Mini Mansions have that West Coast atmosphere in their DNA.
Everything the band touches has that Los Angeles charm, a kind of glamour that other cities strive for, but never quite reach.
New album 'Guy Walks Into A Bar...' is out now, and it's an infectious return, one delivered with confidence and panache.
The band's superb songwriting remains intact, while the production has been amplified soaking up fresh elements in the process.
Clash tracked down Mini Mansions to discuss their Influences, and found a group equally at home in rock, country, and hip-hop...
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George Jones and Tammy Wynette - 'Take Me'
This was basically my soundtrack for most of the writing of the record. A song I wasn’t very familiar with, but was introduced to it after seeing the Leon Russell documentary and learning more about George Jones.
I had never really gone down the country music road, so this was my first proper introduction. Through this song I realized how emotional the story telling of country music can be. That’s why people love country music so much, and I was never aware. The song is direct and wears its heart on its sleeve.
Also, getting the perspective from both George and Tammy allows you to really feel the connection of both male and female partners. It definitely was a big inspiration on the conversation piece and duet of ‘Hey Lover’.
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Father John Misty - 'I Went To The Store One Day'
I listened to the whole ‘I Love You, Honeybear’ record on repeat for a while. It’s the perfect record to fall in love to. Pure honesty and transparency from the Misty Man himself. His commitment to his wife and relationship allows you to want be that kind of man with that kind of pure love. It feels as if it was all written within a week, being entangled in this abstract idea of love that you just stumbled upon for the first time in your life.
My ex and I listened to this record together and separately, throughout the beginnings of our relationship. This song still brings tears to my eyes. And I wanted to do the same with some of the tracks on our record.
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Captain Beefheart - 'Her Eyes Are A Blue Million Miles'
This has always been one of my favourite love songs of all time. I bought the 'Clear Spot' / 'Spotlight Kid CD' when I was a young lad and it was definitely a standout on the record. One of the most beautiful and raw love songs I’ve ever heard. Falling in love with a blue eyed girl didn’t hurt the connection to the song either.
The song gained a lot more notoriety after being placed in The Big Lebowski, but that’s neither here nor there. I used to go to my favourite bar in the San Fernando Valley, The Tonga Hut, a couple times a week and drink scorpion bowls and throw that song on their wonderful jukebox. I highly recommend you do the same.
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Bee Gees - 'Night Fever'
While I was writing for this record, I thought about doing a separate record that was just disco. But that dream died. ‘Night Fever’ and The Bee Gees embodies the perfect marriage of groove and melody. Their vocal harmonies are spot on, yet the bass and drums drive the song. But you can’t forget about the strings arrangements that keep it classy as fuck. I wanted all of those elements to be part of this record. Not saying we made a disco record, but I think you can definitely hear ‘Night Fever’ pop it’s head in throughout the album. We did a mash up cover of it on Jack Saunders’ Radio 1 show. One of my favorite radio moments of ours that nobody will probably hear ever again.
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Eminem - 'Without Me'
The final element of this record is influenced by the Dr Dre production and humour that is featured on Eminem’s ‘Without Me’. First start with the genius sounds, hooks, and beat that I will forever envy in this song, but then let’s focus in on Eminem’s rhymes and clear don’t give a fuck sentiment, which is cemented by his use of comedy throughout this song.
I also love how much ear candy is dropped throughout the track. I wanted our record to do the same. On the 100th listen, I want the audience to catch something they’d never heard before. A whisper, a laugh, a layered guitar line. They are all important to the make up of a track’s final delivery.
It also keeps the recording process that much more fun. Doing things for yourself that make you giggle and will keep the giggles alive when you hear the track 20 years later. Remember when we...
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'Guy Walks Into A Bar...' is out now.
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