Since forming in 1996, Martyn Leaper and the Minders have morphed from Elephant 6 darlings to twee-pop anarchists, throwing love bombs and denouncing nothing. Most non-fans remember the Minders’ auspicious 1998 debut, Hooray For Tuesday, and its unfairly derided follow-up, 2001’s Golden Street, but the band was active until 2006’s slight-but-lovely It’s A Bright Guilty World. The Minders’ only interim release has been the second web-only iteration of their odds-and-sods Cul-De-Sacs And Dead Ends. In the gap, Leaper wrote and demoed new songs when he could crowbar it into his 40-hour work week. Along with renowned producer Larry Crane (Elliott Smith, Sleater-Kinney), Leaper began finding the thread of Into The River, the first actual Minders studio work in a decade. Leaper will be guest editing magnetmagazine.com all week. Read our Minders feature.
Leaper: This is a must read for anyone thinking of starting a band. The subject of playing music and operating in the DIY sphere has been on my mind a lot lately, since I have begun a writing project devoted to the creative process of indie-music production and performance. I have titled this work Eight Track Mind, which will eventually be eight individual essays on making low-budget music. Joe Jackson’s autobiography struck a chord with me since the tales he tells of coming of age in the 1970s are relatable. His humble upbringing in Portsmouth, England (my home town), and his experiences as a music student in London, playing shitty gigs to make his way, is a great read. The book is a valuable insight into the difficult, and sometimes impossible life of a struggling musician.