Manchester is playing host to Los Angeles electro trio Mini Mansions and for guitarist Michael Shuman aka ‘Mickey Shoes’ there’s no better place.
Fans have had a long wait (four years) since their last album but they are now reaping the benefits of their patience with Mini Mansions’ current world tour and the success of second album The Great Pretender.
MM caught up with Michael Shuman during the Australian leg of the tour and spoke to him about their upcoming gig at the Ruby Lounge, new material, Manchester and… the weather.
He said: “It can’t really beat Australia in terms of the weather but that show is going to be really fucking fun cos’ Manchester is always wild!”
Being part of global rock phenomenon Queens of the Stone Age could be forgiven for thinking that the gig could be a bit of a step down, but that’s not how the 30-year-old sees it.
He said: “I always had this ethos that I give everything I’ve got, if it’s in front of four people or four thousand.
“That’s all you can do and I’ve done it my whole life.”
— Mini Mansions (@MiniMansions) March 29, 2015
As you might expect from their name, for Mini Mansions size really doesn’t matter; it’s a two way street between the audience and the band.
He said: “I think it might sound better on the bigger stage but I think at the small shows people enjoy it more.
“Because you can feel the aggression and probably our sweat on you, and that’s a different experience as far as listening; it’s more intense.”
And there may be no better place for a band to play if they’re looking for a reaction from an audience.
As the saying goes ‘This is Manchester, we do things differently here’, a sentiment certainly shared by Mr Shuman.
“I love playing in Manchester, it’s always fun to play because everyone’s a little rowdy [and] everyone’s usually had too many pints so that’s an obvious choice,” he said.
But it’s not just the crowd that has got the band excited about playing Manchester; the musical heritage of the city has not been lost in the Transatlantic
Manchester has huge effect on thousands of groups across the world, even those that perhaps aren’t even aware of it, such as Michael.
— Mini Mansions (@MiniMansions) September 17, 2015
He said: “I love New Order and I’m sure somewhere in my body I picked up some kind of influence from them,” he said.
After meeting each other at a gig in Manchester while with QOTSA, Primal Scream bassist Manny now holds a special place in Michael’s heart.
Even if he didn’t know he was a Mancunian.
Mini Mansions have a history of working with British artists, only recently collaborating with Arctic Monkeys and Sheffield native Alex Turner on the single Vertigo.
And fans will be pleased to hear that they will not have long to wait before Mini Mansions are back in the studio working on a new album.
After a four year hiatus, Michael said that they have written a lot of material and are anxious to get it going.
And hidden behind his own brand of self-deprecation and the band’s difficulties in finding enough time to be alone, Michael assured me that there is definitely more to come.
He said: “We’ve been writing a lot and we have to go home to take time to play together and start rehearsing.
“It’s a good time to stop touring after a year straight. That’s about enough; [we need] to stay fresh.”
It’s an exciting time for fans and the band itself and the gig at the Ruby Lounge later this month promises to be anything but ordinary.
This is not a band that does things by half measures, they are here to put on a show and they’re a group which expects a lot in return.
And luckily for them, Manchester always delivers.
For tickets and info visit here.
Image courtesy of BBC via. YouTube, with thanks.