So I will openly admit that prior to getting their email, I had never heard of the One Minute Millionaires, but that is the beauty of doing this, I get to learn about new music! I’m always open to listening to new things and consider myself a pretty good gauge of influence and music in general. About a minute into their song Helena, I sent Mark a message saying basically..Hmm…So you guys like Toad The Wet Sprocket don’t you? Which I honestly can’t complain about because I have always loved some Toad, in fact while writing this, I put some on to get me in the mood to get this blog post going! OMM is definitely influenced by not only TWS but the whole Tempe/Southwest jangle rock sound of the Nineties. They are currently putting together more music to share and you can likely find them at one of their favorite spots, Sozo Coffee House in Chandler. As normal, I will share plenty of links to music at the end of the post. One Minute Millionaires consists of Mike on lead vocals and guitar, Matt on drums, Mark on bass and Wayne on lead guitar and vocals. It has been a few weeks so let’s get this thing going!
How did you come together as a band?
Mike: We started playing together in 2004 but I would say we recently finally “came together” ultimately as a band when Matt joined. We had been flying high with mark and Wayne at the musical helm since 2008 but adding Matt to the mix really makes the band a fun place to be. So though Mark and I have been together since ’04 the sheer talent in the band now with those guys made it all come together
Matt: the band had been together for many years prior to my joining, but I have known Wayne since we were in high school. We used to mess around a long time ago in a garage band and such. One day, Wayne got in contact and asked if I still played because they had lost their drummer and needed a replacement. I couldn’t resist the offer and I have enjoyed every minute of the last 3 years with these guys.
Mark: See Mike’s response.
Wayne: As mentioned, the band formed in I believe 2004, I joined in ’08. I think they were actually looking for a bass player but were willing to give me a shot on guitar. Lucky for me they liked what they heard and the rest is history!
Each of you give me some influences on yourself, and your instrument or voice
W: Angus and Malcom Young, to me they qualify as one guitar player. The biggest most resounding chords and riffs in the history of rock and roll…Period. David Gilmour, pitch perfect bends a vibrato nearly every time. You get it all from him, gritty to ethereal in his guitar and in his voice. Mark Knopfler The dynamics he coaxes from his fingers instead of a pick are something I’ve been emulating. And he does it across country, blues, folk, and rock genres.
Mark: Greg Lake of ELP. His clarity of playing, timing and precision. His philosophy of using the bass as a supporting instrument. He also played from a classical perspective in a rock setting. Paul McCartney in the Beatles era, anyone that plays in a rock genre that ventures beyond rood/5th notes is influenced by him in some way. Doug Hopkins of the Gin Blossoms. Without a doubt one of the best songwriters of our time out of our state of Arizona. He has a great sense of melody, and an ability to blend genres to create a mood in his compositions.
Matt: The Gin Blossoms were so pleasing to listen to and still are. The drums on New Miserable Experience are a perfect blend of simplicity and complexity. The dynamics of the percussion is what impresses me the most. RUSH monopolized my car for years just because they are all such talented musicians. Lastly, and most recently is Ween. They have such a diversity of styles, instruments, sounds, everything. Some songs may sound ridiculous but the ones they took seriously when writing you can definitely tell. I wish I had found them at least a decade before I finally did~
Mike: I’ve always liked Glen Phillips of Toad the Wet Sprocket for both his singing and songwriting. After that I would say I love the raw feel of Cracker, and the timeless sounds of CCR!
Now tell me something that no one knows about the band….yet.
Mike: None of us can bring a fountain drink to rehearsal without spilling. Matt: Witchhazel has multiple functions 😉 Mark: When we were searching for a band name early on, we considered Drive-by Mariachis briefly. Wayne: Even though we are rooted and inspired by Southwest Jangle Rock influence, we are not opposed to Jazz comping. Bring on the 5/4 time signatures!
Worst or most embarrassing on stage occurrence either as a band or personally.
W: We played a wedding and had some technical difficulties while trying to play “Wonderful Tonight” for the bride and grooms first dance. Not cool! We got a chance to play it again and I think we redeemed ourselves. Mark: I played keys for a one of New Years gig (Pre-OMM) for an Elvis impersonator, so the entire gig was embarrassing. You haven’t lived as a musician till you’ve backed an overweight Elvis Matt: We were playing at SoZo and I was on their house kit. Their setup was not the same as my normal setup but I thought it would be ok..It was not. I am such a creature of habit that I felt totally out of my element and finally held up starting a song so I could adjust things around. Mike: We were playing a concert in the park series in AJ and my cord went bad so every strum on the guitar created a “GRRRRZAKKKKKKKCHKKKUGH” sound. it was awful, and I think the average age in the crowd was 80 so I think most of the hearing aids blew out.
