The Mint
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The Mint


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"HM Magazine"

“Knowing how to craft a song is a skill these guys know well. Weaving sound textures around sweet melodies and word pictures mean this band's a keeper that'll(hopefully) continue creating music for us. there's enough hooks to make it immediately appealing, and thoughtful instrumentations offers more complexity to dig into later.”
- Dec 2004


"After 2 previous highly successful EP's, The Mint takes a shot at a third EP. With only four tracks I can only go into so much detail without singing all the songs myself (ok, I already do sing all the songs to myself.) Starting off with 'Stars' The Mint wastes no time getting to a good song (it is only four songs after all) with power and that keyboard I have come to know and love. The end verse sums up this song "And I understand all you needed was someone to adore all you needed was someone to live for all you needed was someone to see the stars." Flashlights follows up as a song that does not pack the power in the musical arrangements, but in the sincerity of the chorus asking "After everything we've done, does this complicate our love?"

Near the end the keyboard does give 'Flashlights' some extra gusto that it needed. 'The Backs of our Friends' is the best song on this EP by far. It starts out with light guitars and then the keyboard goes off the charts as well as the guitars, bass and drums. This song was put together to perfection, it really grips you tight and won't let you go.The last track 'King of Glass' really takes you out with a nice ballad that shows that they aren't perfect by any means "I'm the king of glass, you see right through me." 'King of Glass' really finishes "The Mint EP" excellently. Although this EP only has 4 songs, all 4 songs are terrific. We can only ask for more, and for more very soon. - 4 Stars.” - Dec 2004


"The rhythms are tight, the leads soar, and the vocals are raw and edgy. Stylistically, contemporary dynamics typify the group's songs, which carry listeners through a full spectrum of emotions from the energetic enthusiasm of “Stars” to the more melodic and contemplative groove of “Flashlights” and the near angry angst of “The Backs Of Our Friends” and “King Of Glass”.”
- 2004


"The Mint is an independent band to emerge from Lancaster, PA. Released in June 2004, their self-titled EP offers up a seamless mix of piano melodies and assertive guitar-work, all set within an alternative rock context. Coming across as an edgier version of mainstream bands such as Doves or Coldplay, the four songs on this EP display a sound rich with highly textured soundscapes." - 2005


The Mint, a band I first heard about while attending Eastern University, seems to have come a long way in just a couple of years. I have no idea why exactly, but I though they were some electro-pop/dance-rock type act, a genre now flooded with the likes of The Killers and The Bravery. I think the idea came into my head because around the same time they came by to play at Eastern, a great dance-rock type act called Elkland, an act now residing on Sony that was unsigned and equally as impressive at the time. Nonetheless, unless The Mint’s sound has changed drastically since that time (2001-2002 school year), I was mistaken at my assumption.

Though I had heard of this band a few years back, I did not listen to anything of theirs until just a few weeks ago, when they sent me their third self-released EP, The Mint (self-titled). Packaged simply in a cardboard sleeve with simple, yet effective artwork (a brown background with their logo in a lighter shade of brown), the EP is just that… simple. The music is not too complex, but yet it has a layered sound that doesn’t simply get written off as boring or trite. They don’t try too hard, but they also don’t just sit on their laurels.

This 18 minute EP, contains four tracks, none striking as the “single” or standout track. It flows well and is a pleasurable listen beginning to end (although at a brief 17-18 minutes, that task may be less impressive than it sounds). Lyrically and vocally, the CD has indy rock quality evoking classic genre-defining “emo” albums like Jimmy Eat World’s “Clarity”. However, musically, the feel of songs is more along the lines of some of today’s hot pop-rock acts like Keane, Athlete, or Deadman (read: bands that sound like Coldplay, but are less epic).

I could go on to draw comparisons to and cite obvious influence of many bands, both in the indy realm (Elliott, Sunny Day Real Estate, Sense Field, Further Seems Forever) and mainstream (The Cure, Snow Patrol), but the bottom line is that this is a solid release from a young band that should get noticed soon. Listening to the EP, you wouldn’t know it was self-produced because the production quality is as good as any mainstream release. The music is solid and pleasing to the ear. The only major criticism, if it even is one, is the short length of the EP; sometimes it may be hard to judge how solid a band is from only 4 songs. But based on these 4 songs it is safe to say this band has the ability to make it big. Any of the songs on The Mint EP could be played on alternative radio, soft rock stations, and various other radio formats. Good music that still maintains a vast sense of accessibility is hard to come by these days.

