Thursday, June 17, 2010

Interview with Mishka

Interview by Chad Hillje
Editor - Kyle Hillje
Photographer - Mark Franzen

On tour promoting his latest release “Talk About”, Dub Rock Syndicate caught up with Mishka after his phenomenal performance at the Bluebird Theatre in Denver, Colorado.

DRS- Welcome back to Colorado and the Bluebird theatre Mishka. The last time we saw you here, you had your arm in a cast. We assume everything healed up ok?
Mishka- Ha ha, most definitely. It’s nice to be functional.
DRS- Indeed. We want to congratulate you on your fourth studio release “Talk About” and your fans want to know, what it’s like to be working with Matthew McConaughey and being part of his record label j.k livin?
Mishka- It’s been good so far ya know. It’s definitely brought certain exposure to an audience that wouldn’t have necessarily heard me before, like people that are fans of his and his movies. It’s been a learning curve for both of us, for his record company and for me so that’s cool. It’s positive ya know?
DRS- You both seem like some pretty positive guys, so that is cool man. It was pretty cool to hear your songs on his 2008 movie “Surfer, Dude”.
Mishka- Yeah that was cool. “Coastline Journey” and “3rd eye vision”.
DRS- You finally recorded the track “Home Grown” for a studio release on your latest album this year even though you have been playing that song for a few years now. It’s noticeable that you brought a different element to the recording of the track and a Willie Nelson has a cameo in the song. How did that come about?
Mishka- That was a connection through Matthew. A Texas connection through the Texas guys, ya know. We recorded the track and Matthew called up Willie and asked if he would be interested in singing on a track with a guy he was working with (myself) and Willie was like “just send me the track and leave space for me to sing”. I actually never got to meet him but sooner or later I’m sure ill get to meet him. So that was nice ya know, cause as a kid my mom used to listen to his tapes and stuff.
DRS- That’s pretty neat how that worked out. Now, as a kid you grew up on a boat with your parents traveling through the Caribbean Islands listening to bands such as Jaluka, Bob Marley and Burning Spear. It’s understandable how growing up in that environment would inspire you to write great reggae music. What else inspires you to write your music, especially when you’re on the road?
Mishka- It’s the human struggle ya know? Being a living human being on the planet is like a balancing act. So I think everybody does something to balance ya know? So, a lot of that comes out in lyrics and chords. It’s life man. A lot of times I’m inspired by all of the negative and positive things that happen in life. All of the atrocities and things going on in the world inspire me to sing about trying to find some justice in our future. Seeking Rastafari and his majesty spoke about equal rights and justice for all people. Nobody else has put it in such a clear way for everybody to understand. Rastafari is really the inspiration for most of the music ya know? It’s like the voice of the time ya know? It’s the truth in the era that we are living in. You can read biblical stuff or you can read other religious scriptures like the Koran or the Buddhist text but right now it’s the Rastafari word that people need to know about. Not even in a religious sense, a human sense, just respect for one another and undoing the colonialism like white supremacy and world domination through corporation. All of that stuff needs to be exposed and undone through people realizing their human rights and what it is to be a human being on the planet. So that’s really where my message is coming from ya know?
DRS- Your message is definitely being heard. Do your parents ever get to see you play?
Mishka- They’d seen me up in Canada a couple of years ago. They haven’t seen the full band yet though.
DRS- They are sure in for a treat!
Mishka- Yeah man.
DRS- You are obviously inspired by roots reggae. What do you think of that genre coming together with rock and roll and the whole dub rock sound?
Mishka- That’s what it’s about ya know? I have drawn so much influence and inspiration from other people. We’re all just like sponges ya know? The music is the water and you put the sponge in the water and soak it all up and squeeze it out somewhere else. It’s like that ya know?
DRS- One of the top dub rock bands in the scene “Pepper” actually covered your song “lonely”. How does that feel to know that your sound influences such good bands like Pepper?
Mishka- I like those guys. If they want to cover one of my songs that’s great! The roots reggae and the rock, I love both genres ya know?
DRS- Tomorrow night you’re playing at the “Belly Up” in Aspen. Have you played there before?
Mishka- I have. I have played a couple of acoustic sets up there but I have not played with the band up there yet. Should be fun, ya know?
DRS- Well they are in for a show. Mishka, thank you for your time and your humble attitude. We are so happy to have you back in Denver and we will tell all of our friends to go buy your new album “Talk About”.
Mishka- Yeah man, much respect.