Break It Down: Mike Bones
Fri, 13 Feb 2009 14:39:29
Already respected across the Big Apple indie scene for his work with bands like Soldiers of Fortune and Mighty Flashlight, guitarist Mike Bones is stepping even further into solo territory with his sophomore release, A Fool For Everyone. Joined by fellow axe slinger Matt Sweeney, as well as members of Antony & The Johnsons and Favourite Sons, the album was constructed in only four days and maintains the natural grace of brevity as a result. Currently out on tour in support of A Fool, Bones took time out to give us a peek at the skeletons in his closet with our Break It Down feature. Read on as he talks timeless beauty, industry ignorance and the pursuit of Gollum-chic.
What have you been listening to lately?
Merriweather Post Pavilion by Animal Collective. Is anyone in the universe listening to anything else right now? It is absolutely incredible.
Where’s your favorite place to chill?
When I'm home, I spend my afternoons in Tompkins Square Park with a coffee from 9th Street Espresso and the NY Post. I sit on the benches by the basketball courts. The skateboarders call it the “TF” as in training facility.
What’s the most dramatic thing you ever did to save money as a starving musician?
I have no idea how to save money. Right now I'm in London and have 10 pounds to my name. Thankfully, I love pizza.
Tell us one of your favorite song lyrics.
“I pack shelves and I'm not well
I open doors and I mop floors
My kids are pale, my bread is stale
I pack shelves and I'm not well”
-From “Coco Rushdie” written by Ken Griffin and performed by his band, the Favourite Sons. This dude is on top of his game. They're currently recording this song.
What is your most cherished musical instrument or accessory?
I'll play any old thing. And make it sound good too.
If you could change one thing about the music industry today what would it be?
I try to pretend it's not there. Woody Guthrie didn't deal with the music industry, why should I? Although, one thing that perturbs me about some people who work in the music biz is how little they actually know about music. Step your game up people.
What never goes out of style?
Beautiful women. In my lifetime, beautiful women have never gone out of style.
What’s the theme song to your life?
Right now it's “Guess I Lose” by J.J. Cale.
What movies, artists, authors or athletes inspire you the most?
Writers: James Salter, Denis Johnson, Roberto Bolano, Richard Yates; all masters of the craft in my opinion. Athletes: Jason Kiddhe's a true workhorse and he makes things happen out there. Artists: David Altmejdhe's not afraid of the subconscious; frighteningly beautiful. Of course there are hundreds more.
What's your favorite way to stay in shape?
I'm a songwriter, and a songwriter is supposed to look like Gollum. Don't trust any songwriter who is in good shape mentally or physically. If you have time to go to the gym, you're not working hard enough.
What non-musician would you most like to meet?
Vladimir Putin. I read yesterday that he's making paintings for charity.
What's your biggest guilty pleasure?
I love cigarettes and am constantly being made to feel guilty about it. It's my only remaining vice fortunately.
MySpace or Facebook?
I try to refrain from stalking exes. But as a musician, I'm forced to have both a Myspace and Facebook page, so the temptation is always there.
—The ARTISTdirect Staff