Irish by Birth vs. Irish by Name
By Simon McCormack
Mike Got Spiked
Irish punk-metal that’s as American as apple pie (served with a pint of Guinness)
Although the boys in Mike Got Spiked hail from Dublin, you’d never know it from their music and their patterns of speech, which are highlighted by a frequent use of American colloquialisms. The way they approach a multi-instrument solo with the double bass pedals and hammer-on guitar leads of Pantera or slap bass leads á la Primus indicates a strong American rock music influence; something the band happily admits. This fondness for the States has led MGS to venture away from their homeland in search of an American record deal and a chance to win the hearts and minds of those who like a little NOFX with their Incubus. The band certainly has something to offer America’s music scene with a low-pressure stage presence and three- and four-part vocal harmonies on every song. “Unlike some bands, we actually sing our songs live,” explains frontman Gavin McGuire. “We don’t just scream at the crowd.”
Mike Got Interviewed
Gavin McGuire, frontman of the Irish punk group Mike Got Spiked, took some time to chat with the Alibi about their name, their tour and American hospitality.
How did your band get its name?
Well, there's not a huge, big story, to tell you the truth. We wanted a name that set us apart from other bands because one of the biggest problems a lot of bands have is that another band on the other side of the world has there name. There's nothing in the world called Mike Got Spiked except this band. There's a rumor floating around that it had something to do with a previous manager who came to an untimely end, but they're all just a bit of a laugh really.
How's the American tour going so far?
It got off to an auspicious beginning, that's for sure. Our first show was on the 13th of July and we didn't really have any contacts and no one had ever heard of us. It also didn't help that during the second show, I fell over awkwardly and twisted my knee. Now, though, we're making money, selling lots of merchandise and getting great responses all over and we're really enjoying ourselves a lot.
How different is touring the U.S. compared to playing shows in Ireland?
Ireland is such a tiny country, so size is definitely a big difference. Also, because we're an Irish band in America, people treat us differently I think partially because we perform differently than American bands and we talk to the crowd in a different way. With us on tour, we're basically living out of a van and the American people seem to be very hospitable. We've met nothing but friendly people who are willing to help us out in whatever way they can.
How do you "talk differently" than American bands?
We don't take ourselves seriously on stage. I've seen some American bands screaming at the crowd, saying things like "get up you mother fuckers! Get up!" e don't ever say anything like that on stage. We just get up, play our show and have a laugh with the audience. We make fun of ourselves and there's not much of a separation between us and the audience.
We're playing with The Ground Beneath from Albuquerque and they've always been really good to us. They're a fantastic bunch of guys and a great band that people should come out and see.
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