"We grew up with social media all around us and were recounting stories in Jimmy Mac's tour bus, laughing about our school days with Facebook parties, pictures you weren't meant to see and finding amazing music. A few days later I was reading about yet another teenager greatly troubled with mental health issues and the role the internet played. I had also been keeping up to date about the #MeToo movement and yet another profiled predatory pervert taking advantage of aspiration." - Zak MINT
On 'M180' MINT celebrate the joys and mediocrity of late teen-hood in dead-end Northern England towns. Drawing from their own experiences of late night teenage parties, driving your first car and trying to sleep your way through your local town the track reminisces the fun of doing it all for the first time.
The actual 180 road (off the M180) is affectionately called the end of the line as it concludes at the barren coastal towns of Lincolnshire. It is actually the nosiest road in the country and is dark and dangerous and littered with abandoned crashed cars, trees strewn with flowers and pictures of those that never came home. For the locals, it is the road that provides escape and hope.
"We were talking a lot at the start of the lockdown about what we were missing like festivals, the big hometown gig we had arranged, service stations and new fans and realised that actually there were loads of people missing out on huge life experiences", says singer Zak. "The ones that come once in a life like Reading festival after exam results, late night parties in the Grimsby East Marsh Estate and fires on the Cleethorpes beaches in Spring and driving in your first car out of town to parties with your cheap runner full of tanked up singing mates."
"It's a nod to the good, mad and irresponsible times we all had when we knew it all but still lived at home…for free", smiles bass player Andy. "For us growing up the 180 was the road to freedom, an opportunity to leave this (Grimsby) sinking shit hole behind".
Mint retain their swagger and pace with M180 but it also allows them to reveal their deeper indie roots and lighter humour. The chorus will surely be adopted by the terraces of football clubs when allowed to attend…
M180 is a double A side release with the powerful call for action thumping 'GOODBYE BEAUTIFUL (Bella Ciao)' that encapsulates the diverse issues their generation face.
Memories of hearing 'Bella Ciao' sung by the sole Italian family in his area inspired singer Zak to write a song to voice the resentments, fears, and concerns of the young over the environment and their future, as well as wider issues such as racism, animal cruelty and societal division. In three and a half minutes, Mint channel the broad scope of the song into a high-octane imperial march towards certain doom. It's a clarion call to action. Guitars careen through the mix mounting to an explosive and unforgettable chorus. It is a powerful statement of intent from a group that see the emotional resonance of music as a potential platform for uniting people. The accompanying video is compiled from footage taken by skater friends of the band on their travels, interspersed with suggestive images: icebergs, waste, oil spillage, animal suffering, BLM and protesters clamouring for revolution. Footage also comes from several well-known environmental organisations.
The band simply state that "We're as scared and angry as any other person our age. If we can provide a soundtrack for people that can relate to then we have made a difference. We're not a protest band and not every song will be a protest but we can't afford to take a day off work and travel to London to add our voice all the time. But we're not just going to watch TV and read about it online either."
Mint comes from the dolorous landscape of West Marsh, Grimsby. The northern and eastern boundaries are formed by Alexandra Dock, while the western edge is subsumed into the smog of the Pyewipe industrial area. The south is bordered by impassable railway tracks. It is an area with little hope, no tourists, and the dried-up husk of a once prosperous fishing industry. Zak, Veggie, Lenny and Bambi all attended the same school, though the semantics of the word 'attended' is loosely applied here. They formed a close bond while locking horns over their different music tastes. Guitarist Lenny drew inspiration from the avant-garde sounds of Nick Cave, The Birthday Party, and The Pop Group, while the other three members leaned towards indie classics and the harder edges of rock. They went on to study at Grimsby Institute and the idea to form a band was soon realized and became serious in 2018.
Being half Palestinian and sporting wild hair in an area affiliated with skinheads, frontman Zak Rashid had it hardest coming up, and started to look outside of his home town. He was a young pro skateboarder and surfer by day and taught himself graphic design by night. When he is not gigging he runs the (only NE) local surf shop and designs artwork for artists such as Lucy Spraggan, Black Honey and False Heads. Lenny works in the cafe next door whilst Bambi and Veggie work shifts in soup canning factories. Mint has enjoyed UK radio support from Radio 1 and playlisting on Radio X and has performed at all major UK festivals. In mid-2019 they started to realize their sound, an idiosyncratic fusion of indie melodies set to beefier instrumentation. Recently they have begun work with award-winning production team Sugar House and taken on management.