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One Year Later – Mike Got Spiked

“Talkin’ To Myself”

“The Irish media won’t make up their own fucking minds on music – if it hasn’t been written about by someone else in some other country first, well the media isn’t interested.” – Harsh words spoken from sunny Los Angeles by Gavin McGuire, front man of Mike Got Spiked.

Los Angeles, where after losing faith in Ireland’s limited scene and suppressed press in 2007, Mike got Spiked relocated and rediscovered themselves as musicians.  Three years of constant touring in a foreign land, finally resulted in the band gaining a bit of press on home soil, when Sunday Independent met up with the Monaghan natives and fellow Irish band/housemates Jekyl.

Of the finished article, vocalist Gavin and the rest of the band felt ‘it was a little one sided but fuck it, we’re not complaining.  There’s no such thing as bad press.’

“Find Yourself”

Based in Los Angeles, home to drag queens and the genre scene, the band were quick to realise that the fish bowl had gotten considerably bigger and the Irish exiles began to build a scene around them.  In a few short months, the band had “befriended Jekyl, We Should Be Dead, Lorraine Maher, Eject, Seneca and Sirocco as well as all the solo musicians, artists, sound engineers and photographers from Ireland living in the City of Angels”.

Now in their fourth year consecutive year living the dream many Irish bands can only dream of, the band dedicated most of last year working on the business end of the industry, as vocalist Gavin explained that they “felt that we needed to concentrate on that end of things a bit more [and so] didn’t tour incessantly as in previous years, playing maybe 70 shows this year was a fraction of what we would normally play”.

“Speechless”

With touring being on the back burner for most of 2009, other opportunities arouse for the lads, such as a rare night of being in the crowd rather than on stage turning into the band acting as roadies for the legendary Alice in Chains in their local Whiskey A Go-Go.

“It was a great day and will live long in all our memories. Dave [Lodge, drummer] is the biggest Alice in Chains fan of the four of us, and getting to set up Sean Kinney’s drum kit and later meet him, was a very special moment for him.  I had never seen Alice in Chain perform live and it was a major kick to see them in such an intimate venue as The Whisky A Go-Go. They were amazing and something to aspire to” says Gavin.

Of their first time experience playing the venue, which is stepped in musical history, playing host to names like Guns N Roses and The Doors, guitarist Conall “found it actually lived up to the hype, and ya know, we just felt like total bloody rock stars after it, chilling out in the VIP area and seeing Lenny there in the Rainbow Bar N Grill, just hanging out with all the rich and famous of LA and us in our rags”.

“All You Need”

After finishing their most profitable tour in August, the band decided to celebrate by releasing a live acoustic album.  Recorded at The Cat Club in Hollywood on 5th October 2009, the album will be aptly titled ‘Mike got Spiked: Live & Acoustic’.  Mixed and mastered by fellow Irish man Jason Donaghy in Perfect Sound Studios in LA, it will be released 23rd April on download only.

The recorded performance, for Gavin, was his favourite moment of the year, telling us “the place was packed with friends, fans and just randomers alike; such a great atmosphere and a great night. The fact that we could record a live album, so far from home and still have a crowd in attendance, really made me realise how far we have come since we started out on this adventure”.

“We were adamant that we had to release a new CD this year as it had been years since we released anything and initially thought about just releasing an EP. However, our manager suggested recording a live acoustic show and releasing it. We instantly liked this idea as we have a pile of songs that only work in an acoustic setting. We are very proud of those songs but knew they probably wouldn’t make the next album. This way we get those songs out there and also showcase the subtler side of our song writing and performance”.

“To Have You Here”

After a brief appearance back home over the winter, during which they caught up with the scene they had grew up in, refreshed old friendships and reacquainted themselves with bottles of buckfasts, the band got together with Gigsmart and performed a one-off show in The Button Factory to the delight of their Irish following.

Now back in California, the band is currently holed up in Perfect Sound Studios in Hollywood laying down their sophomore effort.

Of the recording Gavin believes that “the music we are writing now far exceeds anything we have done in the past. The new album will sound very different from ‘Caveat Emptor’. Our first album was written and recorded when we were only in our relative infancy as a band. We were still figuring out what the ‘Mike got Spiked sound’ was. Of course that ‘Mike got Spiked sound’ is constantly changing and evolving but back then we had 13 songs and all 13 went on ‘Caveat Emptor’. We had our hands tied to an extent and didn’t have the luxury of picking our best set of songs. We just used everything we had”.

“Now we’re older, better musicians, better songwriters and have had three years of life in America. We have had to sacrifice friends, family and loved ones to do what we do, and all those experiences are reflected in the music that we are writing now and which will appear on the album”.

With a penciled release date of June 2010, the band plan to set up their own label to release the album.  But for those of you who can’t wait until then, Gavin and co. recorded their own version of Kerbdog’s ‘Dry riser’ for a tribute album towards the now defunct Kilkenny alter-rockers.

The album, ‘Pledge: A Tribute to Kerbdog’, was released last Monday (8th March), and also features covers by Jamie Lenman (ex-Reuben), and Frank Turner (ex-Million Dead).

For further viewing/info:

http://www.mikegotspiked.com/

http://www.myspace.com/mikegotspiked

Mike Got Spiked – Fool For The Ladies (Acoustic)

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