When Mike isn’t working, which is only on rare occasions, he might be thinking about rock and roll. Mike recounts how he got to the Springs and how he entered the power metal scene.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.
Interview and Photo by Pema Baldwin.
“My dad was in the military — he was a photographer in Vietnam — so I’ve been all over, but I graduated right here in Colorado Springs from Palmer High School. I started off in Florida and California, and all over the East coast — South and North Carolina.
I love Colorado. It’s the best out of all the places I’ve been. Weather is perfect. You’ve got all the different seasons. Got the mountains. I really liked the ocean when I was over there on that side of the country, but you can’t have everything. I go for the mountains.
I work at Golden Corral. I’m a cook. Gotta keep that money rolling. We’re off during the summers around here, so I gotta keep things going. I work Monday through Friday. I start here at eight o’clock in the morning and I go until four, then I go to my night job from five to 11 Monday through Friday, five days a week.
I just have to look at the bills and it gives me as much energy as I want. I have a house and I’m trying to pay it all off. I got lucky — got my first house 10 years after I graduated high school, so it worked out great.
But besides work … Well, see that’s another fun thing for me: rock and roll. I was a roadie for a rock and roll band and we went on tour. In 93’ we went for a whole year and then a couple of other years. Two years ago we went to Greece.
They’re my favorite friends, and they’re power gods. Our music is really heavy. It’s rock and roll, but in Germany it’s called power metal. It’s just a little different of a style. They’re really popular in Germany — more than they are here in the States. They’re called Titan Force.
I like the environment of a show, you know, setting up and getting some of the sound stuff; it’s good enough for me.
When I was 18 I got my first job at a Mexican restaurant and there was a cook there. He was in the band, and we became really good friends. He came and lived in my house for a while, so that’s how it really started.
When we were in Germany once there was this person that loved the band. He had his car, and he let us write our names all over it. It was kind of cool, you know. There’s things like that — weird, but cool. Every country that I’ve been to is a great place.
I went to Germany, I went to Switzerland, there’s a lot of great places out there. They’re all pretty nice … Netherlands.
Right now they’re trying to work on a new album, so things are a little slow. We can only hope that it will pick up again. You never know. That’s why I like having the summers off here. I get that opportunity to go and help them out.
I got lucky enough to be on an album — really just as back up, you know. I guess you can call it vocals: we read a cereal box and then we played it backwards — the contents of the cereal box. It was kinda interesting, but then when you play it back, it sounds pretty exciting. The album didn’t get made in Colorado. They’re European label, but you can probably still get it here.”