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mike got spiked
- ..saving the world - one gig at a time.
- Me, Myself, and I
- Ireland got real small, real fast for mike got spiked, who bagged themselves a top 30 single and international five-star reviews for debut album Caveat Emptor within a couple of years of their formation in late 2002.
America beckoned for the schizo-rock four-piece, and a slot on the 2005 Vans Warped Tour alongside the likes of My Chemical Romance, Fall Out Boy and The Dillinger Escape Plan strengthened their conviction.
Subsequent support slots with Anthrax, Head Automatica, Biffy Clyro and Kerbdog showed them they were well able to take on the best in the business, and so begun an 18-month American odyssey that took in 42 states, 130,000 miles and more than 300 shows.
Now based full-time in the USA, they are signed to Los Angeles management company Associated Talent Management, who also boast the likes of The Dead Kennedys on their roster.
Relentless touring, record sales topping 11,000 units, hundreds of thousands of MySpace plays and a top 10 slot on the Warped Tour's official download chart have predictably helped the band turn the heads of record labels.
But rather than put out on the first date, the band are still flirting outrageously with the labels hovering nearby, having turned down a couple of deals last year.
Having finally parked the van for a couple of months to write their second album - slated for release by 2009's end - the band are now dusting themselves down for an all-out assault on minds and ears in the US and beyond.
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- How much do you know about M.G.S? 39 Taken
As the Paddy's Day hangovers finally subsided we said goodbye to our friend and part-time chronicler, Sean as he headed back for Ireland. We then bid farewell to Eddy and Mel and left Memphis for Topeka, KS. It was a relatively long and uneventful drive, about 9 and a half hours all told and the first 'real' day of touring - just the four of us in the van and also the first time since our return to the states that we were forced by time constraints to eat shitty fast food. Ah, Burger King, I didn't fucking miss you at all!
As you might expect we arrived at 'The Boobie Trap' feeling a little tired and in need of some beer. The barman was just a bit surly though and was in no mood to offer us free drinks. "What's the deal with beers for the band?", I asked. "I can give you a PBR for $1.50" came the disappointing reply. He was no match for my superior negotiating skills though - "Screw that! How's about you give me 2 for $4?"
We were the second of three bands on the night and had a really good show. We had never played in Topeka before so we were happy to find a decent sized audience who responded well not only to our music but also to our filthy stage-banter. After blatantly and brazenly calling for free drinks from the stage we soon found ourselves back in familiar territory - rocking out, signing titties and drinking for free - this really is the life!
After our set we hung around pounding shots and exchanging mad stories with the locals. I met one crazy bastard who told me that he's only fresh out of jail for counterfeiting money. He got four years and a hefty fine... which he paid with counterfeit bills! (I hope for the bar's sake he used real money while buying us that round!)
Eventually we ended up heading home with a cool guy called Ryan and spent the next few hours chilling out at his house with a big-ass bottle of whiskey before crashing out on various couches and floor spaces.
The next morning we hit the road again for Omaha, NE. We had barely crossed the state line into Nebraska when the flashing lights appeared in my mirror... SHIT! COPS! God-damnitt! Although we're pretty much always the slowest moving vehicle on the road I'd been caught doing 6 mph over the limit. The car in front of me was going much faster but I guess that's just what we get for driving around in an A-Team looking van with a trailer. It's so strikingly obvious that we're a touring rock band that your average cop just can't resist pulling us over. We spent the next half hour on the side of the road while he went over everything, licences, passports, visas, insurance etc. "Do you have any weapons or drugs in the van?", he asked us with one hand on his gun... Fortunately for us our trailer was filled with musical equipment rather than dead prostitutes, assault rifles and heroin so he eventually let us go with a warning. Then I just had to endure the dirty looks from the rest of the guys... "I'm sorry for speeding... It won't happen again I promise!"
So yeah... we continued our journey at the exact speed limit, not 1mph more - so I was the slowest moving thing on the road by at least 20 mph!
We eventually reached our friend, Lucas' house in Omaha and had a bite to eat before heading down to the show at "The 49'r". This is a pretty cool place, good sound system, good crowd, good local bands and free beer all night - what's not to like? We rocked out mightily to a very appreciative crowd, made some money and had a few laughs. I was having a cigarette outside when this blond chick comes over and tries to chat me up. She was pretty good-looking and all but after a couple of minutes I started to feel an overwhelming need to escape. Oh my God... she was so fucking dumb that I could feel myself getting stupider just talking to her. But there was no escape, Instead I found myself at the mercy of her and her slightly less retarded friend (who I named 'smart, dumb chick') chattering inanely at me for what felt like an eternity. When I eventual
0 Comments 224 weeks
FYI: G-Money, or Sean Doyle as he is known in the real world has been working alongside mike got spiked as a sound engineer, recording engineer and producer, since the band's inception. So it was with open arms that the band invited him to join them on the road from March 3 to 18 last. Read all about his time here:
March 3rd - 11th
As with any tour, the MGS guys need to spend a few days setting everything up for the upcoming months, so with that in mind, no gigs (or shows as they're called over here) were planned for this week. they did, however squeeze one local south bend show in to thank their local friends, Derek, Travis and Nick for putting them up for a few days.
