7:30 at the bong was the meeting place, the “bong” being the tip jar for THSD. After meeting at the rendezvous, vocalist Michael Froh and an already slightly intoxicated interviewer headed to a small room equipped with a table and chairs off to the side of the front lobby in The Mod Club. They would soon be told by a Security Guard that this seemingly perfect spot was in fact the EMS room, and after some clever-minded convincing they were able to conduct the interview, or so they thought. However, they did manage to discuss touring, lyrics, a new album and just livin’ it up. And for the record, after the show ended, I would be disappointed, and find out that The Mod Club Theatre does not have the ingredients for an Irish Car Bomb. Check out the interview that had us laughing throughout the duration!
According to your profile on the Underground Operations website, if someone sees your band play live they will never look at show the same way again. What can your fans whom have never seen you before expect? Mike: Um, well I mean they can expect to usually get wet, usually get spit on, sweat on, rocked on, stepped on, but all in the fun spirit of music; and usually, if you’re up there in front, you’re nodding your head along and you’re just having a good time anyways. But I mean its chaos usually. Yeah, we let it all out; we’re pretty chillin’ guys 23 hours of the day and then that one hour that we play music we just go bonkers so…
Sweet. What do you do to mentally and physically prepare yourself for a show? Mike: Uh, well…I like…
[suggestive hand motion] Giv’er a little one-two? Mike: Well…yeah [laughs] No, I always do a vocal warm up, like a thorough vocal warm up all by myself, get into the zone; this is just me personally. Then I stretch, I usually do like 10 push ups to get pumped up.
And to bulk up too… Mike: I guess
Protein shakes… Mike: Yeah, I’m not such a health nut. Yeah, then, I don’t know, I make sure my head’s right and get all psyched up like a football player would.
Does it ever become hard to balance a regular life along with your life on the road with the band? Mike: Yes and no, I’ve gotten good at it, kind of. I’ve gotten better and better at it, I mean it’s hard to stay really tight with friends at home. I’ve got a relationship at home, that’s a little tough at times. But, like, I don’t know, it’s really easy if, like my girlfriend, she’s sick. It’s really easy to be gone when you have a really good girlfriend, you know what I mean? It’s easy to be gone when you’re people are supporting you. When the times get tough and you’re in fuckin’…even if I’m in Toronto, I’m 40 hours away from home. If I have a shitty day it’s like ‘Whoa!” you know what I mean? But, over 2 years of touring we’ve learned this balance of like, everywhere is home. I don’t know, I love it so there’s never like, I don’t know...
Are you going to collaborate with Liam from Cancer Bats on his book about how to have a girlfriend and be on tour? Mike: Well we were talking about that, not the book itself but just like; I didn’t know Liam was writing that book actually.
Is he actually writing it? I thought it was just a joke. Mike: I don’t know, maybe he is! But he’s fucking good at it, he’s really good at it, he brings his girlfriend on tour and shit.
Really? Mike: Yeah she went to Europe with him.
Wow! Well, that’s a little different then touring around the country… Mike: Yeah, it is a little different. Like my girlfriend would be stuck in a van with five stinky dudes.
Yeah, do you think there would be a lot of girls that would do that anyway? Mike: I don’t know, well fuck there’d be some but you wouldn’t want them in your van you know what I mean? [Both laugh]
For sure man! Your MySpace profile name proclaims that you’re in the process of writing a new album, how’s that coming along? Mike: It’s coming along awesome, slowly, but awesome. Our last record we wrote, those are our first 8 songs we ever wrote. We put them on a disc, and that’s what we play, so now we’re like, a band and we’re making music. You know what I mean? I don’t know how to explain it. ‘Cause all those songs were written before anyone had even heard our band and now all we do is play live and now we can translate it better, we know what we’re like as a band really. When we wrote those we knew what we wanted to be like, right now I feel that we know what we are as a band it’s coming along a lot better.
Well is it difficult to write while you’re on the road performing songs off your previous album? Mike: Yes. It is hard to write on the road and it is hard to play new songs for kids, it’s very hard, we learned that. Our fans are much cooler then I expected them to be.
Oh yeah? In what way? Mike: With the new songs. Just being able to sit there and listen to it when they wish they were listening to something they already knew. But like our kids come up and they’re like “huh?” and like I know they’re getting down to it ‘cause they’re like closing their eyes and nodding their head.
So are you playing those songs tonight? Mike: Yep, we’re gonna play 4 or 5 new songs tonight I think.
Sweetish! Um… Mike: Do you say sweetish or sweet?
Sweetish Mike: Swedish Berries?
Swedish meatballs. Mike: Oh, I like those too!
[laughs] how will the album compare to the previous recordings? Mike: It’s going to sound better, a. we didn’t spend much time on the last record, a lot of people don’t know that, but we did it in like, a week?
Fuck! Mike: Yeah we like threw it down. When I wrote all the songs I was like 19-20 and I’m 23 come the end of this tour. So everything’s getting more like, I’m not gonna say serious, ‘cause its not more serious but its like, the last album I wrote with this vague mentality of like “I’m gonna say some shit and I’ll know what it means but no one else will know what it means!” but I don’t really like where that’s gone. A lot of people have gotten the wrong message from my music and from me. I don’t want to push that anymore so you’ll listen to this record and like say, you’re gonna put on track 1 and it’s called “Still Smokin”. That’s gonna be track 1 on the new record, I’m just gonna throw that out there. You’re going to listen to the lyrics of that song and like you’re done it and you’re like, “Okay, that song is about Mike…playing music…loving it, his experiences on the road, and what he doesn’t like about it.” And it’s obvious, but like as on the last album you can listen to like “Up in Smoke”, which is a song on the last album, and be like, “Uh that song’s about like…” I don’t even know…
“…having sex with a girl but not loving her.” Mike: Yeah, exactly man! Its like, what’s a good line that I could throw out there?
