A Ripple Conversation With Tommy Keeling Of Minatore

When I was a kid, growing up in a house with Cat Stevens, Neil Diamond, and Simon and Garfunkel, the first time I ever heard Kiss's "Detroit Rock City," it was a moment of musical epiphany. It was just so vicious, aggressive and mean. It changed the way I listened to music. I've had a few minor epiphany's since then, when you come across a band that just brings something new and revolutionary to your ears.


What have been your musical epiphany moments?


Like yourself, KISS was a big one with Alive 2, but also ZZ Top and their videos, in my early years. I then moved into grunge and Brit pop and then post punk, so bands like Sleater Kinney, Reuben, My Vitriol, smashing pumpkins, Dinosaur Jr.


Talk to us about the song-writing process for you. What comes first, the idea? A riff? The lyrics? How does it all fall into place?


Sometimes it’s when Morgan brings a beat, sometimes the songs write themselves and it’s more like I’m trying to translate something really fast into a riff, sometimes a verse.


Who has influenced you the most?


I’ve been lucky enough to play with and for a lot of talented people, I think that they have inspired me the most. Along with the bands we get to perform with. Healthy Junkies, Witch of the East, Haggard Cat, Diablo Furs.


Where do you look for continuing inspiration? New ideas, new motivation?


Like I said before, the people around me! Their projects are so cool and DIY. A Void, Arch Femesis, YuR MuM, Weekend Recovery, there’s countless others


We're all a product of our environment. Tell us about the band's hometown and how that reflects in the music?


I’m from North Nottingham, I don’t think you can grow up where I did and not have it have influence of you as an adult. I would imagine my love for angry riffs comes from that.


Where'd the band name come from?


MINATORE means Miner in Italian. It’s a tip of the hat to area i’m from, which was all constructed around coal mines. 


You have one chance, what movie are you going to write the soundtrack for?


A horror movie that’s not been made yet. I used to love listening to soundtracks of movies, I discovered so many artists that way.


You now write for a music publication (The Ripple Effect?).  You're going to write a 1,000 word essay on one song. Which would it be and why?


Wow, one song when my brain is like a continuous juke box of every song I’ve ever heard. Probably Yankee Rose by David Lee Roth. Haha


Come on, share with us a couple of your great, Spinal Tap, rock and roll moments?


MINATORE is a wild band live, but we’re pretty chilled people offstage. Maybe Morgan  asking a promoter for some petrol money and reluctantly being handed a crumpled £5 note.


Tell us about playing live and the live experience for you and for your fans?


Playing live for us is everything, we love the moments on stage where we get everything perfect, and it just feels amazing. Seeing people in other bands singing along to your music and inspiring them to play even harder than they already do


What makes a great song?


Something that’s catchy I guess. As much as a song can be good because of its content, I think the moment you hear the song is important. The context of it. We really have fun making complicated things sound as simple as possible.


What one single album do you wish that you'd writen or performed on, and why?


Oh wow. Well there’s an album by Nico Vega from 2009. I wish I wrote all of that album and I wish I was playing in that band at least. Really cool tricky breaks, smart melodies.


What piece of your music are particularly proud of?


Boys Tell Lies, I wrote it extremely quickly about rape culture. Although I worry it will get missed as being against guns. I’m against both. 


Who today, writes great songs? Who just kicks your ass? Why?


Jamie Lenman, I’ve been a big fan from his Reuben days. He releases a lot of music, and it’s all diverse. It could be heavy, or it could be delightful.


Vinyl, CD, or digital? What's your format of choice?


I’m going to cheat and say Vinyl with a digital download code. I love Vinyl, but it’s not as easy to share with friends. So it’s good to get a digital version on your device to play.


Whiskey or beer?  And defend your choice


Beer in the morning, whisky after noon. 


We, at the Ripple Effect, are constantly looking for new music. What's your home town, and when we get there, what's the best record store to lose ourselves in?


Rough Trade Nottingham is one of only a tiny amount of shops selling music. So start there and catch any band playing in the evening too.


What's next for the band?


We have a video for the Hour coming up, and hopefully have a few more songs out before the end of the year. Doesn’t look like any shows will happen. 


Any final comments or thoughts you'd like to share with our readers, the waveriders?


Really appreciate, please check out the artists I mentioned.


To buy or listen to our new tracks direct via our website



Check out the new video (from 28/08/2020)