Monday, January 02, 2017

10 Questions with Michael Kane and the Morning Afters

Michael Kane and the Morning Afters is a new band from Massachusetts that mixes elements of punk, power pop, garage rock, and Americana.  Their debut EP Adding Insult to Industry is available on BandCamp, Amazon, and Spotify.

This interview was conducted via email with Michael Kane December 27-28, 2016.

For more information on Michael Kane and the Morning Afters check out the band's Facebook and BandCamp pages.

Dave:  When did you first start playing and writing music?  How did the band get together?

Michael Kane:  I first started when I was 12. American Girl by Tom Petty was the first song I taught  myself. The band sort of started as an accident. My cousin Jeff passed away. He was in just about every band I had ever been in. I could always count on him to follow me in whatever crazy musical direction I wanted to go in. After he passed away, I couldn't see myself doing the band thing anymore, nothing deliberate, it just seemed impossible to me. Then with the help of Kevin Parkhurst (who is Jeff's brother and my cousin) I decided to record the tunes I had, just to do it. My son played bass, Kevin played drums and did all the technical stuff and all the sudden I had the 4 song ep the ended up being "adding insult to industry". Before the record came out, Kevin and I wanted to restore Jeff's old SG. I got referred to Franklin and through that....we have our band. We have similar musical sensibilities, with also being slightly different. When I committed to doing this I didn't wanna put any expectations on what type of tunes we would play. Growing up I was always like "I'm going to start a punk band" or whatever. This was far less calculated. Then add Cheryle on bass and most recently John on drums. And that's it (sorry if that was long)

Dave:  What’s the story behind the name Michael Kane and the Morning Afters?

Michael:  I've always like the "and the" band names. Elvis Costello, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty. To me it makes it so your name isn't pigeon-holing your band. I've always thought of it as pretty Rock N Roll. Charles from The Cheap Cassettes came up with the Morning Afters part (I keep telling him his check is in the mail) Kevin is in the Cheap Cassettes too who just signed to Rum-Bar records. Check them out. Super proud of those dudes.

Dave:  For those who have never heard the band, how do you describe your music?

Michael:  Hmm. I'd say we are a Rock N Roll band. It's a term people have grown to be uncomfortable with. Maybe they think it's too broad. But real Rock AND Roll (gotta have both) isn't broad at all. I'd say influences you can hear are everything from Bruce Springsteen, Lucero, The Clash, The Replacements,  Jesse Malin, The Beltones, Dogs d'amour, American Steel and one of my favorite bands of all-time from Philly.. Marah

Dave:  You recently released your debut EP Adding Insult to Industry on BandCamp. What made you decide to go with BandCamp for the release of the EP instead of a traditional record label? What's the story behind the record?

Michael:  The bandcamp thing was purely due to my lack of patience. Now that I have a band and we are going to record a proper LP we will take our time a bit more. I think I gave away the story on the first question.

Dave:  Do you have plans to tour in support of the new record? What are some of your favorite places to play?

Michael:  We wanna get the LP done. And the plan is to get somebody to put it out. Then show THEM It was well worth their support to put faith in us, by playing a hell of a lot. Home base is Worcester,Ma so Hotel Vernon is our home. Just did a great show with Off With Their Heads and The Warning Shots, great little venue.

Dave:  Do you have any specific type of songwriting process?

Michael:  I write everything on an acoustic guitar. All of our songs need to be able to stripped down to 1 guitar. That's just the music I love. So all written on an acoustic in a quiet room with my dog Strummer usually at my feet.

Dave:  What are your thoughts on the music scene in Boston?

Michael:  Well we are from about an hour west in Worcester. In the mid - late 90's Worcester was a hub. All the epitaph / fat bands came through and played small club shows. There is nothing like seeing the U.S. Bombs at the height of their "U.S. Bombs-ness" play and all ages, no booze venue haha. (There was a bar just next store, think that's where the band spent sound check) Boston though has some great bands. The Warning Shots, Bundles and Carissa Johnson are all great.

Dave:  This is a High Fidelity inspired question. What are your top five favorite bands, albums, movies, television programs, books/authors?

Michael:  Oh shit this is tough....I'll just top of my head on a few.

Bands --
Tom Petty
Bruce Springsteen
The Ramones
The Clash

Albums (maybe not of all Time) --
Elvis Costello - My Aim is True
Bruce - Greetings from Asbury Park
Marah - 20,000 Under the Sky
Hold Steady - Separation Sunday
The Replacements - Sorry Ma, Forgot to take out the trash

Dave:  What’s next for the band?

Michael:  We have a great show in Worcester with The Real Kids at Ralph's Rock Diner on Jan 14th and that's a bit of a bucket list show. The Real Kids are power pop legends. Then beginning of Feb we go into the studio. We managed to coerce Mark Lind from The Warning Shots / Ducky Boys to steer the ship a bit for us. I've know Mark forever and have loved all his bands. He is one of the most genuine dudes, esp with music and the music business. I can also babble on about Bruce, Guns N Roses or any sort of hypothetical rock n roll quandary I think of and he is always all in.

Dave:  Any final thoughts?

Michael:  We do all the shitty things in life just so we can do THIS. We work, we deal with bosses, life stress, money etc. we do ALL of that so we can write songs and play them for people. For me it balances it all. We are gunna have a very busy 2017. Thanks for chatting! And Happy New Year!

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