The pop group The Minders was formed by Martyn Leaper and Robert Schneider in Denver, CO in the fall of 1995. Schneider was a co-founder of the Elephant 6 Recording Company, a collective of far-flung and curious acts dedicated to the DIY ethic that so greatly impassioned many bands of the nineties. Leaper was an art student struggling with painting and a dream to make pop records. The two met at an Apples in Stereo show (Schneider’s band) and instantly found they had much in common musically. Leaper had been playing in a local experimental band and had become tired of the direction the band was taking. After the show that night, the two discussed pop music a great deal. A little while later, they collaborated and recorded the first Minders 7”, released on Elephant 6 in early 1996.
Leaper spent the next two years experimenting with and old four track reel-to-reel machine in his walk-in closet, and putting a band together with Rebecca Cole (drums), Marc Willhite (bass), Jeff Almond (lead guitar) and himself on rhythm guitar and lead vocals. The Minders had graduated from a recording project to a four-piece band. The combo released 3 more singles before recording their debut album, the pop masterpiece Hooray for Tuesday, with Robert Schneider in the spring and summer of 1998. Shortly before the album’s release that fall, Martyn and Rebecca relocated to Portland, OR, fleeing Denver’s sporty gentrification and rising cost of living. The two spent a year adjusting the sound of the band, experimenting with making an album that wasn’t just a collection of two-minute singles. Enlisting Portland musicians Joanna Bolme on bass and Hutch Harris on drums, the Minders released Golden Street in 2001.
Following the release of Golden Street (and the Down in Fall EP in fall 2000) the band spent a lot of time on the road, touring with Elliott Smith in summer 2000, Elf Power in fall 2000, fuck in spring 2001, Mates of State in summer 2001, and Apples in Stereo in fall 2001, and also doing headlining shows of their own across the U.S. and Canada. During this time the Minders switched their lineup around, with Rebecca moving to keyboards and fellow Portlander Joel Burrows playing drums. This new live setup influenced the band’s sound, and when they returned home they began working on new material with Leaper continuing to man the board in their home studio.
The trio spent 2002 building a new home studio and recording the newest Minders release, The Future’s Always Perfect, for release in November 2003 on Future Farmer Records. This new release focuses on sonic layering utilizing analog keyboards. Although the textures are different, the Minders have remained true to their roots, delivering another effervescent pop treat.