Though the raucous, rock n’ roll trio Minorcan may currently reside in North Carolina, at least four of the band’s six feet will forever feel comfortable at, or below, sea level, buried in the sand in Northeast Florida. Graduates of Jacksonville’s The Episcopal School, brothers Ryan (lead Vocals, guitar) and Justin Anderson (drums) were raised in Neptune Beach. And since joining forces on 2016’s “Dead Man” they’ve made Jacksonville and St. Augustine consistent stops on their musical forays through the southeast.
“North Florida is my genesis. It’s where I first picked up a guitar, wrote my first song, formed my first band,” says the eldest Anderson, Ryan—who grew up playing music with some the area’s most well-known musicians including Ben Cooper of Radical Face. “I was very lucky, because Jacksonville had a very creative community when I was a coming-of-age teenager. Get a bunch of North Florida peeps together and we’ll talk hours about the good old days of Einsteins and the Theory Shop, etc. It’s an inspiring community and I keep returning because I’m always welcomed with a hug.”
Since forming the band in Austin, Texas in 2008, Anderson’s been Minorcan’s main songwriter. Since adding longtime friend Joey Terry (The Poison Control Center) on bass and a sibling on drums, the band’s music has become more of a collaborative effort and the trio’s familial harmonies and joyous live-performances resonate with kinship.
Now, a little less than two years since their last release, Minorcan is preparing 12 new tracks, all of which were recorded, mixed, mastered, and produced by Jason Nesmith (Casper & the Cookies) in Athens, Georgia.
With details, including a tentative title, still being ironed out, last month Minorcan released the video for “Sick,” the first from the forthcoming full-length.
As they put the finishing touches on the newest additions to their expanding catalogue, Minorcan has granted Void’s readers an exclusive sampling of the second release from their new album.
Like “Sick” the new track, “Cheap Thrills” opens with Anderson’s jangly guitar strums, while Justin and Terry provide the driving, danceable backbone. After a pause, the opening line “Will you take my picture by this motorbike? It’s a fake adventure told by color and light,” growled irreverently by Anderson, foreshadows the skeptic’s point of view that will become the song’s main thrust. It’s a boisterous sendup of digital culture.
“Most of the information humans consume now is through online, digital interaction instead of face to face, in person interaction,” Anderson says of the song’s overarching theme. “The downside is that a lot of the digital information or interactions are fake. Bands and artists pay money for likes on social media, they pay money for a fake fan base. People pose in pictures with nice cars or in expensive houses that don’t belong to them. Foreign governments create fake content to impact our presidential election. The list goes on and on.”
Though the track drips with a cheeky cynicism, Anderson says much of the writing he did for the new album came from a place of empathy.
“There is real pain out there in the world, and the people–mainly white men–causing this pain are not being held accountable,” he says. “There is a tendency among the privileged white male majority to see this real pain and discount it as fake.
“Cheap Thrills,” he says is the band’s “statement of acknowledgment: Your pain is real. We see and hear all of you out there suffering. Your voice is important to us.”
While Anderson’s songwriting has never shied away from tough subjects—whether heartache, politics, or social issues—Minorcan’s music remains built for revelry and catharsis and the band’s live performances have earned them a significant following in Tarheel State and beyond.
With the album set for release this Spring, it’d behoove you to stay up to date on the band’s whereabouts, so as not to miss them the next time they come through Northeast Florida.
For now, take a listen to their newest track, “Cheap Thrills” below.