Biography

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Thumbs were a punk rock band from Baltimore, Maryland. They were active from 1995 until approximately 2002. They were known for having an intense touring ethic, having completed nine U.S. tours, and two Japanese tours between 1997 and 2001. The band was formed by Mike Hall, Bobby Borte, and Mark Minnig, however Hall and Borte remained the only constant members amidst constant drummer changes.

History
The Thumbs were formed when Mike left his former band The Pee Tanks and Bobby and Mark left their former band Rubber Sole. While active, The Thumbs released records on their own Sneezeguard Records, as well as Soda Jerk Records, Adeline Records, and Snuffy Smile.

Members
Mike Hall - Vocals, Guitar (1995-1998), Vocals, Bass (1998-2003)
Bobby Borte - Vocals, Guitar (1995-2003)
Mark Minnig - Vocals, Bass (1995-1998)
Tom Fortwangler - Drums US Tour Sept 1998
Phil Spence - Drums (1996-1999), Sprague Dawley Rats recording (1996), Sweet Merciful Crap (1997), Make America Strong (1998)
Lee Ashlin - scattered appearances in late 90’s, 2001-2003 Japan Tour #2 Sept 2001
Randy Rampage - Drums (1995-1996), selftitled 12” 1995, All Lesser Devils recording 1999, 2nd Snuffy Smile 7” recording 2001
Roman Kuebler- Drums (2000-2001) Last Match recording
Bug - US/Japan Tour Sept 1999
Friendly Pat - US Tour March 1999
Jason Gambrel - US Tour Jan-Mar 1997, Eldon recording 1999
Pat from Crispus Attucks - Eldon recording 1999

Discography

EPs
Sprague Dawley Rats - 7” EP Sneezeguard Records
Sweet Merciful Crap - 7” EP Soda Jerk Records
All Lesser Devils - 7”/CD EP Adeline Records
The Thumbs/The Urchin - Split 7” on Snuffy Smile
The Thumbs/Jack Palance Band - Split 7” on ADD records
The Thumbs/One Leaf -Split 7” on Snuffy Smile

LPs
The Thumbs - 12” LP Sneezeguard Records
Make America Strong - CD Soda Jerk Records
Last Match - CD/LP Adeline Records

Compilations
“Dropping Food On Their Heads Is Not Enough”- GC Records -They Improve Ideas
52 Lessons on Life Reinforcement Records -They Improve Ideas
Every Dog Will Have Its Day, Adeline Records Comp.2 -Hour One
“Fast Music Comp” CD (Fast Music 2000) Song- Drug Screamer
“Might As Well Can’t Dance” CD (Adeline 2000.) Song- Ribbon Men
“Dear Fred: Standby For The Next Objective” CD (Sneezeguard, 1998.) Song- I Don’t
“A.D.D. Zine Comp” CD (A.D.D. Records, 1999.) Song- John Staab Pants
“Letters From Punksville” CD (Re-inforcement Records, 1998.) Song- Looking For The Cure
“Punx Just Want To Have Fun” cassette comp (8TH DImension Records, 1998.) Song- Sasquatch
“Breathmint Comp” CD (Breathmint Records, 1998.) Song- Happens All The Time (recorded at WFMU OCT 97)
“Punker Than Your Mother” CD (Soda Jerk, 1998.) Song- Pilot Fish
“North American Takeover” CD (Cloister Records, 1998.) Songs- Chrissy Snow, Fall at Your Feet
“It Takes a Dummy to Know a Dummy” CD (Dumb Ass Records, 1997.) Song- Sprague Dawley Rats
“If It’s Not Punk, It’s Junk” CD (GFY Records, 1997.) Song- Shuck
“Exploitational Sampler” CD (Creep Records, 1996.) Song- Chrissy Snow

Where are they now?
Mike and Bobby play for The Sick Sick Birds (http://www.myspace.com/sicksickbirds)
Lee Ashlin plays for The Fuses and Meanspirits
Roman plays for The Oranges Band
Mark Minnig plays bass in Kid Casanova(http://www.kidcasanova.com/) and runs a coffee shop in New York City



interview:

