Michael Kane has always been a committed music fan—in particular, of the Worcester and Boston scene—but it wasn’t until tragedy struck his family that he realized it was time to turn his affinity into his newest musical undertaking. “A few years back, my cousin Jeff passed away,” Kane recalls. “My son, [guitarist Ryan Kane], and cousin, [drummer] Kevin [Parkhurst], decided to record a few tunes. Jeff had always been a fixture in all of our bands, so it was very cathartic. It was something we needed to do.”
“Around the same time, I hired Franklin Siplas—my would-be guitar player—to fix the neck on Jeff’s old [Gibson] SG,” he adds. “We started talking, he dug the tunes and mentioned that if I ever wanted to give it a go, to let him know. I decided to go all-in and pour everything I had into it. I hope people dig it and can relate to it.”
State Line Records released Michael Kane & The Morning Afters’ latest 7”, Laughing At the Shape I’m In, just before they hit the road with Jukebox Romantics. Although the band project a devil-may-care, chip-on-the-shoulder, punk-infused rock vibe, the lyrics exhibit an everyman honesty that is relatable, authentic, and endearing. In particular, the record’s lead track, “Old Men Die in New Suits,” exhibits these qualities in spades.
“It is [autobiographical],” Kane admits. “My dad passed away. Him and I never hit it off. I was always very intimidated by him. It just never worked. When he suddenly got sick, I saw him as someone different. He was fragile, he was scared—he raised a family and did the best he could. Then, he died after just two weeks after diagnosis. We never smoothed anything over.”
Despite his tumultuous relationship with his father, Kane continues to find comrades and a familial spirit in the music community. “I have met some of my best friends from going to see bands play,” he attests. “I met Mark Lind, [the cofounder of State Line Records], from going to see The Ducky Boys play. We met [Jukebox Romantics] last year in Jersey, and they are a great, hardworking band.”
“It’s gonna be a blast! I’m looking forward to getting in front of some new crowds and see what they make of us.”
For those that happen to purchase the 7” at a live date, there may be a surprise in store; Kane include thank you notes in each of the records. “I felt it was very important [to write the thank you notes], Kane confesses. “I wanted to thank every single person who paid their money and gave our record a chance. It really meant a lot to us. So writing out a stack of notes seemed like a cool idea. I wanted to make it as personal as I could.”
Photo Credit Erin Mathieu