Finally, one might ask, “With such a positive review, why only 3 stars?” Honestly, the EP is solid and could be a Top 40 smash if given the opportunity, but it does sound like a lot stuff that is already out there. Part of the reason is that it draws from some many influences; and, though it does evade the trap of being just another generic cookie-cutter band, it does lack a bit of punch. Perhaps, that punch I speak of isn’t really necessary and it’s just a matter of personal opnion. And further, though I see this as a 3 star EP, many others would be more thoroughly impressed than I. Whereas, it will become a CD that I listen to here and there, it is a CD that could become a fixture in many rotations.
- November 2005

"Fly Magazine"

The Mint
Modern rockers give central Pa. a breath of fresh air

by Ben Brown

In the four years since the group’s birth, Lancaster modern rock quintet The Mint has accumulated an impressive resume.

All still in their 20s, the members of The Mint can include the following on their collective list of accomplishments: selling over 2,000 copies of their 4-song debut All That’s Left Unsaid; selling over 1,000 copies of their 2003 EP The Astronaut; performing collectively in front of thousands at a number of national festivals; and receiving coveted opening slots for mainstream artists such as Sixpence None the Richer and Jars of Clay.

To The Mint’s credit, the group has been able to accomplish the above without the support of a record label. How, one might ask, is this possible? If you’re taking notes, now would be a good time to pay attention. The Mint has been clever enough to discover an angle.

The Mint conveys an onstage professionalism that is due to a focused group sound and image. Clearly well rehearsed, The Mint performs tightly crafted pop rock in the vein of group influences like Coldplay and Jimmy Eat World. Hooks and melodies abound as a result of an effective guitar/keyboard interplay. Their sound is complemented by uniformity in dress based loosely around cropped hair, vintage boots and sport jackets. Teenage girls have taken notice.

Vocalist/guitarist Jonathan Decker provides that “the goal of the artist isn’t necessarily to answer questions, but to ask them. And maybe [our goal] is to evoke an emotion and a feeling or a question and a thought process rather than just give [an audience] a gimmick.”

Please note that The Mint is no gimmick, but a talented group of individuals that has been effective in finding its audience. Comprised of Decker, keyboardist Nathan Van Name, bassist/vocalist Stephan Smoker, guitarist Brent Ulrich and drummer Chris Narcisi, The Mint offers a refined sound that would not seem out of place on contemporary modern rock radio, which is confirmed by the fact that two of the group’s singles receive airplay on radio stations like 105.7 The X.

Considering group influences like Coldplay, Jimmy Eat World and Oasis, Decker says, “[We’re interested in these groups] because of their emotional honesty. … It started for us with mid-’90s British pop. For us it’s like, the first time you heard Radiohead’s The Bends, it’s over.” Van Name adds, “Growing up, we listened to a lot of music that tried to fix you or tried to make things better. We want to write music about how we’re feeling.”

The Mint has been blessed with the talent to create a product that may prove relevant to the mainstream contemporary market. Their product also appears personally (and in this sense artistically) relevant considering that the group’s influences lie within the market they are pursuing. In other words, The Mint knows its product and its prospective audience.

This should be enough to get any band started in the right direction; however, The Mint has another advantage: all five members of the group are of the Christian denomination. This is an extremely interesting aspect of The Mint’s story – one that its members are quite vocal about.

“All of us were raised in the church,” Van Name says. “We learned to play our instruments in the church, but we do want to separate ourselves from that industry or [explicitly Christian] label.”

“We don’t want to sell our faith,” adds Decker. “It isn’t like, ‘Listen to us, we’re safe for your teenagers.’ I think that if you’re a Christian like we are, or whatever religion you might be, if you do a job, I think your beliefs are going to come out through that. Whether we say it from the stage or not, I hope that love and humility will come through somehow.”

