The Minutes
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The Minutes

Dublin, Leinster, Ireland | INDIE

Dublin, Leinster, Ireland | INDIE
Band Rock Blues


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This band has not uploaded any videos




It's a schoolboy error to release a debut album within five minutes of releasing a debut single, spurred on by the pleasantries it receives. Far from continuing the momentum, it kills it dead, replacing it instead with an ill-prepared 45 minutes of ear-torture that make the listener want to deny all knowledge of the band. It bodes well then that The Minutes developed their sound for three long years after winning the Vodafone Bright New Sounds competition. Judging by their debut Marcata, it's not time wasted.

The trio present themselves to us with a defined sound, immediately morphing rock'n'roll how Yeah Yeah Yeahs morphed alternative guitar music: by adding a melodic and irresistible strut that makes for compelling listening. Polished melodies that are cloaked in scuzzy garage rock songs are in full flow throughout, from their signature tunes Fleetwood to the Oasis-esque 'Heartbreaker'. Within this remit, they saunter around like they own the place, even ending on an instrumental jam that begs to be played live. That's not to say they're ready for Coachella just yet. There are still moments when become generic (as with 'Secret History'). Conversely - and this one's a good thing - there are flashes of brilliance that suggest their next album will be the one to put them on the international stage. Thankfully if anyone knows that patience is a virtue, it's The Minutes.

Shilpa Ganatra is the chief music writer for The Daily Star. -

"Review: The Minutes – Marcata"

It really is hard to believe that Irish rock’n'roll bandits The Minutes have been making a racket for most of the past decade considering how their long overdue debut came to be.
In the span of five hysteric days the three Dubliners fried twelve tracks barely caged by thirty five minutes to tape in a New York studio from where the album takes it’s title and if the jaunt to the Big Apple is evidence of anything, it’s that The Minutes are making up for lost time.
Although the trio have only been operating under the ‘Minutes moniker officially for four of those noisy ten years, to say there is a weight of expectations on the belated release of Marcata from an Irish scene that’s been set alight by their performances would be putting it thinly.
What The Minutes bring to the table is pure-bred rock’n'roll, brewed to levels of volume and attitude that the supposed renaissance of UK guitar music hasn’t produced a whiff of thus far. It’s a ragged blend of squealing Stooges grit, with a dash of the scuzzy psychedelia of early Black Rebel Motorcycle Club and an aptitude for melodies that’s entirely their own. We’ve heard it all before and still sounds like something out of this world, thanks entirely to a crackling sum-of-it’s-parts songwriting ability.
Couple that with the greasy garage persuasion that seems to have rubbed off from tours with Albert Hammond Jr and The Von Bondies and you’re left with an unwavering hell-ride brimming with vintage pop, the kind with boundless appeal that could launch The Minutes to massive stages.
The rugged six-string work eclipses each track with grooving strut, met with huge chords and a definite, studied swagger. Try not to feel feel like Richard Ashcroft in the “Bittersweet Symphony” video when parading down the pavement to “Fleetwood”, we dare you.

In “Black Keys” singer Mark Austin resembles Lennon at his fiercest over a mud-stomping White Stripes brassy thump whereas “Gold” has a huge ‘Rattle and Hum‘-ish flavour to it’s sneering gallop.
“Believer” is on the other hand is an example of The Minutes sounding like no one but themselves with it’s driving tempo littered with drum fills and crackling distorted vocal commanding it all.
For such bite-sized blasts that make up the album, the rhythms on display will keep you guessing as your feet adapt to each toe-tapper. The interlude too is a welcome breather that doesn’t compromise the energy, if anything it maintains interest for the final hurdle which, apart from the “Bring It On Down”-esque “Heartbreaker” struggles to keep up the quality served in the opening half.
But with the bar set so high by the first handful of tunes it’s forgiveable that they’re short of breath by this point and with a swap-over in the running order the album maybe wouldn’t sound as front-loaded.
Truth be told though, minor gripes aside there is very little else to pick holes in with this album. A touch more inventiveness in the titles perhaps might have been more worthy of some of the songs here, as it would be a shame to see the likes of “Believer” and “Heartbreaker” lost amongst famous counterparts
It feels like such a complete work, a real start-to-finish album, as a homage to the rock’n'roll greats, but totally their own at the same time. An underground classic debut from one of Ireland’s loudest, and if the world’s still not listening at this point The Minutes might have to get a whole lot louder.
(Daniel Robinson)


"Marcata Review"

Freshly anointed as “The greatest rock n roll band in Dublin” by influential UK magazine Artrocker, The Minutes are finally starting to get the recognition that they deserve and with their long awaited debut album Marcata taking the industry by storm the Dublin trio are destined for great things. Debut album Marcata comes on the back of a string of excellent singles, all of which marked the three piece out as one of the year’s most notable bands to keep an eye on.

The album takes its name from the upstate New York recording studio where the band nailed the recording of the entire album in a five day marathon session under the watchful eye of Kevin McMahon. Marcata certainly cements their status as one of the most exciting sounding bands on the domestic scene at the moment, packing 12 tracks into a speedy 34 minutes the album certainly brings the listener on a journey. The band’s new label Modern Citizen on which the album has been released on has enabled them to add a few tweaks to the original recordings most noticeably the addition of some brass and piano.

