Mint have been taking over Manchester in the past few weeks, with several plays on BBC Radio One and the release of their single Nothing Seems to Get Me High last month. I sat down with the band before their sold out gig at Jimmy’s last week. The group are made up of Singer Zak Rashid, Bassist Andy “Bambi” Maidens, drummer Sam “Veggie” Chapman and guitarist Lenny Pawson who was a little late to the interview.
How did you come to form Mint?
Zak: We met at a college party, I do believe, which was about 4 or 5 years ago. I had some songs, I wanted to gig, initially we didn’t really have a name, it was just Zak and his band, then we came up with the name Mintand at the time it didn’t seem such a ridiculous idea.
What are you working on at the moment?
Zak: We’re still riding the wave of a single, it was the new wave track on radio one last week and we got three plays, there’s a music video coming out for that and then we’ve got a new single coming out in January?
Andy: It’s coming out in January, yes.
How would you describe your style?
Andy: Indie Rock but quite a lot heavier
Zak: I’d say it’s not quite as Bring Me the Horizon as rock music is, but not quite as Viola Beach as indie music is, it’s somewhere in the middle, but I’d say it’s slightly leaning more towards rock than indie.
What inspired your love for music?
Zak: Music has always been a big part of my life, every year me and my mum watch The Brits together, I want to take my mum to the brits and however I was going to do that without being in a band, I don’t know, so I learned to sing or something. What turned you onto music? [to others]
Andy: Just listening to it really, there was no big pillar moment other than going to see a few bands and thinking I want to do that.
Zak: I think that’s the thing with watching a big band, everyone in the room either wants to be them or fuck them. What about you Veggie, what’s the exact moment you decided you wanted to be a musician?
Sam (Veggie):it’s probably the moment you came up to me on that night out saying I want you to be in my band.
Zak: The story between me and Veggie: I’d always wanted to be in a band and when I was in school, all the musicians at my school were like there’s this kid from Hereford and he’s amazing at drums and I was always like Sam Chapman I will find you and I will start a band with you. There was a night out and we both must’ve been wildly underage, I just ran uptown him and was like Sam, start a fucking band with me, it never happened then three years later it just fell together, and now were in a band together.
Do you have any favorite musicians who inspire your music?
Zak:I think mine are two fairly obvious ones, Alex Turner because he’s great with words and Bob Dylan because he’s also great with words. I think you can fluke a riff or a song or something, but I think words, no pun intended, speak a lot, there’s an art to putting a sentence together.
Andy: I think we all have different inspirations don’t we….
Sam (Veggie): I think one that probably covers us all is Queens of the Stone Age.
Do you ever look for inspiration or does it just come to you?
Zak: Nothing Seems to Get Me High, our Radio One debut track, I literally wrote that after taking a shower, start to finish… It’ll happen driving or I don’t know, sleeping, eating a falafel wrap, anything you’ll have an idea and it might just be little one like a sentence a chord structure or something really small. Then I take it to these guys and they’re like no this works this doesn’t and build it together. I think inspiration for all of us seems to find unexpectedly.
What do you try to make time for outside music?
Zak: I like going to the gym, I like drinking, driving, not at the same time… but I think we’re pretty invested in this (music) aren’t we.
Andy: I don’t do anything else other than this and work, I don’t have time to enjoy other things.
If you could play in any country at any venue, where would you most like to perform?
Sam (Veggie):I think for me it would be Japan.
Zak: I think probably Japan as well…
Sam: I’d love to play like Fuji Rocks or something.
Zak: I think somewhere in Asia really, I wouldn’t mind India…
Andy: Mine would be Japan or Italy.
Zak: Mines going to be Japan or Australia.
What’s your favorite song to perform?
Andy: Probably Radiator at the minute
Zak: That’s our next single! It’s a pretty fun track to play… just the sounds on it are quite different, it’s very experimental for us.
How has your sound developed and changed?
Andy: Originally, we were very sickly indie pop…
Zak: We started heavy and then we went on a tangent it got glitterier and glitterier and sicklier and sicklier, and then we thought nah this is as far as we can take it and now were back to being quite heavy again.
What’s your biggest achievement?
Zak: Radio one probably, we’ve probably done more pop-culturally impressive things, like we’ve been on ITV and we’ve done bits that’re commercial, but I think radio one is a big one for us because we’ve been trying for fucking ages to get somebody at that radio station to give a shit about us and now, they really like us.
Lenny: It was strange them actually liking us as well.
Andy: Festival season for me.
Zak: Yeah, that was pretty lit… I think we do good for festivals, we did five festivals over three days this summer.
Andy: We could do ten though, we like doing it…
Zak: I think we like the roughness of being on the road.
What are you looking to do in the future?
Zak: Collab with Beyoncé, release an album… that might actually happen though you never know, I think we’re just playing it by ear at the minute.
Lenny: there isn’t any concrete plans… as it comes and goes.
It looks like we can expect to be hearing more coming from Mint in the coming months, they’re also going to be in Flying Vinyl this month, so keep a look out for that too. Find out more about the band here.