G’day cyberspace and Modern Drummer! My name is Stella Mozgawa. I play the ol’ drumkit for Mink. I’m twenty-one years old, and my dimensions could be best described as 14″, 22″, 13″, and 16″. I’m reporting from the far-stretching plains between Seattle and Spokane, Washington as I roll gracefully into what will be the sixth week of our tour with Perry Farrell’s Satellite Party. It’s been quite the adventure thus far; I can hardly think where to start. What an absolute dream discovering North America and its little treasures whilst playing music. It’s a little early in the piece to flex cheese, but I feel so unbelievably blessed to be doing what I adore every single day, I must have saved a baby/small dog/old lady from a burning building in a past life.
We’ve had an action-packed year; we’re definitely a stronger band now (personally and musically). Last year in September we were all in Sydney, Australia after my first trip to New York. Since then we’ve written over sixty songs, recorded our debut album in California with Sylvia Massy and in New York with Chris Shaw, performed for over 15,000 people during our shows with KISS (a separate blog in itself), played SXSW and Lollapalooza, and hooked up with Angels And Airwaves and now Perry Farrell on our second run of the States. It’s surreal to think Mink has only been a band for a mere eighteen months!
I’ve been fortunate to meet and hang out with some drumming deities in the US too: Jonathan Mover (to whom I have to send astronomical thanks for recommending me to Pearl), Charley Drayton, and Steve Jordan. What a trip! Mike Farriss and the Pearl crew have been certified superheroes for me. I’m giddy with delight over my new Reference Series kit. What an immaculately designed piece. [Sigh] I’ve been using all Zildjian cymbals (22″ K ride, 19″ and 20″ A custom crashes, and 14″ New Beats) and Vater sticks, and loving every second of it!
So we released our debut album, MINK, a month ago–in New Orleans, no less. Neal (singer of Mink) and I celebrated by getting tattoos of a giant squid and a rabid monkey, respectively. So far the response to the shows has been overwhelming. I love chewing the so-called fat with the crowds after our gigs. There are some mighty attractive and delightful people spread across this country, I’ll tell ya! Thank you to everyone who has hi-fived us, danced with/to us, and bought our album. You make us feel super-special every evening.
One of the most interesting characteristics of this current tour has been the “flash mobs,” a concept introduced to us by Mr. Farrell. These are spontaneous performances that take place in arbitrary locations, like Mac stores, health-food store car parks–even an environmental tent at Lollapalooza. These have allowed us to take our music out of the four-wall context. The music business is certainly in a transitional phase, and as musicians we have the chance to get really creative without our promotional methods–there’s no concrete formula. So we’re taking music to the streets! In fact, we took our music to a mall in Toronto and were escorted out by appropriately mean-looking security guards. Of course we captured the whole thing on camera (much like everything we do). Check out www.myspace.com/mink for our daily, often very silly video diaries. Oh, and see our equally cute podcasts on iTunes, called “Mink TV”. Plugging can be cute too! Ha.
What’s on the horizon, I hear you ask? (P.S., I can hear you chewing, too.) Well, we will be touring this record till we can tour no longer–more of the US, a sprinkle of Japan, Australia, and Europe, some CMJ in NY for good measure. I will build a hovering drum-riser equipped with cup holders, just like the one in my dreams. Well, that’s about it. Thank you, Modern Drummer, thank YOU for reading my ramblings, and see you around!
Good night and good luck, America!