Band Interview: The Minority Rule

The Minority Rule Photo

The Minority Rule are heavy rock band based in Ayrshire made up of Nick on Vocals, Gregor on Bass, Leona on Drums and Michael on Guitar. I reviewed The Minority Rule’s music, which you can check out here

So first of how did you all meet?
Gregor: I met Nick through a mutual friend. We clicked because we were into the same music.
Nick: When I saw him he was wearing a Sex Pistols t-shirt and docs so we had something in common right away.
Gregor: We got talking and later that night Nick was telling me about his band and I asked if he needed a bass player or second guitarist. I basically invited myself into the band.
Leona: In the summer of 2015 I met Nick and Gregor through a week long music program called Band Factory in Glengarnock. The original drummer was leaving their band and they wanted me to join.
Nick: We basically stole her from another band.

Where are you all from?
Gregor: I live just outside Beith.
Leona: We are an Ayrshire band I’m from Irvine, Nick is from Troon and Gregor is from Beith.

How long have you been playing your respective instruments?
Nick: Well I’ve been talking since I was about 2 years old so I have a lot of experience using my voice.
Gregor: I’ve been playing guitar since I was 11. I only started playing bass after I joined the band, and I’ve been playing drums for a few years now.
Leona: I’ve been playing drums now for about 6 years. I started in primary school but it never really got serious until I was 13/14.

What genre of music do you consider your work to be?
Leona: A mixture between heavy rock and Punk.
Nick: Good old fashioned Rock and roll.

What are your influences?
Leona: We all have different influences. My influences are everything and anything from the rock genre of  the 80’s, with Def Leppard being at the top. I also like, AC/DC, Skid Row and Motley Crew.
Gregor: I’ve always been into Punk as my mum and dad were into it. I also grew up listening to Ska and Psychobilly.
Nick: I grew up listening to Queen. I got into Punk and Ska through Gregor, Michael our original guitarist and other friends. But I can listen to everything from dance to Johnny Cash. I don’t believe in tying yourself down to a genre, especially as a musician, you should be open to learning from every form of music.

Do you do covers and if so what’s your go to?
Nick: We never do covers, we are really against them.
Leona: We do a few, the ones I like are the ones that get everyone going like Ever Fallen in Love and Teenage Kicks.
Nick: Actually my favorite to do is Sockets by Slaves. They are a two piece band so it is interesting to hear it with the fuller sound of 4 members. It allows us to put our own stamp on it. We also do I hate people, which I think is appropriate, because, well, we pretty much hate people.

What if anything does your name mean/why are you called that?
Nick: The name The Minority Rule reflects a feeling that everyone has at some point when they are a child, they feel alone and in the minority. There are no bands out there at the moment that are truly connecting with kids like bands did years ago. There are no new genres or movements rising up.  I think the last one was Brit pop where kids felt a part of something.
Gregor: I think at the moment it’s relevant with people like Theresa May and Donald Trump who are oppressing minorities.
Leona: The Minority Rule was a name that connected with me because we are different from most bands in the scene at the moment. Not many bands are playing the kind of music we play or dress the way we do.
Nick: It’s really about, no matter how low or different you feel, it’s about taking control and that is what we reflect in our songs.
Mark: (I wouldn’t normally add anything into an interview, but it is important to understand that the name can mean so many different things.) The minority rule can be seen as highlighting that the richest 1% who are in the minority rule over the majority of the population. Those same people live under a different rule. The laws don’t apply to them. There is a special rule for that minority. It’s wrong and needs to be addressed. Although, the great quality of the name is that it has so many different meanings.

Do you have a process for writing your songs? /Which of you writes the songs?
Leona: We write the music as a collective, but the mastermind behind the songs is Nick. Ultimately we all have to be happy with the song before it is put into the set.
Nick: I like that answer, keep going.

What are your rehearsals generally like?
Gregor: Pretty much writing songs and rehearsing our current songs, well until Mark comes in, then it all goes to shit. (Laughter)
Nick: Yeah, basically we are in the middle of writing and Mark turns up saying ‘ok, this is all the stuff you need to think about’
Leona: Our rehearsals consist of drinking cola and eating Pringles.
Nick: Occasionally we get veggie pakora, and sometimes we play music.

Do you have any interesting/funny stories about gigging or touring?
Nick: I remember we were in Kirkcaldy for a gig. Gregor and I went out for food and got accosted by a preacher on the street. I guess we stood out, two 6 foot guys, one with a Mohawk and the other with a shaved head. Apparently we are going to burn in hell and die in a horrible way.
Gregor: I think that’s because I shouted 666 and told him I love the Satan. Nick’s also fallen off the stage a few times. Ivory Black, Rebellion, basically any gigs we do.
Nick: Yeah, our biggest gig to date was at Rebellion. I jumped off stage and landed on a bit of loose carpet. Who holds a gig in a place that has fucking carpet. I couldn’t walk the next day and they all left me in the hotel to go out and enjoy themselves in Blackpool.
Leona: It was a fun day. At one stage I was carrying Gregor on my shoulders (Just to note Leona is tiny and Gregor is over 6 feet.)
Nick: Yeah and Nick is left in the B and B hating his fucking life.

