Minimal Celebrate Ten Years of Indie-Latin Goodness at the Garret Tonight
Courtesy Alejo Angee ¡Feliz cumpleaños, Minimal!
Ten years ago, nearly 90 million viewers were exposed to Janet Jackson's nipple during her Super Bowl XXVIII "wardrobe malfunction" with JT, Brittney Spears eloped twice in 12 months, her first marriage lasting a mere 55 hours, and the driver of the Dave Matthews Band tour bus made it rain 800-pounds of feces onto the Chicago River.
Yeah, 2004 was a questionable year for pop music. But in the midst of all the head shakes and face palms the fourth year of the new millennium brought upon us, one of the best indie, electropop Latin bands to hit South Florida's music scene was born: Minimal.
Tonight, the eclectic foursome will be throwing A Beautiful Chaos at the Garret at Grand Central in downtown Miami in celebration of their ten year anniversary.
County Grind hit up drummer Alejo Angee on the eve of Minimal's birthday bash and spoke to him about the band's evolution throughout the years, the state of SoFla's local music scene, and lead singer Gabriel Ayala's alter ego.
Happy Birthday, Minimal! Here's to ten more.
County Grind: You'll be celebrating 10 years of music making tomorrow night at the Garret. How would you describe your band's journey throughout the last decade?
Alejo Angee: It's been a rocky journey. I guess when we started 10 years ago, there was a lot of excitement about non-alternative music here in Miami. We were playing a lot of Churchill's and Transit Lounge, maybe Tobacco Road. There were a lot of really cool venues and people were showing up. I don't know if it's that I'm getting old, but I don't really see that anymore (laughs).
Minimal has been together for 10 years, and for a band to be around for such a long time is a huge accomplishment. How have you guys managed to stick around for a decade?
It might sound cliché, but the love of music, the love of what we do. We've changed over time, and learned, especially with the last album, how to play a bit with the music industry, performing and traveling, getting our music on soap operas. That was the biggest lesson we learned, how to get our music out there through different mediums other than album releases.
We have a bunch of Latin bands in Miami. Obviously, your sound has a lot to do with it, but how has Minimal distinguished itself from the rest?
So number one, like you said the sound. There's a little bit of tropical energy that comes through sometimes, but we're very eclectic and like to experiment with synthesizers and stuff. Also, our live shows. During our 2010 EP release party for Hermoso Caos, Gabriel (the lead singer) dressed up as a futuristic space man from the '50s and '60s (laughs). People associated it with the band for a while.
How has your sound evolved over the years?
Wow, tremendously. We've always skipped on guitar solos. Our songs were very unstructured and not really identifiable. I think we're beginning to flirt now more with very traditional indie sounds and atmospheric parts. Our Flaming Lips kind of influence is beginning to take hold after a long time. I feel we feel a little more comfortable with the instruments.
I think your sound and concept is what's attracted people to your music. It's different, but good.
We do have a little bit of pop. We oftentimes come across as a musician's band, like half the audience is musicians and stuff, and I think it's because musicians can tolerate and appreciate out-of-mainstream compositions better than mainstream consumers.