High Five with Reviler: Mike Midwestern
1. If you were going on a cross country road trip and could bring a long any three people in the world, who would they be and why?
I would bring my wife Jenny and daughter Leona for sure. We’re an adventurous family and being away from them for an extended period of time is always kinda weird. We’re a tight knit little group.
Now who would be the third person? Assuming he’d want to go on a cross country road trip with my family, it would be my really good friend Kyle. Kyle’s always down for anything: tourism, having a beer, engaging in deep conversation. We used to play in a touring band together. I know he’s a good road tripper. Aside from that Kyle moved from the Twin Cities to Edmonton about 5 years ago and just moved to Japan recently so we don’t have much face time together. Well I guess Skype is kind of face time.
2. What is one album that you feel has changed your life and how?
That’s a very tough question as there have been so many monumental albums in my life that have guided me into new directions. Ultimately though, the answer is Green Day “Dookie”. That album made me want to write songs and be a musician. I could totally identify with the energy and hooks. “Dookie” opened up a whole world of great underground music to 14 year old kids like me who really only had mainstream radio. So while many fans were furious that Green Day “sold out”, I am very grateful. That album led me to the whole Lookout! Records catalog and changed my life. I started mail ordering CDs and 7″ records from Lookout! like crazy. A lot of my income as a teen in fact, can be attributed to that Lookout! Records catalog.
3. Who are a band that you feel should get more recognition that they do, and why?
Hmm…..beyond a local landscape, I’d have to say Denison Witmer. Really great singer/songwriter who’s been flying under the radar for a long time. A rock band that’s really good and is starting to get more recognition but not enough in my opinion is Frightened Rabbit from Europe. Really awesome band. A year ago I would not have hesitated to say Frank Turner but he’s since blown up which is way cool.
As far a the local Twin Cities scene, I’d be foolish not to say Ash St. John. Ash and I are really good pals so it might seem bias but he has really come into his own. Great songwriter and unbelievable musician. He put out an album last year that I still listen to all of the time. He also played electric guitar and violin on my new “Inhibitors” album. Anything he touches he can play.
A local band who also doesn’t get enough notoriety is Western Fifth. They have some new stuff coming out hopefully sooner or later that is going to get a lot of attention. Really cool to see live too. Awesome musicians.
4. What is your favorite live music memory (performing or attending)?
I saw The Weakerthans once in the Ascot Room, the upstairs of The Quest. They seriously blew my mind indescribably. My friend Kyle and I had the luxury of watching them on the side of the stage in the backstage area. I was mesmerized by their attention to detail and how good their overall live show was. They’re definitely one of my favorite bands of all time.
I also saw Sigur Ros once which was incredible. I don’t know if you can count that though because they’re truly in a league of their own. It’s more of a theatrical experience almost than a concert. People are crying…it’s intense. I always tell people if you haven’t seen them, go. Pay $100, just go!
5. Finish this sentence: “Minneapolis is a great place…
…to immerse yourself in great culture. Seriously whether it’s food, art, music, or whatever, this city has so much to offer. I absolutely love the diversity here. A typical night out for my wife and I involves trying a new adventurous restaurant and maybe going to a really good show.
Mike Midwestern recently released his EP Everything’s a War,which you can grab for free at his website. He is releasing the full length Inhibitors on Sept 28th and is playing with Kevin Seconds from the band 7 Seconds this Wednesday at the Triple Rock Social Club.