Ty Van Herweg, better known by his moniker ‘Minor,’ is an individual that I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity of interviewing. After stumbling upon his music and seeing his face pop up at plenty of different clubs and events, I began to get a rough idea of the work he puts in. Not only a talented artist, Ty is also someone who’s using his past experience in music and events to help build an evermore solid groundwork in the current local and underground electronic scene.
There are some artists and music lovers out there who just don’t get the thanks they deserve for what they’ve helped create and support. Whether that’s promotion and networking, event planning, practicing and performing, or the always fun post-show teardown that takes place in the late stages of the night. Ty does all of those things and more, and it’s people like him who we have to thank for the awesome music scene we have in Seattle.
Backstage presence aside, Minor has recently been recruited onto WAVES Presents, a Seattle artist collective which he will debut for at their event, Biolumina, on November 10th. He will also be opening for Phlegmatic Dogs on December 19th with a B2B alongside Inaudible. I guarantee; neither show you will want to miss. I’ve also plugged Episode one of Minor’s mix series The Key ft. DJ 5TOES. If you like it, give him a follow and keep an eye out for the next episode.
The Key – Episode 1 featuring DJ 5TOES
RMR Interviews Minor
RMR: Explain how you were first introduced to music and why you felt that it was something you were meant to do. Who were your first influences? Was there a specific style of music that has always compelled you as an artist?
Minor: My parents started me on piano lessons when I was seven. I thought the lessons were incredibly boring since I was being taught old classic songs that I couldn’t relate to. Things started to click for me more around the age of eleven when I started learning guitar. I picked it up and soon learned how to play rock and grunge songs that I had been raised on. To boot, I was learning music theory, which gave me all the tools and knowledge to write endlessly. I always loved writing my own music, even at a pretty young age, and playing the guitar is how I originally came to realize that music is my purpose and the cornerstone of my identity. My first major influences were Nine Inch Nails, She Wants Revenge, Rage Against the Machine, Alice in Chains, Linkin Park, and Soundgarden, just to name a few. I’ve always been into emotionally charged, dark, angry music. That sound just satisfies me for some reason. I guess I was born a dark soul.
RMR: I understand that you also performed in a band when you were younger and before you became an electronic artist. What was it like performing the music you wrote in a live setting versus performing as a DJ? And how has that gone on to shape your current identity as an electronic artist?
Minor: Writing music as part of a band and playing it out live was the ultimate drug. We had such camaraderie and I got to express myself as an artist in incredible venues like the Showbox Market, King Cat Theater, and El Corazon. Being in a band gave me confidence as a writer and performer and that’s why I never feared to pursue my current dream of being a DJ and producer.
RMR: How did you make your segue into EDM and what do you like or miss most about being in a band compared to working and performing as an electronic artist.
Minor: My best friend introduced me to dubstep back in 2011 and right around that time my mom started playing c89.5 (a popular Seattle dance music station) in our home. At first, I was resistant to EDM and couldn’t understand what all of the fuss was about. Sure enough, I eventually found myself dancing to some of the tracks I was hearing and then realized; “oh, so this is why they call it dance music.” I’ve been straight-up addicted to multiple sub-genres ever since. I love the endless energy that comes from stringing so many tracks together and the beautiful sweet spots I discover when mixing. I do miss how malleable the guitar is and the tangible feel of playing on strings. Regardless, I get endless joy from working on house tracks and translating that energy into a live performance.
RMR: You’ve recently become an addition to WAVES, a growing Seattle music and art collective. What can you tell me about working with them? What are some of their notable achievements and what do you hope to achieve yourself as a part of their team?
Minor: WAVES is on one. Not only are they a DIY collective made up of passionate contributors, but the emphasis of WAVES is placed on creating an all-encompassing audio-visual experience for dance enthusiasts. Art installations, performance art, and music, all on point, and all the members are local. Being a member of that collective means I always get an opportunity to contribute to the greater mission, while also being challenged to constantly up my game for the collective and its devotees. WAVES had its first sold-out show with ‘Clockworked’ this past month, and I feel that work is really starting to get around about them. It’s for good reason. I’ve never felt more motivated around these guys and I’m stoked to make my WAVES debut.
RMR: It seems like there are a lot of lesser-known hoops that groundfloor electronic artists and DJs have to jump through in order to gain experience and reputation for themselves locally, and so on. Can you share some of the experiences you’ve seen or faced?
Minor: I mean it all depends on your perception. Some may view those as hoops, I view them as opportunities to gain experience and learn from the best. When I first started DJing I had no idea where to begin. Fortunately, the Seattle DJ Academy created a platform where I could practice and play out with zero pressure; a great opportunity to get a feel for what it’s like. Luckily I’ve been in the scene as a participant for a while. So, when I wanted to become a DJ, I just started helping out everywhere I could; promotion, setting up the library for Field Trip at Q Nightclub, or just continuing to support all the Seattle parties I already frequented. Sure enough, things started to snowball. Now I’m in a position to live out my dream, which is truly mind-boggling.
RMR: I was a bit curious when I first heard the name “Minor.” What does that title mean to you? How did you come up with it?
Minor: Well, ever since I was little I’ve always written in the minor key. The melancholy sounds that come from playing in minor are true to who I am and how I view the world. I’ve juggled so many names over the years. Finally, I came to the realization that ‘Minor’ is who I am as an artist. I make dark, intense music, and my hope is that I can use my music to help others heal by addressing a part of the human condition that is usually suppressed or hidden from others.
RMR: Do you have any non-musical interests that transfer into your work or inspire you as an artist?
Minor: Yes, too many actually. My main interest outside of music is literature. I love the works of Hunter S. Thompson, Ken Kesey, Aldous Huxley, Philip K. Dick, and many others. I wish I had more time to read. I’m definitely about to catch up on some much-needed reading when I go on vacation this next week. Literature helps me see the larger picture and, likewise, I think every set performed should tell or evoke some sort of story or journey. Fun fact: I’m actually getting a half-sleeve at the end of October, a homage to Hunter S. Thompson. I’m ecstatic to see how it turns out.
RMR: What is something that every fan can do to support their favorite artists or improve the overall shared experience at events?
Minor: For one, if you’re a fan of someone’s work, add them on all forms of social media and like/repost their tracks. Even a ‘like’ or ‘share’ on one Facebook post or a single ‘repost’ on SoundCloud could make or break an artist’s trajectory. Also, be kind to us. We constantly doubt ourselves and feel the weight of the world on our shoulders. Music is what we live for. Pursuing our dream is not always glamorous. Every kind word, every warm embrace, every reminder of why we do what we do, that’s the best therapy for any artist. I love the people who support me. I have thanks for the real supporters out there who keep this beautiful scene alive. I wouldn’t be the same without them.
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