It’s hard not to crack a joke about Mint Green’s name given the quartet sounds so fresh. That’s hard to pull off as a pop punk band, yet the local act—singer and guitarist Ronnica, bassist Brandon Geeslin, drummer Daniel Huang, and guitarist Frank Price—is in the process of doing exactly that.
Mint Green formed in fall of 2015, the summer after Ronnica graduated high school. She was between bands at the time, as many teens find themselves doing when relocating for college is on the horizon. So she did what any city dweller does and took to Craigslist to keep the band alive. After posting an ad looking for a drummer, she met Huang.
“He’s interesting because he had no pictures of him playing drums or videos or recordings,” Ronnica laughs. “So I essentially went in blind when meeting him, had an interview, and figured he was a nice guy. We started practicing at his apartment—on electric drums, of course—and the songs I had started coming together.” Things fell into place shortly after. Mint Green played its first show on Nov 16 of that year, performing mainly covers and two original tracks.
For Ronnica, the show was twice as significant; it marked the first time she performed as a lead vocalist and frontwoman. Given the band’s influences range from Paramore and Tigers Jaw to American Football and Best Coast, it seems fitting that Ronnica could step into a role that could inspire others the way those bands have done for a new generation of punk fans.
She doesn’t take the role of songwriter lightly, either. On the band’s newest single, “Take Care,” she confronts sexual assault with unflinching fortitude. “Take care of your spaces / Take care and be kind / Take care when I see new faces / Take care of my mind,” she sings during its opening, injecting a serious tone into an otherwise summery song.
“A popular venue that we’d play and that I’ve personally played many times in high school had a case of sexual assault on its hands,” she explains. “I was angry and distraught. It was one of the few all-ages and inclusive spaces in Boston. The song is about me knowing that the new manager wasn’t good news from the start, and how he ruined something that was so important to so many people. But also about moving on and how we’ll be okay and create a better space for all.”
Perhaps that determination is what sets Mint Green apart from other pop punk bands in Boston. Instead of singing about the easy topics, it explores knotted difficulties and tangled politics, subjects that should be—and often are—addressed in punk, but usually only in the hardcore realm. Hearing it sing about difficulties like that and others on its debut LP, 2016’s Growth, over twinkling guitar akin to Tigers Jaw, shows the band not only has plenty of promise, but plenty of room to create change.
Mint Green is aware of how it stands out, too. “We’re female-fronted; there’s also two people of color in our band, and we find ourselves playing in white, male-dominated spaces all the time. So me being front and center and playing instrument is always something they don’t see everyday,” says Ronnica. “Daniel, who graduated early from Columbia University in Biomedical Engineering, is pretty quiet and reserved if you ever meet or talk to him, so [the] fact that he’s our drummer, the loudest part of the band, is pretty intriguing as well.”
To the rest of the members, the band stands out in other, more important ways. “I’d just like to say we have the best hairdos and outfits in the scene,” says Price. “Case closed.”
MINT GREEN, (T-T)B, CANKER BLOSSOM, SHIVER. WED 4.19. MIDDLE EAST UPSTAIRS, 472 MASS. AVE., CAMBRIDGE. 8PM/18+/$10. MIDEASTOFFERS.COM