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1. What are you currently up to?

We’re currently marketing the new CD ‘Metropolis’ and pumping the phones incessantly. We’re looking for that station that will take a chance on a group that isn’t a current fashion or trend. Are you reading this Mr. Program Director? Anyway, we’re also planning routing for our upcoming western states tour in June. Plus we’re writing. We’re always writing, every chanec we get.

2. Who were your influences?

Melodically I’d say the Beatles. Musically, there’s many. Not many would admit it, but Kiss was my first influence. They were just the coolest to a 12 year old. Then I got into Foreigner. Later on it was Yes, Rush and Floyd. Even later I turned into the Police, U2, Joe Jackson. But the biggest single influence would have to be Yes. I learned very riff Chris Squire ever recorded.

3. Brief history of the band plus the style of music you play.

To date, the Mineral Kings have released two CD’s, Atomic Numbers and Metropolis. Fans and critics alike have described us sounding like REM, Midnight Oil, INXS, the Cult, U2 and the Tragically Hip. Who knows really? We just set out to write, and what come out, comes out. We hardly ever say ‘Let’s write a song the sounds like this’. Personally, I’ve also written jingles and soundtrack music.

4. What do you think of the current state of US radio and the live music scene? How easy/hard has it been to get exposure for the band?

I love radio. It’s more diverse then when I was a kid, but so is music in general. You can always find music to fit your mood. On the flip side, I sometimes feel that some bands get airplay not on the merits of their music, but on the determination and craftiness of their management and record label. But that’s part of the business, isn’t it? Live music is slowly coming back into vogue after going away for a while. I mean, you can only watch the same video so many times. But the club scene is wallowing in mire. Too many less than mediocre acts are getting on stage. Here in San Francisco, a lot of the clubs are going out of business.

Listen. You can have the best band. The best songs. The best manager. The best ideas. But you still have to get lucky. Some may say you can make your own luck. I subscribe to that theory. So that’s what we do. Any publicity is good publicity. No situation is below us. We’ve played on the street corner with acoustics and a tambourine. You never know who’s gonna walk by. Our recent Internet campaign has been pretty encouraging. Live full-on shows always generate excitement. But radio is the main goal. You can reach the broadest number of people that way. It’s also the hardest nut to crack.

5. What have been the highlight(s) and low point(s) of your career to date?

Everyday is a highlight. Anytime I can pick-up the guitar or sit at the keyboard and play, well that’s a great day. As far as the low-point, there’s been a few gigs that we kinda stunk up the joint. But nothing I’d really consider a low-point. It’s just all part of the learning process. Live, learn, and apply the knowledge gained.

6. Who have you toured with and would like to tour with in the future?

We’ve been strictly local so far, but we’re about to embark on our first club tour this summer. Now if you’re asking me if we could open for anybody in the world who would it be, I’d say U2. You always maximise your exposure don’t you?

7. If you could create a fantasy band - what would be the line-up and why?

Bass - Paul McCartney. Drums - Keith Moon. Guitar - Eric Clapton. Keys - Billy Joel. Vocals - Lou Gramm.

8. Any other bands/artists you would recommend checking out?

The Sterophonics. I like their sound.

9. What CD's do you currently have available and where can they be purchased from?

Ah, the sales pitch. Here goes: the Mineral Kings are available exclusively on You can search by artist (Mineral Kings) or by album titles (Atomic Numbers, Metropolis). You can also visit and click on ‘For Sale’ to get the link directly to Amazon. Get yours today. It’s rock-n-roll for the modern soul.


Interview © 2003 Jason Ritchie/
Format and edit: The Music Index.

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