Mink exclusive interview


Mink is a high energy, hard working rock band formed in 2006 with members hailing from the US and Australia. In a short time, they've already written more than 60 songs (30 of them in one intense three-week stretch), recorded their debut album in just four weeks and have played shows with KISS, Perry Farrell, Angels & Airwaves and festivals such as Lollapalooza and the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan.

Their first single, "Talk to Me," has been receiving airplay in the US and their songs have appeared on TV.

Mink is one of the hottest up and coming rock bands on the scene - and is one to watch!

Members are: Neal Carlson (vocals) from New York, Stella Mozgawa (drums), Nick Maybury (guitar) and Grant Fitzpatrick (bass) from Australia.

Download MP3: "Talk To Me" remix

Grant Fitzpatrick from Mink exclusive interview:

Jenny May: With Neal being from New York and Stella, Nick and Grant from Australia, where and how did you meet to eventually form the band?

Grant Fitz: Nick and I went to NY to meet Neal who was writing with a friend of ours. We wrote some songs and jammed and then did a show, which was a lot of fun. From there we went home to Australia with Neal coming shortly after. Nick introduced us to Stella who we fell in love with straight away. We wrote some more and toured and made an album with Spitfire Music who always believed in us from the beginning in New York. So the band was formed in New York and Sydney really. They are both special places for us.

Have you played many shows in Australia and do you plan to spend time there touring? Do you visit often?

We've toured the East coast 3 times with different bands and we loved it. Stella is there now actually and Nick and I visited last summer. I would love to spend some time touring there again, ideally in the summer. The whole country turns into one giant bbq/beach party/festival in the summer. You can't help but have a good time.

How was it decided that you would call your band Mink?

We thought it was sleek and sexy and nobody had any better names so we all agreed on Neal's idea.

How many shows did you play with KISS? How did that go?

We played 2 shows with KISS and had a blast. Gene and Paul were great to meet. The first record I bought was Dynasty and I was a big fan when I was a kid so it was weird also but they were great and their audience was even better.

Who are your rock heroes?

Between all of us there are some collective heroes and they would be Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Perry Farrell, Flea, Brian Eno, David Bowie, Captain Beefheart, Tom Waits, Frank Black, George Harrison, Neil Young, PJ Harvery, Nick Cave and Bjork.

All time favorite rock song(s)?

Jimi Hendrix 'Voodoo Child', The Beatles 'Revolution', Frank Zappa's 'Muffin Man', Jane's Addiction 'Mountain Song'.

Your song "Pressure Pressure" was featured in ESPN's 2006 Major League baseball playoffs coverage. Are you baseball fans? If so, which team(s) do you support? Do you have a favorite sport?

Neal likes baseball all sports basically. I've been to a Yankees game and may go to another one tomorrow actually but I prefer one day cricket.

Stella is a great drummer. Who are her musical influences?

Her influences as a drummer are probably Keith Moon, Steven Drozd, Levon Helm, John Bonham and a lot of other players like Billy Cobham and Jeff Pocarro and also bands like Yo la Tnago, Devo, & Neu! She is a huge Bjork fan and is totally into Timberland's production techniques and music.

What club or bar would you recommend to a friend who likes to party, and is willing to travel anywhere?

The Chateau Marmont in La is always fun ...

You have a lot of video footage on your YouTube profile, which is great for your fans. Do you have a favorite "Rockumentary"?

There are some really good ones but we were watchin 'You're Gonna Miss Me' the Roky Erickson Story on our last tour. The Last Waltz is a favourite of mine and Stella's.

Have you acted in movies? Do you have any interest in acting in films?

I've acted before but not in a movie. I've worked on films and love to edit and direct. I had the opportunity to direct our last 2 videos and loved the experience and would like to do more. Acting in films would be something I would be interested in for sure, why not. I actually think that Neal is a natural at it. We started making a horror movie when we started recording the album in 2006. Neal was the lead and was so good and naturally funny also. Stella is a huge fan of film also.

Your music has appeared on TV - has your music appeared in films?

Not yet but we just submitted some songs for a new Darren Aronofsky film yesterday. Fingers crossed.

What are your thoughts on the prospect of one day having your music in video games?

I grew up playing video games so I'm into it. Music complements everything we do or participate in. It's everwhere, why not a video game. Guitar Hero or Rock Band would be insane to have a song in. Or even just some crazy racing car game would be cool.

Any particular band antics happen on stage during a night of playing?

Not always but sometimes someone will fart and you're mid song and it hits you and you get a ckeeky look from the purpitrator from across the stage. Stella likes to get out from behind her drums and take the mic while Neal tries to keep in time on the drums. That usually cracks me up.

Who tends to be the instigator?

It can be anyone at any time.

Your album was recorded in just four weeks. Where did you record? What was your recording process - did you record live?

We recorded at a studio called Radio Star Studios in Weed California in the north near Oregon. It's situated under a volcano called Mt Shasta. Sylvia Massey has built a complex of studios and housing so that at any time 3 or 4 bands could be working up there, recording and writing. We recorded as much live as possible but it was a very creative time and ideas kept flowing so there was over dubbing happening all the time also. The main studio is an old theatre with some great vintage console's and outboard gear. It's very laid back and friendly and we had a lot of fun there. We shared our time there with COG and had a lot of fun hanging with those lads.

You were recently in Japan for the Fuji Rock Festival. How did it go? Were you able to watch other acts' sets?

Fuji is the best festival I've seen. We had a blast and loved being in Japan. We have some sort of affinity with the place. We always wanted to go there as a band. So much fun was had although it was a very quick visit. I saw Grand Master Flash, Mongol 800, Asian Dub foundation and the Zutons. All were great and our set was a lot of fun after having a short break from touring. See ya'll back out there soon!

Thank you!

Thanks Jenny.

Grant Fitz.

For music, tour dates and more information, go to:

Mink UK
Mink Official Website

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About Jenny May

Jenny May is the founder of Band Weblogs. Based in Oxford, England (originally from New England), Band Weblogs was created in 2005. With a passion for music, Jenny May has performed with bands in the US and the UK, her music has appeared in films, she was a vocal coach for the Yamaha Rock School and has worked on music projects with musicians such as Jon Fishman (Phish), Fyfe Dangerfield (Guillemots) and Cisco Adler (Shwayze). Jenny is currently writing music commentary and reviews for Band Weblogs and writing, recording and performing music with songwriter and musician Dave Tommo.
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