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Mint Chicks leave major label Warner for New Zealand tech start-up
Posted on 4-Feb-2010 00:00. | Tags Filed under: News.

Mint Chicks leave major label Warner for New Zealand tech start-up
The iconic NZ indie rock band, the Mint Chicks sent their major label Warner packing last December, and signed up with New Zealand start-up to launch their new EP “Bad Buzz”. The Mint Chicks will take their music directly to where their fans are, on the web.

Using the platform the Mint Chicks are running three major competitions. The first competition offers stems (sound files for each instrument) from their major hit “Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No!” to musicians. Using a Creative Commons license musicians can download the stems, remix, then upload their own version of the classic. Musicians can also perform a cover of the song using the available tabs, chords and lyrics. The community will choose the finalists and the two grand prize winners will perform with the Mint Chicks on their NZ EP tour.

“We were looking to do things differently,” says Ruban Nielson of the Mint Chicks. “The major labels are slow moving, risk-averse dinosaurs, and increasingly irrelevant. We wanted to work with someone who got what we were trying to do, and wanted to take some chances. We were introduced to through mutual friends and after our first meeting I knew we'd found the right people.”

With the release of their new EP “Bad Buzz” in mid-February the Mint Chicks will run their second competition asking their fans to create the official music video for the single. Using their mobile phone, video camera, even play-dough fans can create visual footage for the track. The grand prize winner will have their video aired as the official Mint Chicks video on major music channels around the world.

The third competition asks designers to create the new official Mint Chicks T-shirt, with the grand prize winner, getting a design credit, a cut of the sales and a sweet prize pack.

“The old music industry model is dead,” says Annabel Youens, Digital Strategist. “The major labels are a drag on the industry, pushing CDs which are a dead medium, hoovering cash away from bands, turning fans into criminals and creating friction between artists and their customers. We are fixing the industry by cutting labels out of the food chain and helping bands interact with their fans in smart digital ways.” is a Wellington-based start up who offer a complete digital platform for bands, musicians and fans to connect, interact and share their passion for music. Currently in beta is testing their new technology in New Zealand before launching in North America later this year.

The Mint Chicks, originally from Auckland, have achieved something rare for a rock band - massive popularity without losing their cult status amongst music fans. Their second album, Crazy? Yes! Dumb? No! was recently voted best NZ album of the decade by Real Groove magazine. The Mint Chicks currently split their time between Portland, Oregon and their hometown of Auckland.

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