However even with these new additions the album stays true to their sound and merely enhances the experience, most noticeably on the re-worked Black keys, originally released back in 2009 it gets a new lease of life and is one of the stand out tracks on the album. It has been released as the first single from the album and it’s clear to see why. Its rocking energy and catchy riffs are too irresistible not to like and it’s sure to become a fan favourite

The live favourite secret history brings a powerful energy that fits perfectly with the all go all power feel of the album. Fleetwood is more akin to the bands’ earlier sound, lines you can’t help but sing along to, rocking guitar, and even a harmonica solo, definitely one to watch out for. Polished melodies that are cloaked in scuzzy garage rock songs prevail throughout the whole album. From their signature sounding tunes Believer to the Oasis-esque Heartbreaker. Within this remit, they saunter around like they own the place, even ending on an instrumental jam that begs to be played live. There are flashes of brilliance throughout that suggest their next album will be the one to put them on the international stage. Its well deserved, they’ve come a long way from the days of playing in garages to twenty or so fans. The Minutes have taken their time in getting here and it was worth every second. Thankfully if anyone knows that patience is a virtue, its The Minutes. - Golden Plec

"The Minutes – Marcata"

If you can say one thing about The Minutes, it’s that they’ve got nerve. First coming to our attention via a corporate sponsored band competition, their initial moment in the spotlight was a fleeting one. After one single they seemed to disappear, confirming our suspicions that such a route was hardly a guarantee of a serious career. Such a viewpoint, it now seems, was slightly wide of the mark – although The Minutes’ re-emergence has had little to do with industry patronage and is more a result of the band going away and getting their act together.

Debut album Marcata comes on the back of a string of excellent singles, all of which marked the three piece out as one of the year’s most notable bands to keep an eye on. They also presented a distinct sound from the trio, a thundering combination of old school rock ‘n’ roll with modern guitar music. Both aspects are confirmed by the brisk Marcata. It certainly cements their status as one of the most exciting sounding bands on the domestic scene, packing 12 tracks into a speedy 34 minutes. The band’s new label Modern Citizen has enabled them to add a few tweaks to the original recordings (a bit of brass here, some piano there), this is still very much the sound of the three band members – albeit one that many of the same ilk would be hard pressed to match.

What makes the album work so well is that demonstration of nerve. The Minutes have thrown themselves into the process with gusto, resulting in a record that could have sounded empty and hollow but instead fizzes with life. Lines such as “I could be your Jesus” and harmonica solos sound absolutely genuine here, delivered without a hint of doubt. It’s such an approach that not only makes The Minutes stand out at home, but could well stand them in good stead further afield. If you were looking to pick holes you could argue that Marcata could do with just a touch more variation along the way and that, for a short album, it runs a little out of steam before the end but such criticisms are small. The Minutes have taken their time in getting here and it was worth every second. -

"Live4ever presents: The Minutes"

“You’re sexy bastards the whole lotta yiz!!” - lead singer, Mark Austin, humorously compliments an obviously impressed and packed BD Rileys crowd in Austin, TX as the band intro their last song of a short set – a set that proves all too brief.

Amongst the live music chaos and overwhelming nature of the SXSW music festival, one of the most beautiful things in life has the possibility of occurring – falling in love. Now, I know how those Texas girls with their sexy southern accents can provide a warm welcome and during this week in Austin there are more than a few stunning imported beauties, but slow down that heart rate for a minute because what I’m talking about here is Rock n Roll. Balls to the wall, energetic and unbridled live fucking rock n roll. And that is exactly what these three Dubliners deliver.

Having missed the intro, and possibly the first song, the question quickly becomes, who the fuck are these guys? The answer, however, is that it doesn’t matter - for now. They’re exceptional and their music elicits feelings similar to love at first sight.

Luckily, there’s four more tracks from a, yet to be released, debut album to revel in. One of which is the last song ‘In My Time Of Dying’ and it has such a thumping, driving, fuzz laden bass line, Chris Wolstenholme would be well proud.

secret-historyAnother is two minutes of 60’s laced garage rock musical mayhem called ‘Secret History’, the first release off their debut album. The single was officially released Friday, May 14 and is being followed by a string of dates in Ireland and the UK.

This band is The Minutes. They’re from working class Dublin and their music is imposingly good.

Live4ever recently visited Dublin to witness them live in their hometown and were delighted they found time to sit down and chat about SXSW, their debut album, vintage gear and the new single ‘Secret History’.

L4E : Ok lads, thanks for taking time out of your hectic schedules to chat with us - How’s it going?

M.A. : Goin’ good. Bit mental these past few weeks. But that’s a good thing.

Before we get into all the juicy stuff about the upcoming single release, your debut album, SXSW and Phil Lynott’s bass head among other things, let’s introduce our readers to the band…

M.A. : Mark Austin - VOX & GTR
Tom Cosgrave - BASS & VOX
Shane Kinsella - DRUMS & VOX

Who are The Minutes? Who does what in the band? And where did the name come from?

