BLAHA/The Blind Shake (Mike Blaha)
1. What are your top five albums that were released in 2018? (Preferably in order 1-5)
- Thee Oh Sees - Smote Reverser
- Darto — fundamental slime
- Warm Drag - s/t
- Benni - I & II
- Part Chimp - Cheap Thrillers
2. What band did you discover in 2018 (can be a brand new band or an older band) that had an impact on your life? What made them significant?
My friend/BLAHA bass player Allison Gunderson got me into Darto. They’re super creative and interesting, yet take no prisoners. They do everything I was going to think of, but never did! It’s actually frustrating.
3. How will you remember 2018? (In terms of music)
I had a rough year. Definitely in my top 40 for worst years of my life. Music kept me going. Specifically, my British personal friend, Siri, who lives in my phone. She always knows what song I need when I’m out of ideas and admit I am powerless over selecting the appropriate song for the situation. I just tell her “Hey Siri, play some music”, and she’s on it. It’s never what I want, but always what I need. I don’t want to rely on her as much in 2019, but it’s good to know there’s those friends who’ll never give up on you.
4. What can we look forward to from you in 2019?
The Blind Shake will be playing the X-Games this year, so that’ll be a new experience. Without skating and Thrasher Magazines, our band would have never existed. Jim always found cool music through his skate buddies and it was a huge influence on the stuff we listened to. Thrasher was our gateway drug into underground music. So we’ll be “giving back” by playing on ESPN for money somehow. Maybe we can be someone’s musical gateway drug into actual drugs. I don’t know. Or maybe somewhere, a jock kid buys an X-games ticket because he thought it was a peep show. Then he sees a skateboarder, our band, and has a tasty snack at the concessions and realizes there’s more awesome ways to get hurt than playing “two for flinching” with your concussion bros. Call me a hopeless romantic.
BLAHA has an album coming out this spring on Godunknown. Hopefully something else too, followed by another thing. Because one thing is basically no thing. More things has a better chance at being some thing.
5. What records are you looking forward to most in 2019?
Jim Blaha’s solo deal, Jim & the French Vanilla, will have a new record out in 2019 hopefully. I heard the latest mixes and it’s super fun and sonically messed up in all the right places! It might be under a different band name. I’ll keep my ear to the wall and let the people know.
6. Right now there are two primary types of digital services: subscription streaming and the bandcamp approach that's more individualized. Do you have a preference and what direction do you think future streaming/download services will move toward?
I personally like the bandcamp version better for checking out local bands, but I definitely don’t want to go to bandcamp to get the back catalog of great bands throughout the ages. That’s when streaming is the best. When you know a song and you just need to hear it quickly for your own mental health. You are not trying to support a scene or any thing like that. You are simply pulling a song out of the air to supplement the situation.