STM: So what do your fans have to look forward to on this new album?
Stokely: Excitement. We got, on this one, of course, more ballads. We got a lot more up-tempo, a lot more mid-tempo songs, a lot of emotion like you always get from Mint Condition, and a couple surprises.
Rick: [It's] a good album, a solid album. When you go to the store and buy this record, you're not going to buy three songs - you're going to buy an album.
Stokely: A deep album.
STM: In your own words, what sets you apart from other R&B groups?
Stokely: For one, we're a band, you know, a self-contained instrument. We're instrumentalists primarily. And pretty much when we say self-contained we mean that. It's like from the inception of a song we writing in teams, all together sometimes. Then we go on to the next step, you know, which is you record it, then you go and produce it, arranging it, then to now, the stage.
STM: Besides the instrument that each of you play, what role does each of you play in the band?
Rick: I'm the band photographer. I was fortunate, I guess, to do all the portraits in the new video and stuff like that, so that was great.
Stokely: Larry is like the band pilot. He can fly planes. We're trying not to have one of those major tradgedies though, so we been tryin' to split it up.
Larry: They won't fly with me.
O'Dell: He just flies equipment around, but we're gonna get close to flying with him soon.
Rick: Better not let nothin' happen to my guitar!
STM: How has your sound evolved from your first album to this album now?
Stokely: I think as you live you experience things in life and you grow more. It's like we don't read the same books we used to five, six years ago. You gotta change. It's just like winter, spring, summer, fall. I mean, there's changes you gotta go through in each one of those seasons, there's something that develops.
Rick: Sounds. New equipment you purchase. You know, there's newer drum sounds, there's a lot of things.
STM: It's been three years since your last album. What have you guys been doing?
Rick: Well actually, in between that time we did a lot of touring and stuff like that. We toured overseas - Belgium, Paris, Germany. We had the opportunity to play a lot of places. So it actually wasn't three years that we've been actually off. We switched the label. We were with A & M Perspective, and now we're with Elektra, and just taking on hobbies and stuff like that - [Larry's] flying and me doing photography - everybody's been doing a lot of different things on our little time off.
STM: So who did you work with on this album?
Rick: [Looking around at his bandmates] Jeff, Larry, O'Dell, there's Keri...
STM: Self-contained, right?
Stokely: And Charlie Wilson of the Gap Band was the only outside person we used.
STM: Now is there anyone you guys would really, really like to work with in the future?
Stokely: There's a lot of people. It's just time... the time's just gotta be right too, I think, on everthing.
O'Dell: But this project, the song with Charlie Wilson was like perfect. His voice just... whew! It's a song that's like right here, but his voice just takes it right on in to where it needs to be - home run! It's called "Pretty Lady," written by Stokely, and this brother here, Ricky, so look out for it.
STM: When you guys first got together, looking at yourselves now, are you right at the place you thought you were gonna be? Are you further that you thought you were gonna be? Are you just right? Did you project it?
Stokely: I think yeah, because our main objective is longevity and being able to maintain a certain level. It didn't have to be at a mega-status, but at a consistent status where we're comfortable, and I think that's the thing we've been playing for. So, I guess to answer your question, yeah.