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Dirty Mike & The Boys (band)
A few weeks ago, Mike Abominator reached out to me to see if I would be interested in reviewing his new project’s material. Considering my familiarity with his work in Gravehill, it was a no brainer. After countless days and spins with Dirty Mike & The Boys, I shipped some e-mail questions over, and today, Mike got the answers back to me.


Thanks for reaching out to me, Mike! How’s everything going on your end? Keeping busy?

Mike:
Hails Jason! Shit is going good. Actually just writing the next batch of Dirty Mike songs. Hopefully for an EP entitled “The Dirty Mike EP” simply enough! hahahaha. But always busy man. I’m also in the middle of getting my final playlist for my radio show HELLHEIM RADIO that I’m doing on select Saturdays once a month. Like I said, ALWAYS busy. DM is my 2nd band, the 1st being Gravehill of course. GH is currently jamming out the 8 songs that will fill up our 3rd album “Death Curse”. We start the recording process in June. Plus there is ALWAYS Metal Maniacs writing to do. PLUS the usual life trying to find steady work and other stuff like driving my girlfriend and my family crazy with all of these shenanigans!!!!!!!!

First of all, there’s a slew of audio samples throughout Soup Kitchen. I haven’t seen all of The Other Guys yet, but I know the first clip is from there. Are the others? If not, where did you grab them from?

Mike:
The first clip is indeed from “The Other Guys” movie, which is a total favorite of ours. That is actually the only sound sample from “The Other Guys” though. The other clips are from “Reservoir Dogs”, “The Witches of Eastwick”, the cinematic masterpiece “Deadfall”, “Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2”, “Trading Places”, “Animal House”, “Crocodile Dundee” and “Predator”. The annoying reggae/dance-hall horn was an added bonus and MIGHT pop up again from time to time.

Obviously the band name was, but how much influence did those characters in The Other Guys have on the EP?

Mike:
Naming the band after a group of homosexual bums is a double edged sword! hahahaha. The name is just awesome and when the idea started popping up about it, everyone I talked with thought it was a great idea to use that name for a band. The characters in the movie were an influence, they are kind of our guardian angels on our shoulder, as if they tell us what to do when we are lost (W.W.D.M.D?!?!?!) The origin of the name was actually started at a Gravehill show. A friend of the band had said to one of the other band members “Gravehill needs to change their name to Dirty Mike & The Boys!” I heard that, laughed my ass off, then decided to form a more punk rock side project using this godly name.

The Bandcamp says you guys are influenced from Tom Petty, early Ice Cube, N.W.A., David Bowie, and a bunch of other odd names to find on a page like this. So, how much did these groups REALLY influence Soup Kitchen? *wink*

Mike:
Indeed we have MANY influences outside of the “usual” realm of stuff you would THINK we are influenced by. I mean, my riffs are total rip offs of Mob 47, RawPower and old D.R.I. You can hear it clear as day. But we enjoy Tom Petty and the old classic gangsta rap and even classic era rap in general. David Bowie is actually one of my all time favorite artists! I have a patch on my vest of BOWIE! I did throw those names in our influence list for a laugh in a sense. But in reality we all LOVE those artists and don’t be surprised if you hear DM doing some Alice Cooper, Prince or Geto Boys covers in the not too distant future!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I see you worked with Sean Vahle in the studio, then sent Soup Kitchen over to Gary Griffith to be mastered. Why did you choose to work with these two? Is there any past history?

Mike:
Well, Sean is actually nice enough to let us jam in his studio up in North Hollywood! There are a bunch of bands that share a room up there and every once in a while, when we can, we get together up there and creep the fuck out. Sean is an old friend of the band and has been around playing drums for bands like Destroyed in Seconds and Eat the Living. He has a studio next door to the jam spot called Architeuthis Sound that he records bands with, he has done a ton of locals there. So we did the recording, tracking and mixing there with Sean. He does a great job and is easy to work with. Then I brought the songs over to Gary Griffith to master. Gary is a REALLY old friend of ours. He was in Morgion and has his own studio set up called The Dust Room down in Anaheim. Gary is also super cool and easy to work with. I couldn’t have asked for a better one/two punch to make this demo happen. I recommend both Sean and Gary when it comes to recording! THEY ARE 2 OF THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE LOVE THESE MOTHERFUCKERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m curious on the audio of Soup Kitchen. For some reason it seems like a second or third generation cassette bootleg. Was something like this a goal in the recording or mastering stage? Please explain why it sounds the way it is does if possible.

