We’ve been hooked on Mikal Cronin’s self-titled album ever since it was released. Its garage pop sound has been intravenously dripped into our ears on a daily basis, feeding our new music gland a treat. What else could we do but give the guy a Call Back?
Bowlegs: Which album has been a major influence in your life, and why?
Mikal: My first favourite album was Nirvana’s In Utero. That was when I was ten. I’m sure I didn’t understand or appreciate it as much back then as I do now, but something about it hit me hard and it still really does today.
Bowlegs: What was the last album you bought?
Mikal: Emitt Rhodes’ Mirror. Also an early Beach Boys comp at the same time.
Bowlegs: Which bands have you been listening to this week?
Mikal: On tour right now … yesterday we listened to the Wipers, Robert Johnson, Flaming Groovies, and a whole lot of Keith Richards’ book on tape. We’ve also been listening to The Spits pretty much non-stop.
Bowlegs: Name an up-and-coming band Bowlegs should look out for?
Mikal: White Fence, Heavy Cream, Human Eye, Grass Widow and lots more great ones.
Bowlegs: Who is the best band you have ever shared a bill with?
Mikal: Oh man … really hard to say. I’ll cop out and answer my friends’ band, but still my favourite band, Traditional Fools.
Bowlegs: What was the first gig you ever went to, and who did you go with?
Mikal: Can’t remember really. But I do remember that the first music festival I went to was the Warped Tour way way back, maybe 14? Some huge drunk shirtless man spilled a full beer on my fresh and non-waterproof arm cast, so I reeked of beer for a week.
Bowlegs: What made you realise that being a musician was the career of choice?
Mikal: It was a process of trying other things, paths that seemed more responsible, like studying something in school that would lead me to a good job. I barely played any music when I first went to college, because I tried to focus on schoolwork. Then I was fucking miserable, and stopped trying to do that, started playing music again and realized it was one of the only things that makes me happy.
So I applied to a music school, and got in, with the thought of, “Oh well, I may never have any money to pay rent or eat, but I’m going to focus all I’ve got on making music and see what happens.” It’s working out well so far, I’m happy.
Bowlegs: What is your favourite music documentary?
Mikal: Spinal Tap. But as for real ones, I like too many. Bob Dylan’s Don’t Look Back and Dig! come to mind.
Bowlegs: What was the last film you saw, and was it any good?
Mikal: Nirvana – Live! Sold Out! Tonight! It is beyond good. Perfect.
Bowlegs: Name three great books Bowlegs must read?
Mikal: Life by Keith Richards; The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakmi; and a whole block of books by Kurt Vonnegut.
Bowlegs: What do you see when you look in the mirror?
Mikal: Usually dark circles under my eyes.
Bowlegs: Name a song that takes you back to a certain time in your life?
Mikal: I remember when I was probably seven or eight, I had a day where I sat on the ground in front of my parent’s stereo set-up with headphones, listening to a cassette version of Michael Jackson’s Black or White over and over again. I’m not sure why. But I just looked up the music video again and there’s a part where Macaulay Culkin plugs in a guitar and turns his amp up to ‘Are You Nuts!?!’ and blows his dad through the roof. I probably saw that on TV and thought it was awesome. I remember really liking the rap breakdown.
Bowlegs: What is your favourite album cover of all time?
Mikal: Oh wow … that’d be really hard to say. The first one to pop to mind is King Crimson’s In the Court of the Crimson King.
Bowlegs: What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
Mikal: A kid dressed as a zombie flailing around onstage at a Nirvana show in their documentary.
Bowlegs: Do you think music videos are important and do you like making them?
Mikal: Music videos are awesome. They’re really fun to make and I love watching them. I’m not sure if they’re still important in a commercial sense, because it’s been a really long time since I saw a music video on television. And I can’t remember the last time everybody was talking about a video they saw on the internet. But regardless, they’re awesome and I plan to make as many as possible
Bowlegs: Are albums still important or is it more about individual tracks?
Mikal: Of course albums are still important. Maybe not to everyone, but to people who really love music they are.
Bowlegs: What do you have planned for the next six months?
Mikal: I’ll be on tour for the next few weeks, then, when I get home, I’m going to sleep for a long, long time. Then write and record music through November, with a few shows here and there. There’s a west coast tour in December, and another tour in March. Then lots more touring playing in Ty Segall’s band. So, when I’m not touring I’m going to be as productive as possible and see friends and eat good food and do fun things.
Bowlegs: What is on your iPod?
Mikal: I just realized I haven’t seen my old broken iPod in a while … should probably track that down.