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The Bare Minimum

I enjoyed Hit after hit, The Bare Minimums debut full length. Time to have a chat with Mick, guitarist of the band. If only they would take life and the band a little less serious…

Let’s start easy and introduce yourself. Who’s The Bare Minimum?

A criminal gang from west-end Toronto, who sometimes play music.

Hmmm… right… You haven’t been around that long, but already released a demo, an EP and now an album. How’s the old work received?

For various reasons, our music has gotten harder and heavier as we’ve progressed. The old songs do mix well though, because we play them a bit harder than we do on the records. In some cases, we completely change the rhythm of some songs; making them feel new, yet familiar. It keeps things fresh; for us and the audience.

What’s up with those Pink Floyd references? I don’t really expect stuff like that in the type of music you play…

Exactly. We pepper our songs with references to all sorts of aspects of popular culture and everyday life. Our thieving from Pink Floyd shouldn’t be construed as an influence from Pink Floyd, rather it should be seen as a tribute to hip-hop or techno, in that those genres prominently sample popular songs and reuse them in interesting ways. We think this is something punks should do more, it’s a great way to bring in an audience who’s never heard you before and get them to think about a particular line.

On a side note, we’d really appreciate it if no one told Roger Waters about this. We really can’t afford a lawsuit right now.

If I ever see the guy I won’t tell him, promised… Just curious: did I miss a couple of references in other songs on Hit after hit or was that the only one on the album?

I think you got most of them (two more are mentioned in the review). The intro to “Sheet’s in the Wind’ is a tribute to Cock Sparrer.


it should be seen as a tribute to hip-hop or techno, in that those genres prominently sample popular songs and reuse them in interesting ways.

The album Hit after hit will be released march 25th. Do you have big plans for that day?

We’ll probably do a tweet.

Oh really? Don’t get too wild, that can’t be everything right?

We’ll probably also do a FB post.

On the Friday following the release, we’re playing a album release show with Deforesters, The New Outcasts, and Liver (all awesome bands). Great bands + cheap drinks at the bar = party headquarters. Allen might dress up as Jerry Only (no promises though).

Check out the details here

Are you already planning what to do after Hit after hit is out? A tour, a new album?

Our main focus is to keep the momentum going in terms of song writing and recording. We really want to try and get another release out within a year, hopefully sooner. We like to treat shows as special events, and make sure they don’t become monotonous for us. This means lining up shows with bands, promoters, and bars that share our sound and values.

That being said, we do have some out of town shows and festival gigs lined up after our release party. Follow us on twitter and Facebook to stay up to date on when we’ll come to your town (if you’re town is in Ontario, otherwise just enjoy our mp3s).

At the moment you’re not backed by a label. Is that on purpose?

Yes, it is intentional. The idea is bigger than just being without a label; we record our own music without outsider help, we do our own art and design without alienated labour, wipe our own asses, write our own tweets, etc. We cut out all middle men who would drain us like vampires. Technology has, on one hand made music profitless, but also made the creation of it attainable to nearly everyone. Our DIY ethic isn’t a slogan, or a fashion statement; it’s a necessary response to the real economic conditions facing musicians today.


We like to treat shows as special events, and make sure they don’t become monotonous for us.

How do you guys write songs? Is this a group process? Is someone bringing complete songs to the rehearsal room?

It varies and is somewhat cyclical. Sometimes Cam will have a full song written and everyone will put their part to it. Other times we will spontaneously jam, take the ideas from the jam space back to our bedrooms and refine it, and keep refining it until it’s a song. As 2pac said:

“Never forget, that God hasn’t finished with me yet. I feel his hand on my brain. When I write rhymes, I go blind, and let the lord do his thang”

Except we’re satanists.

Earlier you stated you were playing your songs faster than in the past. Now you admit being satanists. How many more albums before we can call The Bare Minimum a black metal band?

Black metal is for make-up pussies and fashion-satanists, punk rock is what they play in hell.

That’s it for me. Anything you want to add?

Support your local scene, go to shows, build something.

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