It’s always fantastic when you stumble upon a new band that within the first few notes puts a chill down your spine leaving you suddenly anticipating more. Australia’s Miniatures instantly brings you back to a time when bands like This Mortal Coil and Cocteau twins dominated the airwaves and the vinyl that played endlessly on my turntable. Their first full LP ‘Jessamines’ which was produced by renowned Melbourne producer Matthew Hosking is layered with shimmering rich tones, angelic vocals, and dreamy melodies that take you away to far away places.
Even though this is their first full LP release, Miniatures have been honing their skills since 2012 with two EP’s, Self titled (Bleeding Gold, 2012) and DIS (self released, 2013). They are New Zealand expatriates now living in Melbourne, Ché Walden and Annemarie Duff with the addition of Chris MacLean on bass.
Torched Magazine is happy to have had the opportunity to ask Miniatures a few questions about the inspiration behind their latest release ‘Jessamines’, how they feel about the evolution of their music, and what it was like working with renowned Melbourne producer Matthew Hosking..plus more!
TM – What was your inspiration behind your latest release ‘Jessamines’? Could you briefly describe the music-making process?
M – Jessamines was to be a solid summation of everything we’d set out to achieve, and it reflects all the various sounds we’d pushed for ourselves and seen among our peers. It was always about creating a sound that we just couldn’t quite find anywhere else
TM – Who or what are some of your creative influences?
M – We’re hugely influenced by 90’s alternative rock, and have always strived to keep the instrumentation diverse and interesting. We don’t shy away from going a little over the top in places, as long as its fun to play and hopefully to listen to. We’ve all also been consistently inspired by the creative company we keep and the musicians & artists we’ve known over our time in Melbourne.
TM – Are your lyrics generic or based on real experiences? Could you expand on your answer?
M – Some of them are based on life events, a lot are based on friends, or thoughts. It mainly depends on the music as to what comes out lyrics wise as the music and melodies are usually laid down first.
TM – What kind of advice would you give to a newer musician who is just starting out?
M – Learn a trade instead. Failing that, stick with it, don’t take lessons, and be sure to network.
TM – Where did your name ‘Miniatures’ come from? What was the inspiration behind this idea?
M – Nowhere in particular. I liked the idea of diorama’s and approximations of other ideas, but beyond that it was just something I could say out loud without cringing.
TM – How has your music evolved since you first began playing music together?
M – When we began we were much more firmly attempting to fit the shoegaze/dreampop mold. As time went by and our tastes evolved we began to realize the sound and feel we wanted to achieve didn’t need to be so tied down. Our inspirations in making Jessamines were much more varied, and coloured by a wider range of influences, including electro-pop, ambient and post-punk to name a few.
Besides that our production skills have improved and we are much more diligent now with the recording and track composition, including building and sounding the drum tracks. Playing live we’ve moved between live drummer and drum machine several times.
TM – What was it like working with renowned Melbourne producer Matthew Hosking?
M – Matt’s a wonderful producer and musician who’s done a lot of great work with Melbourne bands, though in our case the bulk of the actual production work (Mixing, drum programming and vocal recording) was done by the band itself. Matt was super helpful and invaluable in allowing us to record and engineer the guitar and bass elements to a quality degree.