I had recently had the privilege of reviewing MINK’s self-titled debut album, and I loved it so much I couldn’t stop singing their praises to everyone I met. As luck would have it, I had the opportunity to interview them and find out more about this up and coming band. MINK consists of singer Neal Carlson, drummer Stella Mozgawa, guitarists Nick Maybury and David Lowy, and bassist Grant Fitzpatrick. They graciously took time out of their busy schedules to allow me to interview them, and here is the result.
Hi everyone! Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions. I absolutely loved your album, and I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to interview you. Tell me about the birth of MINK. How did it all start?
NEAL: Nick, Grant and I met through a friend who was living in NYC at the time. Our first few jams were very loose and informal, but there was definitely something exciting there because we wrote about nine songs over the course of the seven or eight days. Shortly after that I moved to Australia for awhile to do some touring. It was there that I met Stella (an old friend of Nick's). There was an instant connection and it's been moving very fast since.
Nick comes from a jazz background, and the rest of you from very different backgrounds that include Broadway, garage-rock, punk, and experimental backgrounds. How have your various backgrounds influenced your music in MINK?
NICK: ‘Sonic’, ‘tones’ and ‘emotion’ are my main approach to playing electric guitar. My background and approach has influenced Mink to the extent where I've use a wide range of tones to create my own signature sound - most commonly noticed is the octave fuzz sound, which is really a trick I stole from Hendrix. It's this gnarly, growl-y octave-up effect I use, combined with an overdrive unit to create a distinct lead sound that always cuts through the mix. It can be heard in the "Madame Chung" solo, the "Pressure Pressure" lead parts, and the "Dematerialse" chorus and outro lead parts. Another key element is the use of delay, which processes the guitar signal to repeat and echo. I use it for certain parts to stick out and sound bigger than they are. The Edge is a pure genius at this and a big influence - feedback combined with delay effects is one of my favorite live tricks.