What has been your biggest challenge as a band? Have you been able to overcome that challenge? If so, how?
Nick: I’d say it’s Gregor trying to do his hair.
Gregor: Aye it is a bit of a bastard. But I think the second hardest challenge is putting up with each other. (Laughter)
Nick: People think we are trying to hug after a gig but we are actually trying to strangle each other.
Leona: I think the first time we went up north to Aberdeen was difficult. We were a new band. We didn’t have a lot of songs or experience. It turned out to be more of a party with all the other bands and their friends and we didn’t fit that well. So dealing with the first bit of criticism was difficult.
Nick: We ended up sleeping on someone’s floor that night, but the couple were really nice. Someone was feeding Gregor drink on stage, until the ever professional Mark stepped in. In all seriousness. The first real time that we were stopped in our tracks and thought ‘what are we going to do now’, was when Michael left. It was Michael and I who started the band, and he is a close friend. We weren’t expecting it. We are still mates and we understand his reasons, but it wasn’t an easy time. Although we had another drummer for a short time before, it has always really been just the four of us. We are all very close. We have been through alot together. We will still see him at our gigs though. We better fucking see him at our gigs. (Laughter). We also had a problem with MTV as our distributors said that Itunes wouldn’t accept it. But we stood our ground and refused to change the name and we got our way in the end.

How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a demo CD?
Nick: Samples, yeah we have plenty of samples, but most of them are Gregor screaming like a goat. You can find us on Facebook, iTunes and Spotify

Have you released anything yet/if they have how has it gone down and are you planning anything for the near future?
Leona: We have released 2 songs ‘Her Black Dog’ and ‘MTV’ and they have gone down really well, particularly Her Black Dog.
Nick: Yeah Danny at Testify Time Radio and Ronnie at Irvine Beat FM play us on a regular basis and we really appreciate the support. Both have great shows. We have been on several other shows, Glasgow city Radio, Rock Box, The third class ticket radio show, and a few more in England.

Where have you performed? What are your favourite and least favourite venues? Do you have any upcoming shows?
Leona: Our least favorite venue was a place close to us, and it’s popular for bands but the acoustics were dreadful. The sound echoed of the far wall and came back on you which makes drumming difficult.
Nick: In the past we have played at a few places with crap gear but we are not going to complain about it. That’s all part of starting out as a band until you are playing with your own gear.
Nick: Em, favourite venue?
Gregor: Obviously the fuckin Barrowlands.
Nick: I like Ivory Blacks too.
Leona: I like Ivory Blacks, it’s got a nice Vibe to it. We feel like this is our crib. (Laughter)
Nick: I feel that Ivory Blacks is a proper venue with a full stage and a decent sized crowd. I liked the big stages like playing at Rebellion and The Barras , but it’s good to play more intimate places where I can interact with the crowd more.

What do you think about downloading music online?
Gregor: I prefer buying CD’s, it’s better to have something physical. You can look at the lyrics and the cover artwork.
Leona: I like downloads, as long as they are downloading our songs. (Laughter)
Nick: I don’t believe in illegal downloads, I buy songs. I think if an artist has put the work in then they deserve to be paid like anyone else. I don’t care if it is a big artist or a small artist. They worked hard on it and if you want to listen to it then you should pay for it. My concern is that if you have the attitude that a big artist has loads of money and it doesn’t matter, it becomes acceptable to download illegally from them, but then it becomes the norm to illegally download music in general, and if you do it to small bands then they can’t survive, which is effectively killing the industry. Then people complain that there are no decent new bands.

What’s your outlook on the record industry today?
Nick: I think at the moment it is all very processed. Bands are coached to say the right things, dress in a certain way, and act in a way that pleases their corporate sponsors. I don’t believe that’s what the fans of music really want. But I don’t think looking back is the answer. Things need to move on and need to develop. Now the internet has come along, we are in a time where everyone can record themselves and put themselves out there as a band. But I think bands need to stick to what they believe in and if enough can do that without changing to gain success then I think something new and interesting can happen in the industry. I don’t believe in chasing the record companies, but I also don’t believe that every record company is killing bands. As a band you have a responsibility to make sure that you get a good deal. Don’t be so desperate to sign to a record company that you will sign any deal or do whatever they say. I think bands need to stick to their guns and make the music that they want to make. If you don’t believe in what you’re doing then stop. If enough bands can adopt that attitude then I think something new and big will happen.
Gregor: Music has stagnated for a long time and something needs to change but something new and exciting will come along.

So do you think the future of the music industry is positive?
Nick: Yes, because we’re in it.


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