Healing sound revealed in interview with MinusBlue



Firstly, I’d like to ask you, how did you came up with the name for your project? Where did MinusBlue came from?

I came across the name in a physics text book when I was studying many years ago – minus blue is actually a sub atomic particle, so in some ways, we all have minusblue inside us!

You’ve been infuenced by house music and dance culture of the late 80’ties and early 90’ties, but the music you make sounds very unique. What artists influenced you the most and what inspires you to create your songs?

New Order and Depeche Mode are the electronic bands that most influenced me when I was younger. When I started making music, I had been dj-ing for many years, and brought some of the house sound into the studio too. I didn’t really want minusblue to be just house music, or just chillout though, but kind of a sound where all of my influences met. I don’t write songs very often, but when I decide to write, I can write a few at the same time. I think it’s important to have something to write about, in your life, about your life.

I’d like to ask about your debut album “Clear Blue Eyes”. How much time you’ve spent working on it and how have you met amazing singers for the vocals, like Emma Saville?

The first album took a long time to put together, maybe three or four years from start to finish! MinusBlue started out as the name of one track that I wrote, and over a period of a couple of years, I realised that I had quite a few tracks that sounded similar, and thought maybe I could make a full LP from them. I met Emma Saville at a studio I used to work at, she came to do some work experience there, and we ended up working together about a year later. All of the singers on the first and the second LP are my friends, some of them are really well known – Sarah Jay sang with Massive Attack for a couple of years for instance, And some are first time singers, like Alex Michailidis on the new LP, she’s the girlfriend of my cousin.

Leigh Devlin - MinusBlue

Leigh Devlin – MinusBlue

And how was that to work on your second album “Living Life in Phases”? What was different than with the first one? Was it easier or something was more difficult?

The second LP was made in only just over a year. I had two writing sessions a few weeks apart and had pretty much all of the tracks for the LP ready for vocals. I had met a few new vocalists like Justin Lewis and Tom Sanderson, and had worked with them before, so they knew what I liked in terms of lyrics and vocal performances. In some ways though, it was harder to make the new LP, as it was a much more intense production.

Besides of being in MinusBlue you’re also a producer. Do you work for other artists with their careers or you focus on producing your own music?

I have worked with many artists over the years, from Dizzee Rascal to Atomic Kitten! I have decided not the produce for other artists for a while though and concentrate on MinusBlue. I love working with really good artists though, and will almost probably produce for other people again in the future.

I’ll get back to your first album once again. Your songs from this album have been signed into enormous amount of downtempo compilations. Do you feel like it’s what you wanted to achieve or you think more like “I want more”? How do you feel about the fact that people really liked your music?

I’m really happy that people liked the first LP! I thought it had some good songs on it, ‘Be As One’ especially, so its great to see people reacting to it. It has been signed to a lot of compilations yes! I don’t even know how many! The plan for the new LP is not to license it to so many different labels, and concentrate on keeping sales for the LP itself.

And I would like to know what are your plans for the near future? I guess main priority is the promotion of the “Living Life in Phases” album. Where people can find you playing live? Do you have any plans for Poland and other countries or are you focused on UK?

Yes, the new LP is the focus at the moment! We have done a few small scale gigs in the UK, but next year hopefully we can take it to places like Poland, that would be fantastic!

And finally how would you promote MinusBlue for people that haven’t found your music yet and/ or convince those that usually listen to different genres but are open minded?

I would say that MinusBlue is the kind of music that you can listen to anywhere. It’s quite danceable, but if you don’t feel like dancing, it’s the kind of music that you can listen to on your own and get some meaning from the lyrics. We have good lyrics!

Emma Saville - one of the singers for MinusBlue

Emma Saville – one of the singers for MinusBlue

Enchanting rock vibes in interview with Matthau Mikojan


What is the most useful thing your parents taught you?

Matthau Mikojan: Must be something mom taught me but I can´t think of anything in particular. I did inherit or acquire some not-so-useful personal traits, such as quick temper.

If you can be another person for one day, who would it be?

M.M.: The fiddler of Fiddler on the roof.

What is the thing you always wanted to do but never dared?

M.M.: If there´s something that I really want I´ll do everything I can to get it or get there. If there´s anything that I didn´t dare to do I´m sure it wasn´t very important to me in the first place. There used to be a couple of things, though. I used to think I´ll never be able to drive or ride a motorbike… Today I do both.

I would ask you about Tourette syndrome. You’d been fighting it, and still needs meds. I would ask, what exactly did this cause in your life, how do you manage it? What sort of advice do you have for people who suffer from such condition, or similar conditions, like Panic attacks, depression, etc.?
Was that ever any kind of heaviness for your music? Or does it make you stronger?

M.M.: I recently stopped taking medication and oddly enough I´m doing okay. It definitely was a strain – whatever it was. It all started out when I was a little kid. Every single day I would turn into a devil. There were several doctors and psychiatrists trying to figure out what it was that caused my violent, posessed-like, self-destructive behaviour but none of them ever did. I was the one who presented one of the doctors my theory of what I think is wrong with me. He agreed. Tourette´s syndrome ties into my childhood more than anything else. As far as giving advise is concerned, all I can say is take your pill and hope your world doesn´t come crashing down, again. Other than that, there wasn´t much I could do about it.

