I sit down with Mint at the Hawley Arms in Camden. The four piece band, Zak, Lenny, Sam and Andy, originating from Grimsby have been on my radar for several months.
After hearing of their electric sets and well pieced songs. With their constant rising views on Spotify and already sterling reputation, it was time to talk to the boys about their current tour and release of their latest video Elise.
Talk to me about how the band originally formed?
We all went to college together. I personally (Zak) didn’t want to go to university. We were all in a few different bands originally before forming Mint. There were some formation changes early on, but we have it nailed now. All roads lead to this.
Where did the name Mint come from?
It was a joke, we spent ages trying to think of a cool witty name. I’ve (Zak) always had thoughts about it, it was my favourite colour, and then after thinking for ages we went for Mint. I guess all names can be naff until you accept it fully as your name. The name just snowballed into the band.
What other names did you consider?
Girls, that’s a cool name. Cathedrals is cool too. Glass was another, or was it stained glass? I (Zak) can’t remember now.
Elise reached over 200,000 plays lately, how did that go down as a New Years present?
It was good timing. We feel like every band tends to say ‘this year is our year’, to say it and mean it gives us a kick up the arse. The 200,000 plays really opened a few doors, some people wouldn’t necessarily work with us before, yet they saw that and sort of reconsidered. The rise in plays has enabled a lot, we recently got an endorsement with Black Star lately which is cool, it’s some thing we are really grateful for.
When other bands have that many views we think, wow they’re huge, but this time it’s us which is great. It’s very surreal.
We would love to frame it or take a picture but the idea of screen shotting it actually just makes it seem more fake to us, as if we had edited it ourselves.
How has your music developed?
At the start we were doing what is current. After a while we realised this and decided not to be like anything, thinking ‘Lets do what we think is cool’. We stopped caring about what others thought and didn’t give ourselves any rules.
We don’t think we are very linear which is great as we don’t want to limit ourselves like others can. We aren’t afraid to say, yes we sounded like this but now it’s different. We’ve never sat and thought what band are we going to be. It’s always been organic.
You just made a very colourful video, how did the direction of the video occur and the outcome?
Fun. We just wanted it to be a load of fun. We think Elise is always going to be trademarked as our pop song as it’s probably as poppy we will ever go, it’s really bouncy and synthy and easy to listen to.
We went into the studio with the intention of making that song the most happiest we would write. I don’t think we wanted the video to be any different. In a way we wanted it to possibly be sarcastically poppy. We were all in white and pink with lots of paint. We had a director called Alex Phelps who is incredible. Initially it was like a game of ping pong when thinking of ideas. Then this was the end result. You should have seen the showers after that powder paint. It was a huge mess!
You’ve recently featured in a lot of playlists including BBC's Spotify, what did that mean to you in terms of progression and exposure?
We will find out, although we think we already have slightly. We may just be splitting hairs, but you could be the best band out there, but because people can be sheepish, if you aren’t in Clash magazine or on Indie lists and doing that kind of thing, they wont give you a chance.
I think after the Indie list and EP’s coming out we realised that we are more than just a local band. It’s like an identity. Before people wouldn’t stream a track so the internet is another way of introducing bands. You can’t blame it for being important.
Did you take off quicker than you expected?
Whole heartedly we did. We really wanted it too. There’s so many bands who can put nice pictures on Facebook or go and record in a studio but we feel we went out, and have done the mileage. Not in a bad way but it’s like when you are chopping a tree and it finally comes down, you feel it’s no surprise. We are too stubborn to give up.
What are you main influences?
Day dreaming is probably one. Feelings. Alex Turners words. We aren’t very picky in what we listen to, as each would be worlds apart, but I guess the we like quality and intelligence.
Is there another band out there you would love to collaborate with?
If it was a pre written song it would be Bieber or Beyonce. We would go completely to town.
If it was writing something new it would be with someone we are friends with like Judas. There’s a load of bands at the moment who really don’t get enough credit. The Cure would be great, we feel we’d end up coming out wearing makeup. Tame Impala also but we feel like we’d have to impress them.
Tell me about you upcoming tour.
It’s going to be lit (laughs). This tour feels different to the last. People are coming from all areas which is mad. Before we went out and just played, however this time we have to go out and be a bit more of a show as there are people from everywhere. We don’t want anyone in the audience to think ‘what are they doing’ or ‘get on with it’. Come see us and we will show you how we do.
What are each of you like on tour?
Sam our drummer, is either lending money out or not eating food. Andy always gets lost. And us two (Zak and Lenny) would be relaxing and being rubbish with money. The first hour and a half we will be saying ‘drinks on me’ then we will be in some bar or café and I’ll have about £2.87 left and 7 days of tour left.
Eating 20 nuggets. We just inhale them.
If you could pick a door to open which would lead to something good for you this year what would you pick?
Festivals, a main stage would be cool. Or a Live Lounge. We have a hat with all our live lounge suggestions in and when we get one we are going to pick one out and that’s what we will do.
It's clear that not only are the boys, charming and full of energy but their set is going to be tight! I have no doubt that they will electrify crowds on their tour with addictive songs such as Elise and Wolves. So go and see the boys on their upcoming dates, there will be no disappointment with Mint.
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