Mini Skirt: ‘Big cock rock’n’roll is dead’

EN: Mini Skirt is an iconic band in the making. In 2020, he released Casino, a flamboyant LP at the crossroads between post-skate and punk for angry people. “Tissue” remains the best post-pandemic song. So, I wanted to ask its leader a few questions. We ended up talking about cancel culture (which he “hates”), the slacker scene, the death of rock music… The band also made an explosive playlist just for us, with X, MC5, Damned, Amyl & the Sniffers and many more!
FR: Mini Skirt est un groupe iconique en devenir. En 2020, il faisait paraître Casino, un album flamboyant à la croisée entre post-skate et punk pour gens énervés. “Tissue” demeure le morceau le plus ‘post-pandémie’ publié à ce jour. Je voulais donc poser quelques questions à son leader. On a parlé de cancel culture (que le groupe “déteste”), de la scène slacker, de la mort du rock… Le groupe a aussi composé une playlist explosive, rien que pour nous, à coup de X, de MC5, de Damned et de Amyl & the Sniffers.
Let us start with a playlist curated by
Miin Skirt for Still in Rock
Introducing you
How are you? What’s up with you these days? 
Good, goood! Nothing too exciting, work mainly…
OK, let me start by going back in time. What was the idea when you created the band?
No massive idea behind the band. Other Jacob and I were chatting bands we liked over a couple beers at the pub one night and we decided we’d like to make some music together, so we recruited a couple other pricks, and… here we are!
Casino is your first LP. I keep on wondering: why not put it out with a label? I can’t believe that you didn’t find one, so it must be a choice?!
Haha, yeaaahh. Well, we’ve never really had anyone throwing release offers at us or contracts or management deals or anything at us, so we’ve always done everything ourselves, from printing and posting merch, to putting the album out. I guess we like the control and the feeling of achievement at the end, of just backing ourselves. But also, we’re not opposed to putting the album out through a label if the right one came along.

Well, it seems crazy to me, Casino is too good. But anyway, I like the DIY spirit very much. Also, Casino is really engaged, politically, socially. Can you tell us about it?
Yeah, I guess it is, not necessarily on purpose, there’s just a lot of things that are hard to ignore. I do my best to find middle ground and critique both sides of politics. 
In “Tissue“, you explain “the world is my tissue”—which will remain the most iconic sentence of 2020 for me with all the mess created by the covid19. But because you wrote it in 2019 (or even before), I was wondering what you meant by it? What’s the story behind that song?
I actually came up with that phrase while I was still in high school. I had written it under a painting I did. I must have been 17. It just kind of always stuck with me and finally manifested itself in the chorus for that song. It’s a funny phrase.
I love it as well. So… 2020! Is censorship a good thing? What’s your take on “cancel culture”?
I think I hate cancel culture, and I don’t agree with censorship in most cases. I think censorship of the arts in particular is very dangerous.
Interesting! This reminds me of Ian Svenonius’ book, Censorship Now!!. I find your album to be fun while aggressive. Is that a fair assessment?
Haha, I think that’s pretty spot on. I think it’s a fairly common thread throughout the Australian psyche.
The scene
Are you part of a “scene”, and if so, which one?
I guess so, but it changes a lot. I don’t know if it’s so much a “scene” or just a bunch of bands with a similar taste in music or attitude that came out at the same time, I certainly wouldn’t give it a name.
I’ve recently conducted a short empirical study on garage rock (link). I found out that there are more and more albums labelled as such, but the number of Google queries tends to decrease. What’s your impression from the inside? Do you find it more and more difficult to get support from playing shows and releasing music? 
I think it’s a bit of a cop-out phrase in some ways. Like it’s become too diluted. I don’t really know what it means to be honest. Is it a genre? Or is it bands that rehearse in a garage? 
No idea, haha. Now, I have a theory: we have seen the creation of a new genre at the end of the 2010s, and it’s about to take over the 2020s. Its name? “Post-skate” music. What is it? Speedy garage punk with nervous yet spoken voice (nothing like angry punks), a simplistic and very tight rhythm, a cathartic sound, almost chopped, anti-corporation lyrics, a mid-fi production (not too lo-fi), and bouncy melodies with a vehement tendency (listen + read). Some of your music fits the description, IMHO. What do you think of it? Is there such a scene? Are you willing to take the lead with a few others? 
I dunno about taking the lead, seems scary. I think there’s definitely a lot of recent bands that fit that kind of description, but I think it’s a bit more complex. A bit tricky to blanket. It could just be really bad rock’n’roll. I’ll leave that up to you mate. 

We have seen many slacker bands from Australia, such as Dune Rats, Skegss, and co. What’s your take on that scene? 
Yeah, good lads. I guess in some ways those guys opened the door for a lot of other bands in Australia which is great. Dune Rats fans seem to really like drinking out of their shoes which is cool if you like wet socks. 
Also, it seems like Australia is now getting big on “redneck music” (or, at least, groups that borrow from the redneck culture), with bands such as Amyl and the Sniffers, The Chats, Pist Idiots, Drunk Mums, and more. Do you have the same impression from the inside? If so, what do you think of it? 
Yeah, I guess it’s an ode to working/middle-class Australia. I also see it as a kind of re-claiming certain negative cliches and giving them new life and new context ya know? I think it’s great for the most part, but you do see it being misinterpreted pretty easily and quickly turning back into a cliche. 
Yeah, quite a few clichés… Anyway, what is your favorite album of the last few months? 
My most listened to album of the last few months is probably Conway The Machine’s new album. I’ve also listened to the Floodlights album a fair goes round too, they’re great.
I love them!

To conclude
Best tour memory?
Heaps and heaps of them. Johnny from Pisty’s doing a backflip in his undies into a motel pool of a balcony at three in the morning was a good laugh. 
What are the next steps for you as a band? When should we expect your next LP? 
Going overseas would be great if that can ever happen. A band practice would probably be a good step too.
Don’t know when the next LP will be, hopefully not age away. We’ve got a couple little ditties that will be out this year sometime. 
How do you imagine your discography 20 years from now? 
Is “rock’n’roll dead”? 
I don’t think rock’n’roll is dead.
I think big cock rock’n’roll, “I’m a fucking rock’n’roll guy, look at my hair” rock’n’roll is dead, and should probably stay dead. 
Excellent, I love that. The last word to conclude?

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