We know you can play many instruments, how does it come you stuck to the guitar? What other instrument do you like to play, which ones do you feel the most inspiring and creative?

M.M.: I believe I chose the guitar because of my father – who was a guitarist – plus there were guitars in the house so I would say it was only a matter of time when one of us boys would reach out for that dreamlike instrument. In this case, we both did. Learning other instruments was really a byproduct of starting very young. I thought I was the only one dreaming of being in a band, touring, giving interviews, venues, studios, fans, fame, money etc. until I met Paavo Pekkonen – with whom I later started Bloodpit. So, we had a place with a drum set and an amplifier. We would switch and later when we were given the opportunity to make analog multitrack recordings we would have to play the bass, keyboard and sing, as well. And that´s how we both learnt the basics of some other instruments. Guitar is my instrument – no doubt. For my new record I played drums and bass but I don´t practice playing drums or bass. Voice is a bit different… Whether you can sing… or you can´t and that´s it. For me, anyway.

Matthau Mikojan 1

Do you own some jewelry/lucky charm that has got a special meaning for you?

M.M.: Most of them do. I love my jewelry, always have. I got my 925-silver skull ring that I used to wear every single day for years. It used to mean a lot to me. I have a silver plate with my father´s picture carved on it that I was given by some mysterious person at a gig in Germany in 2006 ; I´ve got a few cool custom-made pieces, hand-crafted in Norway, that are special. I love my Moroccan treasures. Some antique jewelry. Mainly gem stones and silver.

Recently you’ve changed a lot. Your face look more smooth, contented, rested, all in all you seem to be happy as if you’ve found some inner peace. What has happened? I mean, we are incredibly happy to see such a great and positive change but we are intrigued of what had caused this?

M.M.: Thank You. I get that a lot! I dunno… I´ve lost a couple of pounds but I wouldn´t know about ”inner peace”.

What’s the biggest challenge for you at the moment?

M.M.: The album I´m recording right now. It´s my biggest / greatest endeavour so far.

What have you bought from your first self-earned money?

M.M.: I don´t remember. It could be anything. Perhaps candy or a music magazine. It could have been cigarettes, beer, a record. You know,it was probably an amplifier or a guitar or a microphone. I don´t know.


You’ve scared your fans pretty much on the 20th of January, when you’ve published in an open letter that your business became bankrupt. No record label, no booking agencies. Now a new album is on the way. We would like to congratulate on it, and we would like to ask what has happened, and is hopefully staying this way – in other words, record label and agency found? Only for one album, or hopefully a longer cooperation is going to follow?

M.M.: Nothing did happen. When there´s seemingly nothing going on I tend to come up with an idea or two and that´s what happened. Without a record company and their money booking a studio to make a record, which is a long process, would cost a lot of money. So I figured I´m gonna do it all myself and that´s what I´m doing. 24 songs – one asshole. I don´t know what´s gonna happen when the album is finished. At this point I´m prepared to release it myself. I may even go further than that. This is what I do and I will keep doing it no matter what. I will always find a way.

What would you do if you would be invisible for a day?

M.M.: I´d put a wig on?!

Can you remember what was the first CD/LP you ever bought and why?

M.M.: It was a cassette. I think it was Metallica: Ride The Lightning. My first cd was Megadeth: Youthanasia or AC/DC: Ballbreaker. I wasn´t into AC/DC or Megadeth when I bought the cds but since I had just gotten my first cd player I needed some music – any music. I´m glad Youthanasia was as good as it was/is.

And of course asking about this new album. Where are you recording it, how is it going, what it is going to sound like, will the music be any bit different compared to the previous albums, will it contain perhaps some acoustic songs, any guest musicians? What will be the mood, the atmosphere of the album, are you planning a tour with it either in Finland or abroad?

M.M.: The album is pretty much half done. I´m recording in Tampere. It´s going to be different from what I´ve done before not least because I am playing everything you´ll hear on there. I´m very pleased with my playing these days and it sounds the way it should. Out of 24 songs 1 will be acoustic. I can´t yet compare these new tunes to what I´ve recorded before simply because none of them is finished except for one song Tramps & Troubadours. In fact, many of them are still lacking lyrics and melody. I would love to tour this album so I guess I´m gonna have to see if any booking agency is interested.

Are you planning to join any touring band anytime as a guest musician, for example when Private Line goes to Germany at autumn? Would you like to co-work with other bands?

M.M.: I´m not planning such a thing and I don´t think Private Line is planning such a thing. If there was a good gig with some great people plus some money involved – sure!

What job would you like to do, if you were not a musician?

M.M.: Something to do with music and/or theatre.

What was the weirdest or funniest job you ever had?

M.M.: This is definitely the weirdest! I once had a job that included cutting down trees with a chainsaw and working in high places.

Credits and copyrights goes to the owner.

Credits and copyrights goes to the owner.

CiR Team


I wanted to update this blog with some great news.
In the past year I was a part of a website – http://www.blackwaterproject.org – and I left by the end of 2012. Now I started to cooperate with it back again as a freelancer. I missed this place a lot and I’m extremely happy to announce the first sign of this co-working between Crack in Reality and Black Water Project, which is a review of The Fallacy’s album “Love Division”.

So for everyone interested, here it is: