Artist Radar: Mike Love

Artist Radar: Mike Love

We have another artist from the amazing state of Hawaii, named Mike Love. With a very rootsy sound amplified by the use of looping pedals and human sounds, Mike Love brings to life his story through impressive live performances!

[Related: Live – J Boog, Mike Love (9-3-14)]

In April, Mike released his latest album entitled Jah Will Never Leave I Alone, in a collaboration with Jah Gumby of Father Psalms Studio. Over the summer, Mike toured with Kimie and Tubby Love, as well as some dates with Tribal Seeds, and J Boog, before heading out with Trevor Hall on his Small Is Beautiful Tour.

[Related: Artist Radar – Kimie]

In 2015, Mike will be releasing his new solo album entitled Love Will Find a Way. After checking out The Pier’s interview with Mike Love, below, be sure to go download two MP3’s he’s graciously giving away for FREE. The songs we received are “Jahwakening” and “Movin’ On” off of the album The Change I’m Seeking. So without further ado, I give you The Pier’s latest Artist Radar with none other than the very talented Mike Love.

Artist Radar: Mike Love

The Pier: Mike, I’m a new fan and it’s a pleasure to finally meet you. The first song I ever heard by you was “Permanent Holiday” (from the HiSessions) which absolutely blew me away. Where did you learn to loop like that? How did you get into that and is it an integral part of your shows?
Mike: When I started doing it I was playing solo shows to sometimes nobody, before I built a name for myself. I started doing the looping thing as a way to break up the monotony of a singer and a guitar at shows where I was playing for 3 or 4 hours. I sort of just learned to do it at gigs. By the time people started taking notice of my music I had gotten decent at doing it. DavidNorrisMikeLoveBellyUp9-3-14 (8)
The Pier: I know you play with some word fragmentation and a rebuilding of sentence structure, is that something you can do live? Did you learn that from someone or is that an original part of your music?
Mike: That was just kind of a weird idea that popped into my head when I was hiking in the mountains. I didn’t know if it would work or not, but the first time I tried it was met with a hugely positive response and I’ve been doing it ever since.

The Pier: Can you tell me a little bit about your musical background, like what bands you played with in the past, and what made you decide to go solo?
Mike: Well, I’ve played in a bunch of different bands. The main band I played with before my solo career was a ten piece band called Dubkonscious. It was a great band, but sometimes the logistics of bringing ten people together for rehearsal and gigs and recording and everything can be a full time job in and of itself. I think the freedom of not having to deal with that was part of my motivation for creating a solo act. I still love collaborating with other musicians more than anything, but there is a certain freedom to playing solo, in terms of improvisation. Also, I think in a way, it connects me to the crowd more. If I make a mistake, or do something really cool, I can’t turn to another band member to react to it, I have to look to the audience.

The Pier: What would be your take on the current state of reggae music? Any artists in particular that turn your head?
Mike: Reggae music has been around for so long, its a completely different thing now than it was in its origins. Its gone through so many different incarnations over the years. Even now there are many different sub-genres within the overall genre. If anything, I try not to categorize myself as a strictly reggae artist, because that’s not really what I am. Some of the reggae music that’s out there right now I really Love and some of it is just not to my taste. I don’t really want to name any names because I don’t want to hurt anyones feelings or discourage anybody. I think if you are making music that’s true to yourself, that’s the only thing that really matters, and it shouldn’t affect you if people criticize you, because you know you’re doing the right thing. I listen to all different kinds of music, just whatever is true and speaks truth to my heart. I encourage all musicians, whether their music speaks to me or not, to keep moving forward, because maybe their music is healing to someone else, you know. Not everything is for everyone.

The Pier: I know your last album was released in April and was a collaborative effort with Jah Gumby and Father Psalms Studio. Do you plan on more collabs with the Jah and Father Psalms in the future?
Mike: Of course. I Love working with Gumby, he brings out a different style in me and I like it. He has so much music to share and is constantly at work in the studio. I hope to get time to get back with him and work on some new material soon. We play in a band together, The Father Psalms Band, in which Kali Navales and I are both singers. Its a really great band with stellar musicians. We get the chance to work on new material, here and there with that band, its really a fun project.
DavidNorrisMikeLoveBellyUp9-3-14 (2)
The Pier: Love Will Find a Way is the new record. When are you looking to release the album? What is going to be the biggest difference between this record and your last record Jah Will Never Leave I Alone?
Mike: I don’t have a release date yet, but I’m spending the rest of 2014 finishing it up and it’ll be released sometime in 2015. I’ll let you guys know as soon as I have a date set. It’s another solo record, so it’ll have more in common with my first album, The Change I’m Seeking, with a more diverse selection of tunes in terms of genres. The musicians on the album are incredible, top notch players. I’m really excited with how its turning out. There will be some special guests that I’ll announce as the release date gets closer. I’m really excited to feature many musicians that I Love and look up to. I’m also really happy about the tonality of everything that’s been laid down so far, I think its gonna be a really good album. A lot of the songs are tunes I’ve been performing over the past year or so, and there are a few tunes that I’m saving and not playing live until the album release.

The Pier: What were you looking forward to the most with your recent tour with Trevor Hall, and how did that go?
Mike: The tour with Trevor was incredible! We shared many magical moments together on stage and off. Trevor and his band and crew were just an absolute pleasure to tour and work with and I really look forward to doing it again. The fans were intense and so grateful, such an awesome energy at every show.

The Pier: What does 2015 have in store for Mike Love?
Mike: Well, I guess that remains to be seen, but whatever it is, I’m sure it will only be better and more amazing than the last, at least that’s been the trend so far. I know we’ve already booked some festivals I’m really excited to play, and of course with the release of my new album I know we’ll have a lot to do to promote that. Hopefully we’ll be able to get some international touring in, we’ve been getting some major pressure from fans in South America, Europe, Australia, etc. Other than that, I’m just gonna focus on being the best daddy and husband I can, and bring the musical healing to as many that need it as possible!

The Pier: Thanks Mike really appreciate it. Good luck on tour and in any and all future endeavors.
Mike: Thanks for all you guys do and a huge Mahalo for all your support. LOVE YOU GUYS!!!! Aloha, ~ Mike Love ~

Mike Love Tour Dates

Mike Love Links:
Mike Love MP3 Massive (2 FREE MP3s)
Mike Love Website
Mike Love Facebook

Article By: Andrew McClatchy
Photos By: David Norris

Watch: Mike Love – “No Regrets”