M.A. : I think I answered the who & the whats in the last , so to get on to the name . Before we started to play live we spent a good 9 months recording songs. Trying to get some new shit together . In that time a name for the band was Irrelevant . We had no shows booked and so no need for a name. Towards the end of the recording we got itchy . We wanted to get out there and play , we had some new songs and now the need came for a name. We all agreed it should be something ambiguous , besides the obvious time referencing , THE MINUTES means nothing. We wanted to put our sound to the name. And now 3 and a bit years later I think we are almost there.

Where in Dublin are each of you from and how did you all meet?

M.A. : All from south Dublin .
Shane’s from near the mountains . I’m from the other side of the mountains and tom’s sorta from the foothills In between where me and Shane are from. Myself and Shane are cousins. Tom is not our cousin , But we are all brothers , just from different mothers.

What’s the history of the band? Have there been other members or has it always been the three of you?

M.A. : The Minutes has always been us 3. Although previously we were all in other bands , with and with out each other. Spanning pretty much the past 10-12 years. A long time.

You used to consider yourselves an indie band, or you tried to be an indie band. It seems ‘indie’ has varied meanings. In your case, it’s clearly a reference to your sound but you’re still (unbelievably) an
unsigned band and hence, could be considered ‘indie’.
Do you think genre classifications help or heed new and unsigned bands?

M.A. : I don’t know if it does either but since we realized we are a rock n roll band , and started telling people so , Its definitely an easier draw than to say ‘ yeah we’re like Indie pop ‘ or whatever. Classifications fuck your perceptions you know?
Only good bands know what they are and then in turn are uninhibited by that . Shit bands stick to their stamps and never change because they’ve labeled them selves and try forever to plough that furrow.
All I can say is thank fuck we aint an INDIE band no more.

What do you make of the music industry nowadays, where there seems to be a lot less ‘record deals’ being done with new artists and the Internet, social networking and other creative means are used to
promote new bands?

M.A. : I think it is what it is. I don’t think in any era artists have been happy with the music Industry. The ones that seem to get on best are the one s that carry on regardless.
That’s our way . Just get on with your own shit and If someone wants to swoop in and offer the world , we shall talk .

Let’s talk about your sound. It has changed considerably from previous releases such as ‘Black Keys’, ‘Harmonic’ and ‘Ukraine’. What prompted the change and/ or why did you make it?

M.A. : When you start to realize that all you are doing as a band is mimicking different aspects of current bands around , you make a choice to keep going and end up dead or follow your brain. We took the latter route. We made a conscious decision to make a loud rock and roll record because that’s the music we knew. The music we grew up with . That’s what we naturally played . So the reason we changed was because we knew the road we were on with Ukraine etc , was a dead end. Harmonic & BK were us starting to get to grips with being a rock n roll band and the final fruits of that can be heard on the record

The band is heavily influenced by the rock n roll of the 60’s and 70’s
Why did you first try to become an indie band?

S.K. : Everyone was an Indie band when we first started as The Minutes. The Strokes had broke the mould, like Oasis did by making everyone either wanna be in a band and play that sort of music, or just look like they were in a band. We really wanted to get our music on the Radio. We thought that was really important to be successful but later realised that it didn’t really matter and no matter how good you were the only way to get radio play on the big stations was to be really sh*t and have a label behind you with money, which we didn’t have either.

Phil Lynott and Thin Lizzy, The Beatles and The Smiths are bands that have had an influence on you - who else, from the 60’s and 70’s AND currently, plays a part in The Minutes’ music? Name a few from each era.

S.K. : Fleetwood Mac (old and new), I heard that tune ‘Oh well’ by Peter Green and Fleetwood Mac and it just changed something inside of me and all of us then Marko brought in a few other tunes to practise from different dudes like Dylan and older Blues hero’s. After listening to this stuff along with bands from today like BRMC I started to notice the feel and grove of our tracks getting more and more dirty, sexy and heavy. The Indie thing had really started to fade and the record was written in about 3 months. Its crazy how easy things come together once you find something your good at.

Tom - you own and use Phil Lynott’s bass head, is that correct? How did you get your paws on that coveted item?

T.C. : Yep I got it about two years ago. A custom Hi-Watt 200 watt bass head. My own little piece of history. Here’s a photo of it in Germany in 1972. I think Philo would have used it in the early days of the 3 piece line up.
I bought it off Oliver Cole another Dublin musician who’d used it on all his records and toured with it. He used it for guitar so when I got it I had to get it fixed up for bass which cost a pretty penny.

Here’s what it looks like now. She’s a beauty! Shane’s a hard-hitting drummer and Mark uses a two amp set up live so this helps me get MY point across.

And Shane uses a set of drums from the 70’s, correct? Where did they come from?

S.K. : I bought this kit from a drummer who plays with a lot of well known heads in Ireland. He bought them from a drummer that played with a lot of well known heads in Ireland back in the 70s’ It was a show band kit id say, perfect condition and plays great. Never gives me trouble and always records amazingly. Iv nearly made the money I paid for it back renting it out for recording sessions! They really don’t make them like they use to

What other vintage equipment do you use? and more importantly why do you use this vintage gear?

