowers’ lively dynamics and impressive vocal melodies should find the Miniatures featured on more FM playlists than not.

"The Miniatures' latest has plenty of Britpop with a dose of classic rock"

The Miniatures may be from Kitchener, Ont., but their musical hearts lie in the United Kingdom.

One listen to their latest album, Dead Flowers, and it becomes clear that the band -- or at the very least singer-songwriter-guitarist Ian Smith -- has been listening to a lot of Britpop, and a certain amount of vintage Elvis Costello as well.

It turns out that Smith wrote most of the songs in England -- some with producer Scott Shields, best known for his work with Joe Strummer's Mescaleros -- and came back to record them with his Miniature cohorts, bassist Ryan Allen, guitarist-keyboard player Kevin Hundt and drummer Nick Skalkos.

"We went over on a tour with Lowest Of The Low, Pilate and The Marble Index, and we met people and made connections," said Smith in a recent interview. "Scott came to see us play in London, and I ended up going back to write with him. I had tons of ideas, so it was cool to bounce them off him. He's very straightforward -- he didn't hold anything back. At first I was a little thrown by that, but it was a great writing lesson for me."

Dead Flowers is The Miniatures' third full-length album, and their first as a quartet, after the departure of guitarist Chris Finn and percussionist Shaun Feening.

"It was tough, 'cause we were good friends," Smith admitted.

"It's like starting a gang in high school -- you want everyone to be part of it. But when it became a business, not everybody had the same level of dedication, and I really needed that. It got to the point where there were six guys on stage, and there really only needed to be four. It's a lot stronger and more focused with four of us up there really connected; before it was a little loose."

Smith said the band has to be "a tight ship" if they want to keep up their international touring schedule -- and they do.

"We definitely want to go overseas with this," he said. "This album is grabbing attention outside this country, and that's definitely our focus. We love it here, but we want to tour almost year round, and in Canada it's difficult to do that."

- Toronto Sun

"Pretty Damn Cool"

The Miniatures
Coma Kid
Release Date: February 17, 2004
Label: Maple Music Recordings
Rating: Andy doesn't dig rating stuff.

The opening track ("Space And Time") on this Toronto collective's latest release is really damn cool. It opens with a big, chopped-up vocal and high, pretty synth noise. The vocals by Ian Smith are low and churning, with a mild grit to them, a little bit of a Daniel Ash (of Love & Rockets) quality to it, and sometimes also is reminiscent of The Soundtrack Of Our Lives. It sounds like it's been run through some more synths too. Not sure if it actually was - it might just be an inherent quality - but it just has that type of sound. There's a lot of percussion seeping throughout the record, but all told, it's not as instrumentally imaginative as seeing them live would suggest. I'd say if you had to choose, save your money on the CD and see them live instead. The energy they have onstage is a lot more fun.

The lyrics are a bit hard to decipher. Who knows what the songs are about. It's all wrapped in a mystery. "Dragonfly" is a dancey tune, with a really neat guitar sequence at the end. The title track sounds dangerous. It's got low, tumbling guitars that drone out, but then it peps up to a happier landscape for the chorus. After the third track (which is "Coma Kid") though, the whole disc gears down a bit. This middle chunk has moments that are even somewhat, dare I say, dull at times. "Seeds" brings to mind summertime and beaches (if it didn't have the synth element running through it, that is). It's an interesting pile of tunes though. It reminds me a lot of the fabulous, yet oft-forgotten Spacehog. "Little Bird" has some hard-sounding, loud grungy guitars. But these are punchy pop songs, no doubt about it.

Indeed, this less-impressive middle bit of the disc has some perfect moments, but all told, the beginning and end are much stronger. Bluesy vocals come out at times, still very interesting percussion, simple piano tunes, and even some slide guitar. "Guts" has some of these elements, and is actually a pretty sweet tune. Some beats show up late in the song to liven it up a bit. The plodding "Detached Screenwriter" starts off sounding like a 70's-era folk song, with it's mellow guitar plucking and gentle singing. It begins to soar nearer to the end. There's a very movie-esque guitar part, kind of like a (someone's going to shoot me for saying this, but it's just an appropriate analogy) a Bon Jovi soundtrack song (no worries. The Miniatures sound nothing like Bon Jovi. Although Bon Jovi can be kinda fun. Wow, I'm going to get in trouble for that.). It's just so anthemic and feels like there should be a movie filmed just so this song can be included. Appropriate, given the title of the song.