“Cowboy don’t you back down”? Mike: Yeah like, “C’mon cowboy don’t you back down, you’ve got these pistols and bullets.” I don’t know if they know what that means, but what it’s really about is me leaving tour, meeting the most retarded girls I’ve ever met in my life, because I have the utmost respect for females. And a lot of people, they’re like “What?” and it’s like, no, I love women, I’ve lived with like my mom and my sister my whole life, that’s it. Not my whole life, but most of it. And the truth of the matter is that song is my like my way of expressing like “Oh my god! I can’t believe there are actually girls out there that are like that. That are so like…” I don’t know, we were a nothing band the first time we toured out here, not a, well yeah, a nothing band. And I met a girl and just ‘cause she watched me play she wanted to fuckin’, you know, fuck me or whatever. I think that night I was drunk and I felt good about it, then the next day I felt whatever about it, and now when I think about that, it like, sickens me.
Yeah? Mike: It does, ‘cause if my daughter was like that…well you know, you gotta think about stuff like that! So when I’m writing a lyric now, I’m not just gonna write up this catchy lyric that’s like…that lyric’s about a girl like putting herself down so far to just like…I’m a cowboy, I really am.
Oh yeah? Mike: And this girl’s like a city girl…
Security Guard #2: This is the EMS room guys.
Mike: We’re just doing an interview; we’ll be out in a few minutes man! If any bodies come back we’ll move out of the way. [Turns to Spenny] They don’t like us man.
They hate us man! Mike: Yeah, I guess…
It’s the whole “rocker” persona. Mike: Yeah, I don’t even know where I was going with that. Its just like, hmm, I really like my lyrics on the last album, I think they’re awesome and I kinda think they went the wrong way and they influenced people in the wrong way.
Well, you gotta think about it, right? Poetry or lyrics are sometimes meant to be taken a certain…it’s up to the listener right, is it not? Mike: Yeah, I totally…I love that! But I think I need to steer at least a little more of an influence into it because like I’m learning like even though I’m playing in front of like 200…
Security Guard #3: You can’t be in this room guys, you can’t carry conversations in here you gotta take it outside. This is the Paramedic room.
I know, we’re just trying to do an interview, this is the third time you guys have come in on us, there’s no where else to do it, that’s all.
Security Guard #3: I know its just, try in the hallway.
At this point I had to pause the recorder as we we’re kicked out of the room we were sitting in and had to attempt to find a new place to converse. The front lobby was way too noisy so we conducted the final lag of the interview in the cramped coat check room. Thanks girls!
[laughing] so I don’t even remember where we were but we just got kicked out. Mike: Yes we did, they were mad at us.
Yeah, damn paramedics with their school and their book-learning! Mike: Technically speaking, my mom’s a teacher so I believe in education…but I never got one!
[laughs] well, tentatively speaking, when will this new album be completed? Mike: We’re looking at doing a late spring release. But I mean, spring sometimes turns into summer.
True! [Laughs] True enough! In a scene fuelled by and polluted with generic bands, what does The Holly Springs Disaster do to stand out as a band? Mike: Well, nothing.
Nothing? Mike: Nothing. We just play music, try and be friends and we try and…I don’t know how to explain this well. Kay, it’s not like we do nothing but like…Sup bro?! How’s it goin’?
Anonymous: Man, I will see you soon! Mike: Sick! We’re on next man! [Turning back to Spenny] Stuff like that, I don’t know. We’re not about anything but the songs, music, good times…a little bit of weed smoking, havin’ a drink-or-two, but no look, not tagged in there man!
Where do you see your band in 5 years? “The Holly Springs Disaster’s Greatest Hits” or the 2 dollar bargain bin at the local CD store that’s trying to get rid of their severe overstock? Mike: [laughing] Oh my god! 5 years?
5 years…give or take. Mike: I’m gonna say in 5 years I see us like, not Greatest Hits yet but making our like best albums. Alright? Is that okay?
I’ll look forward to it man! You’ll probably do better interviews that aren’t in the coat check room! Mike: No, I’ve done worse then this, so this is great!
Alright. Well finally, how is The Holly Springs Disaster planning to spend this holiday season? Insert clever remark with regards to “Bows of holly” and “holly springs” here. Mike: Well like, I don’t know! Everyone’s like goin’ home! We’re goin’ home to our parents. I’m gonna spend it with my girlfriend, and my mom.
Lots of good times drinkin’? Mike: Yeah, Boxing Day I usually get blackout drunk. Yeah, that’s like the one day a year I’m like, “Release!” So it’s good. So that’s what I’m doing man. I think on, my birthday is right after it, I’m gonna go to like, a little mineral spa, and take some time for me. I haven’t done that ever, so…
Awesome…any Irish car bombs? Mike: Par…what?
You’ve never tried an Irish car bomb? Mike: Irish car bomb?
Yeah! Mike: What is that?
It’s a drink! Mike: What is it?
Want to try one? Mike: Okay, let’s go have one! [ END ]