The Thumbs
Defective Rats, Millionaires Pissing in Sinks, and Relative Obscurity

By Todd Taylor
Sunday, March 18 @ 00:00:00 EST





The Thumbs songs sound like they’re being played as the band’s being pushed out of a moving van, wrapped in thick carpeting. There’s a lot of tumbling around, a lot of knicks and bumps, and they have so much velocity, like they’re rolling down a hill, picking up speed. The carpet’s the thin, protective layer of pop’s hooks and choruses that keeps ‘em from disintegrating completely. I like that quality in songs.
For reasons that keep me scratching my chin, The Thumbs are still relatively unknown. This is a shame. They tour like motherfuckers. They’re great live (picture good-natured wolverines attacking microphones and instruments), their albums keep on getting better, they’ve been around for five years, and they’re super nice, super approachable guys.

All pictures by Todd

Mike: Bass, vocals
Roman: Drums
Bobby: Guitars and vocals


Todd: Give me the condensed lowdown of The Thumbs. How long have you been together? What’s with the exploding drummer syndrome?
Mike: Five years now. Started in ‘95. Almost immediately went on a brief Canadian tour, ten days, played six shows.
Bobby: Then we played one or two shows a month for awhile then we had some lineup changes. Randy was in The Great Unraveling, and they were touring with The Unwound and had all these great opportunities, so we kinda made a choice for him to get out of being the drummer. It’s been a lot of different drummers and a lot of different tours.
Todd: What would you do to improve The Thumbs?
Bobby: Well, we had two guitars before and that was pretty cool, but Mark went to New York. I like the direction that we’ve come. We’re evolving.
Roman: It seems to me that all you need to do is keep going and The Thumbs improve themselves …
Bobby: I’ll buy that.
Todd: [to Mike] Do the keys on your wrist ever get caught on anything when you play?
Mike: No. ‘Cause they’re always underneath. They wrap around and they bang on the strings sometimes and kind of make cool noises, but they never get stuck or anything. That would be a little embarrassing.
Todd: You need to be knocking on some wood right now… Roman, you’re drummer number what?
Roman: Ten.
Todd: What’s going to be your mode of death, like in “Spinal Tap.”
Roman: I will probably choke on someone else’s vomit.
Todd: Let me clarify, The Thumbs tours are actually named after the drummer, correct?
Bobby: That’s a new thing. We kind of finally realized, “Well, Jesus, we haven’t had the same drummer for a different tour.”
Mike: It all kind of begins to run together. To Roman’s the perfect one for a repeat. If he comes back, it can be “Roman Numeral II” tour.
Roman: That’s actually been thought of before.
Todd: Would you guys tour with a drum machine?
Roman: That would be Thumbs 2010.
Bobby: If it was shooting out fire.
Mike: If it was a drum machine that had arms, that would be one thing.
Bobby: They’d be, “Wow, they were great live.”
Mike: I totally felt the pressure going from four down to three to be more active and aggressive-looking. Going down to two, you pretty much have to be a monster. It wouldn’t be good.
Todd: Fill in blank. Hard work and determination get you what?
Mike: Self-satisfaction.
Roman: Slash frustration.
Bobby: Jesus, I don’t know. Righteous attitude?
Todd: What was the last thing that you heard that came out of someone’s mouth and you had no idea what they were talking about?
Mike: That just described the entire Japanese tour. “Yeah, thank you.” I’d spend the next hour trying to figure out what the fuck they said.
Todd: How as Japan?
Bobby: It was amazing.
Mike: Yuichi from Snuffy Smile brought us over. I think we were the first band that he brought over that wasn’t already kind of big shit in Japan. He brought Hot Water Music over, Discount, Braid, and Dillinger Four and people just went crazy over there for them and for us it was good shows every night but it wasn’t like everyone was jumping around and yelling our songs or anything, but it was more like playing a really great, solid tour. Hopefully we turned some heads and people liked it.
Todd: At this time in the scheme of things, what makes a good tour for you guys?