S.K. : Well there’s Tom’s Hi-Watt head, Marko owns a 1970s Fender Bassman and My Gretsch kit, then a few little things, an old Hi-Watt speaker, iv a 70s Ludwig 402 snare, Tom has a 70s Ripper bass – Basically it’s the 70s gear that makes us wet but its not a cheap obsession!!

You travelled to the US to record your debut album, in upstate New York in fact - What was behind that decision?

S.K. : Money! Well, Money and the want to record in America. Records seem to come out of the states sounding a lot different then Europe. Biggers, louder, cooler. A lot of our favourite bands come from the states and the records sound great. We priced studios everywhere, from Ireland, UK, Spain, France but the US was by far the cheapest and after some serious research we found Marcata, this place looked great and had all the older gear we wanted including a Tape machine (as we wanted to record everything live to tape) a few mails later we had booked the studio with Kevin and start sending over demos. It all worked out great and we got to get the fuck out of Dublin for a while

The album was recorded live and you used analog tape in doing so.
Explain why you felt this was important and how did you prepare for it?

S.K. : We spent years recording on pro-tools, recording everything separately, to a click and it always sounded generic. We could never capture the feeling we were getting when we played a show. Tom had an old 4 track, after writing the first few rockers off the record Tom brought up the 4 track just to get the basic ideas down on something even a TDK90 cassette. We set up one night, started to put down some of the tunes live, mark put the vox on top then we listened back. It sounded AMAZING! Raw, live and exactly what we wanted US to sound like. This wasn’t the start of the tape obsession though but in short, things just sound better on tape to us

Earlier this year you were at SXSW in Austin, TX - How was that experience?

T.C. : Craziest week ever!! When we got accepted we just started to plan and plan and wanted to play as many shows as possible, get as much exposure as possible and that we did. Our friend Kay in the states really helped us out. She put us up in her home for the whole week along with The Might Stef (another Dublin band) there was about 15 of us in the house, it was mental. So Kay helped book all our shows, drove us everywhere, got us out of bed, organised Interviews, she was amazing and we couldn’t have done it without her and Frank. We look forward to our returned in 2011!!

We heard you played a lot of gigs and Mark barely had a voice by the end of the week, admitting on stage at BD Rileys he sounded “like a bit of a hoor”! Was it all worth it Mark?

M.A. : Absolutely .

What was your your favorite gig in Austin and why?

T.C. : For me it was the show we played at the Hole in the Wall. A great spot! A bit away from the madness of Sixth Street. We were booked to play the Six Flags festival that day in the car park out back. We had a great slot on the outdoor stage just after The Hounds below. Only problem was it was -10 degrees in Austin that day! Global warming maybe as the previous day had been a scorcher and we all got farmer tans… Apparently it was the coldest day in March in Austin since 1914 or something like that! As a result there was literally 2 people outside watching the bands and it looked like our show was gonna be a nightmare. It was too cold to stay outside longer than 10 minutes… Kay Gourley the Texan lady who had sorted us with all our shows as well as feeding us, driving us and putting a roof over our heads asked her friend Matt the engineer in the venue would there be a free slot indoors for us. There was! Local musicians let us use their gear. We set up in 10minutes and played one of the most memorable shows of the whole trip. The response from the crowd was immense! Real music fans that appreciated what we were doing and gave back the energy we put into the show.There’s a clip from that show here.

If you plan to go back, what did you learn (if anything!) and how will you use for a better experience next time? Less gigs?!!

T.C. : You are not special at SXSW! You are just another band with another story. You need to grab people and shout about yourself and the more opportunities people have to see what you do live the better so get as many gigs as possible! Be professional! Don’t go all that way just to get pissed up every night. You’re there to do a job!

I wouldn’t have changed anything about the way we did it. We were well prepared and had great team of people around us to help us get the job done. Things ran really smoothly and we got the most out of it. Ironically the best contacts we made were with the irish press/media contingent at the festival.. They seemed to take notice of us a lot more when they heard we were doing so many shows and we’ve got great feedback since..

The new single, ‘Secret History’, off your debut album comes out this week and good luck with it lads - Why did you choose this song over 9 (or however many) other killer tracks?

T.C. : Honestly, two words, Paul McLoone.. We met up with Paul at SXSW and he came down to one of the shows. Since we got home he’s been championing the band and playing the tune off the air. We had planned on releasing a single around May and it just seemed like an obvious choice. We like the fact it’s raw and direct and only 104 seconds long. We needed to show people this is what we’re at now. The lead up to the single and a video shoot has kept us busy promoting and playing around the country the past few weeks. Live it always seems to get a great reaction from people. It’s got a kind of a rockabilly shuffle to it to get’s the heads bopping! Check out the video and you’ll see what I mean!

The Minutes - Secret History from Krank Music Videos on Vimeo.

It’s gotten a lot of mixed feedback from radio. ”Too rock n roll” ”Too fuzzy for daytime radio” are comments we’ve been hearing. Comments that confirm to us we are heading in the right direction. There’s definitely a few more songs which lend themselves to singles on the record but we felt Secret History was a damn good place to start..

How did you decide what songs made the album or were to become b-sides?