Van Name continues by adding, “We try not to have a political agenda with our beliefs and our music. We try not to use the stage as a platform to present that. We’d rather do that with our personal lives. If it doesn’t come up in a lot of our stuff it’s because we’re not trying to promote that through this. We all agree, I think, that some of the Christian market, whether you’re familiar with it or not, is somewhat jaded and tainted, which is nobody’s fault; but we’re trying to keep ourselves out of that box. At the same time, we participate in some festivals in that scene just for the sake of saying that we want to be something different there. To sum it up, we don’t think that we have an agenda with our music.”

The often quiet but rarely inarticulate Narcisi offers, “I’d like to take part in changing the reputation of Christianity because it tends to get a bad reputation – a reputation of finger-pointing and judgment as opposed to the love and humility of what it’s supposed to be. We want people to be interested in it as opposed to turned off by it. The best way to do that is to build relationships instead of just preaching in someone’s face.”

Somewhat ingeniously, The Mint has been able to operate within a specific market while setting itself apart from that market by creating a product that arguably may not have existed in great supply (i.e. a “Christian” band that performs what might be considered “secular” songs). It’s a relatively brilliant business strategy.

Truth be told, The Mint has had help. The group is currently under the management of Sovanna Mam, a young aspiring businessman who spent time working as an agent in Los Angeles. Before Mam stepped into the picture, The Mint operated under different management that helped break the group into the Christian circuit via a number of national festivals such as Purple Door, Creation and Cornerstone. About those experiences, Decker says, “Our second show was at the Giant Center in front of thousands of people. Our first show was at a large festival. … Looking back, we weren’t prepared. We only had four or five songs at the time. When we were asked to do an encore, we played through a song that we didn’t really know or hadn’t fully rehearsed. [The experience] probably gave us a false sense of what the business was about. …We [have since] realized that if you want to do anything, you’ve got to work for it. Nothing is easy.”

In what is perhaps most noteworthy for those in search of ideas about becoming successful in the music business, The Mint offers insight about what its members look for in each other. “Underneath it all,” Decker begins, “we have a deep love and respect for each other. … It can come down to accountability. We look for commitment in that we all have so much invested in this band. It’s like a house whereas if one part is missing, the house will inevitably fall down.”

Narcisi adds, “We’re all responsible for a portion of each other’s dreams. We want to make sure that everyone is responsible for their portion.” Indeed, a boat moves fastest when all aboard are rowing in the same direction.

The Mint plans to record an album in early ’06 with ambitions for a spring/summer ’06 release that will coincide with a live DVD previously recorded at Lancaster’s Chameleon Club. Fans may take interest to learn that The Mint is considering re-recording “Fourth of July” from All That’s Left Unsaid for possible inclusion on its forthcoming release. Visit for further details.
- January 2006

"Awaken Magazine"

The Mint is an independent band from Lancaster, PA. The CD is a melodic landscape filled with an atmosphere of driving guitars, plenty of piano, and edgy vocals. The Mint has put together a tight sound filled with tons of emotion and passionate vocals. The E.P. was originally released in 2004 and
will appeal to fans of Coldplay and U2. This is one E.P. that you definitely do not want to miss out on. Don’t let the fact that The Mint is still an independent band fool you, these guys are destined for success.
- January 2006


Living up to their namesake by compiling a fresh and satisfying assortment of guitar-led alternative rock, The Mint provides for a typical standard of catchy indie-rock with their four-core attack of guitars, bass, keyboard, and drums. Vocalist/guitarist Jon Decker, bassist Charlie Maxwell, keyboardist Nate Van Name, and drummer Chris Narcisi all met with an intertwined musical interest focused on the great power-pop artists of the past. With most of the members growing up in the Amish-integrated city of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, their approach appears enjoyably austere and elementary, with influences leaning toward the traditional alternative rock of the 90s with bands like The Lemonheads and Nirvana playing an influential part in The Mint’s melodic composition. That being said, lead vocalist Jon Decker inherits a set of crisp vocals that establishes the band as a much more fluent and disciplined act, preparing a variety of songs that are both instrumentally concise and melodically sound. The band has been compared to the likes of Coldplay and Doves on more than one occassion and while Decker’s vocals are certainly as musically impelling as Chris Martin or Jez Williams, The Mint’s less ambitious and more straightforward approach offers an abridged entry into an assortment of catchy alternative rock filled with profuse hooks and memorable instrumentation.