Bobby: The beginning of this tour was so good. We played all of these house shows and different, weird places and everybody’s in your face, microphones getting knocked down and into your teeth. You’re physically not able to play your songs because people are mobbing you. That happens to us a lot. That’s why we go to Aberdeen, South Dakota. Chattanooga is our favorite place. We seek those places out. You go on tour for a month - “OK, we’ve only got these many shows, these actual days we’ll be on the road,” so we have to play the best shows we can find and those aren’t necessarily the biggest shows. Sometimes they’re the shows that make us feel good about ourselves. I’m sure we can play a lot of huge, huge, big shows and nobody really gives a shit about us.
Mike: Fireside Bowl comes to mind.
Bobby: We’ve done that a bunch of times and Brian always hooks us up, but nobody really cares. There’d be three people there who actually want to see us. It’s cool, it’s fun, but it’s hard to keep on throwing yourself back into that with the same enthusiasm when you can go to some place that nobody’s ever heard of. The kids are just so happy and grateful and they just go so nuts. That’s what’s fun.
Todd: So why are you guys called The Thumbs, and, say, not The Stiff Middle Fingers? Do you feel you’re more Thumb-y? Is it an opposing digit thing?
Bobby: Didn’t haven’t anything else to call it.
Mike: It has absolutely no meaning. I always thought it would be cool to be in a band called The Thumbs.
Bobby: To me, it’s one of things, you say the word so many times, you sorta forget what it means. I don’t even really think about a thumb so much. It’s just the name of my band. Like Bad Religion, I don’t necessarily think about religion when I say that.
Todd: If your music could be a piece of clothing, what would it be?
Mike: A blue pocket tee.
Bobby: It’s starting to get a little worn thin. There’s a little hole next to the corner of the pocket.
Todd: How do you define yourself and how do you define yourself as a band?
Roman: I define myself by whatever I do. You always try to make it good but it’s not always good and a band is the same thing. It’s activity. It’s not that you’re out to prove something to anyone, it’s about experiencing things. Right now, it’s what’s outside of my -town and what’s outside our scene at home and trying to get out and seeing who’s around and where people are at. I often define myself by the relationships that I keep and how they reflect on me and how they make me feel and the same thing goes for the band. If you’ve got a band and you enjoy the music and you get to go around and meet all of your friends, and play just about every night with someone you know and that you enjoy seeing, well then it’s relatively successful. If you have financial troubles doing that, actually physically making it from town to town, that’s disappointing but that’s rarely the case.
Todd: Do you think of tours as like 50/50 vacations?
Roman: Absolutely.
Bobby: It didn’t used to be. We played with The Jack Palance Band in the beginning of this tour and we got to hang out with those guys and they were amazing and then we couldn’t wait to get here because we get to hang out with Tiltwheel. When we hit Minneapolis, we get to hang out with The Dillinger Four and we actually get a couple days with those Panthro UK United 13 guys and even though they’re not together, we’re trying to get a petition going to get them back together. You have all these people that you love. You can play and show off and you can drive them to play better and it’s not like, “Yeah fuck them,” it’s more like “‘Wow, I love you.”
Roman: I’ve always thought that tour is part vacation. For me, when we’re at home, our time is constantly filled with these tasks, whether you’re working - especially before the tour we were doing websites and t-shirts, and I was, personally, just freaked out. I was moving out of my house, selling my car, getting another car, and it was incredible amounts of stuff and it had my stomach tied in knots and I’m just thinking, “Two or three more days and I’m out of town and I don’t have to worry about it.” And when you get out of town, you just sit back and relax. You’ve got nothing to do. You’re in this car so you sit there and you think for eight hours and it’s really nice.
Mike: It is a weird feeling. Your sort of know, for example, that we have thirty-six hours before we leave for this fucking tour. We have to get this and this and this done, but you have to get in the van and drive away and once you’re in the van, it’s like “All right, whatever didn’t get done, fuck it,” and it’s a great feeling, really.
