The Mint Chicks are an experimental noise rock / power pop (the band have begun to refer to their style of music as "troublegum" and have been referred to as anything from neo-punk to schizo-pop to the only half-serious genre definition of shit-gaze along with groups like No Age and Wavves) group originally from Auckland, New Zealand, but now based in Portland, Oregon, USA. They are known for mixing pop hooks and structures with elements of noise rock and experimental music and also for their exciting live performances, where Kody and Ruban Nielson have been known to climb P.A. stacks, hang from lighting rigs, destroy guitars, engage in self-harm and even attack the stage with a chainsaw.
Meeting in high school, the band formed in 2001, and began by playing punk house parties and low profile shows before being discovered by acclaimed New Zealand independent record label Flying Nun Records. They have released two EPs and three albums under the Flying Nun Records banner: Octagon, Octagon, Octagon EP (2003), Anti-Tiger EP (2004), Fuck the Golden Youth (2005), Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No! (2006) and Screens (2009). All were produced and recorded by the band's core members Ruban and Kody Nielson, with the exception of Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No! which was produced by the Nielson brothers and their father Chris Nielson at two different home studios.
All four original band members met at Orewa College in Orewa, New Zealand, although the band is now based in Portland, Oregon in the United States. The Nielson brothers have dual citizenship in New Zealand and the U.S.
In 2006, the band played support for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. The volume of the show was reportedly so loud that part of the St James theater complex fell down, injuring two concert goers. They have also played support slots for The White Stripes, Death From Above 1979, TV on the Radio, The Blood Brothers, The Black Lips, and The Bronx. They were also part of the New Zealand line-up for Big Day Out 2004, 2005, 2007 and 2009. In 2005, it was notable that Kody Nielson wielded a chainsaw on stage and destroyed a corporate sponsor's overly prominent sign with it.
At the 2007 New Zealand Music Awards the band won five Tui awards including best rock group, best album, best rock album as well as winning best album cover and best music video for the single "Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!".
On 24 October 2007, it was announced on the band's website that their bassist Michael Logie will be leaving the band when they relocate to Portland. The group will be continuing as a trio, with Logie relocating to London, England.
In 2008 the band released an iTunes-only single, "Life Will Get Better Some Day", which was later confirmed as a track on their third studio album.
The band played a free show in Portland on the 29th June 2008, in which they played their third album from beginning to end live. The band also supported Shihad on the July 2008 Beautiful Machine Tour and tested their new songs in front of a home audience.
The Mint Chicks' new album titled "Screens" was released in New Zealand on March 16, 2009. On Christmas 2008 (December 25), The Mint Chicks released the Mintunes EP consisting of "8-bit versions" of both previously released songs and tracks from the upcoming Screens album.
- Ruban Nielson (guitar)
- Kody Nielson (vocals and Nord piano)
- Paul Roper (drums)
- Michael Logie (bass)
|Date of Release||Title||Label||Catalog Number||NZ Chart Peak|
|2003||Octagon, Octagon, Octagon EP||Flying Nun Records||FNCD480||-|
|2004||Anti-Tiger EP||Flying Nun Records||FNCD486||-|
|2005||Fuck the Golden Youth||Flying Nun Records||FNCD493||#28|
|2006||Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!||Flying Nun Records||FNCD499||#23|
|2008||Mintunes EP||(download only)||-||-|
|2009||Screens||Flying Nun Records||FNCD505||#10|
|New Zealand Music Awards 2007||Album of the Year (Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!)|
|Best Album Cover (Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!, designed by Ruban Nielson)|
|Best Music Video ("Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!", directed by Sam Peacocke)|
|Best Rock Album (Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!)|
Biography from Wikipedia