Mike is the bass player for Candiria. He talks about the tragic fucking bus accident that is the fuel behind the new CD. Read On.
MI: What is your birthday?
Mike: January 17th 1975.
MI: Tell us the story of how the band got together and what the name of the band means.
Mike: As far as I know I’ve never found any dictionary meaning. The name was with the group long before I was around. The band formed in 1992 while most of the guys were still in high school. Me and our guitar player John, two later additions to the band, joined on in ’97 and ’98. The name has always been in collection.
MI: What’s your favorite track off of the new album?
Mike: I really love the song The Nameless King. I feel like that’s the first song that we wrote with the idea that we wanted to add a lot of melodic feel to the Candirian style. It also has a good element of traditional Candiria heaviness as well. I also really dig the song 1,000 Points Of Light because it’s a true Candiria chaotic song with a heavy edge.
MI: Tell me about your music history growing up.
Mike: My mom was not a musician but definitely into music. She had one foot in the Rock N Roll scene and the other foot in the R&B scene. The first couple of albums that she gave me were AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, The Beatles…
MI: Tell us something you think everyone should know about each member of the band.
Mike: I’m a lot more approachable than most people think I am. Kenny, my drummer, is a complete lunatic in the best sense of the word. I think he’s the very best rock drummer to appear on the scene in years. I’ll put him against any rock drummer out there. Carely, the lead singer, is known within the band as the international man of mystery because he has a very mysterious aura to him. Eric would be perfect to own his own cooking show. John has been involved in the New York hardcore seen, probably against his will, for nearly 18 years.
MI: I heard the tour got canceled because Mercedes got sick. What the hell happened?
Mike: We don’t know. It was a pretty scary situation because the doctors couldn’t offer anything. She was in the hospital for a couple days and was then discharged because the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong. Then she started feeling really ill again. Everyone on the tour decided to end the tour and get her to Canada so she could recoup. One thing they did find was that she was suffering from extreme exhaustion and dehydration.
MI: What do you want your fans to know about the band?
Mike: We make music that comes directly from our heart and where we are in life at that time. We’ve never done anything that was pre-conceived. It’s all about expressing who you are and wanting to stay in the moment.
MI: What is the most fucked up thing you’ve seen on the road?
Mike: The craziest thing I’ve seen is three fifths of my band laying on the floor bleeding and unconscious. We were mauled by a truck in 2002. That’s why we were off the road for nearly two years. We were driving45 to 50 miles per hour and a large big rig, 18 wheeler, was driving about 95-100 miles per hour and drove through us. I had shoulder surgery, I have been going to physical therapy for nearly two years now for herniated discs in my neck as well as ruptured discs in my back. John broke his arm, his collar bone, and a couple of ribs. Eric broke about four ribs as well as his arm and his wrist. Kenny’s left ear was severed nearly completely off and had to be sewed back on. We were really fucked up.
MI: Tell me the most memorable show you’ve ever played live.
Mike: August 25th, 2001. Candiria was invited to perform in Japan at the Yokohama arena. It was the first big metalfest in Japan. We performed in front of about 5,000 people.
MI: Have you ever inhaled?
Mike: Oh, sure.
MI: What are your thoughts on legalizing drugs?
Mike: I think they should be legalized and taxed. I don’t believe that everyone should be doing it though. There’s a lot of people that can’t handle it.
MI: Who do you think the five greatest vocalists are?
Mike: Mike Patton, Bjork, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, and a tie between Freddie Mercury and Maynard from Tool.
MI: Where were you when 9-11 happened and how did it affect you?
Mike: I was in my apartment which was about a mile and a half or two miles from where the buildings were at. It was really, really bad. I woke up from the first explosion and was standing on my roof for the second. The wind was blowing my way on that day so my neighborhood was an ominous black and it stunk. It was a lot to deal with.
MI: If you could design a memorial for the victims of 9-11 what would it be?
Mike: I probably would design something in the tradition of the Vietnam veterans memorial. It would be something representative of each individual person.
MI: Who do you think is more honest, US news or overseas news?
Mike: Definitely overseas news. It seems more unbiased. If you turn to CNN or Fox or CSPAN it seems like they all have a different spin on things according to which political group they’re more geared towards.
MI: What do you think about the US involvement in the Middle East?
Mike: It’s tough. When they were first invading and looking for Osama I said “Yeah, this is what they should be doing.” The whole take over Iraq, to me, is a complete farce. I feel that we were not and never will be told the truth about the motive as to why we went into Iraq.
MI: What is your opinion on George W. Bush?
Mike: It’s time to put the puppet back in the box. It needs to be over for him. He tried to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes and apart of me says “Hey, nice try buddy.” He’s so not a leader. He really does not know what to do with himself.
MI: What are your thoughts on all these major festivals like Ozzfest, Lollapalooza, Warped Tour…?
Mike: I think that they’re really cool. They give fans an opportunity to see a lot of bands and they give the bands the chance to play in front of a lot of people. I don’t think it’s cool that some of these festivals require such a heavy buy on just to promote. I also don’t like the whole commercial commerce end of things. They don’t allow you to bring any food or drinks of your own on the premises so they take that chance to rape you on prices.
MI: What do you think about the MTV we grew up with as opposed to the new MTV these days?