T.C. : We wrote the songs in a garage together then took them on the road. It’s always about the audience reaction for us. We gigged these songs a lot before we went to record them. It helped us shape them and we learned how to arrange and adapt them to suit each show. The album is gonna be arranged like one of our live shows with some songs bleeding into others. From day 1 it was always about capturing what we did live and I think with Kevin McMahon’s help we’ve done that on this album..

What can listeners expect from the debut album?

T.C. : It sounds like three lads playing their hearts out in a room. A huge converted barn near the Shawangunk Mountains to be more precise. There’s energy to it. There’s life in it. Tracked it all live to tape and kept overdubs to the bare minimum.

Aside from your own headlining tour in support of the album, who would
you most like to support on tour and why?

T.C. : Right Now.. The Jim Jones Revue, The Raconteurs and BRMC.. When do we leave!?
Mainly because we feel we have a similar sound or ethos. It’s always the hope to play to an audience that have similar tastes in music to you. You’re more likely to get a positive reaction and sell some Cd’s after. We’ve had the pleasure of supporting some pretty great bands in the past.. We use it as an opportunity to watch what they do and see if we can take anything on board for our own show.

Can you explain for our readers what ‘GIGS IN YOUR GAFF’ was all about? Is that something that’s still on offer?!

T.C. : Gigs in your Gaff was Mark’s idea and a hell of a lot of fun it was too. We were getting sick of playing the same shows, club nights in Dublin so we decided to take our show into people’s houses. People would get in touch and we’d arrive at their house in the van or sometimes a school bus. We’d set up a makeshift stage and a few lights and get to it! They were some of the craziest shows we did.

Thanks a lot lads and we hope to see you stateside sooner rather than later!

"Q&A Interview: The Minutes"

South By Southwest, for me, is about discovering something or someone completely new. It's easy to get caught up in the hype of all the free booze and trendiest magazine parties. Major headlining acts often get the most general audiences attention and “it” indie bands get all the online buzz. While I am aware of all that, I try to dig deeper and find a hidden gem no one really knows about yet. One of the best ways to find such a gem has always been to look through the various international bands.

This year at SXSW, I saw a ton of great international bands from Latin America, Spain, China and Japan. The one band that absolutely stood out to me was an Irish three-piece rock 'n' roll band called The Minutes. They made me wonder what was in the water in their hometown of Dublin.

The Minutes played 10 shows at SXSW, wowing the crowds, big and small, at each show. Their throwback, ‘60s-style of garage indie rock was quick, loud, high-energy and raw. It was rock 'n' roll done right. That raw live sound was captured on The Minute’s upcoming debut album, Marcata, which was named after the upstate New York recording studio where the album was made. I caught up with The Minutes during SXSW and asked them about the album, coming to the States and getting away from indie pop.

How did you guys come together as a band?

Mark: Shane is my cousin. Ever since he popped out, I’ve known him. He had a big black head of hair when he came out. Anyway, it feels like we’ve been playing together forever.

Tom: I met Mark in college. I had a four-track tape machine. I was big into experimenting with sounds and we both liked pop music. We have been playing together in various incarnations for about seven years now.

Mark: I used him for his four-track, his equipment.

When you use the term “pop music,” what does that mean to you? When I hear your music, I don’t consider it to be pop music.

Tom: For me at that time, it was poppy, punky kind of New York pop. I was always fascinated by well-crafted three-minute pop songs with real simple intros and outros. I was a really big Smiths fan as well. Mark is into more American rock music. When we played, we just kind of met halfway and started playing guitars and bass over some of his music.

The Minutes at Chicken Ranch showcase (SXSW)
That’s interesting to hear that from you and then hear what your music sounds like now, this classic garage punk rock 'n' roll.

Mark: When we started, there was four of us and we were very much with that pop thing. We were really obsessed with making the best pop song we could make. We were just really shite at it. It didn’t work. We were trying too hard.

Shane: We were trying to play indie pop, get on the radio.

Mark: At that time, The Strokes were really big. When we heard them, we thought it was really good while still poppy. It’s funny because after that, everybody was playing the same chords, ya know. We made some good enough records at that time, but it wasn’t original enough.

Tom: At that time, there was a big wave in Ireland, Europe and America, I’m sure, of bands that came after The Strokes because they changed things and rejuvenated modern rock music. I think we were trying to get on that wave.

Yeah, that early part of the decade was funny. All of a sudden people were into The Velvet Underground again because The Strokes always cited them as a major influence.

Tom: Exactly.

Let’s not forget how many kids were suddenly into Warhol.

Shane: Converse probably sold like six-million pairs of runners.

So what happened that made you guys go from a four-piece to a three-piece?

Mark: Well, your man left and got offered money to go manage this shit Irish band in England. I was really pissed off at him. I was. It worked out though because when he left, we turned into a rock band. We had to turn our amps up to kind of fill in the void he left.

Tom: It came about from that exact feeling that we had to fill out the sound now that we were a three-piece. We felt we had to not only play better but be better musicians.

So that was the catalyst for what you guys sound like today?

Mark: Definitely.

Tom: I went and bought big “fuck off” fill-in equipment. I own Phil Lynott’s original hi-watt head to get that old sound.