Bobby: It’s weird, too, because as you tour more, you’re living your life, you’re busting your ass, but then you sort of know, “I’m going on tour in a month.” It’s like this great escape. It also affects your relationships too, because when we get back to town, it will either exactly the same or it will be completely different. There’s no way you can get that back. It’s like Rip Van Winkle. “What the fuck happened?” Completely different. Roman’s doing this tour. He comes back and does a tour with The Oranges for a month, he’s back for less than a month and we go out for three weeks and then he comes back for another month, then he’s out for a month, and then we go out for a week.
Roman: And out for another month.
Bobby: I just can’t wait to just watch him. It’s like that time machine movie where you’re just watching the city grow back up again.
Roman: When I finally do come back from it all, everyone’s going to be old and shit. I’m going to be regular.
Todd: What’s your tuning technique? Because I realize, the last shows I’ve seen, you don’t get that knocked out of tune often.
Bobby: I think it’s kinda superstitious. We’ve got some big shows that are coming up that we want to play really well and I’m like, “I should really change my strings,” but I’m like, “That’s the kiss of death right there.” Start breaking ‘em. I’ve got really thick strings on my guitar. My guitar - I beat it up. We tune but we try to do it as quickly as possible.
Bobby: [to Mike] Lately, you use the tuner and I tune to you. It’s pretty quick. When we first started, I had this really cheap Fender guitar, when I was playing guitar in the band, and it was set up so if you broke one string, the whole thing went out of tune. So we’d play a song and break a string, we’d sound like shit the rest of the night. You can’t fix it.
Mike: And some times it’s passable. I don’t give a fuck. Other times, you’re just like, “Well, it’s a good song. I kinda want them to hear it at its best,” so we just try to do it as quickly as possible and wrap the strings around and carry two guitars.
Todd: Bobby, you’ve said that The Thumbs songs were complex - in a pop context - how so?
Bobby: I think we are very critical of the songs we write. We just wrote a song, one of the first songs we wrote with Roman - and it’s totally, quickly written. Mike came with all this stuff and it was, “Yeah, yeah, let’s do this.” It was so fun. There wasn’t a whole lot of deliberation or grueling working on it. And there’s other songs that we’ve sort of pieced together and they’re a lot harder but they’re complex and they’re good, too. People sometimes don’t realize what’s going on until they actually have to sit down and figure out the songs. There’s usually a lot more going on than three chords. Other times, we actually try to balance it out. If there’s some really weird thing, we’ve got to come back with a really catchy thing. Somebody might go, “What the fuck? That’s not complex.”
Todd: Have you ever had a cover song that’s been vetoed out of being played?
Mike: I think we haven’t got around to some. Bobby’s got a Black Flag song he wants to cover and we haven’t really gotten around to learning it.
Bobby: I think the song in its entirety would be vetoed, but we’re probably going to cut out a verse.
Mike: They play that fucking song too long.
Bobby: Not to tread on hallowed ground or anything, but they went on a little too long.
Mike: They should have wrapped it up… Generally, we would pick up a cover right before tour or during the tour and play it through that tour and then kind of stop playing it. But we do The Smiths song (“Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want”). It’s a new thing for us to have a cover on a record.
Todd: What job did you leave back home?
Bobby: I shrink wrap boats for months. I finished, so I was just dicking around.
Roman: I was a graphic designer at a science museum and I quit to go on tour.
Mike: I’m an administrative assistant for a lobby group in D.C. Just answer the phones and type shit. A little cubical job. It’s good.
Todd: You’ve got a degree in history?
Mike: I kept on changing my area of focus. Basically, 20th century, U.S.
Todd: Name either a really interesting fact or one thing that most people don’t know and should.
