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A Dirty Dozen with DON MIGGS from WHOLE DAMN MESS – July 2021

| 13 July 2021 | Reply


According to the bands bio: “Love is messy. Life is messy. And if you dig deep and really get past the bullshit it’s a WHOLE DAMN MESS. Beautiful and weird and scary and sweet. Complex and simple. All of it.” We get Don to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets you put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

WDM does a cool thing where the music is deceptively simple. You really notice it when you hear the instrumental. It’s layered for those who care about that but the focus is always melody and lyric first. Not on “Some Big Something,” but earlier tracks like “Save Your Breath” have the lyric “whole damn mess” in there, which is where the name came from. I think. I forget.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I never didn’t want to be a musician. From a small kid. Wrote my first songs at eight (and still remember them) and never swayed, actually. My dad and my uncles all play so it felt like what I was destined to do.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

My dad and uncles really gave me all the schooling you could ask for. Songs. It was always about songs. If you needed too many tricks to make it sound good, they weren’t into it. In my family, if there were three people singing and you sang unison, you got death stares. So, you quickly learned to LISTEN and be part of something more than you.

4. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

That is a tough one! I have been able to tick off a bunch of “dream” projects – Mick Fleetwood and Billy Corgan – those two alone are enough! I suppose any of the legends- Paul McCartney, John Fogerty (I was able to perform on stage with him!), Deborah Harry would all be fun! And I get to work with young talent that you will all come to know soon enough- Kesley Bou, Nessa. Collaboration is amazing because you can take your strengths and work with someone who has a whole other set of skills and come up with something all its own. By the way, THIS IS WHY WE ALL LOVE WHOLE DAMN MESS!!!!! It’s 4 writers, producers and performers mashing their skillsets together to make the music you hear.

5. What is your favorite activity when out of the studio and/or not on tour?  What do you like to do to unwind?

I love to exercise. Stay active. Tennis, basketball, hiking. I love as good book, too, but the best is my wife and two boys just hanging around the house. I’m the luckiest man on earth.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe, or you disagreed with?

The American Coldplay meets the Bleachers is what someone said to me recently. I quite liked that. It’s your favorite iconic “rock” music of the last 50 years in a blender. One part Tom Petty, a dash of the Eagles, a sprinkle of War On Drugs and Phoenix. Throw in some Strokes and Fleetwood Mac and you start to get the flavor.

7. When your band is hanging out together, who cooks, who gets the drinks in, and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

Lol. C Todd will get the drinks and invade your personal space. Lawrence always wants to have a conversation and get philosophical. Greg wants to get the good time coming and I’m the drip of the bunch. I hate singalongs but love playing!

8. When was the last time you were starstruck and who was it?

Man, I have been so fortunate. I don’t really get starstruck. I find so much joy meeting my idols and them not being assholes!! Fogerty, Corgan, Eddie Vedder, Obama have all exceeded expectations. And meeting some of them sucks. Breaks your heart a little. Want names?!?!?!?!

9. What is the best part of being a musician? If you could no longer be a musician for whatever reason, what would be your dream job?

You make music! You hear something in your head and then it’s in the world. How cool is that? It literally “wasn’t” before you put it out. Wow. And I love business and will always keep doing that. Partnering with the great clothing lines Natalie Martin Collection, Sablyn and Korovilas or helping produce movies and Broadway plays. What a life.

10. What is one question you have always wanted an interviewer to ask – and what is the answer? Conversely, what question are you tired of answering?

Lol. So many we are tired of. Frankly, I get that the idea is someone is reading about you for the first time so you need the basics answered but it feels like you’ve answered them a thousand times (no offense). I love a few of the questions you’ve asked, including this one. Maybe asking about a specific line in a song or a part. The more specific the better.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over,” even if it didn’t change your current situation?

Man, oh man!!! I tell artists I produce and write with all the time that they need to listen to me because I have made every mistake you can make. I’ve had a hand on the top rung and have consistently got in my own way. Oh well. Better late than never. When I was in MiGGs we were in the studio with Gavin MacKillop (Toad the Wet Sprocket, Goo Goo Dolls, Barenaked Ladies) and recording a song named “perfect” and he stopped us and said, “this song is a hit, but you have to go back to the chorus at the end or it won’t chart.” Well, I went on a tirade about “art” and how the Stones wouldn’t have changed it for a producer!!! He walked out. The people in the studio clapped and said how impressed they were that we stuck up for ourselves. A few minutes later he comes in puffing on a cigarette, gets close to me and says “do me a favor? Give me a call when this song doesn’t crack the top 40 and say ‘you told me so’, OK?” Sometimes, you aren’t the smartest person in the room. Most times, if you’re lucky. Listen to anyone who has been on the planet an hour longer than you.

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

How about Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Those guys may have been on to something. Or Spilt Milk by Jellyfish.





Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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