Smith can sing very nice in a high voice (on "Never Part"), so it's a bit of a shame he only demonstrates this in one song. Those last few songs are more on par with the excellent opening three. The whole disc goes out on a soft note, completely spun about from where it started. So it runs a nice gamut of musical styles, but the song quality isn't completely consistent.

Lyric Of Choice : Why do I punish myself when everything's right?

Song Of Choice : "Space And Time"

-Andy Scheffler

- Cord Mag

"The Miniatures Fly Across Canada And The UK"

Tuesday July 20, 2004 @ 05:00 PM
By: Staff

The Miniatures

Kitchener, Ontario's The Miniatures are still riding high off of their Coma Kid album, which was released through MapleMusic earlier this year. To exercise some of their excitement, The Miniatures are about to launch a Canadian tour that will take them from Ontario to BC, followed by an invasion of the U.K.

The Miniatures will begin the Canadian leg of their trip this week in Wasaga Beach, Ontario, opening for Canadian heavyweights The Tea Party. After a couple more dates with Jeff Martin and the fellas, The Miniatures will branch off on their own, extensively touring through the prairies and British Columbia with Leeroy Stagger. The band will be touring on the steam of their second single off of The Coma Kid, "Little Bird," which hits radio next week.

The real fun begins in September, when the band set sail for the U.K. In addition to the Coma Kid, the band will be packing copies of an new EP called At The Scene Of The Crime, which will be exclusive to the U.K. The band will be part of a Canadian cabal of sorts, touring with fellow Maple-ites Pilate and Lowest Of The Low as well as The Marble Index and Hunter Eves. Yow!

Catch The Miniatures on the following dates:

July 23 Wasaga Beach, ON @ The Dard (w/The Tea Party)
July 24 Bala, ON @ The Kee To Bala (w/The Tea Party)
July 25 Port Dalhousie, ON @ My Cottage (w/The Tea Party)
July 31 Waterloo, ON @ Remission Festival
August 6 Wasaga Beach, ON @ Wakestock World Cup
August 7 Hamilton, ON @ The Casbah
August 9 Thunder Bay, ON @ The Apollo
August 11 Winnipeg, MB @ The Cabaret (w/Leeroy Stagger)
August 12 Saskatoon, SK @ The Roxy (w/Leeroy Stagger)
August 13 Edmonton, AB @ Red's (w/Leeroy Stagger)
August 14 Calgary, AB @ Broken City (w/Leeroy Stagger)
August 15 Canmore, AB @ The Drake Inn (w/Leeroy Stagger)
August 16 & 17 Banff, AB @ Wild Bill's (w/Leeroy Stagger)
August 18 Kelowna, BC @ Club Med (w/Leeroy Stagger)
August 20 Whistler, BC @ TBA (w/Leeroy Stagger)
August 21 Vancouver, BC @ The Media Club (w/Leeroy Stagger)
August 22 Victoria, BC @ Upstairs Lounge (w/Leeroy Stagger)
August 26 Sudbury, ON @ The Townehouse
September 15 Lancanshire, UK @ The Tav Fleetwood
September 17 Cheshire, UK @ WA1 Club Warrington
September 18 Lancanshire, UK @ The Cellar Bar Blackburn
September 20 Manchester, UK @ In The City Music Festival - Chart Magazine Canada

"Coma Kid - CD review"

Have you ever popped in a CD from a band you never heard of before, and as soon as you hear the first rift off the first song, your eyes just pop out and your ears perk up? Well that is just what happened to me when I popped in The Miniatures' Coma Kid, which was released in February 2004. I almost get the feeling of discovering something so special here, that I just need to share with the rest of the world!

The Miniatures, from Kitchener, Ontario, have been playing together for over a decade but are far from a new discovery. Coma Kid being their third full-length album, you would have to wonder why they have not broke through yet. With the barely impenetrable music industry in Canada, I believe three times is a charm with this group. The arrangement of songs on this album will just totally blow you away.

So what is their style? To be different! Some of these songs are so different than anything you have ever heard that finally you can say there really is still some creative and original music out there. It just so happens that it is all on one CD.

Songs to look for on the radio:

All of them! I truly believe given the chance this album has what it takes to get some major airplay. -

"Feature Article"

No matter how you slice it, the last year has been one crazy whirlwind ride for Kitchener–Waterloo rockers The Miniatures.

