Q&A: Like Mike’s Dan Wilson

like mike

Back in August 2011, Georgia-based pop-punk group Like Mike formed. The group quickly found their footing, with their first two singles recorded and plenty of shows planned in their hometown of Marietta, by October of 2011. Like Mike has hardly slowed down since their inception, performing alongside the likes of Cartel and Set It Off, performing at dates on the Vans Warped Tour, and releasing two EPs to date. The band is currently in working on their third EP, with their new single, “Knuckles Deep,” which is out now. Dan Wilson (drums) sat down with Planet Stereo to talk about the band’s new music, their plans for the summer, and much more.

Planet Stereo: Thanks so much for doing the interview. How are you?

Dan Wilson: No problem! I’m doing great, thanks.

PS: You’re preparing to release your third EP soon. What are you most excited for?

DW: I’m so excited for people to hear what we’ve been working on the last few months. This EP, unlike the last two, is all music we wrote together in the same room and the songs are better for it. I think listeners will be able to hear that. Other than that, I’m just ready to play all of it live. We’ve already started to incorporate some of the new stuff into our live set and it feels so good.

PS: Your new single, “Knuckles Deep,” recently came out. What made this song stand out as a single for you?

DW: I think it was just a good introduction to what’s next for us. It foreshadowed the slight shift in direction and even the quality of the new music we’ve been writing. Although I didn’t write the lyrics, they struck me as more personal and hard hitting than anything we’d released prior and I think you’ll hear more of that kind of writing in the new EP as well.

PS: What is your favorite part about going into the studio?

DW: The studio we’ve gone to for the last two EPs and this one as well, EST Audio, is a lot of fun to work with. We’ve been known to hang out there when we aren’t even recording. During sessions, Mike and Daniel walk the line between keeping things stress-free and taking their work very seriously and I think that makes all the difference. Recordings are the lifeblood of any band and, being the drummer, it’s really cool to lay down the foundation for that when we start the recording process.

PS: What would you like people to come away with when they hear your music?

DW: I hope our music feels real and honest. We mostly write for ourselves. For me, it’s a form of catharsis but maybe that’s because I’m the one beating the crap out of drums every other night. However, it is very cool when people can relate to the songs. If somebody told me our music helped them in some way, I’d be honored, if not a little confused.

PS: You’re aiming to play Warped Tour this year. Have you ever played there before?

DW: Yeah, we had the incredible opportunity to play the Atlanta date last year. We’d love to play again, although, I think individually we’ve spent more time this year supporting the other very talented locals around Atlanta that are trying to play. 

PS: If yes to the question above, what was your favorite part?

DW: I’ve been going to Warped since I was maybe 14, so it was cool to be one of the bands up on that stage for the first time. We got to play with some awesome bands that I never imagined sharing a venue with. A lot of our friends came to hang out with us and we also met a ton of really cool people who hadn’t heard us before.

PS: If you could work with any artist, past or present, who would it be and why?

DW: I think it would be really cool to work with Set Your Goals because they’ve always been a big inspiration for us as a band. I’d love to pick their old drummer, Mike Ambrose’s brain. I’m sure I could learn a thing or two from him.

PS: When looking at the current music scene, do you think social media is helping or hindering artists?

DW: It’s a little of both, I think. Social media has the tendency to make some bands lazy. A lot of bands don’t realize that internet promotion isn’t the only way to get someone out to a show and, by itself, is far less effective than with the help of in person flyering and word of mouth. Social media also gives bands an easy way to network with other bands. I think it’s just as important to network in person as much as possible. It can be a great way to connect with prospective listeners but nothing compares to in person conversations. We think twitter is a lot fun.

PS: What was the first album you ever bought?

 DW: I’m not sure what my literal first album I bought was. Most of my early music listening experiences were from albums that were bought for me for birthdays or Christmas (mostly by my sister who had great music taste). I do remember buying Riot! by Paramore when it first came out. For some reason, I thought Target was a cool place to buy music… 

PS: In music, especially with social media coming into play, which do you believe to be more important: quality or likeability?

DW: I think we probably value quality over likeability but I have been told our music is catchy. Musically, we don’t settle. If we aren’t all feeling a song or a particular part, we work on it until it’s where we want it to be or we scrap it. People seem to dig it, though, so we must be doing something right in the likability department.

PS: Any last words?

DW: I just thought everyone should know, we think people everywhere should boycott fast food restaurants until they start serving alcohol. We believe people have the right to damage their arteries AND their livers at the same time. This is an issue that’s very important to us and we want everyone to get involved. Thanks, guys!

For more on Like Mike, to purchase a CD, or to catch them live, click HERE.

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