Mike: Maybe this is changing now a little bit, but Malcolm X., the actual, real civil rights movement. I remember being in grade school, Black History Month, and it was so fucking bland and tame and we learned about George Washington Carver inventing peanut butter. You got a little bit of Harriet Tubman and a lot of Martin Luther King Jr., and that’s great, but there’s so much going on. It’s a pretty young country and we’re still dealing with a lot of problems. You’ve got Martin Luther King, Gandhi-style pacifism. And Malcolm X. He’s a little bit more of an enigma but they were fighting for the same thing. It was avoided conspicuously. If you’re going to learn it, you should learn it and start learning when you’re six years old instead of when you’re twenty or twenty-two or when you’re on your own.
Todd: What’s the largest reoccurring theme in The Thumbs lyrically?
Roman: How about booty shaker?
Bobby: We’re usually pissed off at something.
Mike: Anger.
Bobby: Frustration and stuff. You just react to anything that you’re dealing with in your life and you take those emotions and then for awhile now, we’ve been putting it in the context - like historical or some strange metaphor - and you focus all of those emotions and you put them in this other and it’s disguised, but it makes it so much more real to us, but at the same time you’re sorta telling a story about something that is just sort of interesting, to us.
Mike: It’s like you wanna not be obvious but you want people to know what the fuck you’re talking about and that’s the balance.
Bobby: And we really found we have to beat people over the head with it. “Sprague Dawley Rats” is this really cool story. And they’re like, “They’re singing about rats. Cool.” They think it’s sort of catchy.
Mike: The Sprague Dawley Rats are a brand of laboratory rats. Basically, these rats are bred for research, mostly in America. I don’t know how long this company has been around but they do really well and somebody did an experiment; these are inbred rats, born and raised just to be carved up or rubbed up or whatever. But someone did this experiment where they went to this island and let them go to see if they had the survival instincts still. The rat is a survivor. They’ve been around for so long. And they wanted to see, “Did this get bred out of them or are they still rats?” They dropped them off and they came back and they found their little skeletons. They got totally devoured by the native rats. They couldn’t cut it.
Todd: So they’re domestic rats.
Mike: Yeah. Exactly. So that’s sort of the song - “What the fuck am I? I’m not what my shell is anymore.”
Todd: So why do you guys yell so much when you play? You seem very mild-mannered off stage.
Bobby: We call it crooning and we call it screaming. Sometimes we try to balance the two out. Sometimes stuff’s really catchy if we’re good. Definitely, when we’re on tour, it’s all like “rraarrrgghh.” Sometimes we need to make a part tough because it’s too catchy or too pretty. Sometimes we make a weird part. We calm it down a little bit by making this catchy, crooning part over it.
Mike: We’re about energy, at the shows especially. Hopefully, on the records, too. I like the way I sound better when I’m singing kind of high and really loud. I love Joe Strummer but I don’t have the voice to do that. I just try to what sounds good.
Todd: What was the first record you broke, either intentionally or by accident?
Mike: It was a 45. The Cars. “Let’s Go.” By accident, definitely. I wish I still had it.
Bobby: I think I broke that Elton John “Yellow Brick Road” song. 45. On purpose.
Roman: They Might Be Giants. “Lincoln.” Melted in my car by accident. It pissed me off but I’ve replaced it since.
Todd: What’s the estimated average of people that attend your shows - smooth it all out.
Bobby: Twenty, twenty-five people. That’s at home, too. That’s a good night for us.
Todd: Why do your CDs sound so poppy and you guys live don’t sound that way?
Roman: I think that has a lot to do with time. It was a long time ago, that last CD.
Bobby: On one hand, we probably sounded poppier with Mark. That’s his style. He was just an amazing bass player and when he left to do animation stuff, Mike jumped back and Mike’s style is distorted bass and it went from the Karl Alvarez, cool bass lines. That changed right after he left.
Mike: Part of it, it was just mixed really poppy, too.
