All Murder Photography by Rebel Photo
You have a past in Hardcore, don't you?
Mike: Yes, I played in a band called Brother's Keeper for almost nine years. We put out several albums (most on Trustkill Records) and toured all around the world. I had my first chance to travel as a roadie for the band Snapcase. I was a terrible roadie, but I fell in love with the road, was inspired by the experience, and worked very hard to get our band out of our hometown. It was a life-changing process and I learned a ton from it that I still value today. Things were very different then, we did everything ourselves... and sans internet! Holy smokes!
Blah, blah, blah! It would seem to me that since you've ran into me, it was all for nothing! I also heard that you have a brother in Hardcore.
Mike: Actually, no. I do, however, have a brother who is a Corrections Officer in a state prison
Mike: (Laughs) It's true!
Does he look hot in his uniform?
Mike: I thought that maybe you ran into him during one of your many stints in the joint?
No. I've got to make it a point to spend more time getting to know the guards next time. I always spend my time in the shower room, dropping my soap.
The A.K.A.S music is Nu Wave. Am I right or am I right?
Mike: I like to think of it as a collection of influences combined from the most critical times in recent history... late 60's rock and roll and late 70's/early 80's with a contemporary twist.
That sounds like a bunch of artistic, mortal mumbo-jumbo. How and why did the band come together?
Mike: We started the band as a reaction to what was going on musically and culturally. We wanted to do a band that, if anything, filled a gap by creating something that we ourselves liked. We were interested in combining a lot of different influences, including a very danceable side to keep the fun up in contrast of the edgy rock and punk aspect of the band. As far as how we came together, it's been on ongoing mission to keep five, like-minded rockers on board to keep pushing the music and the message forward.
Do the young mortals understand this?
Mike: Sometimes, but not necessarily. It's not really all that important that they know where the influences came from as whether they have fun and enjoy it according to whatever interpretation they have. With the wide range of ages that we play too, some of the younger folks just don't have the background. It's interesting that we've gotten a lot of parents of our fans that really like us and have cool references and comparisons for us. I take that as a huge compliment. It's a challenge to cross generations in that way... so I'm stoked.
Tell me about your stand against cruelty to animals with PETA.
Mike: Being opposed to animal cruelty is common sense. There are a ton of reasons for taking the stand, including a vegetarian diet being more healthy than meat-based, being better for the planet and the conservation of land and water, and the knowledge that we're not contributing to the unnecessary and cruel treatment of living creatures.
I enjoy contributing to the cruel treatment of living creatures if said creatures are in a meddling band!
Mike: (Laughs) Well, Maris, we realize it's everyone's individual choice, but one that we feel strongly enough about to put up for discussion and create a forum for awareness and debate about it. That's why you can find us taking part in the occasional PETA2 Campaign.
Who among The AKAS is vegetarian?
Mike: Two of us are vegetarian, Justin is Vegan. I've been vegetarian for 14 years and loving it! There are so many awesome meat alternatives available today.
There are no alternatives to BRAINS!
Mike: Before I went vegetarian, I was skeptical of the whole thing until I heard the statistic that one person going vegetarian for a year saved one acre of land. I thought that was crazy, and I love the idea that one person can create such a difference.
What other social issues plague the band's consciousness?
Mike: We're currently working diligently to raise awareness and inspire people to take better care of the planet. There are super simple steps you can take to make a huge difference. It's something that affects everyone, so it is something that people should take very seriously. You can visit our Myspace page and ongoing blogs to find out more info. Our most important issue is to rock. We do it relentlessly and without warning. Your readers should be aware that we come to town to get down, no fucking around.
Is your wee wee straight or bent when erect?
Mike: It's straight. You can hang a flag from it and sing the "Star Spangled Banner."
There are some that say the music industry is dead due to the fans downloading and file sharing as opposed to buying music. What is your stand on the issue?
Mike: Record labels lost the ability to sell records, and instead of concentrating on a new way to make that happen, they are figuring out new ways to make money off bands to make up for their non-creativity - like taking a percentage of merchandise and touring. Since the only way a band can make money is to tour a million days of the year... and with the current price of gas... pretty soon, music will be fucking nonexistent except for in Disney Movies and Car commercials.
And...MARIS THE GREAT and the FAGGOTS OF DEATH!
Mike: Despite the convenience and the acceptability of file sharing, if people really love music, they should buy records to support the bands that they like. Instead of eating at Taco Bell twice, you can own a record forever and know that you are contributing to the band's ability to exist.
Yes, but let's be honest. Even if there was no such thing as music theft, it would still take selling A LOT of CD's to make a meaningful impact, wouldn't it?
Mike: It would only take ONE if that listener was inspired or affected by it in a way that changed their perspective and the way they approach the world. That is the goal. Take that times a million and we're all stoked.
Let's talk about a couple of your videos. In the "Dead Flowers" video, I kept on looking for the female mortal that was crooning with you, but didn't see one. Who is the vagina in the song? Josie?
Mike: (Laughs) that's amazing. Although it sounds female, it's actually a dude. It is our friend JT from Hawthorne Heights. He lent us a hand on the song and we are very excited about how it came out.
Speaking of Josie and the vagina, what is she like when she is going through her menstruation cycle?
Mike: Have you seen Apocalypse Now?
(Laughs) Got it! The video for Shout Out Loud was interesting. Did any of those skaters wipe out into the band?
Mike: As a matter of fact, while we were filming the band playing in the bowl, and there were three dudes skating at once, we blew a fuse in the skate park and the entire place went pitch black. You could hear the guys in mid-air screaming and two of them ran into each other. We remained unscathed and they were both okay, but it was pretty crazy.
Tell me about the new CD
Mike: The new CD is called "Everybody Make Some Noise!" and is 12 songs of righteous punk rock and roll that will cause riots and fucking in the city streets and suburban strip malls. It has radical guest appearances from Chris #2 of Anti-Flag, JT from Hawthorne Heights, and the legendary Jello Biafra of Dead Kennedy's.
They will all die!
Mike: The most important thing about it that we are proud of is that it is a fun album. Check it out!
Since my band is going to steal your songs and say we wrote them (you'll be dead so there's nothing you can do), which song do you think would be perfect for The Faggots of Death?
Mike: All our songs are awesome hits and guaranteed to make you totally and completely famous. I recommend "In Case I Die Tonight," not only due to the irony of the name, but it is rather simple. Hopefully with your rudimentary musicianship you may be able to tackle it...
Mike: But it will still take a lot of practice and hard work.
(GASP) It's a good thing I'm going to kill you following this interview!
Mike: Good luck, and please look after our dog Zeus for us after we're gone. You will have a lot in common as he loves humping dudes. Also, FYI, I prefer an organic funeral. Thanks for everything!