American Minor is a five-piece guitar-driven rock and roll band that hails from the Kanawha River valley of southern West Virginia, not exactly known for being a hotbed of musical activity or a hotbed of anything else really. For the past year, when their van hasn't been breaking down on the highway, they've been practicing at blistering volumes in a run-down century old farmhouse in Champaign, Illinois.
Four out of the five members have spent time living in a trailer, three have done construction work, none of them come from musical families, and while all five will agree that Deep Purple is an awesome rock group, all five will say the same thing about Fugazi. Ask these young men anything more about their influences and they'll gladly admit to worshiping at the altar of the classics: Stones, Skynyrd, AC/DC, Ramones, Heartbreakers, Mats', Lennon, Sabbath. They speak 'indie-rock' with equal fluency and are just as likely to give it up for Pavement or The Refused. Must be a generational thing -- or maybe these boys just love great music and don't really care what you call it.
These West Virginians pride themselves on writing songs with no pomp or circumstance, about things they experience in everyday life: the mentally ill struggling in the streets of their dilapidated hometown, the police interrogating a suicidal neighbor late at night in their apartment building and the deranged people they wished they never had the opportunity to meet.
When asked about their "mission" as a band, lead vocalist Robert McCutcheon points out the absurdity of that question, "Last time I checked, rock bands don't go on missions, the only thing I can really think to say in response to that question is that we're an American band. And in accordance to the well-established and long-standing tradition of the 'American Band', we're coming to your town--we come to party down."
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