Minimal Man has always created problems for me because its so personal. It's a pretty shallow character that I invented when I was living in the Fillmore (a lower income neighborhood in San Francisco). I just wondered all the time how black people survived in this system because no one worked there, so literally Minimal Man was supposed to be a negro-type character. The guy had everything working against him: he wasn't white, he didn't have a job or education, he didn't have a car or any money.
It was more a character of everything against him. He was 'jerry-rigging' life to survive, and rather than fixing a problem the correct way he would make up his own delusions to get by. That was the whole idea from the start, and as hard as I've tried to shake that, it's stuck with me. For about two years I became the character and went through an intense drug trip and became just fucked up. Minimal Man has been around this town it seems like forever but it has always been outside the system. Patrick Miller
Patrick Miller's background is not music but visual art, he actually comes from a family of artists where he is the rebel. Prior to moving to San Francisco in 1979, Patrick received his degree in an experimental art program at Sonoma State University, where he mostly concentrated on silk screening.
After moving to San Francisco he began doing music and making films, and what he had done before was replaced by a cruel joke. He began making music as sound tracks for his films, with the realization that anyone can do it given the access to the tools.
Minimal Man's music is an always changing process. Patrick is the main core of the group where many musicians have come and gone. The group was left very open so that any player who joined could put what ever he/she wanted into it.
Minimal Man's reputation is diverse probably because Patrick is not interested in one thing, or idea, he states that Minimal Man's music is not experimental because it is not breaking any new ground. I think that the ground has been broken. In the music of MM you can hear distant influences, and you can see flashes of reality, a metaphorical reality which is very truthful to life.
I interviewed Patrick at his home here in San Francisco, we spoke about many things but mostly concentrated on his recent Japan tour. WD
(Did you want the interview typed, Jim? It is not marked?)
Typed by Cheryl Vega 6-8-95