Michael Rafferty, the Minnows’ lead singer is from Tyrone. Kevin Carson the bass player is from Derry. Paul Maynes plays lead guitar and hails from Wicklow. Stephen O’Sullivan the Minnows’ drummer, is from Tyrone.
In 2007 the band changed their name from Tiberius’ Minnows to ‘The Minnows’ to reflect, as lead singer Michael Rafferty explained, ‘a new maturity and diversity of influence in our music.’ Our live following were already calling us ‘The Minnows’ so it all made sense to make the change and move forward.
With their live work well established the band recorded and released their debut album "Holyland." It featured many of their well known songs honed on the live circuit including the very popular "Time Flies".
‘Leonard Cohen's Happy Compared To Me’ the band's new album was originally released in N. Ireland in the autumn of 2008. It has not been readily available outside of N.Ireland until now. As we exit 2009 and enter a new year the Minnows have made a conscious decision to take their music from their homeland out to the wider world
Minnows front man Michael Rafferty believes that the time spent recording and mixing the new album has been time well spent. “The great thing about being in The Minnows at the moment is that we’re doing what we want, the way we want it, without a care for what’s fashionable or what’s likely to please the masses.
“This album is the culmination of a lot of hard work but it’s been well worth it,” said Rafferty. “We actually completed the album at Homestead Studios in Randalstown but we thought there was still room for improvement so we set about remixing almost all the tracks; in some cases starting again from scratch in our own home studio. That decision was the best we’ve ever made, and once we'd made it, we worked really hard to get it sounding exactly as we wanted. If anything we became obsessed with getting it right, down to the tiniest detail, but it was definitely worth it in the end.”
“This is a really original and brilliant album,” says Simon Heyworth who was responsible for mastering the album. Praise indeed from the man who co-produced Tubular Bells and mastered albums by artists including George Harrison, Scott Walker, Depeche Mode, Nick Drake, Simple Minds, Brian Eno, Human League and Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark.
Simon added, “I know the band initially had some misgivings due to the fact that a lot of the recording and mixing was carried out in their own home studio, but they have managed to produce one of the most interesting albums I’ve heard in years,”
It may be a rock cliché but Leonard Cohen’s Happy Compared To Me is without doubt the best thing ‘The Minnows’ have ever done and they are very excited at the prospect of taking their music from Ireland to a global audience.
Label Good Vibrations - CD Number BIG 10 - World Wide Release - Feb 1/2010