Mike:
We are all pretty much old farts, hahahaha, so the old sound comes naturally! hahahaha. To be dead honest, the music is MEANT to have a sound from the 80s. I wanted a rough recording. I told Sean, “just make it raw and in your face old school!” and he did.Gary knew exactly what I wanted as well, so they did a great job in that area. I really didn’t want anyone spending too much time on it. It was practically recorded live. We also only had a few hours to fuck with things and get the sound down. There was only so much time and money involved. So it was like, “let’s just do this, throw this in there and make it sound like this!” hahahahaha. The next recordings will sound even MORE old school and throwback in a sense. I had Bruce play all of the bass and guitars on the demo. I played the scratch tracks with our drummer Jorge. But Bruce then layered 2 guitar tracks and a bass track over the top. He didn’t have much time to “refine” his guitar sound for this demo. He just jammed it out. Now Christian is on guitar and also has his own studio set up, so we have recently been able to “dial in” a guitar sound that is pure 1985 hardcore punk! But in the end, this recording WAS a demo, so I wanted it to sound like a 2nd/3rd generation cassette recording like we all used to gt back in the days! So we DID a good job on that end!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Every time I listen to Soup Kitchen, it seems to be an album a pissed off nine-to-five adult would write to vent. Would this describe you and the others, or is my perception wrong?

Mike:
We are also pissed off adults! hahahaha. I agree to a certain extent. I think ANYONE of ANY age can relate to the problems expressed in my head through those songs. Dead relationships, dead friendships, cops fucking with you, speed freaks, life getting to you. Iam an adult living in the 9 to 5/paycheck to paycheck/lower middle class/blue collar world I guess. But like I said, both young and old (and everyone in the middle) can relate to this shit!

I asked that mostly because of “Cops Trying to Kill Me” and the various moments that seem to show disgust to police in general, is it safe to assume you have had many run-ins with the law? If so, mind regailing us with a tale or two?

Mike:
I want to make this perfectly clear: WE ARE NOT ANTI COP/ANTI POLICE! I have a great respect for what cops do and have to put up with WHEN they abide by the laws as WE do. I have actually had many more positive run ins with cops than negative. That being said, there are still bad cops out there. “Cops…..” was written in 3 parts. The first paragraph is an over all view of cops brutalizing a neighborhood. The 2nd paragraph is about the local Kelly Thomas/Fullerton PD killing that took place a few years ago. And the 3rd paragraph is about cops out to kill ME and I’m hiding from them. For those who aren’t aware of the Kelly Thomas/Fullerton PD beating, just google search that online and you can read about it. I won’t get into it here. And yes, I had run ins with Kelly Thomas and MANY of my friends did as well (those that grew up in and around the Anaheim/Fullerton area of Orange County). Me personally, I grew up with the Rampart cops. For those who are not familiar with the “Rampart L.APD scandal” then google that shit as well. So growing up being harassed by the CRASH unit(which stood for Community Resources Against Steet Hoodlums-google that too ya googling fools! haha) I didn’t much like the police as a child. They seemed to abuse their authority and take advantage of their guns and badges. My mind opened up towards police as I encountered more and more. I had my run ins with the law in the past, and even then, some of the cops were cool as fuck. Just like your average citizen or co-worker. Not EVERYONE is always going to be nice to you. Cops are often on edge and have to deal with stupid shit and corruption on THEIR end as well. I get it. But when they take it out on the citizens that they are trained and payed to protect, THAT crosses the line. And I called it out. NOT a disgust with police in general at all! just a disgust with DIRTY COPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!

A lot of Soup Kitchen was just fun to listen to, “Falling Down” in particular. What possessed you guys to model some of it after “London Bridge is Falling Down?”

Mike:
Awesome man! It was fun to make! hahahaha.”Falling Down” is about the movie “Falling Down” actually, mixed with MY perspective and how I would feel if I were William Foster “D-Fens” (played by Michael Douglas). The whole metal collapse of Foster, how he snapped in traffic and then went on a spree of violence, I can relate in a way because I have thought about doing just that. The title of the movie came from the old nursery rhyme “London Bridge is Falling Down” (that concept pops up throughout the film!) So the lyrics are a take on the rhyme, I just changed it up a bit. I can be clever at times! hahahahaha.

