"There was no extra gristle on the filet mignon..." - Mini Mansions talk new album Guy Walks Into A Bar
Mini Mansions were founded way back in 2009, but with the band's members all involved with bigger projects, it's taken them a long time to release the three albums that they have to date.
Consisting of Tyler Parkford, Queens Of The Stone Age's Michael Shuman and The Last Shadow Puppets/Arctic Monkeys frequent collaborator Zach Dawes, the band make raw, swaggering rock and roll and combine to produce a riotous live show.
For new album Guy Walks Into A Bar there's an added bonus in the shape of former Mars Volta and current Queens Of The Stone Age man Jon Theodore on drums, as well as a guest appearance from The Kills' Alison Mosshart.
With the album out now in hmv stores, we spoke to Shuman about how it all came together...
When did you start work on Guy Walks Into A Bar? Did you have a goal of how you wanted to move on from what you did on The Great Pretenders?
"About a couple of years ago. I think we wanted to make a much more sweaty record with a pulse coming from a half-human heart."
How many songs did you write for the album? Are you a band who writes a lot of songs and slims down? Or do you tend to focus on a select few?
"We did that for the last record The Great Pretenders, so much so that we put out a separate record of straight gangbuster b-sides. But for this current LP, we had a very specific idea of what songs would work and which ones wouldn’t before we recorded them. There was no extra gristle on the filet mignon."
You did the album with Cian Riordan, what did he bring to the process?
"A great ear, brilliant production wizardry, tons of jokes, speedy on the faders, quick on his feet, but always with an alarming degree of Terminator II laser focus."
You’ve got a collaboration with The Kills’ Alisson Mosshart on the album, how did that come about?
"Couldn’t have been better. She was built for that song, I don’t think anyone else could’ve done it the way she did. A true force. I’m glad she did it."
What kind of album is this lyrically? Is there a theme to it?
"A lot of it is made to be like a chronological map tracing the beginning and end of an intensely disastrous relationship, do or die kinda stuff. So there’s less cloudy abstractions and much more introspective elements without losing our dreamscapes."
"That said the hints of personal Volatile love is all just a universal experience so it’s made to be that way. Like a first-person perspective video game on Twitch."
Which song on the album took the longest to get right?
"Probably 'Tears In Her Eyes'. Just because it took a while to get the aesthetic just right without it being a Broadway musical tearjerker."
And which came together most quickly?
"'I Don’t Even Know You' because it’s made to be short and sweet."
When did you settle on Guy Walks Into A Bar for the album’s title? Were any other titles in contention?
"We did but that one just really stuck with us. It’s a spin on the most classic one-liners and also sets the first chapter of a much longer existential joke that involves the love of disaster and disastrous love."
What are your plans to take the album out live?
"Tour tour tour. Along with our caged snow leopard aka Jon Theodore on drums. He's the man."
Mini Mansions' new album Guy Walks Into A Bar is out now in hmv stores.