“I still remember my favorite video store back in Santa Cruz,” recalled artist and songwriter Nick Minor. “Our generation is going to be the last one that remembers VHS tapes and video stores.”
Tape, in all its forms, is a source of media that has particularly informed Minor in his sense of aesthetic. The medium is now considered outdated, as cassettes and VHS tapes melt in the garages and attics of America. Maybe tapes have been forgotten because they feel too mortal. They remind us of our own degeneration and expiration.
“I got a lot of tapes from my parents, so I fell into a lot of music from the ’80s,” said Minor. “I remember listening to them until they would melt.”
The legacy of this developmental stage was Minor’s interest in bands from that decade, such as The Cure, but soon his taste broadened to include shoegaze, lo-fi, psychedelia and punk, styles that would meld together in the formation of the band Video World. Combining the rebellious DIY spirit of punk with a surreal elixir of psychedelia and lo-fi pop, Video World conjures a dream of a decade not long departed, a ghost haunting the memories of a generation’s faded childhood.
“My songs are about my life,” said Minor. “A lot of it is about social anxiety, a lot of them are love songs. But when you think about it, there aren’t a lot of songs that aren’t love songs.”
Video World began as a solo project, which in its earliest conception went by Minor’s name. He played his first show opening for Surf Curse in a basement, armed with a loop pedal, a Go-Go’s cover, and a handful of original songs freshly written in high school. Soon after, Minor formed Video World, partly from the self-consciousness associated with using his own name, and partly from a desire to try to expand his songs with a full band.
Video World now includes TJ Mertikas on bass and Ryan Burt on drums. Currently, the band is working on building a multi-dimensional live set, one that will realize an intersection of music, video, and audio samples. In the past, they have used everything from nature sounds to clips from The X-Files. These days, Minor has become particularly enamored of a series of tapes that aims to capture the sound of specific beaches around the world.
“My favorite is the one from Tahiti,” said Minor.
A sample from the shores of Tahiti will accompany an upcoming Video World composition, as well as other bits from nature and found material, for a tape release sometime in August. True to their name, Video World will use a 4-Track reel-to-reel tape recorder to create the album. Tube amps and old guitars, layered in delay and reverb, will define the sound of the lo-fi release, which Minor hopes will capture the mood and feel of Video World for Reno’s indie scene to experience.
“Everyone in this community is pretty supportive,” said Minor. "It’s really tight knit. That’s what you get in a small town. It’s a great place to sound search.”
After moving to Reno from Sacramento, Minor quickly found a community of like-minded artists. In addition to Video World, he also plays with the band Casino Hearts, which includes Jacob Rubeck of Surf Curse.
With a good handful of shows coming up, Minor hopes that each show will be different, including old and new songs played seamlessly as one message, and soon, homemade video to project behind the band.
“Everything’s in transition now,” said Minor.