Together now for going on a decade, the band (consisting of lead guitarist/vocalist Ian Smith, drummer Nick Skalkos, guitarist Chris Finn, bassist Ryan Allen, keyboardist Kevin Hundt and percussionist Shawn Feeney) has experienced more in the past 12 months than in all the preceding years combined. Within the last year alone, the band has completed the recording of their second full–length album with producer Dan Achen (Junkhouse) at Hamilton’s fabled Catherine North Studios, inked deals with management company Watchdog East, booking agency giants S.L. Feldman & Associates and scored a publishing contract with EMI Publishing Canada. The icing on the proverbial cake arrived in May 2003 when The Miniatures signed a record contract with hip indie label MapleMusic Recordings (Sam Roberts, Joel Plaskett Emergency, Kathleen Edwards). However, the aforementioned album, Coma Kid, only landed on store shelves across the country a few months ago. With a new single, “Little Bird,” taking to airwaves this week to match up with the kick–off of their Can/Euro summer tour, it’s been a long wait for the band, but one Smith insists the band felt no frustration with regarding the delay. “To tell you the truth, not really,” he states. “Because, I mean, we do all our own recording and we just got into our next project. It was a tad [frustrating] at first when you hear about it, naturally, but no, not really. We felt we made a really good album. We took a long time to make it so we figure it’s gonna stand the test of time.”

And it’s not as if the band was idle during the intervening nine months. They’ve toured the country relentlessly, building a fan base along the way, whether on their own or as support for acts such as Matthew Good, label mates The Dears and even a one–night stint opening for Jane’s Addiction. Now, after a break of a couple of months, the band is happy to be back out on the road to further promote the nationwide release of Coma Kid.

“It’s been awesome, I mean, just slowly getting back into [touring]. People are starting to be familiar with our music a lot more. You know, us going out before was just ‘hey these guys are opening for a big band, maybe they’re cool’ type of thing. Now we have a bit of attention behind it.”

The Miniatures have long been known as a band not afraid to experiment with different musical styles, and that spirit is certainly evident on Coma Kid. Although largely a straight–up rock record, the album finds the band moving easily between hook–filled rockers (lead single “Dragonfly”), poppy acoustic numbers (“Seeds”) and heavy, bottom–end stompers (“Little Bird”). “Personally, I like to write with different themes,” says Smith, the band’s principal songwriter. “The direction we were going on the album, we didn’t know, and there was a lot of songs to choose from. And the direction which we’re gonna go on our next album, we don’t know,” he laughs, “so it’s kind of… it’ll give you a taste of what we’re about. A lot of bands, which is not a bad thing, pick a genre and stick it to it. And that’s good, it’s not confusing. But with us,” he continues, “we just said ‘fuck it’. We were talked to a lot about picking a direction and going with it, which we feel we did in the end, but we gave it more of an album feel. Like when I listen to a classic album, it’s an album with an adventure, and that’s what we were kind of going for.”

Luckily, Maple didn’t have a problem with the band’s eclectic tastes. “Not at all,” says Smith. “They got it, and they
said there’s, like, six singles here. We thought the whole time that would be our biggest problem, it has been through the years, you know, too many songs varying from each other. But no, surprisingly it was just ‘here we go, this is your sound and we’ve got some songs to work with.’”

Having enough songs has never been a problem for The Miniatures. Smith is a notoriously prolific songwriter and had approximately 50 songs in hand going into Coma Kid’s recording. “That’s not to say they were, you know, all good,” he laughs. “When I write a song, I rely on the guys in my band to let me know pretty much right away. We narrowed it down from 50 to, say, I think it was 28. And then we kept on going down (to the album’s eventual 12 tracks).

It was cool having a producer and, of course, the record company, when it came down to it just saying ‘these are the ones.’” Working with Maple has been, Smith says, “amazing,” and he confirms the label’s artist–friendly reputation. Smith also hopes that the band can find similar homes in the rest of the world. “It’s about the artist (at Maple) and it’s basically as hard as the artist works is what they’ll do for you as well. Creatively, you pick your own route you’re gonna go and… they’ve asked us every step along the way as far as advertisements to how we want to be portrayed. - Pulse Niagara Online Edition

"Coma Kid - CD review"

