Fresh at Twenty by Kaitlin Fontana, ECW Press

Fresh at Twenty: The Oral History of Mint Records

Fontana, Kaitlin

  • Fresh at Twenty: The Oral History of Mint Records is first and foremost the story of an independent record label and the people who helped build it. But it’s also the story of a place and time in popular music &emdash; Vancouver through the 1990s and 2000s. Mint helped launch the careers of the New Pornographers, Neko Case, the Evaporators, the Smugglers, the Sadies, the Pack A.D. and countless other acts. In doing so, Mint not only shaped the sound of Vancouver at the end of the 20th century, but helped usher in a golden age of Canadian popular music that still thrives today.

    Now, on the eve of Mint’s 20th anniversary, the people who recorded the albums, drove cross-country in failing vans, and made Vancouver pop music matter, speak for the first time about the label that they love &emdash; and that truly loves them back.

  • Kaitlin Fontana is a Vancouver, BC, based National Magazine Award winning writer whose work has appeared in SPIN, Rolling Stone, Exclaim!, the Walrus and Maisonneuve among others. Fresh at Twenty is her first book. For more information, visit

  • Published: October 2011

    ISBN: 9781770410046

    Dimensions: 6 x 9 in.

    Pages: 400


“Whether you’ve followed Mint since the early days or you’ve never heard of them before, Fresh at Twenty is a fast-paced look at a golden age of Canadian popular music that still thrives today.” — Ubyssey

"Fresh At Twenty tells Mint's story in the words of Baker, Iwata, Mint acts and contributions from Grant Lawrence and Nardwuar. Thus there is a frankness as well as a freshness in the book's many anecdotes. It's engaging to read.” — The Province

“The book naturally reads like a conversation. Fontana contextualizes and allows the bands and the label to do all the talking. Her voice is heard only through the brief introductions every couple of pages — questions are omitted and only answers are given. Band members reminisce on page as they would at the bar.” — Discorder

Fresh at Twenty recounts the perfect storm of talent and hubris, friendships and rivalries that made Mint what it is today, reaffirming its place in history as the little label that could." — Westender