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Minor Strut Rocks Out at Their 10th Anniversary Show (with two founding members still in their teens!)

Minor Strut Rocks Out at Their 10th Anniversary Show (with two founding members still in their teens!)

It’s hard to know what percent of rock bands make it to the 10-year mark. It’s even harder to know if any other rock band reached that 10-year milestone with two founding members still in their teens.

Ethan “E” Nguyen, who handles lead and rhythm guitar duties on a Gretsch Electromatic Center Block double-cut, along with adding backup vocals, and drummer Aiden Kunhardt will both turn 20 this year, but do the math. They’ve both been playing music professionally in their band, Minor Strut, for more than half of their young lives. Other members of the band include Marquis Miranda on his Gretsch Electromatic short-scale bass guitar and backup vocals, and their dynamic, highly energetic lead singer, Coryn Cahill.

Minor Strut. Photo by Jack Lue.

The Southern California-based band describe themselves as an independent, alternative rock band with a little bit of new punk mixed in for good measure. And for the last 10 years, they’ve been performing at all kinds of events, festivals, the NAMM Show, and even the legendary Whisky A Go-Go on Sunset Strip.

As the band members have grown up, so have their musical abilities, including the writing and recording of original songs. In 2022, their first single “Gotta Tell You” was released, and other original songs recorded and performed live include “State of Mind,” “Mannequin Head,” My Youth,” “Way Out,” and “Hearing Loss.” And in other big news, the band has plans to release an album this summer to showcase all the new, original songs they’ve created.

On March 23, 2024, Minor Strut celebrated their 10th Anniversary the best way they knew how: playing live, raw, in-your-face rock ‘n’ roll to a room full of friends, fans, and family, at the Klownski Lounge in Pomona, California. “It was a wonderful location,” said Coryn. “We performed a 45-minute original set for everyone that night, including a few covers such as ‘Everlong’ by Foo Fighters.”

Also joining the band onstage were friends from Madam Bombs, Jordi, and No Signal. Based on the photos and videos the band has posted, it was another solid performance by Minor Strut and most definitely a night to remember for the four band members.

We reached out to Ethan, Aiden, Marquis, and Coryn to get their thoughts about their special 10th Anniversary Show, some of their most memorable moments performing together, why they connect musically, and, of course, why Gretsch guitars fuel the unique, hard-rocking sound of Minor Strut.

Tell us what you’re each feeling with Minor Strut celebrating this milestone anniversary.

Ethan Nguyen on his go-to Gretsch Electromatic at Minor Strut’s 10th Anniversary Show. Photo by Jack Lue

Ethan: In all honesty, I don’t really know how to describe the feeling. It’s kind of just another day in the life. Obviously, 10 years is a huge milestone, but the band is just another a part of my life, and it feels like it always has been. This is the first and only band I’ve been in and it’s all I know. I love this band and I take a lot of pride in our work, and I’m very proud to have come this far.

Aiden:  I cannot believe it has been 10 years. I have been doing this for half my life and I couldn’t ask for a better way to spend my time.

Marquis: It feels surreal. It feels like I played my first show with the band just yesterday. Seeing all of our friends, and family, and fans come out to celebrate us was an incredible experience. All of the love and support really showed at our 10-year party.

Coryn:  All of us feel a huge sense of pride for the work we’ve put in over the years. One of the best parts has been seeing our sound change along with us. There’s a ridiculous amount of hilarious memories, inside jokes, and long car rides that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world. They all still run through my head when I see these guys. Things feel good.

Ethan, you and Aiden are the two original members of Minor Strut. Why do you two connect with each other so well?

It’s the chemistry between us while we’re playing music together. It’s special. It’s a hard chemistry to find elsewhere and it doesn’t just happen overnight. This is years in the making and playing music with him just feels natural. It’s as simple as a nod or a look and without any words being spoken, we know what to do next. He’s the perfect fit in my eyes not only because of his immense talent, but because of the bond that has evolved between us over the past decade.

Drummer Aiden Kunhardt performing at Minor Strut’s 10th Anniversary Show. Photo by Kunhardt Photography.

And Aiden, same question, why do you and Ethan connect so well musically?

I wouldn’t say that Ethan and I connect. I would say we hate each other, kinda like The Eagles. I’m just kidding! We connect through our long friendship and the music tastes we like to pull from. The most recent band we love to pull inspiration from is Radiohead. So far, they have been the artists we agree with. They have such an amazing way of writing and producing songs.

Marquis, you joined Minor Strut two years into its existence in 2016. What made you want to join?

I was actually thinking of taking a break from music before joining Minor Strut because I was honestly starting to feel stagnant. But Ethan and Aiden reached out to me, asked me to play a few shows with them, and I haven’t stopped playing shows with them ever since. And because I saw their passion in music, it reignited my passion as well.

Coryn, you’re the newby. What made you want to join Minor Strut five years ago?

When I was younger, I really enjoyed watching Minor Strut perform because they were the only band around my age that gave me genuine adrenaline. They had complexity for their age and dynamics in a genre of music I didn’t even know I loved yet. We’d been performing at the same shows since 2014, just in separate bands. After their singer left to pursue life goals, I was invited in for an audition. We grew up in the same music scene, so it was pretty easy to get connected with the guys.

Aiden and Marquis, the two of you are a rock-solid rhythm section. What’s your secret?

Aiden:  We groove so well because of the music we connect with. We both love Funk and R&B. We understand that they’ve had, and still have, some of the best rhythm sections. We try and pull as much from the greats as we can.

Marquis:  I was actually a drummer before I became a bassist, so I feel that I have a solid understanding of both roles and it helped us connect sooner. Another part of why we connect so well is because we like to write our parts together. Plus, we’ve played together for so long that he just knows what I might do and vice versa.