Kitchener, Ont.’s alternative rock band The Miniatures is slowly on the rise to fame. Its album Coma Kid brings a unique rock
sound to the music industry, with songs like Space And Time, Coma Kid and Julia’s Dream. Each song on the album has an edge to it. Whether it be a ballad or pure rock, The Miniatures – Ian Smith, Nick Skalkos, Chris Finn, Ryan Allen, Kevin Hundt and Shawn Feeney – have the potential to become huge stars. Produced by Junkhouse’s Dan Achen, Coma Kid doesn’t scream heavy rock. Instead it has a softer sound, like that of Coldplay.
That’s not to say this album isn’t a good one, because it is. On one hand, this CD progresses slowly, and songs like Little
Bird and Great Divide seem like they’re never going to end. Yet The Miniatures are also a lot of fun to listen to.
If bands like The Miniatures were given air time on the radio, they would have a chance to get noticed. -

"Coma Kid - CD review"

Friday, March 12, 2004
Miniatures come up big
Winnipeg Sun
The Miniatures
Songwriters often say that before you can write good tunes, you have to get the bad ones out of your system.
If that's true, Ian Smith must have a sizable back catalog of crud. Chief tunesmith, vocalist and guitarist with Kitchener popsters The Miniatures, the prolific Smith is also the latest in a line of gifted Canuck composers to emerge in the past couple of years.
On The Minis' solidly satisfying sophomore CD Coma Kid, the 20-something songsmith deftly blends the crunching melodicism of power pop to the sensual decadence of glam and the rhythmic rigidity of '80s new wave, producing an addictive, fat-free concoction over which he lazily pours his languorous, seductively raspy vocals.
Then he serves it all up in an impressively consistent disc that stylistically spans Bolan and Bowie, Lennon and McCartney, Rundgren and Sparks, The Cars and Weezer -- all without sounding slavishly derivative. And without a dud track in the bunch.
If that isn't the mark of a great songwriter, we don't know what is. - Winnipeg Sun


EP - Mood of a room June 03 Via Maple/Universal Canada
Album Coma Kid - April 04 via Maple/Universal Canada
EP - Scene of the Crime - Sept 04 via Universal UK
Album - Coma Kid Imported to Japan Via JVC
Album - Dead Flowers - May 06 via Maple/Universal Canada


Feeling a bit camera shy


“Dead Flowers speaks volumes about where we’ve been and what we’ve accomplished.” Nick Skalkos, drummer of Kitchener, Ontario’s long-cherished soldiers of rock, The Miniatures, has hit the nail on the head. Dead flowers, the fragile remnants of ultimate beauty - It’s a powerful image, conjuring at once sorrow, celebration, love, war, and, of course, a loving nod to the Brits. The Miniatures have, after over a decade of honing their considerable talents, painted their masterpiece and it’s a rich call-to-arms, championing all of these classic, unfaltering themes.

Singer/songwriter/guitarist Ian Smith, drummer Nick Skalkos, bassist Ryan Allen, and keyboardist/guitarist Kevin Hundt found themselves in a changed band after the release of their debut album, Coma Kid, in 2004. To expand his inspirations, Smith took several sojourns to Britain to refine his muse and explore the brains of like-minded collaborators. He found the yin to his yang in producer Scott Shields, (Joe Strummer & The Mescaleros). “I met Scott during the ‘Canada Comes A-Calling’ tour with Pilate, Lowest Of The Low, The Marble Index, and Hunter Eves we did a few years back and there was an instant connection,” says Smith. “There weren’t any other options after I met him.”

The songs that Smith would pen in Britain became the blueprint for Dead Flowers, which was recorded by Shields and Dan Achen (Junkhouse), at Catherine North Studios in Hamilton, and the Townhouse in London. The end result is a rolling, pulsing, ambitious tour through Smith’s poetic musings on the human condition. Lead-off single “Dead Flowers” bursts at the seams with Smith’s soaring falsetto, Hundt’s creeping, lurching synths, and the tourniquet-tight funk of the Allen/Skalkos rhythm section. “A Life I Had In Mind” finds Smith questioning the miles he’s walked in his own shoes, but ultimately quelling his own fears by the sheer, uplifting conviction in the music. “Sleaze Radio” is an explosive indictment of the failings of commercial rock ‘n’ roll, anchored by Smith’s vicious guitar leads and battle-cry chorus. Positively shimmering with desperate, hopeful, and instantly memorable melodies, The Miniatures takes Bowie’s attitude, Lennon’s melodic simplicity, and the bombast of Muse and perfectly distills them into Dead Flowers.

The dichotomy of the life inherent in death; the joy in pain; the love in hate - that is what good music is about. Music, if executed with passion and conviction, will stick in the hearts and ears of listeners and achieve an almost supernatural quality of lifting the human spirit. This is music to believe in. The Miniatures believe in rock ‘n’ roll, and with Dead Flowers, you will again too.