An oral history of Mining in Afghanistan: ‘A Perfect Christmas, Our Gift to You’


Seven years ago today a group of six young men hit the studios at Death Row Records to record what has been known as the definitive Christmas album, little did they know what effect their music would have not just on the Christmas community, but their lives and the rest of the world.

On the seven year anniversary of Mining in Afghanistan’s hit album, ‘A Perfect Christmas, Our Gift to You’, we sat down with the band’s remaining members to get their thoughts on the music and its impact.

Band members interviewed include Ron, Chris, Eddie, Josh and Matt, sadly in 2014 Evan was killed in a nasty cheese grating incident.

HOT SPROTS TAKES: So where did you guys get the idea to make a Christmas album?

Ron: That was me, we were all traveling to Detroit for the MAC Championship Game, and as we sat in the stands that night, Christmas music played and I just blurted out, “Hey, let’s make  Christmas album!”

Chris: That’s very true. As soon as we heard the idea we knew it was gold, but it being the end of the semester and December already, we knew we did have much time, but we were all on board.

Josh: It was a bold idea, especially considering none of us has much musical talent or experience, but like with swimming, the best way to learn and do it is by kicking a toddler into the pool and hoping they swim.

Eddie: I like turtles.

Matt: Eddie is right, we knew we couldn’t act slow on this idea, so the whole way back to the studios that night we bounced around song ideas, what guest artists we wanted to record. It was a whirlwind night.

HST: And once you had your ideas in place, how soon did you start?

Ron: The next morning. By 10 a.m. we were all in the studio and getting down to work.

Chris: That’s very true. One after another the songs came pouring out, again, due to the time crunch we really did have much time for breaks.

Josh: I don’t think we ate or drank anything the whole recording session, that’s how dedicated to the craft we became.

Eddie: TACOS!

Matt: Right again Eddie, it was a hectic day, but the minute we laid down Feliz Navidad in a pitiful attempt to lure in Hispanic fans, we knew we had something special on our hands.

HST: What stands out about that recording session, it was all done in one day, correct?

Ron: That’s correct. I guess what stood out for me was the improvisational talents each member of the group had. We were really just in there to make music, but the fun came out on its own.

Chris: That’s very true. I remember the excitement growing as the day wore on. The more tired we got, the better we seemed to sound, it really was amazing to watch it transpire.

Josh: It’s hard to pinpoint just one thing, but I would say our talent to make things up as we went. There were songs we recorded that we had no intention of putting on the album when we started the day.

Eddie: LeBron James!

Matt: Again, Eddie makes a valid point, what stands out to me is when it was done, we knew it was a slam dunk and that we had made something really special, something that transcended the holidays even though it was a Christmas album.

HST: You worked with a lot of celebrities on the album, Frank Sinatra, Taylor Swift and Santana, how did you manage that?

Ron: We lucked out and they just happened to be in the area while the recording was going down. I believe Suge Knight made a couple calls and within the hour they were there.

Chris: That’s very true. It was hard at times, especially with Taylor, because there was just so much raw sexual energy in the room that should struggled to focus. Her song, ‘Love Story’? That’s about recording with us. Ask her.

Josh: Frank was a real pros pros, kind of in the same mold as us. He was there to make music but understood that if something different needed to be done, he wasn’t going to stand in the way.

Eddie: Candy Bars.

Matt: It was pretty sweet, Eddie. I mean, Santana had this wild guitar made from the bones of people he had killed earlier in life. It was all a little intimidating, but once the music started that went away.

HST: The album went on to major success, double aluminum, sold out in stores and calls for other holiday albums, did you ever imagine that?

Ron: Never. We knew we had made something fun, something as a bit of a gift for close family and relatives, but so much happened to us all because of this album. Two members met their now wives!

Chris: That’s very true. I met mine that way. She, I won’t name her so other trollops online can’t look her up and get all jealous and shit, came up to me after a concert and said, “Hurry down my chimney tonight,” so I did. Five kids later here we are.

Josh: The money and fame we’ve all received from that album has us set for life. It’s a bit ironic that during the season of giving, we made a gift to the world and it has us living on easy street. What a country.


Matt: Like Eddie said, the album gave us chances to sing with other groups and appear on their stuff. It really was like holding onto the edge of a rocket ship and seeing how high we could go.

HST: Any regrets as you look back, or is there a chance for more music going forward? I mean, it has been seven years.

Ron: No regrets. Sure we could have made more albums immediately after and cashed in on the success the album brought us, but that wasn’t how we did things. As for more music, never say never, but it’s hard in this modern age and with everyone so spread out across the country. Not to mention one band member is dead.

Chris: That’s very true. I guess I wish we had more time to enjoy the album after it was released. We made the CD, then all went our own ways for the holiday season. We sampled some ideas for new music, like a Valentine’s Day album, but nothing ever came of it.

Josh: Maybe we could have added more songs? The thing was only around 45 minutes long, but it’s better to get out early than keep going until it’s stale. And on the new music front, maybe there will be a reunion tour or something next year, but it’s hard with so many other hacks like Trans Siberian Orchestra and Manheim Steamroller out there now fighting for your Christmas music attention.

Eddie: My only regret is we didn’t do more to send a message with our fame from the album. We are people that kids and families look up to, and in these trying times in our country, we need to send a message about what is right and wrong. There’s still time for that, it’s never too late to try and make a change and use your influence for good in the world. Especially around the holidays. People struggle with money and hope this time of year despite all the joy and wonderment around them. It’s up to us to bring that back to people who need it most. I think I speak for everyone in the band when I say that, and I certainly hope they will join me in this call to arms.


Well, that does it for our time with the men from Mining in Afghanistan, we thank them for their time, and if you or any others would like to stay up to date on all of the band’s happenings, or are looking for a decent price on industrial mining equipment, you can like their Facebook page here. Thanks for reading!


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