Thursday, April 16, 2009
5 Questions with Mike Gleeson of Lovebird
What to say about Mike Gleeson? From what I understand he seems to know what he likes. He once played drums for the hardcore outfit Glass & Ashes, which released 2 albums on the Gainsville, Flordia label No Idea Records, and consequently toured all over North America and Europe. In a recent conversation he admitted to believing that the moon landing was a hoax. Bigfoot and him are tight. His new band, Lovebird, is somewhat of a departure from past projects, for starters he isn't playing drums, but guitar. Their female fronted sound is already drawing comparisons to Mazzy Star and the like. He has been a safety pin in the Ventura music since before the days of Lazerstar. Wait and see what he does next.
1. What would you do if you found a bag of $500 on the street?
Well, I have to think about this realistically: There would probably be drug-money in the bag, right? And the chances of me picking up a bag on the street and actually looking inside are very slim... unless of course the bag sparked my interest for some reason. If I were to find such a bag on the street, chances are that I would find it on Main Street in Downtown Ventura, on my way to or from work. I would probably hold on to it for a couple days and not tell anyone that I found it. If I heard some poor sap crying about his or her lost bag of cash, then I would return it to them (and keep in mind, poor saps come into my work on a daily basis).
If that didn't happen, then I would probably tell the most honest person that I know and listen to what kind of advice they have for me... and after they "talk me into keeping it", I would spend it on the recording of my music. Remember, we're talking about drug-money here, so "morality" really isn't an issue. The old me would have just kept the money right off the bat and blown it on a huge bag of marijauna or something stupid. Actually, the current me might consider that too.
2. What was it like to tour Europe?
Awesome. There's an amazing network of kids and promoters out there that really make touring in Europe a lot easier and more fun than touring in the states. Also, it seems as if kids out there really do their homework and seek out new bands. I know kids out here do the same, but I've never played a new town in the U.S. where over 100 kids would come out to see my band without actually knowing anything about us. Braunschweig Germany was just that, and easily the greatest show Glass & Ashes played on our first tour of Europe.
Last Summer I had the opportunity to go out to London for a couple weeks to play the night clubs with Michael Runion and The Royal Family. It was a completely different kind of trip, more of a musical vacation, very relaxing. I was actually able to take in the sites for once. That's really the only problem with touring in general; there's a good chance that you won't be in any of the cities long enough to really take them in.
3. What is your most memorable show that you have played?
This is a tough one because so many great shows come to mind... but I'd have to say that playing The Roseland in Portland with Michael Runion will go down as one of my most memorable shows ever. It was the second sold-out show on Rilo Kiley's final west coast tour. The Royal Family played great, people that had never heard the music before were clapping and dancing, girls were shouting at Michael, telling him to take his shirt off (which was soooo surreal) and friends that I hadn't seen in years came out to the show. The Royal Family and Whispertown 2000 combined forces for one song in an attempt to bring the house down before Rilo Kiley took the stage. We did this at every show for the rest of the tour. It was rad.
4. What is a guilty pleasure band/musician of yours? One you can't help but like, no matter how "uncool".
I'm not sure what constitutes as a "guilty pleasure band" anymore. A long time ago I would have been embarrassed by admitting my admiration for Depeche Mode, in fear of being chastised by the punk rock community. But now I don't give a shit. I'll take "Never Let Me Down Again" over any Black Flag song any day of the week. You might call it blasphemy... or even kinda gay... maybe even "gayphemy". Whatever, you don't gotta be a dick about it.
I also really like Neil Diamond... but he's not even considered a "guilty pleasure" anymore. In fact, it's actually kind of "cool" to like Neil Diamond again. What the fuck happened??
5. What is up with Lovebird? How'd you get started, what are your plans?
Lovebird got together last Summer as a recording project between myself and the brutally talented Nicole Eva Emery. The two of us have actually played together off and on for about 7 years, but last year we decided to get off our asses and actually make something happen. We asked Brian Granillo to play drums with us... because he fuckin' rips and he's one stellar dude. We were also recently blessed by the addition of Ashley Heatherly. You wouldn't believe how hard it is to find a girl that can both sing and play keyboards (and bass!)... and Ashley totally rules it. My buddy Joe Baugh will be playing guitar with us for our first show at Nicholby's on April 8th. Joe and I were in our first band together back in 8th grade, so you can imagine how excited I am to finally play with him again after 15 years.
Lovebird plans to go back into the studio next month with our buddy Armand to finish up an LP for Blackbird Records. We should expect a release early this Summer. After that, who knows. We've been getting a little bit of press in the UK, so we're going to shoot for a European tour as soon as we can, which still may take a while. In the meantime, we just want to write music, play shows with our friends and have a good time... before the world blows up.