Bobby: We didn’t really fully realize how far up front our vocals were on that CD, which is cool. It’s one of those things. I like Dillinger Four. Those guys, too, bury their vocals for the most part. You’re straining to hear it, some of that stuff, but it fucking rocks, it’s so good. But it helps because it’s pulled back just a little bit, whereas our stuff was pushed up a little bit. It was still really good but you can hear the imperfections a little bit better. I think that this stuff that’s out now on Adeline is our favorite stuff so far just because it was on a lot less of a budget, fewer tracks, and just tougher and done back just a little bit.
Todd: Number one unsigned band in America? Unsigned, meaning putting it out themselves.
Mike: Jack Palance Band.
Bobby: Yeah, I agree.
Roman: Spoon.
Todd: Spoon, not the LA Spoon but the one that was on Matador?
Roman: They’re not on Matador any more. They went major label then they got dropped. Now they’re unsigned.
Todd: During the tour, how do you dry out your towels?
Mike: They usually don’t dry out.
Bobby: Sometimes I just use other people’s and sorta put them back on the rack really carefully so it looks like I didn’t use them.
Todd: What’s the dirtiest, most disgusting place you’ve ever stayed at?
Mike: The Kirby House in Chattanooga, Tennessee.
Bobby: It was during the summer and we’d been touring for nine weeks. We were in over 100 degree heat in the South. They were like, “You can stay at the house that we’re going to, go to bed and there’s no air conditioning, and you can go to sleep or you can go to the Kirby House and they’re up all hours of the night. It’s a party house. You can get drunk and pass out.” We thought if we went to sleep we’d be dreading the heat, so we’ll go to the Kirby House, drink, and go crazy. They didn’t have running water. You had to go to the bathroom in a bucket. They had these rats that had tumors and were just nasty. Basically, all these people lived in this one house, total squalor. We brought some beer in and they were totally respectful of all our stuff. They had nothing and opened themselves up to us. It was a really cool thing. Dirty place. It was also a blast.
Todd: What’s a Baltimore colloquialism?
Bobby: “Hey hon.” A waitress would be like “Hey you’se hons.”
Mike: “I’m as tired as a chicken” is another one.
Roman: I’ve never heard of that.
Mike: What, you’ve never heard of that?
Roman: That’s ridiculous.
Bobby: He’s just trying to start that. He’s been doing it for five years.
Mike: Everybody’s saying it down there.
Todd: Name the two musicians who are fighting it out in your head when you’re playing a song.
Roman: Mine is Rob Oswald versus Lyle Kissack. Lyle’s a drummer from Candy Machine, a band in Baltimore who is really smooth, technically adept. His beats are just so groovy and kick ass. And Rob is the best drummer I’ve ever seen in my life. He’s just a monster and he’s incredible. His skill is out of this world. Just his enthusiasm is amazing and what he brings to any band he’s ever played with is just amazing. So, I’m trying to get a match between that sort of energy and focus and appropriateness verses the kind of smoothness and the style.
Bobby: Greg Ginn and Bob Mould.
Mike: I’ll go with Mark (former bassist) and the guy from NoMeansNo. I don’t know his name but I like the way he fucking plays. This fucking huge sound. That’s what I want to sound like, not as a band, but the same bass sound. I think we’re a guitar band. Every time I try to get that sound - I used to be in a band a long time ago - and played bass and the recordings were always murky and if you turned it up, it kind of sounded like shit. When you’re more of a guitar band, it sounds better the louder you turn it up and that’s kind of what I want.
Todd: I’ve used this question before, but it had good results. If god was riding shotgun for a block and a half, what one question would you ask him?
Bobby: I don’t know. Just tell him not to fuck with me.
Mike: I’d want to know if he had a favorite hockey team. And ask him why the Capitals can’t win the Stanley Cup.
Todd: OK, final question. Look to the left, to the person sitting next to you, and ask them one thing that you don’t know about them and would like to know.
Mike: All right Bobby, what was it like when your mom married your stepdad?
Bobby: It wasn’t a big deal, really. Worlds just sort of opened up. I think I’d be a different person if I stayed in Norfolk and I’ve been really lucky to do all the things I’ve done. I’ve got to see a lot of different things and I’ve slept on the floor of the Kirby House, I’ve seen billionaires piss in the sink, and I’ve done lots of things in between and it couldn’t have happened without that I’m sure I’d be a big music fan. I don’t know if I would be in a band. I just totally like my dad.