Shane: Phil Lynott is the best frontman to come out of Ireland.

Right on. Now let’s talk about this song “Ukraine” that was sent to me. My understanding is that song is kind of what set you off in terms of getting radio play and exposure. Why do you think it was that song in particular? Your new music doesn’t sound like “Ukraine” at all.

Mark: It was at the tail end of us with the pop stuff. That song just has some sort of catchy thing to it.

Tom: I think it was just a strong song. When we put it out there, this independent radio station out in Ireland called Phantom started playing it. From there we just started getting better gigs with bigger bands.

Had you guys built a buzz at that point locally in Ireland?

Shane: That song is what kick-started that buzz for us.

Tom: It seemed to kind of rise us above a little bit. The music scene is Ireland is so crowded, in a sense, that there are a shit-load of bands playing in a small area of venues. It definitely gave us the extra edge in the early days.

Mark: The other reason that song was big for us was because it was recorded really well. A lot of Irish bands sound Irish. I don’t mean that like they sound traditional. Their recordings are poor. There’s not enough thought that goes into their execution when it comes to recording. We didn’t want to sound like that. We didn’t want it to sound like it was an Irish recording. Just because you can record at home, doesn’t mean you should. If we had recorded it the way every other band records it, I don’t think it would have done that well.

The Minutes at Mi Casa in Austin (SXSW)
So if it did well for you and built your name up, why did you decide to get away from it?

Tom: The way it went, we released that single and then we released another one that kind of had that same level of success. We found that we were kind of beating our heads against the wall with the indie thing and there was only so far we could go with it. We just wanted to strip it down a bit more. We were always a good live band, but with the indie stuff we found we couldn’t get into it as much. What happened was Mark had suggested we do a cover of “In My Time of Dying,” which is this sort of old traditional blues song. We did our own take on it. We found that the energy and actual reception we got from an audience for that kind of stuff was what made us feel that we found our niche. It was clear that this is where we needed to go.

Mark: It was easy as well.

Tom: It felt more natural than beating your head up against the wall trying to write the next really clever indie tune.

Mark: The first time we played it, we knew. It filled the room and it was just fun to play.

Let’s talk about the 'new' then, specifically the new album. The album is basically why you made the trip out here, to get the record out to someone. Can you elaborate on that for me a bit?

Mark: We’re looking for basically anybody. The fact that we’re a live band, it’s about seeing our show. We were trying to hook up with some bookers or even some sort of indie label to get the record out here and get us playing shows. That’s what is going to get people to talk about us is after they see us live. The record is pretty much a live recording. It is very simply done. No tricks.

Tom: We wanted that. It was three guys playing together in a room. The process with all the indie stuff we talked about earlier was always very calculated and not all natural. We’ve come around leaps and bounds as a live band in the last year. Again, it was all about the vintage equipment we used. It was nice, warm equipment. I know it is kind of cliché to hear a band saying that.

I agree that there is definitely something to it. When you play that ‘60s garage rock 'n' roll, the authentic vintage sound has to be there, other wise you lose your target audience right away.

Tom: Exactly, and we know that. When we went to tape, we did two or three takes of each song. Then we listened to the song, we’d agree on the song and have Mark go in and lay the vocals down. It was very natural process.

Shane: Everything was in black and white as well. It was weird. Nothing was in color until we left the studio.

So this was your first trip to Austin for SXSW?

Shane: This is our third trip this year to the States. We made our first trip to New York. We played shows in New York and Canada. We were meant to play a show in New York, but then the place got closed down before we could play it. Then we went to Toronto and that was cool. That place is crazy.

Mark: I wasn’t looking forward to playing Toronto. I thought it was going to be shite for some reason and it turned out to be one of the best shows ever.

Tom: It was really cold. It was colder than Ireland. It didn’t stop us though. We had a ball.

The Minutes at Hole in the Wall (SXSW)
So what did you have to do or sell to come to SXSW? It can’t be a cheap trip for you. Do you guys still have blood or sperm in you?

Mark: Actually, that’s a good idea.

Tom: The fact that we’re a three-piece makes it a lot easier. We get a grant from the Irish government when we get accepted into any music festival like SXSW. There’s money put aside to help bands get over to these places. It’s like 12,000 Euros. We do alright with it, but can you image a 10-piece band trying to do this on that? We were smart with it and tried to book a lot of gigs before we went in Dublin and all around Ireland, paying gigs. We put that money away for this. We’re a well-oiled machine that way. Shane is the money man, the gig man.

Shane: It’s worth it because we’re here to do something. We’re not just here on a holiday.

Mark: There’s a feeling though, as soon as we come to America, it just feels like something could happen. I know that probably sounds cliché as well.

Tom: It is just so vast and big. Every time we touch down at the airport, we have a little smile on our face.

Mark: Our feeling at SXSW was that everybody was going to know us by the end of the week.

Shane: The plan was to shout from the rooftops and let people know who we were.

Tom: We played 10 shows in five days.

How are people going to be able to get the album post-SXSW?

Mark: Besides digitally, it’s unknown right now. We are going to release it at home ourselves if we can’t get anything. In Ireland, it’s easy to put out your record.

Any plans to stamp a vinyl?