The Pennsylvanian four-piece made their first ripples with their debut four-song EP, The Mint, in late 2003. Though the EP saw some considerable local radio airplay, it did not reach far beyond the band’s local Lancaster. With a few critiques in mind, the band headed into the studio to complete their debut full-length album. Finally, after four years, The Mint will release their debut album, Love is Vapor, on June 19th. While the band is still gradually gaining a fan base on the East Coast, my judgment from listening to the album is that The Mint should have a substantial amount of national fans by the end of the year. Consisting of eleven songs that they wrote over the past four years, Love is Vapor is a very warm and agreeable debut with a respectable amount of depth filled with boisterous arena-like production and efficacious results. The album is headed by the first song and debut single, “Blurred Vision”. Already in the rotation on several East Coast radio stations, including WXPN 88.5, “Blurred Vision” and “Finding New Ways” are both the epitome of why The Mint is a band to certainly look out for. This is indie-rock that contains the type of hooks that makes other bands clearly envious. Decker ceaselessly flows through the song as his lasting guitars makes a resounding effect over a well-composed and synchronous rhythm section. Name’s keyboards also play a vital role, often reflecting the melody in a fashion that recalls prominent acts like The Shins or Wilco.

On the lyrical aspect, Decker’s words are often filled with romanticized views of caution, wisdom, and witty one-liners. “And I don’t care, it’s better to sleep than live life unaware,” he sings on the atypically catchy “Where Love Won’t Go”. “What do we need to see when you’re next to me?” The question is one of the many rhetorical strategies implemented on Love is Vapor, often questioning love’s value or worth, asking whether love as an emotion is as transparent as scientific “vapor”. Another impressive aspect about Love is Vapor is the band’s capability to turn songs that last over five minutes into radio-friendly. In addition to “Blurred Vision”, the enjoyable “Stay Here” encompasses this entirely. Being a perfect example of Name’s vital use of the keyboards into the band’s overall composition, “Stay Here” is Decker’s understanding of age-based wisdom. “When we’re old and gray I guess we’ll know,” he sings with resounding diction.”When we’re old and gray I guess you’ll stay here with me.” Despite a few songs that lend themselves too much to a similar method of alternative-rock production, Love is Vapor is filled with memorable songs that truly embody a method in how bands aiming toward a fan-friendly sound should follow. As they slowly progress with live shows in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, I would not be surprised if the four-piece is touring nationally once their album receives some deserved recognition.

- June 2007

"XM Radio / The Radar Report"

Good clean fun for everyone on this record (Love is Vapor). Catchy songs coupled with interesting lyrics make for a good listen. - June 2007

"WXPN 88.5 Philadelphia"

With unforgettable melodies and catchy hooks that are guaranteed to be swimming in your head for days, The Mint seem destined for widespread success. Reminiscent of alternative acts like Nada Surf and Phantom Planet, the group's pop sensibility is dead on. Performing boisterous rock with a kind of sunny day swagger and swing, The Mint's music provides listeners a perfectly infectious pick-me-up whenever needed.

- May 2008


Everything All at Once (Full Length LP) 2010
Love is Vapor (Full length LP) - 2007
All That's Left Unsaid (4 song EP) - 2002
The Astronaut (7 song EP) - 2003
The Mint (4 song EP) - 2004



The Mint is a four piece band from Lancaster, PA who have bonded together with the intent mission of writing and recording music that reflects the hearts and passions of the individuals.

They released their first full length CD "Love is Vapor" in June 2007 and have garnered great attention with over 250 independent stations adding the album to their rotation, including WXPN Philadelphia. Recently, the CD was licensed to MTV Networks for use on their shows and have seen two songs used on two episodes of The Real World: Hollywood, including the season finale.

With performances at major music festivals such as Creation, Purple Door, Cornerstone, and most recently the XPoNential Music Festival and VANS Warped Tour, The Mint's future looks bright.

Sovanna Mam (Manager)