Mint Condition Interview

Mint_Condition_E_Life_Album.jpg   Mint Condition Interview by Melody Charles

Two smash singles, two Soultracks Readers Choice Awards, one outstanding band.

For Mint Condition, their 2008 CD e-Life represents mainstream longevity and independent success, satisfying long-time fans while earning new ones hungry for more live instruments, lyrics and true vocal skills over image-driven gimmicks and auto-tuning. While in Dallas headlining Tom Joyner's Joke N' Jams celebration, the St. Paul quintet shares their jubilation about the recent win, their thoughts about the election and crack jokes about Rick's and Jeff's ambitions in life.......

Mint_Condition_E_Life_Album.jpg   Mint Condition Interview by Melody Charles

Two smash singles, two Soultracks Readers Choice Awards, one outstanding band.

For Mint Condition, their 2008 CD e-Life represents mainstream longevity and independent success, satisfying long-time fans while earning new ones hungry for more live instruments, lyrics and true vocal skills over image-driven gimmicks and auto-tuning. While in Dallas headlining Tom Joyner's Joke N' Jams celebration, the St. Paul quintet shares their jubilation about the recent win, their thoughts about the election and crack jokes about Rick's and Jeff's ambitions in life.......

How are you feeling about you winning Album of the Year and Best Duo or Group at last Friday's Soultracks Readers Choice Awards?

O'Dell-"It feels great."

Rick-"Oooh-WEEE! HYPED! We're on top of the world!"

Jeff-"Hype, yeah. It's always good when the folks recognize what you do, and we are definitely appreciateive of the support."

Larry-"To get the accolades for doing what we do is something that we can take home and be happy about."

Stokley- "It's such an honor. I mean, SoulTracks and the city of Detroit put that on with such a high caliber of musicians and artists, incredible music. We feel honored, really blessed to still be here and to even be considered for such an award, it's great. We thank everyone for voting and for even being considered, thank y'all."

How have audiences been receiving e-Life when you perform live?

Jeff-Our latest single is definitely getting a great response, "Nothing Left to Say." I think it went Top 10 (Billboard Hot Adult R&B Airplay) here recently."

O'Dell-"The audience has really taken to that song; it's incredible that as soon as they hear the first two notes hit, everybody stands up like it's an old hit or something."

Stokley-"We're maintaining what we got and constantly gaining steam along the way. A lot of new fans have been coming on board, 25 and even younger, people really discovering Mint Condition lately, and we're really glad that folks are just riding the journey with us, it's been really great."

What made you want to become part of the Tom Joyner Foundation benefit line-up?

Rick- "We just support him period; through the years, he's always been there for us and now we just wanted to be there for him. And it's a great thing to be a part of (funding scholarships for disadvantaged students to attend HBCU's)."

Are your local musical projects, JOTO and The Truth, putting out new music or touring the nation anytime soon?

Jeff-"Once the Mint Condition thing started taking off again, we only had so much time for everything, and JOTO took a backseat. Hopefully, we'll be able to get that going again."

O'Dell- "The Truth has been doing spot dates, weekends here and there. We're actually working on tracks for the studio album."

How did you feel about having that Republican National Convention practically in your backyard?

Jeff-"Well...it was good for small business."

Rick- "There were about 450 cops up there, it was crazy. Every hotel had cops all over the place."

O'Dell-"From downtown Minnesota to downtown St. Paul, though the hood, they had every exit with cops on top of the bridge in both directions."

Jeff-"Protesters were standing on either side with signs."

A lot of artists are promoting voter registration and supporting Obama: what are your views?

Jeff-"Progress has been made, even if this thing ended today. I think it's kinda taking care of itself at this point."

Larry-"I would definitely tell everyone to vote, regardless of how you vote, because it's important to have your voice heard. I would say vote for Barack, not because he's black, but because he's good. If you believe in the principles that he's coming with, do it for that reason."

O'Dell-"I'd say vote for him because he's black----let's put him in there!"

Stokley- "Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes, please get registered to vote. If you don't have no ID, go get an ID, passport, anything. They're trying everything to run the okey-doke. You shouldn't be waiting til' the last minute, because they're counting on that."

What's next for you guys?

Rick-"I'm trying to be the first dude to have a baby (laughs)."

O'Dell-"He almost made it a couple of times, I think he's gonna do it here pretty soon."

Rick- "Seriously though, we've been so busy that I've just turned in songs for Paris Bennett (from American Idol) last week. She just finished up her Christmas album and is about to start working on her regular R&B album."

Larry- "I'm still working on my Masters (in Physics), it's close."

Jeff- "I finished school 3 weeks ago (Master's degree, Criminal Justice), and I'm starting to reach out with some volunteer opportunities with different agencies, stuff that I can fit in with what I'm doing here (with the band). It could be search parties for missing children, battered women's shelters....."

O'Dell- "And, when I get pulled over, he'd be a good person for me to call and say, 'hey man....(laughs).' When you're black and drive big cars in Minneapolis, they pull you over a lot. So, I'll just give Jeff the Badge number and..."

Rick-"And if I manage to find a girl with 'Pimp Juice,' hopefully, he'll be on my side, but knowing him, Jeff will still be pretty tough on me."

J-"What...? I'm fair and balanced." (entire band cracks up)

 

 

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