Mark: I’d love to do a vinyl because of the way the whole record was done. I can already imagine hearing it on vinyl. There’s nothing like vinyl, but it is a pain in the arse though when you have to flick it over.

That’s why bands have to make good, complete records. It is a pain in the ass to get up or change the song.

Shane: The way we are going to do the record is that it is going to be like a live show where so the songs bleed into each other. It is going to sound as if you went to see a gig. It was all recorded live, so it will be like a show.

So what happens the rest of the year?

Shane: We’re still waiting to hear about tours in Europe. We just want to play shows. That’s all we want to do.

For more on The Minutes, visit them on Facebook or online at - (Ian Morales)

"SXSW2010: Twenty bands, ten questions #1"

SXSW2010: The Minutes

In this first of a series of 20 interviews with bands coming to South by Southwest, we meet the Minutes, from Dublin, Ireland. The young trio, whose members go by their initials M.A., T.C. and S.K. are coming to Austin with a brand new album, “Marcata,” and hope to find U.S. distribution, among other goals. It’s a driving rock album that sounds a little more like Kings of Leon than Led Zeppelin, though the band probably wishes it was the other way around.

1. What steps did you have to go through to play South by Southwest? We applied thru’ sonicbids. Actually we almost missed the deadline because we were in the studio at the time with no laptop or Internet.

2. You recorded your most recent LP in upstate New York. Why did you choose that studio and what was the experience like?

We chose Marcata Recording based on a few different factors. Firstly we wanted to track the record live to tape. We had an idea of the sound we wanted in our head . ‘Brown’ was a word that had been bandied about. Referring to that sound of all those great records from the Beatles and the Stones to old blues stuff like Robert Johnson & Sonny Boy Williamson, right back to Dylan & the Band and ending in Zeppelin/The Who/Fleetwood Mac et a . That’s the sound we wanted. The studio is in a barn near New Paltz. Away from distraction and Dublin. America was calling. Its where we needed to be.

3. In recent years, Ireland’s participation at SXSW has grown tremendously. What have you heard about SXSW from other Irish bands?

Well two of us Minutes have first hand experience. We attended back in 2004 with an old band. It was a different story then . Not as much exposure for the Irish showcase as there is now. Also we were young and naive with only one show booked which was what it was. So this time at least we have an idea of what to expect. Plus the Irish crew have really gotten their (act) together. There’s definitely a lot more promo for us Irish than before. They’ve a dedicated website for all the Irish acts attending, a nice promo CD & two showcases for all the acts involved. Feedback from other bands had been pretty much to play as many shows as possible. Which we will.

4. How much is it going to cost the band to come to Austin?

A lot . All in all about $5,000. That’s flights , CD manufacturing and some PR, too. Although Music From Ireland, a government funded agency, gives us a grant towards flights of around $1600. Which is helpful.

5. There has been a great affinity for Texas music in Ireland, with such acts as Nanci Griffith and Townes Van Zandt enjoying great success on the Emerald Isle. Why do you think this is?

I think Ireland’s ballad and folk music history has a big connection with American country music. Maybe that’s why the bond has resonated thru with more modern artists. A lot of the same themes pop up. Lost loves, loneliness and some good old drinking songs. We all love a good cry when we’re drunk.

6. What do you hope to achieve by playing SXSW?

We’d love to secure a US release for the album and get In with some US bookers. The USA is where we wanna be. So hopefully we can make something happen. Tour Tour Tour Tour & get on the US festival scene. Its the only way. And we’re more than ready.

7. This year artist wristbands will allow you to attend panels, previously only available to badge-holders. But there are all these great day parties going on. Which do you think you’ll attend more?

We’d much rather play parties than attend the panels or attend parties.There are some panels we’ve penciled in, but if possible It would suit to let the music do the talking.

8. Are the Minutes playing any day parties?

HELL yes we are playing day parties. The wheres and such TBC. Keep an eye on the myspace. Soon as they’re confirmed they’ll be up. All i can say right now is watch out for Paddys Day . Its gonna be special!

9. Are there any sites in Austin you are looking forward to visiting? Apparently Barton Springs has the hottest chicks In town. We may have to pop down and try out some of the Oirish charm…

10. Bono’s not going to read this. How is he really considered in the Irish rock scene?

Personally I don’t really care about U2 or Bono. I’m not a fan. I appreciate what they have achieved and earned thru sheer hard work. I think that’s what a lot of bands in Ireland respect. And just in case Bono IS reading this, we are free to open for you ‘aul lads on your next tour. - (Michael Corcoran)

"FAME Presents: The Minutes"

Dublin trio The Minutes release second single Fleetwood, taken off their forthcoming album ‘Marcata’ set for release on October4th 2010.If Fleetwood Mac and BRMC shared their DNA for a day in the studio you would be forgiven for thinking The Minutes were their genetically modified offspring, such is the depth, texture and power of this richly talented band.

As uncompromising as they are timeless in song craft, The Minutes will make you catch your breath and set your pulse racing.
The band have toured extensively in Ireland and the UK with the likes of Albert Hammond Jnr (The Strokes), The Pigeon Detectives, The Von Bondies and Supergrass forging their reputation along the way as a must see act for the future.

