Fusing shoegaze, post-punk, industrial, power electronics, and psychedelic pop, Austin-based ZNTH (pronounced either as “the zenith” or "the synth") was originally formed in the mid 1990s in Tallahassee, Florida as a lo-fi cassette tape project. The first incarnation of the group included a three-guitar/synth noise attack comprised of Mitchell, Theresa Smith (later of Home Blitz/De Trop) and Tom Fosburr (The Device/Nature’s Incubator) that lasted until the group relocated to Manhattan and Washington, DC in 2002. Prior to the move, the band released a variety of albums before signing briefly to DC-based Milquetoast records. Splendid zine had this to say in 2002: “With twenty albums to choose from -- opera, Japa-[noise] or IDM -- their style is maddeningly broad... There are glitchy software-constructed songs, there are indie-pop bounce and there's riot-grrrl-meets-calculator experimentalism … It's a ride that, on paper, sounds like a disaster waiting to happen, but is actually one of the more compelling things I've heard lately.”
Robot Blues was their first attempt at songwriting (2000), the cyberpunk trilogy The Old Ghosts delved into digital production and beat programming (2000-2001), and Opulent Erratique (2002) attempted to be a vocal-only musical two years before Bjork's Medulla replicated the same strategy.
With the softsynth/hyperprog epic The Maps of Unlife (2003) znth solidified it’s lyrical prowess in addition to it’s experimental production stylings. Despite critical approval and constant rotation on college radio, that album was the final release for the original lineup. The project continued as Mitchell’s vintage-synthesizer based solo project for the next few years, continuing to release a stream of increasingly more indie pop songs and building a buzz in the east coast underground noise/shoegaze communities. Znth performed a rare series of shows in NYC throughout 2006, collaborating with Serena-Maneesh during their first North American tour. The following year both znth and The Pains of Being Pure at Heart embarked on their first tours together up and down the east coast.
In 2008, Mitchell and long-term keyboardist Jordan Austin left New York and returned to their hometowns of Tallahassee and Austin to wrap up the recording of Quicksilver, intended to be the band's noise-rock opus and final full-length. After months of writing and recording the band called it quits, releasing the unmixed and unmastered version in June. In 2010 the band's original lineup briefly reunited for a show at SXSW. In 2011 znth participated in an installation art piece at the Austin Museum of Art. In 2012 the full box set of 32 full length albums was released in limited edition USB sticks, and the band reformed to painstakingly resurrect and re-record many of the albums released over the past 17 years at Willie Nelson's Pedernales studios.