How did your name, Minor Soul, come about?
Jack Wagner: I think we came up with it about five years ago, just when we were putting the band together. Max and I, we grew up in Hong Kong and we'd sort of been playing music our whole lives; Max had been a theatre kid and I was mostly just playing songs in my bedroom and hiding them from everyone else. The name Minor Soul came about when we were at dinner and we realized that we wanted to do a band together and it sort of came about when our dad saw Max playing video games and he saw the words 'minor soul track' and he thought 'that's a pretty cool band name' and so, at dinner, we decided to take off the 'track' and just kept it at 'minor soul'. And, for us, Minor Soul is really meaningful because it's sort of what our music is about, being young at heart; it's accessible to everyone and it just means that we have young souls, and that's what we try to convey.
Which words would you use to describe your sound?
Jack: Yeah, so, I guess the genre would be kind of a pop folk kind of thing. It used to be more acoustic based and now it's kind of acoustic and pop, it's kind of a mixture of the two. Definitely contemporary, as well as being kind of classic, in a sense, because a lot of our inspirations are, you know, Simon & Garfunkel and The Beatles, as well as having more contemporary influences, so it's kind of a mixture of classic and contemporary.
You've mentioned some of your classic influences, what are some of the contemporary bands you're influenced by?
Jack: Well, Max and I have actually quite different musical influences, but there are a few bands that I think we share as being really passionate about and as being well modeled to us. There's an English band called King which we both think is just one of the greatest, and they're a contemporary band. Also, Coldplay, especially the first four albums, we were just obsessed with and, you know, in terms of the differences, I listen to more alternative music - my favorite bands are, like, Bon Iver and Radiohead - and Max tends to listen to more pop and, Max, you can say what your favorite bands are.
Max: Yeah, I mean, we also have several bands that we both enjoy, you know, Coldplay, like Jack said, and King, but definitely, kind of walking down the street, I'll pop on some Top 40s. Everything from Katy Perry to Tiesto to Ed Sheeran and all of those guys, I love them.
Are there any tracks you guys are hooked on now?
Jack: I'm obsessed with Justin Bieber's new album. I can't stop listening to it.
Max: Yeah, I think he's awesome.
Jack: He's really made a massive comeback. I mean, "What Do You Mean?" is like the song of the year, absolutely.
When you're writing and working on new tracks, where does your inspiration come from?
Max: It kind of comes from all over the place, you know, we don't sit down and think, 'okay, this song's going to be a happy song' or it's going to be about someone who has finally found the love of his life or something like that. It really just changes from what mood we're in and kind of where we are, what we've just done; if we're on holiday on a beach, the likely song will not be a sad one, it'll probably be a happy one, just from natural experience. Definitely, we also draw inspiration from things we talk about, from things in our life, you know, all the songs have a personal meaning to us, especially on the Tiger album.
Jack: Yeah, and it varies from love based sort of experiences that influence the music but also a lot of the songs that Max and I wrote on Tiger are about our experience in the music industry and just, sort of, working through challenges and finding ourselves and sort of reminding ourselves of who we are and all those different themes that he and I share.
Do you guys have a favorite track from your Tiger album?
Max: I think we both loved "Charlie Chaplin" as well, which is the first single, and I think we loved that just because it's a very dynamic song, in terms of songwriting as well as production. Then, I think a couple of personal favorites are "Summer Nights" for me and "Walls and Ceilings".
Jack: Yeah, and for me, "Babylon" on the Tiger album is my favorite.
What's the best response you've heard since releasing the "Nothing At All" video?
Max: I think, you know, it's been a really, really positive kind of couple months since we released it. It's definitely just very happy and it's a different video, it's quite creative, which we did a kind of green screen thing with it and a lot of the fans are saying how much they enjoyed the creativity and the storyline.
Jack: Yeah, and I think what's most important is that, a lot of our music videos and songs before this were quite heavy songs, sometimes sad songs, and so we're just super happy that this video is just making people happy. It's very lighthearted and it also carries a lot of meaning to it, so we're very proud of it.
What do you hope listeners are able to take away from your music?
Jack: I think that, from our music, I would love for people to sort of take away sort of rediscovering what it is to have really great acoustic music with vocals and songwriting and, sort of, the old fashioned sort of Beatles style songs that we try to achieve, while also not feeling like it's just listening to their parent's music, and I think we are able to bring the youngness, because we're both young kids, and the influence from really classic bands into a day and age where most radio is dominated by bands and pop - which we love, as well - we also want to bring a new dimension and some of the acoustic songs and classic songs back to mainstream.
Max: Yeah, and I think we also kind of want to make sure that our songs vary in subject material, so it's not always sad, it's not always happy, and, as humans, we experience tons of different emotions all the time, every day, up and down and everywhere, you know? So, the songs are all very dynamic in terms of what they talk about and we want there to be a song to describe every moment that you have, for if you've just gone through a tough break-up or if you've just found love. There's got to be a song for everything, so that's kind of my goal, at least.
Is there anything you'd like to add?
Jack: We're working on album number three and we should have some new singles out probably next year.
Max: Yeah, and we really, really hope everybody enjoys the video.