Mike: It mostly commercial hip hop and garage rock. I didn’t get MTV until the late 80’s. I think it was more fun when groups were making completely ridiculous videos that were poking fun at themselves. MTV was a lot more about the music back in the 80’s. Now it’s mostly shows, even MTV2. I’m definitely glad Head Banger’s ball is back.
MI: What do you think about the Osbourne’s going off the air next year?
Mike: I thought it was great. I got bored with it after season 2 but it was a lot of fun.
MI: What’s in your CD player right now?
Mike: Currently, probably either the Twelve Tribes new album, the new Killswitch Engage record, or the new 18 Visions record… Maybe the new KiTTiE CD. Those would be the rock things. Otherwise, maybe some Marvin Gaye, Al Green, or Johnny Cash.
MI: What is your favorite movie of all time?
Mike: Apocalypse Now.
MI: If you were stuck on a desert island and could bring one book, one person, and one CD, and your favorite bottle of liquor, what would they be?
Mike: For the book I would bring Behold The Pale Horse by William Cooper, the CD would be the last double disc D that Queen came out with, the bottle of liquor would be Crown Royal, and the person would be my wife Amanda.
MI: What about the world pisses you off the most today and why?
Mike: The overall genuine lack of leadership. Someone or a handful of people need to grab the reigns and lead everyone. We don’t have the leaders we had in the 60’s and the 70’s. There’s a side of me that feels like I was born in the wrong timeframe because there’s no one to fight for me. Too many people are at odds over oil, and religion, and land… The most trivial things.
MI: If you were God for a week what would you change?
Mike: I would get rid of indifference. I would also get rid of the lack of emotion. A lot of people aren’t passionate about anything. It’s like they’re cattle being led to the slaughter house and they don’t even care.
MI: Do you believe in psychics?
Mike: I believe in psychic power. I don’t believe in the psychics that are on TV. We know Mrs. Cleo is a crock. I feel that my wife, in particular, has a connection. She doesn’t know how to harness it extremely well. In the 13 years we’ve been together she’s known about too many things to be written off as coincidence.
MI: Have you ever had a paranormal experience?
Mike: I can’t say that I have. I thought I did as a child but I think it was while I was between sleep and real life.
MI: If you could bring back anyone from the dead, who would it be?
Mike: I would have to bring back someone I never had the chance to meet. If I could bring back any President it would be John F. Kennedy.
MI: Growing up, who were your heroes?
Mike: I was really into baseball. First baseman for the NY Yankees, Don Mattingly, was a huge hero of mine. Next to him I would say, as a young bass player, Steve Harrison from Iron Maiden. As I got older it was the late Jaco Pastorius.
MI: What do you think the best thing to ever happen to Rock N Roll was?
Mike: The advent of the distorted amplifier.
MI: When you’re not on the road what do you do at home?
Mike: I like to take long, long walks through out Brooklyn. I feel like I’ve lived here my entire life, almost 30 years, and I don’t know everything about it. I also like to read and keeping up on current events.
MI: Who in the world would you like to dump a bucket of flesh eating ants on?
Mike: It would go as a group of people. The people beheading civilians. Anyone of these terrorist groups.
MI: What do you think about the free downloading going on?
Mike: Honestly, I don’t mind it. I remember buying tons of music as a child and it turns out a lot of it would be crap. So, as a tool I think it’s a good idea. I don’t think full albums in their full CD quality should be available. It inspires people to go out and buy the album if they like it. A lot of people want more than just a burnt copy, they want the entire package.
MI: If you had one million dollars to donate to any charity, what charity would it be?
Mike: It would have to be the American Cancer Society because it seems like every member of my family gets taken out by cancer before their 60th birthday.
MI: Tell me about the worst job you’ve ever had.
Mike: I’ve never really had a job that I hated, but the hardest job I’ve ever had was working as a day laborer for a construction company. I had to be up and leave my house by a quarter till 6 and didn’t get off the job site until 5.
MI: If you could have lunch with anyone living or dead, who would it be?
Mike: Timothy Leary, Charles Bukowski, and Hunter Thompson.
MI: If you could be a super hero, who would you be?
Mike: I really love the Green Lantern.
MI: If there was a movie about your life who would you want to play you and what would the theme song be?
Mike: The obvious choice would be a good looking and really talented actor like Johnny Depp so everyone would think I’m better looking and smoother than I really am. The theme song would be You Can’t Always Get What You Want by The Rolling Stones.
MI: What message would you like to send to your fans?
Mike: No matter how much life, or people around you, make you feel like you’re not worth it that you do deserve happiness and a chance to succeed. I’ve seen so many people over the years not succeed because they had it embedded in their mind that they didn’t deserve it.
MI: What would you tell any young band just getting into the business?
Mike: Trust no one but the people you choose to make music with. I trust my band mates 100%. I’ve seen other bands screw their band members before, though. Know your band mates before you trust them.
MI: What is your favorite quote?
Mike: One of my favorite quotes would come from a dialog that Christopher Walkin did in True Romance. He’s having a dialog with Dennis Hopper and he turns around and says “Do you know who I am?” and Dennis Hopper says “No, who are you?”. Christopher Walkin says “I’m the fucking anti-Christ, you’re gonna tell the angels in heaven that you never saw evil so singularly personified as in the face of the man that killed you.”
MI: Do you believe Glenn Danzig attacked that guy?
Mike: It looked like Danzig got in his face. Danzig got exactly what he had coming to him.
MI: What’s the band’s website?
Thanks Mike. We will catch you again when you come to town.