While I was at Graspop this summer, I managed to do a short interview with Mick from 36 Crazyfists. He has since left the band (I doubt my interview had anything to do with it) because he wants to spend more time with his daughter but here ya go... probably one of the last interviews he did while being in 36 Crazyfists!
PRT: Who are you and what would you like to tell our readers about yourself?
Mick: My name is Mick and I play bass in 36 Crazyfists. Along with the rest of my bandmates, I'm from Alaska. Umm, I like to take walks on the beach... nah, not really.
PRT: You recently switched from Roadrunner to Ferret in the States. Was there a particular reason for that?
Mick: Well, we didn't sell enough copies in the States which made us too small a band for them to be concerned about. With Ferret in the States, it was really just a better move because they are willing to do more for us and get it out to the right people. The flipside is that leaving for Ferret in the States also meant that we weren't on Roadrunner in Europe anymore and the people from Roadrunner over in the UK and Europe have always been really good to us. We miss those people but overall it was just a smarter move to go for a smaller label who can give us a little more attention and a little more help.
PRT: Doesn't that sting a little? Because you've been with Roadrunner since you started out.
Mick: It stings because like I said the people over here in Europe were really behind the band but in the States it's just an overall better situation. For example, we've already got more tours lined up Stateside than we ever had. Before we used to have two or three Stateside tours a year and now we're completely booked for the coming months. Not that bad of a sting huh?
PRT: You've been touring quite a bit in Europe for the past couple of years. Do you think people receive you better over here?
Mick: Completely. I don't know why or how come but it seems that people get us better over here. We play in front of more people here than we ever did in the States. I don't know why but they seem to like the Crazyfist better over here.
PRT: You recently released the new album "The Tide And Its Takers"... what does that title mean for you?
Mick: I guess you should talk to Brock about that. I think it's just a life thing... dealing with whatever life swings your way. You kinda have to go with it and try to stay positive. Sometimes the tide takes stuff and sometimes you ride it out.
PRT: One thing that 36 Crazyfists is known for are the positive lyrics. How do you guys manage to stay that way?
Mick: In life you'll always run into bumps where it's hard to stay positive but that's just life isn't it? It seems like you get more shit thrown at you than good stuff sometimes. So yeah, it can be hard but Brock really is a positive guy and he writes all our lyrics. You have to reinforce your own personal beliefs when things get hard and try to stay positive and ride that vibe out. And then things will become good again.
PRT: Personally I think that that positive vibe that you have makes you stand out between other bands in the scene. Do you feel the same way about that?
Mick: That's cool. We're just four normal guys that don't try to act tough other than to rock hard on the stage. We play aggressive music so there is that anger or whatever you wanna call it...
PRT: Yeah, but at the same time there's this other side...
Mick: Exactly. It's not just a bunch of screaming. So yeah, that being positive does set us apart a little and I think that's a good thing. We can use some more good stuff. It doesn't mean that you're a fairy or anything.
PRT: I doubt there's a lot of people who would call you a fairy to your face.
Mick: (in a threatening voice) They'd better not.
PRT: Alaska is another recurring theme for you. But you relocated to Oregon a couple of years ago, right?
Mick: Well, Brock and Thomas are still living in Alaska with their wives. I have a wife as well that I met in Portland when we moved down there. Which we initially did because it would always cost us a lot of money to come down from Alaska to tour. You either need to fly or drive 2.000 miles just to get where you need to go. So Steve and I both live in Portland. Both of our parents have moved down here from Alaska to be near us. So half of us are still in Alaska and the other half's in Portland. I would love to move back home eventually because there's no other place like it.
PRT: Isn't it hard that way for stuff like practice?
Mick: Well, yeah. When we were writing for the new album, we just got off tour and Thom spent a little bit of time back at home and then came back to Portland to write. Brock was able to stay in Alaska a little longer because it's easier for us to send him the music and for him to then write the lyrics. So sacrifices have been made but for like touring it works great. The guys come out, we practice every day for a couple of days and then head out. And it's only recently that they've moved back to Alaska fulltime. Like in the past three years or so.
PRT: In the movie Almost Famous there is one scene where the band is in a plane and they think they're going to crash and so they come out with all these confessions. If you were in that situation, what would you confess?
Mick: (laughs) I don't know... I mean sitting here with you is a little different than being in a plane thinking you're going to die. And I always try and be honest about everything. I haven't screwed anyone's girlfriend and I'm not gay so I don't know really.
PRT: Another movie question... in the movie High Fidelity the guys in the record store are constantly making these top 5 lists of songs for different occasions. If you would have to make such a list, which occasion would it be for and which songs would make your top 5?
Mick: Okay... top 5 songs for being stranded on a deserted island. Let's do that one... Led Zeppelin's "Misty Mountain Top", Black Sabbath's "Holy In The Sky", any Kyuss song; a Queens Of The Stone Age song... that's four... and any Jeff Buckley tune will do.
PRT: Wow, that's pretty different from the stuff you play. It's all 70s rock there!
Mick: Yeah, I know. I don't wanna get caught in the whole stoner rock thing but I really like that groove. Like Down or Crowbar... I really dig that vibe.
PRT: Is that something you would like to play yourself as well?
Mick: I would like to someday! I'm the oldest one in the band and I kinda grew up listenting to that type of music.
PRT: Is there room for side-projects in 36 Crazyfists?
Mick: If our touring schedule would open up, there would be. Steve and me and his brother have a threepiece. We've only jammed once but we have three or four songs written. We always talk about doing it more but it never works out in the end. I think all of us will someday do something else. But 36 Crazyfists is a family and for now that still comes first.
PRT: That's a great line to end this interview on... thanks for taking some time out!