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A Dirty Dozen with MIKE PROTICH from THE VIOLENT – September 2021

| 9 September 2021 | Reply

According to a recent press release: “THE VIOLENT, featuring former members of Red Sun Rising, have released the footage of their first-ever performance, which was a SiriusXM Octane Accelerator Virtual Concert. Watch the performance, which includes all the songs released so far, new songs never heard before, and a very special cover song. The Violent have also announced their first headline shows alongside their appearance at Louder Than Life in Louisville.” We get Mike 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?

Most of the lyrical content I write is conversational. So if you pay attention to how the vocal tone changes throughout the songs you will notice multiple characters talking. If you did not know this you might be confused as to which view the narrative is being presented. I like the theatrical nature of this. “Think For Yourself” is a good example of these theatrics. Also the bass groove in the verses is also an un-resolving groove. Which conceptializes the idea of someone recycling thoughts through their own head in an attempt at affirmation to avoid opening up to opinions of others.

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

Music was always in my house when I was growing up. Whether it was being played on the radio, or my mother singing or playing piano. We always had music in our house. That being said I spent a lot of my formative years tinkering around on our piano until finally getting a guitar when I was 11. I became obsessed with it. I played in bands all through middle school and high school until I began attending Kent State University where I put music on the back burner to concentrate on school. However, I quickly realized I was craving performing and playing music in front of people. So I started playing again in the clubs at Kent State and Akron U in Ohio. I knew I would always play music at that point and that desire would never leave me.

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

It changed throughout my life. And continues to change. When I was young it was the music my parents listened to like The Beatles, The Cars, Aerosmith, Eric Clapton, The Doors, you know the classics. Those influences are definitely still there just may not be as obvious. Then I discovered grunge on my own in high school. I think the grunge artists really started to really shape my vocal, lyrical and songwriting style. Artists like Chris Cornell, Maynard Keenan and Trent Reznor definitely say made a major impact on me amongst a plethora of others. Too many to name really.

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

Well any of the 3 I named above obviously. Sadly could never be Chris Cornell at this point. But also who wouldn’t want to be a 5th member of The Beatles?

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

Well I recently moved to South Florida so I am still finding that new activity and hobby. But I lived in Chicago for the past 7 years and there I would cycle through the city a lot. It’s a very bike friendly city. I loved it. It didn’t feel like exercise; I felt like a kid just riding a bike. But I also love food and good drinks. And Chicago was definitely a great place for that. I was always on top of what was new in the city and making sure I made my own review of it. Even if no one cared to hear my opinion.

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?

It’s always interesting what other people hear in the music that we don’t hear or intend on. It’s often different. I try and disguise my influences as much as possible because no one wants a carbon copy of anyone. The biggest compliment I hear often is that people hear touches of a lot of familiar sounds yet can’t place their finger on anything in particular. And that. Tells me I’m doing something right.

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?

I have to be honest I hate to “jam” lol. Maybe it’s because I write songs, I don’t know. I’d rather just sit by myself with my acoustic and write the song .then say “Hey guys here’s the basics of the song now add some flavor” Cooking would most likely be myself or Patrick. But I think after this pandemic we all have stepped up our cooking game because we were home some much. Which will make touring a lot more favorable in the future I’d say. Drinks is all of us lol. It’s really who says “I’m getting a drink” first and the others will join.

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

It’s happened a few time. Especially at these large festivals and you’re randomly in the catering line with an artist you’ve listened to your whole life. The most recent was probably when we were in Europe playing either Rock am Ring or Rock I’m Park, can’t remember which one. But there was actually a bomb threat so they locked all the artists in this building and we couldn’t leave for like hours, with an open bar so it really wasn’t that scary for us. But I’m walking around and I just lock eyes with Liam Gallagher (Oasis) who was there playing solo that weekend. I was like its fookin Liam Gallagher mate!

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?

The best part of being a musician is the people that you can affect through your music. It still amazes me when someone comes up and. Tells us that our music has touched them or got them through a. Tough time or whatever it is. And I’m like wow this little song I probably wrote in my underwear on my couch affected this person that I’ve never met in a positive way. That just fascinating to me still. I love it. I am very right brain so I would have to do something that allowed me to be a freethinker and be creative. Over the past year during the pandemic when we couldn’t play shows we had to figure out ways to connect with people in creative ways. Basically digital marketing. I actually loved this side of the music business and still enjoy it with The Violent. I would probably pursue that further.

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?

I like when interviews do their homework and the questions don’t feel stock. I like when they are tailored to me. Like they care and learned as much about me before hand so they surface questions that everyone asks could be bypassed. Like “How did know you wanted to be a musician” or “What artists influence you” I’m sure you can google this and find these answers and then ask a deeper question like “I read x,y and z influenced you, can you elaborate on why these artists effected you” But that’s my free interview tip.

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?

I would have stayed independent longer. I thankfully had good experiences with the labels I was on but now knowing the other side of the business and owning my own label, Fascinate Records, I would have done this sooner. That being said I had to go through what I did to know these things so hindsight is 20/20.

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?

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles. I still reference this album when writing. I would have loved to see how instinctual the decisions were and what were the conversations around the final decision that ended up on the record.





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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