Right now Soup Kitchen is available on Bandcamp as a “Name Your Price” offer. How has that been working out? Do you regret it, or have you found it better than having a set price or issuing it through a label?

Mike:
Ithas been working out pretty well actually. The Band Camp site is cool and easy to use. You know, these days, why fight technology? Why not try and embrace some aspects of it? Use it to spread the word about music and bands?! I don’t regret it at all. I know people are skeptical of new stuff. “Why would I want to pay $5 for a demo?” OR “What makes this so good that I have to pay for it?” Well assholes, have it for free and enjoy it then! hahahaha. Since it is a kind of “demo/rough recording” release, I figured it would be easier to spread the name out there faster with a FREE download offer. If a label wants to put it out later on then cool! But for now, this is how we do it. We (my girlfriend and I ) have been making actual copies of the demo with a cover/insert/poster (same as you get online!) but also with stickers and a button (canvas logo patches coming soon as part of this package!) and we have been giving them to close friends and selling them for $5. In the future, it would be cool to throw some sort of package together that is even more exclusive with extra items thrown in (to make it more of a selling point to BUY instead of actually downloading!) BUT in this day and age, there are some, both young and old, who just prefer downloading. It could be the high school kid that just wants the tracks for her ipod/iphone. Or the middle aged dude who just had to get rid of his record/cd collection and doesn’t want cds cluttering his apartment anymore, so he just downloads now. But we also appreciate those who want to actually PAY for the copies online as well!

Aside being on Bandcamp, I can’t seem to find this Dirty Mike & The Boys on any other social network that isn’t an Alternative Rock cover band or acoustic garage group. Do other pages like Facebook or Twitter exist for the band, or do you find those sites to be a waste of time?

Mike:
There is also a facebook page. Type in dirtymikeandtheboys666 and you should find us. Social networking sites RULE and are a great asset to any band these days. As I mentioned above, we embrace most of what technology has to offer. We get word out on a constant basis by networking online. We keep fans posted about what is going on with practice, shows, releases. If it weren’t for facebook and the like, I think it would be much harder to get the word out.

know you have obligations to Gravehill and Metal Maniacs, so will that or any other obligations with the rest of the group hinder anything other than studio and rehearsal time? Or is there a chance for a small tour or something else to push the band and Soup Kitchen?

Mike:
Right now, I have Gravehill, Metal Maniacs writing, The Hellheim Radio Show and now Dirty Mike & The Boys. This is all on top of the usual life stuff like work, spending time with my girl, family and friends, other shows that friends are playing and the various other activities that I like to keep myself busy with as far as enjoyment. Gravehill tries to jam 2 times a week these days and I have calmed down on my Metal Maniacs stuff (it just became too much!) Hellheim Radio is only once a month. Now Dirty Mike just jams when we can find the time. I have written all the songs so far. So I just come up with the music and lyrics, finalize them as a song, then show the guys who it goes. That usually takes 1 or 2 jam sessions to get them ready to record. It’s simple punked out hardcore shit anyways, so it’s pretty easy to get “tight” enough to record. It has worked out pretty well so far. We are all in other bands and have a lot going on in our lives. But we find time to get together and make it work. We want to head out on the road in the future for sure. But trying to head out even on a small tour supporting just a demo is a lose lose situation. We can’t stand to lose money on that level. Once we get established and get the name out there with some releases, then we can generate enough of a buzz to start thinking about getting out on the road. STAY TUNED!

Thanks again for your time and reaching out to me, Mike, I really appreciate it.

Mike:
Thank you so much Jason for this great interview. You have helped us IMMENSELY!!!!!!!! Keep in touch with us through the facebook page: DIRTYMIKEANDTHEBOYS666 (just type that into the facebook search area). And hit out Bandcamp page to get your copy of “Soup Kitchen”. You can get it for free, BUT ANY donation is appreciated!!!!!!!!!! We have shirts up on www.warlordclothing.com and we actually are going to finalize working with a couple of labels in the coming month, so stay tuned for that. That will include a 7 inch EP. Maybe a couple of other releases. We shall see!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dirty Mike & The Boys: Soup Kitchen
Interview conducted thanks to Mike Abominator.