Friday, January 18, 2008

Hey Yo Team On The STREET!

Here are some questions that were given to me by your leader/organizer Katie. I guess a bunch of these applied more when I was on tour, so they're a little late to the punch, but I'll answer them to the best of my current abilities!


I am joining The Redwalls for their Letterman performance this upcoming Wednesday, January 23rd. I'm going to be a production assistant, so I'll snag some backstage shots of the whole thing. And you'd better like it!


What does everyone listen to on the road? Is it all individual IPods or something on the van stereo?

This varies from time to time, but I'd have to say the majority of the trips are spent locked into our own little worlds. Rono takes control of the stereo and it acts as his iPod for the journey. Though, every once in a while we'll all take part in something. The Ricky Gervais CD's we had were freaking hilarious! And we all laughed. Simultaneously. Creepy, huh?

What does everyone do in the van during the long stretches of travel?

I swear The Redwalls are actually bears beneath their exteriors. It's like hibernation season every time we get in the van. Doesn't matter if it's one hour or 12, every one will sleep. Even Rono starts to doze, and that's when my gummy bears begin to disappear...

Other than that, I would work on blogs, the guys would do phone interviews and the like, and Rono would manage the tour via iPhone and his crazy little bluetooth headset thing.

What bands/artists is everyone listening to/liking right now?

Well. I honestly have no idea. I always hear the Stones, Dylan, and more from that era coming out of Logan's little jukebox thing. Rono always had the weirdest radio stations playing. I definitely became a big Spree and Whigs fan just through the last tours. MGMT, Eisley, The Appleseed Cast, Matt Pond PA, Simon and Garfunkel, American Football, The Fire Theft and Pavement were all favorites of mine during that period.

What is the best part of your job? and...the worst part?

The best part is a tie between meeting all of you (and everyone in between) and the traveling. The Rooney tour way my third time around the country, and it hasn't gotten old yet. Little by little I get to learn a little bit more about all the places we go, and it makes me want to go back.

The worst part is probably sleeping on the floor every night, or that last day when you're burnt out and just want to get home, but you still have to find a place to crash, wake up early, get on a plane, sit around during your layover, get on another plane, and wait for the train to take me to the station where I can catch the trolley to my house all while carrying too much luggage. Yea, one of those two.

What is most surprising about Redwalls fans?

How dedicated the majority of you actually are. It's amazing how I met so many fans that would scale mountains without safety harnesses to see this band.

I know Ben used to drive sometimes... do you ever have to drive? Or someone else? Or is it always Rono doing all the driving?

I didn't actually start driving until the very end of the whole experience. I took the wheel only when Rono made me. I was really nervous about handling a van with a trailer full of expensive equipment that didn't belong to me. But once I did it I realized how easy it actually is. I'm sure the next tour that I join them on will lead to me driving much more. And then Rono can cool it on those gigantic coffees.

What has surprised you most in this experience?

That this kind of tour isn't very different at all than the tour my band booked themselves last summer. I really felt like it was small time in a lot of ways, which it definitely was, but the overall idea of a "tour" was essentially the same. It was actually MORE work on The Redwalls tours than Da Bears. Then again, they are on an entirely different level than us!

What is your favorite kind of cookie? Smile.

I have to go with good old-fashioned chocolate chip. Fresh out of the over warm and gooey when the chocolate morsels are still melty. Ooooooooh boy. Those and Pepperidge Farm's Brussels. They make Milano (?) cookies too, and the Brussels are SO MUCH BETTER! I am smiling.

Were you a fan of The Redwalls before this? If not, do you like it now, or has being completely immersed in it sorta made you tired of their music? Or has it never been the kind of music that you are interested in?

I honestly had never heard of The Redwalls before they were signed to my school's label. And even then I didn't realize how long they'd been around and what their story was. If someone described the music to me, I don't think I would go and look it up. It's definitely not typically the thing I listen to, but the blessing that came out of joining the tour was getting to see them live. I'm a huge fan of live shows, and if the band can pull it off there, it makes the CD so much more enjoyable. I really don't like listening to The Redwalls albums, because I don't think they do the band justice at all. To really understand this band, you have to see them live. I never got tired of watching the same show over and over again, as much as I may have made faces and comments about it, I can positively say that I enjoyed every show I was a part of.

Do you ever get numbers from fan girls?

Well now, that's an interesting question to pose! In fact, I did get several numbers while out on the road. Most of them were from Redwalls fans that I'd like to keep in touch with or that I got to see and hang out with more than once (Sarahjane, Lisa, Gen, Cara, Etc.). Other than that there were a few bits of paper thrown at me with numbers written on them. But seriously, what the hell am I supposed to do with that? If you want to talk to me then just do it, I'm a friendly guy! I won't call you if you give me a little crumpled paper ball. I get bored a lot sitting behind that table by myself, so talking to me would make me very happy!

How did you end up working merch for The Redwalls?

I got the job through the band's new label, MAD Dragon Records. I'm a senior at Drexel University in Philly, and they house the label, which is run by students. I'm way ahead cause I'm such an amazing student, so I thought jumping on a "real" tour would be great experience because it's something I want to keep doing and eventually get paid for. No one wants an n00b. This way I can integrate myself better in the future. Anyway, I set up an independent study for my fall term and remained a full-time student while on the road. The best of both worlds! Like I said before, I didn't even listen to the music before hand. I had had maybe ten minutes of contact with the band previous to me jumping into a van and starting the drive.

Are you in a band?
Yes, I am in a few. One is based out of San Diego called Da Bears, and were like an indie surf rock outfit. Just fun poppy music. And we are touring this summer, so if you like it I would be very excited to see you at a show! My other band is a solo project called living/breathing/singing/screaming, and that's Philly based. I'm working on an EP right now, and I want to get a band together so I can begin playing live. So much to do and so little time!

Do you plan on being in the music business forever, and if so, what path are you going to take after you're done with The Redwalls?

I can't answer this question right now. I don't even really have plans beyond the next few months. Where ever music takes me is where I'll go! I guess I can plan on working in the music industry, but it's so unstable I can't count on it. My main focuses are continuing to write music, touring and hopefully building a career for myself. As far as being done with The Redwalls... I don't think I'll ever be done with them. Getting involved in the music industry is a long term commitment, and I think that since The Redwalls are really the ones that opened the door for me I'm going to want to help them with whatever I can for the duration of either entity.


Ryan Solomon said...

Letterman?!? Thats fucking excelent! You gotta grab a tambourine or cowbell and sneak yourself onstage ;D

cara said...

thanks for the update, and for answering our questions! :)

if you have my number, call'd be great to hear from you! ;)

congratulations on letterman--i am looking forward to seeing your post!

and, are you going on the next leg of the tour? yes?

redlipsnpearlz said...

I am extremely excited for the tour, since LA is on the list now! =)
woot woot!!
I'm sure you can find a way to sneak on stage during Letterman...that would be awesome.

lisa said...

Yey for updates! BUT! I wanna hear this story that you told Cara in Indianapolis that you wouldn't share with us at the last Metro show!

I hope you have a blast next Wednesday night. I'll be sure to watch it. If you're not on the next tour with the guys, I'm sure I'll see you at the Drexel show. :)

Jessica said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jessica said...

thank you for answering our questions and good luck in your future endeavors!

Sarah said...

Thanks for answering our questions Mike, it was great getting to meet you at the Dallas and Chicago shows.

And I am seconding Lisa's comment. Please post the story you told Cara in Indianapolis, she is apparently a good secret keeper and won't spill the beans.