Ok, say each of you never met. Who do you start a band with…ANY musician.
Mike: Roger Miller Matt: Aaron Freeman Mark: Jeff Lynne Wayne: Well, one cannot underestimate the power of chemistry in a band. But If I had to choose it would be Tom Petty, assuming Mike Campbell isn’t around, which is a shame because he is awesome.
Favorite song of all time, each of you can name something.
Wayne: This is a total cop-out but I cant choose a single song, it all depends on time, place, mood. Mark: Wichita Lineman Matt: Spirit of the Radio, Rush. Mike: Right now, Green River by CCR.
Now which famous song do you WISH you had written.
Mike: Word Up by Cameo. Matt: Ocean Man by Ween Mark: Excluding great classical masterpieces, it is a tie between Walk on the Ocean by Toad the Wet Sprocket and the Spartacus Suite by Triumvirat. Wayne: Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits. I am all about mood and feeling that a song can create and this song is solid all the way through.
Now tell me your favorite song by a local band
Wayne: Shameless plug but anything by OMM! Mark: You’re really something by The Love Me Nots caught my ear recently. Matt: Lost Horizons by The Gin Blossoms. Mike: Good Year by The Refreshments
Favorite place to play locally, and if you want to mention why that is ok as well.
Mike, Matt and Mark all agree that SoZo is their favorite for reasons ranging from their approachable and friendly staff to their great sound system. Wayne however says…ANYWHERE because playing live is such a gratifying experience that it doesn’t matter if it is to 10 people or 1000, as long is someone is having fun it is all good!
Bands sometimes get a reputation as a studio band or a live band. In which of those settings do you think the band excels the most?
Wayne: The backbone of the song always needs to be evident in the live environment but I also think there are things we do in the studio that give the song more dynamics and depth. Mark: Some of our songs translate better than others live, and you also can stretch out a bit in your individual parts. But in the studio you can always fine tune subtle things to create a bigger tapestry of sounds, our song Helena is a good example, it has many layers you may not hear the first time around. Matt: I think due to all of our hectic lives with jobs and families that the studio wins out because it is more conducive to our schedules. Mike: I say Live.
Name some local bands our readers need to see or hear.
Mike: This is the part where you all find out how out of touch I am with the local scene….. 🙂 Mark: Honestly with my schedule I haven’t had a chance to see much local music that is not a cover or tribute band but I do try to keep a pulse on what is going on by listening to DLUX Radio But if you like some tasty Telecaster picking, check out the Donny Grubb Band from Apache Junction. Wayne: Forgive me, but much like all of us I just don’t get a chance to go out and see any bands because of my hectic schedule!
Give me one word to describe the local music scene.
Wayne: Evolving Mark: Percolating Matt: Gamazing Mike: Probably a lot cooler than me.
If you could change one thing about the local scene, what would it be?
Mike: I have no complaints at all, we are just here to have fun! Matt: I would rewind it back to the 90’s, not because it is band now, but I just loved all that music! Mark: I wish there were more opportunities for bands to play original music in established venues. It’s not all about the same 30 songs that all the girls want to dance to. 😉 Wayne: To see more bands of various genres play the same gigs, or at least the same venues. We champion diversity in this day and age, why not have this hold true in music as well!
Your chance to shamelessly promote, what is coming up for the band. List everything you can!
Wayne: We are in the process of writing and recording a new EP that will take us through the end of 2016 most likely. As for gigging it looks like a busy summer for us all on personal levels but not necessarily with music but we hope to get a few live shows in before 2017 is upon us. Mark: We just released our second single, a reinterpretation of the western classic “Streets of Laredo” and we are in the studio. Also remember that all of our songs are available for free listening and download on our Soundcloud (Link below)
Final thoughts-Anything goes!
Matt: Thanks everyone for reading! Mark: Thanks for taking the time to put together this blog and supporting local Arizona music. To everyone that plays music, put down any and all ideas you may have even if it is just a small snippet so you don’t forget. That is the best way to build a catalog of riffs, ideas, melodies, and lyrics for you and your band-mates to draw on! Wayne: Check us out on Facebook and SoundCloud, oh and keep on rockin!
As per usual, here are some links to where you can hear more from the featured artist each time. Now get out there and listen, see, and support your local music scene dammit! (I mean that in a good way) Till next time….