What are some of your most memorable Minor Strut moments?

Ethan:  To be frank, there are too many to choose from, and we’ve done so many shows from such a young age that I’m probably overseeing a lot. But, playing the Whisky a Go-Go is always fun. In the last few years, we’ve become close with other bands and sharing the stage with these bands is always fun. And, of course, the fun isn’t just on stage. Enjoying the moments behind the scenes makes the band even more enjoyable.

Aiden:  For sure my top memory is opening for Chevy Metal when Taylor Hawkins was the drummer. Being able to see him play while sitting two feet behind him is my favorite memory to date. Rest in peace, Taylor, you were one of the best!

Marquis Miranda onstage with his Torino Green Gretsch Electromatic short-scale bass. Photo by Ron Denny.

Marquis:  I’d say playing my first show with Minor Strut, receiving my first and second bass guitars from Gretsch, writing our first song, writing and releasing seven more songs, playing at the Mint 400 in Las Vegas, and our 10-year Anniversary show, just to name a few.

Coryn:  My favorite memories are from when we’re having new experiences. Of course, we all loves the Orange Street Fair, it really felt like home. We all liked performing at Provisions in Huntington Beach, as well, because it’s right on the beach. That was our spot in 2022 for a bit. Lots of fun beach trips and good times.

Coryn, you bring a lot of raw energy onstage as the band’s lead singer. How do you prepare yourself for that?

Before I go onstage, I just ask myself how I want to feel when I sing to people that day. Then I really feel it and have fun no matter the crowd size. People in the crowd seem to really enjoy that freedom of expression sometimes and they try it out too. I just ditch emotional scripting so it’s all genuine. I prefer this because it gives me more of a passionate rush saying everything out loud. If it’s not obvious, I’m an adrenaline junkie, so I just love playing shows. I wanna get up there and sing because as soon as I get off stage, I miss this band’s sound.

Tell us about the 10th Anniversary concert you recently played. What made it a memorable night?

Ethan:  I would describe the night as probably the most fun show we’ve ever played. In all honesty, a lot of it was a blur, running around greeting people and setting up the stage. But, filling that room with the people that we love and seeing the scale of how much support we have close to us was the most memorable part.

Aiden:  It was one of the best nights of my life. All the bands playing that night were so great and fun to watch. While playing, I had to make sure I snapped out of my playing muscle memory so I could enjoy every second of it. I wish and hope we can do it again for the many years to come!

Marquis:  It was such a gratifying, motivating, and memorable show. It was awesome to showcase our music that we’ve made over the years, to share the stage with friends we’ve made along the way, and to see and feel the support from everyone who loves Minor Strut. It was an unforgettable night for sure.

Lead singer Coryn Cahill performing at Minor Strut’s 10th Anniversary Show. Photo by Jack Lue.

Coryn:  We were all just beaming. We resonated and connected really well with everyone who showed up for the show, so it felt good to see the whole band excited about our accomplishments with people we found along the way who care about us. I’d look over and all three of them were having a blast. We truly celebrated once we saw everybody.

How important have your families been in this musical journey of yours?  

Ethan:  Family in Minor Strut is everything. Without family, this band wouldn’t be around today. They are the reason why we’re still in operation. It’s a full-fledged family operation. It’s just as much their band as our band.

Aiden:  My family and the other’s families have always been the most supportive of us. They have always been there for us. They help with setup, transportation, and anything business related with the band. I couldn’t ask for better people to call family.

Marquis:  Our families are the backbone of this whole thing and are part of the band too. We have our management team, legal team, social media and marketing team, retail, and sound engineers, just to name a few. So, yes, I’d say our families play a pretty big role.

Coryn:  Our families and friends have been the key to our development, because you become the people you surround yourself with. Not only have we been supported by our families and friends extensively, but they have also blessed us with their time, knowledge, and perspective.

Ethan and Marquis, tell us about your Gretsch guitars and why they’re your guitar of choice for the band.

Ethan:  There’s something special about Gretsch guitars and I can’t quite describe it. Maybe it’s the heritage, maybe it’s the icons who have played them, maybe it’s the hardware, maybe it’s their twangy-yet-robust full sound when you need it. I can’t quite describe it, but I love my Electromatic Center Block double-cut, and feel a special bond with Gretsch guitars whenever I pick one up. And, not to mention, they’re beautiful. It’s also a great honor to be playing an American brand.

Marquis:  I currently use a G2220 Electromatic short scale bass. It’s my choice of guitar because this bass allows me to move quicker up and down the fretboard with its shorter scale. It has simple switches and knobs for quick minor adjustments, and the sound is just so punchy and clear. Plus, it’s Torino Green, so bonus points for being my favorite color. Hopefully one day I can get a chance to order a Gretsch custom. 

What does the Gretsch endorsement mean to you both as musicians?

Ethan: Being a Gretsch-endorsed artist is such a tremendous honor. The heritage of Gretsch is ever more impressive and, again, being able to play these beautiful American-owned guitars is quite exciting. I am truly grateful to the Gretsch family and team for their support.

Marquis:  To me, my Gretsch endorsement means I’m being supported, loved, and respected for what I’m doing. To be endorsed by such a legendary and established brand, it’s truly insane. I’m extremely blessed and proud to be part of the Gretsch family.

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Make sure to check out Minor Strut’s website and follow them on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube.

And enjoy these videos:

Minor Strut performing their newest original song, the Radiohead-inspired “OK 01.”


Minor Strut belts out their original, hard-driving “Mannequin Head” at Hotel Ziggy in Hollywood.