Soon after a yearlong residency at Dublin’s live music staple, Whelans in 2009 the boys headed off to Marcata Recordings in upstate New York to record their debut album with producer Kevin McMahon.

This was followed by a critically acclaimed performance at SXSW in Texas in March 2010.

Previous releases to date have included ‘Black Keys’ ‘Harmonic’, ‘Ukraine’ and most recently ‘Secret History’, the debut single to be taken off Marcata.

Fleetwood not only pays homage to one of the band’s greatest influences, but heralds what promises to be a really exciting year for the band and their future fans.

The Minutes are:
Mark Austin – vocals/guitar
Tom Cosgrave – bass/vocals
Shane Kinsella – drums/vocals
SINGLE: ‘FLEETWOOD’ out September 13th 2010
Digital only available on iTunes
Hear the track -

"Dublin Rockers announce new single and Album"

Dublin trio The Minutes release second single Fleetwood, taken off their forthcoming album ‘Marcata’ set for release on October4th 2010.

Dublin trio The Minutes release second single Fleetwood, taken off their forthcoming album ‘Marcata’ set for release on October4th 2010.

If Fleetwood Mac and BRMC shared their DNA for a day in the studio you would be forgiven for thinking The Minutes were their genetically modified offspring, such is the depth, texture and power of this richly talented band. As uncompromising as they are timeless in song craft, The Minutes will make you catch your breath and set your pulse racing.

The band have toured extensively in Ireland and the UK with the likes of Albert Hammond Jnr (The Strokes), The Pigeon Detectives, The Von Bondies and Supergrass forging their reputation along the way as a must see act for the future. Soon after a yearlong residency at Dublin’s live music staple, Whelans in 2009 the boys headed off to Marcata Recordings in upstate New York to record their debut album with producer Kevin McMahon. This was followed by a critically acclaimed performance at SXSW in Texas in March 2010. Previous releases to date have included 'Black Keys' 'Harmonic', 'Ukraine' and most recently ‘Secret History’, the debut single to be taken off Marcata.

Fleetwood not only pays homage to one of the band’s greatest influences, but heralds what promises to be a really exciting year for the band and their future fans.

The Minutes
Mark Austin - vocals/guitar
Tom Cosgrave - bass/vocals
Shane Kinsella - drums/vocals -


Secret History - Single
Black Keys - Single
Debut Album
Marcata - Released in Ireland 20.05.11

Fleetwood - Single



Hands up. Who likes rock and roll?

And by rock and roll we mean proper rock and roll, born in the 50's, dragged kicking and screaming through the late 20th century, a ragged flag passed from generation to generation under the stewardship of true believers – Chuck Berry, John Lennon, Phil Lynott, Keith Richards, Bruce Springsteen.

This is not rock and roll as a device to sell Rimmel lipstick. This is not rock and roll as tool to suggest someone or something is “edgy”. This is visceral, bloody and urgent. Music for fighting and fucking. Music imbued with a defiant, rambunctious energy which can never die.

Which brings us to The Minutes.

Mark Austin – spiv with a 6 string razor – singing, guitar

Shane Kinsella – sideburns the size of Tasmania – the drums

Tom Cosgrave – the Tall Cool One – bass and singing

Dublin cousins Mark and Shane have been playing together since they were nippers – all Fisher Price guitars and Chad Valley backlines. The Minutes got serious sometime in the mid-Noughties with the recruitment of Tom, and mapped out a star chart using Johnny Marr, Lenny Kaye’s ‘Nuggets’ album and Thin Lizzy as the principal sources of illumination and inspiration. The band invested in some serious vintage amplification, (when Orange meant speakers not a phone company) and a classic power trio sound started to ooze from the cabinets. Cojones the size of cartwheels and the horsepower to deliver.

Channeling the primal surge of rampant garage rock ‘n’ roll with elements of the blues and gospel; The Minutes have honed their craft on the Irish gig circuit and beyond. Support slots along the way with Mona, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Supergrass and The Von Bondies have helped introduce them to audiences bored with insipid, identikit “Howyaz Indie” and hungry for something more immediate and direct. 11 gigs in 3 days at 2010's SXSW festival cemented The Minutes reputation as gig-thirsty tour monsters with the tunes to match the swagger.

Recent Irish shows have seen them going the extra mile for their growing legion of fans, organizing Jagermeister fuelled magical mystery tours through the Dublin mountains and a booze cruise on the River Liffey.

The Minutes’ debut album ‘Marcata‘ takes its name from the upstate New York recording studio where the band nailed the record in a five day blowout; under the watchful eye of Head Tape Wrangler Kevin McMahon (The Walkmen, Titus Andronicus). James Felice of The Felice Brothers guests on a couple of tracks. Further contributions to the heady brew came from John Goodmanson (Jaguar Love, Fight Like Apes, Catheters) who mixed two tracks and Ireland’s own Rocky O’Reilly; who produced the searing ‘Heartbreaker’.

Freshly annointed as “the greatest rock n roll band in Dublin” by influential UK magazine Artrocker. We offer you The Minutes and their molten-hot throb – the three hoarse-men of the apocalypse.