We often get asked why we keep our songs so short. Truth be told, none of our songs are extremely short (all of them are above 1:30 minutes), but we do make a conscious effort to make the song end before it gets boring. Why push in extra bridges or solos when the song makes sense in it’s “bare minimum” form.
On both our EPs (which are free) all of our songs range from 2:01 to 3:25 minutes. We try not to repeat parts too many times, always being conscious of the listener’s experience with us. We also are very careful to not make our sets to long or too self indulgent. We try to put the audience first. Most of the people we play to at shows have never heard us before, if our music resonates with them they will get just enough of us to pursue us further without being over saturated with some of our weaker ideas. Playing shows on a semi-regular basis, we see a lot of new bands playing sets that lasts for ages, like some weird movie from the 70s that never seems to end.
Given the vast amount of music freely available and the shortening attention span of listeners we think this approach is best. When Mic and I first started playing open mics we noticed that a lot of players were making super slow paced songs that each had 4 to 6 repetitious parts. A lot of these simple songs could be cut down, leaving for a more concise and direct piece. It really did seem like a lot of these performances were more about the players ego, then the audience’s enjoyment.
Growing up with hard rock and punk, we have been mostly inspired by quick, hard hitting tracks that require more active and attentive listening. We have even published a list of our favourite short songs. We try to make music that you want to tap your toes to, that you want to sing along to; this is the kind of music we like. We try our best to stay away from long ambient noise pieces, or grandiose conceptual pieces at this stage of our “career.”
We also feel that today more then ever, the minimalist approach to song writing is key to where music is and should be going. People are busy, all communication and media is getting shorter (youtube, tweets, etc). A century ago people would go to 3 hour long operas, now they listen to three minute tracks as they run errands. We don’t engage in guitar wankery or long winded free verse out of respect for our audience’s time. Because the show or the album is about the listener, not the “rock stars”.
Anyways, we’d love to hear your take on all of this. Write something in the comments below, or tweet to @bareminimumband, or just email us.