Just fine and yourself?
Doing good. Craziest day ever.
Care to explain why?
Our new single came out today, it's from our new album Almost Everything I Wished I Said the Last Time I Saw You. AOL did a feature on it on their Web site Spinner. And then on top of that, suddenly we were chosen by Apple for the new campaign for the iPad. If you go to the instructional video on Apple.com, the title track from the new album is played on there. It's kinda crazy. All of a sudden a lot of things are happening so quickly.
Speaking of the new album, what was your goal in creating it? Anything different you were trying to achieve that you didn't on Silent as a Movie or the War Sweater EP?
Actually, yeah. The War Sweater EP was our most recent album. Silent as a Movie is a live show that we put on a record a few years back. That album captured the energy of us just getting started. [pauses] The main thing with the new one that I hadn't achieved before with my other stuff, was that this new one is kind of streamlined. It's a real album, that tells a real story from front to back. It's got cohesive thoughts. That was our goal. And I think we achieved that. I think it came out really great.
Since we just closed out the year and the decade, what's your fondest memory, either in the studio, or on the road, from 2009, and if you can think back that far, perhaps include one from the decade?
Wow. Gosh. [laughter] The first thing that comes to mind from the road this past year is when we were in DC staying with a friend. He had the Wii. So we were making Wii characters to represent the band. We made these ridiculous faces. But we made sure that all the band members looked just like each other. We made this one absolutely ridiculous person. Afterward we had a basketball game. And we all suck at basketball. But we're all very competitive. Our bass player had never touched a basketball in her life. She is German and they don't exactly do that over there. At least I don't think. It was a really fun tour stop. Definitely the one that stands out the most.
As far as the decade. I have to say. Gosh. Probably that concert when we did the Silent as a Movie disc. That was three years ago. It was live, it was the first time we sold out a venue. It was a great night, there was this insane energy, everybody was singing. I remember being on stage and just soaking it all in and saying to myself, 'this is just wow.'
Discuss the Brooklyn music scene. It's well documented that it seems to be the place for indie upstart bands. Can you imagine recording this music anywhere else? For example, do you feel like Brooklyn has had a hand in your career more so than a locale like Minneapolis or Miami, might not have?
Yeah. definitely. Living in New York and Brooklyn is definitely a lifestyle. For starters, you don't drive. In other cities, when you drive, you have this car culture and that's how you get a lot of your music, or at least how you listen to it. In New York, you get your music in different ways. Different streams. Its a little more close. I mean I'm blown away by many of the music scenes in American. But in New York its so focused. [long pause] I mean, yeah, Brooklyn is definitely a huge factor and contributes to the sound that I make.
How did you land a job as a cast member of One Tree Hill?
Oh gosh. One Tree Hill. [laughter] I was really lucky that I got the job. I was at a thing for Darfur. I wasn't even playing and there was this cute girl there. So I walked over to her. She and I became friends, she brought Mark [Schwahn, the series creator] out to see me play one time since they were friends. And he liked the songs, so he wanted to use them. So he used a song from War Sweater in the season finale of the sixth season. After that aired, he and I became buddies, and we stayed in touch. It wasn't much of a business thing but more as friends. When the new album was done, I was in New York and I played it for him and he was really excited. He wanted to help us release it, so we made it a combined effort between Family Records and Timber Street.
As an artist who has spent time as a musician and actor (both in television and on stage), what do you perceive to be the role of music in other media such as television, film, and theater?
I think the thing about music is that it takes you somewhere. I mean at least for me it does. You can watch a scene without music and have emotion when you watch it, but when you add this sweeping music behind it, it becomes so much more special, and you can really genuinely feel it. Music seems to heighten or focus the background of stuff like that.
What are some of your earliest memories when it comes to music?
[pause, exhale] That's a really interesting question. Um. I was raised in a musical family, so we kind of grew up surrounding this piano in our home. My mom bought it, and a lot of times I'd try to play it. It was a really old piano. My earliest musical memories were kind of the way that it looked to me at the time. I mean, I was too small to see the keys, I had to peek over the bench to pound on it. And it was through that piano that I formed the lasting relationships with all of my family members.
How has your performance on stage and on television influenced your performance of live music, and vice versa?
I think that being an actor influences being a musician more so than being a musician influences being an actor. As an actor you have to get used to situations where people are staring at you. There's like 100 people staring and watching. And then you have to be comfortable in that zone and in doing that scene with all those faces watching intently. And that helps as a musician, because on a small stage like at Rockwood Music Hall, well, actually, on any stage, when you kinda just put on those blinders and make all the art, with all those people there, [pauses], it''s kinda a strange thing to do.
And then as an actor, how am I influenced by my music? Hmmm. Well. [pauses] You make music. And in doing so, you shut off your brain and focus in on other certain parts of it. Having that ability, having to do that again and again, maybe in some way it helps me to concentrate on the emotion or connecting to those emotions when filming a scene. So in that way I guess it probably does help.
I guess we've run out of time. Thanks again so much for talking with me Mike.
No, thank you Greg. I really appreciate it. I hope we talk again soon. Thanks again.
Note: Due to time constraints and technical difficulties the interview ended abruptly. Almost Everything I Wished I Said the Last Time I Saw You is released nationwide on March 16. For more information on Wakey! Wakey!, visit his Myspace.