photo courtesy: MINT CONDITION

R&B veterans Mint Condition have been making beautiful music for almost three decades. The versatile band from Minneapolis recently released the holiday collection Healing Season, and reflected on the long road to where they are today. Looking back over the course of their career, the guys admit that things could’ve taken a very different turn.

“It’s definitely not easy,” says Rick Kinchen (bassist.) “We are not all cut from the same cloth or think the same way or do the same thing or react the same way to the same thing. I don’t know if we realize that at all, but we also haven’t had some of the problems that a lot of groups have. I’m sure some of us sit around and look at what each other does, but it’s nothing compared to what you see on ‘Unsung’ and all of that. We’ve been blessed in a lot of ways to not have so much strife.”

Frontman Stokley Williams adds: “When we work close together, it’s like family. We’ve had bouts and fights and all that stuff—that’s just the nature of it. But you realize what things are important. What things are worth being more passionate about vs less passionate about. But we learn that we’re all men here and you have to jockey for position to make your voice heard.”

For this particular band, the sex, drugs and rock & roll lifestyle never became an obsession. 25 years after releasing their first hit, Mint Condition’s relative sobriety is recognized as part of what has kept them going. And an understanding of each other.

“I just realize that we’re all not the same. Some are going to be tougher, some are going to be softer—some have other things to think about,” says Rick. “There’s no heavy drugs or heavy alcohol. Those things never really…there’s nobody that’s beating down some chick every week to end up on the news. There is stuff that irritates you, but at the end of the day, we’re not all cut the same.”