Interviewed by Brian Rademacher
Date: August 15th, 2006
Mikey, I know this is getting off track and not really related to music, but how proud are you of the intelligence in the UK who foiled the recent terrorist plot to blow up planes?
Hey, I’m proud to be in the section of humankind that has respect for life, and here’s what I would like to say to those of us that are tracking down these extremists – ‘keep up the great work!’
With the world in such disarray, music is one thing that brings people together. Your new CD “Light of Day” is so balanced with rockers and some fantastic tracks. With the current state of music featuring lots of growling vocals, did you feel it was time for Mikey Jones to reappear and make a statement?
Many thanks for the kind words! Yes, for me it’s always time to get out into the big wide world and have a go at reaching out to “someone, somewhere!” I set out to entertain, to send a message or two and make a connection with the listener. I don’t understand the way some artists approach music, but hey-the reason they are out there is because it appeals to “someone, somewhere” as my music does! I know what you’re saying, but there is some excellent music being released and I’m glad to be a part of a new, established rock era…
“The Light of Day” is a fresh breath of air, at least for me, because many bands we get promos for are repetitive, and all these bands sound the same. I’m not saying the bands are bad or bad musicians-it’s just like listening to a CD that has 100 of the same tracks. “The Light of Day” is bringing classic music to the modern day and it’s great. Did you have second thoughts and feel out of place with the kind of music that’s out there now?
Rock music has a wide, varied and discerning audience, which knows what it likes. I have respect for anyone who is having a go at making music on whatever level, because it’s tough to maintain your sanity at times – we all have that in common! I’m pleased that my songwriting has taken a new lease on life, and that’s something that could only be achieved on this solo album. I was selfish enough to write exactly what I liked, and lucky enough to have caught a large wave on which I could surf!
“Suffocating” is such a great track to start off your CD. Those keyboards are like an orchestra, almost in the vein of Guns ‘n Roses’ “November Rain”. What is your favorite track on the CD?
The “Suffocating” theme riff is one of my favorites on the album - I can imagine it being used as a sample/loop for some TV ad, or it could be chopped around for a rap artist like Kid Rock, which would also mean some great exposure for me! There is something about “Drunk on Emotion” that appeals; it feels cool and has a great lead guitar line which runs through each chorus. “The Light of Day” has some good lyrics, and “Lament” has the saddest vibe of anything I’ve ever penned! However, I think “Swear Blind” will win the votes of most – it’s an instant hit and people know it by the time the second chorus comes in!
Was it a hard decision to pick the tracks you wanted on the CD?
Not really - I pick the best ideas out of a bunch of guitar riffs/licks that I record as I go, so as not to forget them, and I tend to know what will work well for me!
Since you played almost all the instruments on the CD, will this project be a studio venture only or will you play live dates? If so, who will the band consist of?
I hope to play live and have some good musicians in mind, but that is as far as the idea has gone – discussions are being had! I’m in the process of selling the album via the internet, helped by my business partner, JJ at the EZ SOUNDS label, which is taking up a fair amount of time at the moment!
Since this CD looks to be taking off, will there be another CD in the future?
Try to stop me!!! I have had a lot of fun so far, and am enjoying the new challenge – what is life without a challenge? I’m so happy that the album has seen the light of day.
Was XL or Freefall the first band you were in, or were you in a garage band before that?
I was in a couple of bands before that, but XL was the first real proposition that helped move me up the rock ‘n roll ladder and I just kept on developing. I’d still be writing songs if my pet dog was the only living thing prepared to listen to them – that’s the truth and I’m not barking!
Do you still keep in touch with Nick Workman, who is now with Eden?
Yes, Nick is a good friend and I’m glad he has pounced on the chance to have his voice heard with Eden. I rate him enormously, and we had some great times with KICK. I used some of his vocals on the two opening tracks on my album. Eden’s album, “Open Minds” is very different than mine, but I’ve played it several times and it has some great tracks – so go buy it after you’ve bought mine!
Do you think there will be a Kick reunion?
I’m not sure at the moment – the band became dysfunctional, as we all lived so far apart, which had an effect on the time we were able to put into it.
Kick toured with a lot of great acts like Helloween, Hard Rain, Bonfire, and Thunder to name a few. What band did you have the most fun with, and can you give us a memorable moment from touring?
After KICK left Sanctuary, we did the Magnum Christmas tour in 2002, which was a blast, as the season was almost upon us. Magnum hired girls dressed up as Santa at the gigs for promotional (and decorative) purposes; all I can say is that one or two were willing to have their presence felt!!! Touring is the best thing about being in a band – anyone who says otherwise should be locked up!
At the height of Kick’s career what did you ask for on the rider?
All the brown smarties that Van Halen didn’t want…! I asked for Stella Artois or Becks, as the preference for beer, but I was just happy to be on tour -you could feed me hay and water and I wouldn’t complain!
Did you ever get discouraged with the music industry and want to walk away?
Yes, there were times, and it happens to one and all. Record companies and agents have a million and one excuses/reasons why you haven’t sold as many records as you expected, or booked you onto the right tours – but hey, from all that bullsh*t, other bigger and better things grow, so long as you remain positive and true to yourself!
You started a new company called E-Z Sounds. Tell us a little about that company?
It was started by my business partner JJ and myself, and has helped me to get this album out. We hope to develop the label, and if we’re able to, we’ll help others to achieve their dreams one day.
Let’s have some fun. I am going to give you some words. Give me your feelings towards each word.
Music - My first…my last…my everything…R.O.C.K. on!
Band mates - Good times ahead, so roll on the tours!
Record Company - They serve a purpose, and the E-Z SOUNDS label is cool…
Ego - You must have one, however small, or else be squashed – so don’t be squashed!
Religion - Hmmm… good idea in principle, but, errr…enough said!
UK - It’s a shame, but more like Dis-United Kingdom at the moment…
War - When it’s justified (if it can ever be), then perhaps it is, indeed, a means to an end. But when it’s over oil and innocent people are being slaughtered, then I see a large black, smoking question mark on the horizon…
Success - Writing a blockbuster album which is heard and bought by millions! (a man can dream…) I joke – on a level; success is being content with yourself and helping others to fulfill their ambitions…
Dislike - Politicians that feather their own nests by dismantling yours in the process: drunk record label managers: musicians that complain about touring (I could go on…)
Touring - The best way of life EVER!!!
Would like to do - I’d like to act on stage or in a film – it’s another challenge to be had!
I wish - I had enough time to do all the things I’ve planned in my head!
If Mikey Jones could give a million dollars to any cause what would that be?
My concerns are with mistreated children and animals, so I’d place some much-needed money in those directions.
Mikey, your legendary songwriting will be etched in stone, and the music of Kick and Mikey Jones will live on forever. Would you like to say anything to our readers and your fans?
Three simple words… KEEP ROCK ALIVE!
Thanks for taking the time to read this and all the very best… Mikey.