The Eurovision Song Project — Cyprus’ national selection for Eurovision 2015 — reaches its dramatic climax tonight. The contestants are nervous and excited, but thankfully Minus One decided to squeeze us in for a last minute interview anyway. The truly promising rock band told us about their entry “Shine”, why they’re also known as “Marianne’s Wish” and much more. Read on Eurofan, read on…
Can you tell our readers a little bit about your band?
Minus One have been active since 2008, while some of us have worked together in the past in other music projects. The members are: Francois Micheletto (vocals) Giorgos Solonos and Konstantinos Amerikanos (guitars and vocals), Chris Ioannidis (drums) and Antonis Loitzidis (bass). We play everything, from pop and rock to modern beats. We do not just remix songs, we create the songs again, closer to our style and sound. From 2008 onward, we have been doing live performances on Firdays and Saturdays in different venues each season, as well as showing up in festivals, concerts and events throughout Cyprus.
You’re also known as Marianne’s Wish. Why is that?
Even though the bands were set up by the same members, Minus One only appear in Cyprus remixing songs, while Marianne’s Wish sing their own songs, and are planning to tour abroad. We have already published two songs, having performed at SXSW in Texas, and the historic Whisky A Gogo in Los Angeles as well as in London. We have also represented Cyprus at the international competition Hard Rock Rising, put on by the Hard Rock Cafe, which is not very popular in Europe. We reached eighth posisition from 12,000 participants. It’s a very good placing if you account this number of participants!
You’ve been throwing concerts in Cyprus and Europe throughout the year. Any strange experiences?
So many experiences, we can not assert one. Beautiful, funny, strange. Meeting people is very important, like their reactions when we play. We were impressed by our trip to the USA and some strange things we saw, like a drive through pharmacy as well as the unbelievable moments at SXSW. There was music in the whole town for 24 hours a day!
What are your musical influences?
We all have some common music sounds, like rock, and some different, like jazz, Greek music, etc. Generally, we do not follow some music blindly, but judge each song as good or bad according to our style.
You are said to be one of the favourites to win the Eurovision Song Project. How do you deal with that?
Are we? Look, the only thing we know is that we are different from all the other candidates, and different from anything Cyprus has ever brought to Eurovision. We see it as something new in our way through music, with enthusiasm and small steps. One day at a time.
How did you decide to take part at the Eurovision Song Proejct?
We have the tendency, as a group, to try out new things. We have started in a period when foreign music is going extinct and is heard only in concerts, while Greek music exists everywhere. Eurovision is yet another experience, a chance especially to show yourself to people that would not normally listen to your pieces of music. So, when we were proposed to participate, we felt ready to do so.
Talk about “Shine”.
“Shine” is a dynamic ballad, based on pop-rock, featuring some unexpected sounds, like the baglama and some electronic sounds at the background. The lyrics allow the audience to understand whatever they want to. It may talk about the love that has become extinct on the Earth because of all those wars, injustice and the pain caused by selfish, financially strong people. On the other hand, it may just be an erotic game. I like the fact that we leave the listener to decide the meaning of the song, according to his experiences and mood.
Other bands of your style would boycott Eurovision. Why do you want to participate at the contest?
It is about new experiences. Eurovision has a certain style and look, and many have made fun of that, sometimes correctly. But it may be the biggest international singing competition, with unbelievable promotion for the participants. Since you have a decent entry and participation, which does not follow according to the style of the competition, you try, and you may benefit from it. But even if you lose, you have already gained much. Let’s not forget that relationships between countries (bloc voting) usually plays a major role in the result. At least most times. And we have this in mind, but we are not discouraged if we finally go to Vienna, because we do believe in ourselves and our diversity.
Do you agree with the selection format of the Eurovision Song Proejct?
The competition has begun (though now this becomes extinct) to show the talents of each countries, and not which country will be represented by the most famous artists, having been choosen internally. At least this year in Cyprus the Eurovision Song Project is set to highlight new talents, and this is the best thing.
Who is your favourite judge?
We have not favoured someone out of the 4, and the 2 guest ones. All of them were enthusiastic with us, our energy, professionalism and our entry. Each one of them has a role, with much knowledge, and they have been really honest and serious throughout the competition.