Before that could happen, there was work to be done. A touring van had to be revived that had been idle since June last, insurance to be sorted out, practice sessions, and confirmations for upcoming gigs. It was during this time that I noticed how MGS have adapted to touring, at least in this instance. Gavin is always on his laptop, updating myspace/facebook and bebo profiles with tourdates and pictures. Conall is the liason with other bands, and along with Gavin sorts out the gigs, along with blog posts. Dave takes care of bank accounts, business and money matters, along with insurance, phones and other day to day stuff. Johnny is naturally, the chef. A week in america and i've not had a single piece of fast food!
While I've been here, I've seen 2 american bands practice and prepare for gigs, and I have to say the work ethic and dedication to craft has been impressive. They practice regularly, and forego the big american car to play the big american rig. No valvestates and squiers for these guys, gibsons, american fenders, mesa boogies and more are the norm here.....they like their gear!
So, after a few days chilling out, and drinking there was a gig saturday night. in a local irish bar....which in Gavins own words from the stage was "the most unirish bar he'd seen" but there was a good crowd and each band went down very well, money was made, merch was sold......but it was really just the precursor to the after party! Back at the house the bands assembled, with friends to drink into the wee hours........which was not without its problems. You see, Indiana is a dry state on sundays, which means you cant buy alcohol.....anywhere, for the whole day. so a crack team (one was named mcguyver, i shit you not!) was dispatched to the local wal mart to buy beer before the curfew kicked in. problem was daylight savings time kicked in for americans so it was an hour later than they thought! There was only one option: drive across state lines (bout an hour away) where theres a different time zone, no dry state, and the offie is still open!
this might have seemed a good idea, had there not been drink involved....drink driving while still frowned upon over here is tolerated a bit better, so driving 200 miles for beer, at aprox 100 mph, chasing DST makes for a good story (at one point mcguyver was asked "what speed are we doing?" to which he replied "11"....he meant 110)
March 12 -19
The next gig was in a place called East Lansing, Michigan, at a place called The Small Planet. But before that we met up Markus and Meg and their two daughters Elize and Rachel, for dinner. Not only had Meg laid on a tasty spread for us, she had cooked and prepared enough food to last us the next few days on the road! With full bellies we thanked them for their kind hospitality and made the short trip downtown to The Small Planet. The venue itself however isnt small, holding up to 550 people. The guys were due to perform an evening set, and when we arrived the all ages gig that had started that day was winding up. Some "local boys done good" (i.e. signed) were playing to the delight of about 100 teenagers (mostly female) and looked at us with much bemusment as we set up the merch stand. Typically with these type of all ages gigs, once the gig is over the kiddies h
0 Comments 224 weeks
So, the Christmas holiday season has come and gone leaving us all a little poorer, a little fatter and the proud owners of all those useless little trinkets we insist on buying each other at that time of year. I stacked up an impressive collection of books I have no interest in reading, some shower gel and deodorant (are they trying to tell me something?) and two packs of cigarettes (which are now long gone.) What better way to celebrate the birth of Jesus?
Still, for all the crass commercialism associated with the holiday it was nice to see that the true meaning of Christmas was not forgotten... eating and drinking waaaayyyy too much, right?
New Years Eve was, as always, a bit of a blur. The fact that my birthday falls on the same day meant that I was in rare form and, according to more sober observers, did quite well to stay conscious 'til midnight. As I've often said - or at least slurred and stuttered in these circumstances - If you can remember everything that happened on your birthday it wasn't a good one!
Now that a few weeks have passed, all remnants of the past year have been laid to rest and the world staggers, bleary-eyed into the dawn of 2009 it's all too easy for some to start feeling the January blues, the month-long annual hang-over that accompanies the realisation that the party's over and it's time to get back to work. For everyone in the MGS camp, however, getting back to work couldn't come soon enough. Fun and all as Christmas is, you can only sit around stuffing your face with turkey and beer and watching Indiana Jones for so long before the urge to get up off your arse and get rocking and rolling takes over... And we certainly have a lot of that planned for the next few months.
Over the past few weeks we have been writing, rehearsing and recording some new material as well as making preparations for our upcoming return to America. We've applied for and received our U.S. Visas, booked our flights and have already booked the first month's worth of shows which will take us from Michigan all the way to Los Angeles. We've been in constant contact with our management in L.A. and have been busy with a whole manner of behind-the-scenes business, getting wheels in motion to take our career to the next level. It's all very exciting.
In fact, it's almost too exciting! There's still a lot for us to do before we go but as our departure date draws slowly ever nearer the anticipation is rapidly reaching fever pitch. After half a year spent back home in Ireland I am once again feeling the irresistible call of life on the open road, travelling from town to town, rocking out every night, meeting friends old and new and of course taking a break from the dull,grey, Irish weather.
Despite what the economists have to say, it's not all doom and gloom (and other words ending in 'oom') here. We've played some killer shows at home over the past couple of months and have a few more to play before we leave. We have the guts of a new album's worth of new material written and ready to rock so while the rest of the world wallows in depression and recession it looks as though, for MGS at least, the future is bright.
Bring it on!
0 Comments 234 weeks