Roman: Mike, you have a family life now and you have a strong determination towards the band. You have a good mix of the two. I don’t want to ask if one’s a priority over the other, but how do you envision balancing that in the future with, hopefully, more success for the band.
Mike: I got married last May. It’s obviously really important to me. I love her to death. We’ve been together for nine years now. However you say “everything stays the same,” it doesn’t quite. It feels better to be with her but it’s still a little bit of added responsibility even though everything before the marriage was totally shared and the same. Still, there’s something a little bit different. It’s great. I think if I had a kid, that would definitely change things. It’s in the plans for the future. I don’t want to be out, cruising around, and call back home; “Yeah, he walked today.” or “‘He said his first word.” Maybe in five years, if we’re still playing, we may be making enough money, hopefully, to make the accommodations to bring my wife and the kid. And if not, I’ll probably be done by then. Right now, it’s great. Heather’s got her life and I’ve got mine and there’s points where they match up and there’s points where they don’t. And that’s great. I think it makes us both a lot stronger. It’s going really well.
Bobby: I’ve known Roman for a little bit, but the layers keep getting peeled off the onion a little bit. He blows my mind because he’s got all of these ideas all the time. I’m totally like that, too. He’s got all of these Spanish songs [in Roman voice] - “It’s a soundtrack to this movie I’ve conceived,” and I was like, what the fuck is he talking about? And he actually started whipping them out. And he’s like, “I’ve got five or six or ten of them.” I just wonder where he gets so much art and energy. You produce these things and ideas, and where does that come from?
Roman: I don’t know. I wish I could bottle it up. I’d sell it. I’m trying to think if it’s always been natural for me to do that. I haven’t been playing music for very long and I haven’t been listening to music - especially rock music - for more than eight or so years. When I was in high school, I was into rap music and things like that. I got into rock later and the way I got into it was kind of in the underground way. I wasn’t so into anything that’s been on the radio, almost ever. I got into the indie scene and there were bands that were coming into my house and I saw these people coming through, and I thought, “Wow, these are schmucks just like me. If they can do it, I can do it.” And so I decided, first of all, I’d like to play an instrument. I guess I’ve always been compelled to create something. So I pick up an instrument and start to play and my instinct is not to play something else, it’s to start something new and have something that I can call my own and I don’t know why that is. I don’t know if I could play any song, start to finish, that’s not mine, just because I’ve never really been able to do it. I’ve always almost been plagued by creativity to a certain extent because, in one sense, it’s great and you’re making all these things, but in the sense of “The Banditos,” which is my Spanish movie, this is an idea I’ve had for some time. I’ve always made plans to do something with it, and I’ve gone as so far as trying to get a screenplay together and get these ideas together but it always kinda grinds to a halt when something else overtakes it. I’m in four bands. I just don’t have time to do that and this and this and this and this. It goes on and on. To a certain extent, I do all this stuff and it’s great. But to a certain extent, I can be like, “I did all this stuff but look at all the stuff I didn’t do.” It’s a blessing and a curse. For now, I changed my position on it. Whereas it used to bum me out that I wasn’t doing things, what I’ve done recently is trying to get more control of my product and my output by saying, “What are the things I personally can control and how can I get them done? A lot of things depend on other people. For the most part, it’s hard to depend on other people.
Todd: Any final words?
Mike: Come to our show and be the twenty-sixth person. Raise our average up.

Edited by buster8079 on 1 Mar 2009, 06:14

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Formed in
  • 1995
Split in
  • 2002
Founded in
  • Baltimore, Maryland

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