Interview: Mike’s Dead Continues a Galactic Reign in the Metal Culture

Hopeless Records’ metal force Mike’s Dead climatic and mind-bending sound is out of control on every level. Mike’s Dead’s dark and deep guttural howls open a world of pain and pleasure. Mike’s Dead have developed a new sound, a synthesis of life, love, and pain explored in each track. Reviving industrial into some serious metal, Mike’s Dead are one of the most underrated bands I have seen in quite some time.

Mike’s Dead push though phenomenal tours and continue to build a music mecca in the metal scene. The perfect blend of metal, industrial, alt. rock.

Mike’s Dead latest EP REBIRTH  fuels guttural sounds that pulls you into another metaverse. Just off tour with Ice Nine Kills, their ear-shattering tracks unveil the deliverance of resonance throughout the entire REBIRTH tracks. Right off the bat, “Grip,” moves through your soul. The lyrics are relatable with the insanity life if giving off lately! There’s no fluff and daises in this music; it’s raw and 100% real.

The next track “Bite Down,” straight up-lip biting lethal sound gets you ready for stage diving. Metal is most definitely an acquired taste. But, when you merge this industrial sound, this is unmatchable. Mike’s Dead sets the bar high check it out!

Tell me a little about yourself, where are you from?
I was born just outside of Washington, D.C. and grew up in the northern Virginia area. I did a few years of college at University of Maryland and at that time was DJing with a friend of mine and decided to transfer to an audio engineering school out in LA. After that, I spent some time (a lot of time) figuring out what the hell I was doing; I was making beats for rappers and singers and working on an EDM project.

A roommate of mine at the time also made beats, and I’d always walk around the house freestyling to them (I’m terrible), and he suggested making a hip hop project due to the low tone of my voice. I kind of thought he was kidding but I did it anyways and everyone was wildly impressed. That’s how Mike’s Dead started (it wasn’t the name at the time), but I spent a year or two continuing to develop that sound and figure out what I was trying to do. And now boom its years later and I’m touring and doing music full time. Life’s weird.

Tell us about the new EP ‘REBIRTH’ released on November 30. What inspired this collective?
The REBIRTH EP follows the REVENGE EP I put out back in 2021. Revenge was a starting point. REBIRTH is the sonic continuation. With Rebirth, I wanted to show the sonic branding a bit more, as I’ve really grown into my own sound. What started as experimentation (with Revenge) became a full-fledged sonic niche that really represents Mike’s Dead. A few of these songs on the EP are older, written back in 2020, but have been refined again and again to bring them up to par.

From an overall perspective I wanted to create a project that you can’t argue with. Most of the projects are singles, which I think makes the project stronger. There’s no fluff. The only song that experiments a bit more is Creep, and even that could have been released as a single.

Can you tell us about the heavy- fueled track “Grip”?
This one just came from the heart. I wrote this in LA with two friends of mine and it developed quickly. We all co-produced it, and within a few minutes of having the chorus chords written, I stepped into the other room and came up with the chorus melody. It came to me in maybe five minutes or less, which is rare. I think it was just something I was keeping inside, and it was so ready to come out. “GRIP” seems to be everyone’s favorite due to the raw nature of the lyrics. It’s something I think everyone can relate to at some point in their life, and the manic production really helps drive the song through.

So, I have to ask, a summer on the road with Ice Nine Kills?! please tell us how amazing this was.
My favorite tour I’ve ever done. It was a bit grueling—We didn’t have any crew, so we did every single, little thing, but overall, it was incredibly worth it. It seemed like we impressed a large amount of the audience each night, as our merch line was always solid, and it was great getting the experience of seeing how the other bands function as well. Every band was great, both live and backstage. Really cool people. I’d love to get another run in with those guys in the next few years.

Looks like you’re hitting the biggest fests! Have you played Sonic Temple before?
Yeah, we played Sonic Temple last year! I can’t unveil too much info, but we’re playing a bunch of festivals next year and then building out tour schedule around it. Sonic is really solid festival, and we put on a good show last year. It’s an interesting set up being within the stadium grounds, right outside of it, but I think it flows really well. Columbus is always a good time!

Craziest or scariest tour stories?
I think every solid band has at least a few stories where someone’s almost died. On the last tour, we played in Austin, TX with Ice Nine Kills, but we played outside in 105 degree heat. I had just gotten over laryngitis, so my body was already a little weaker than normal. We played at 6:30 while the sun was still fully blazing. We didn’t care about the heat. We still went as hard as we would inside and got absolutely drenched.

After the set, we had to immediately load our gear back in the van since there was basically no room for staging gear backstage. By the time we loaded gear and played the set, AND went to merch, my brain was starting to fry. I went to the greenroom (in an Airstream) and once my adrenaline wore off, everything got wonky. My vision basically disappeared, and I couldn’t walk or speak. Luckily, my guitarist and his friend were right outside. I was somehow able to throw myself through the greenroom door, and they basically carried my lifeless body into medical. All I could see was my boots dragging through the dirt. All these medics were on top of me stabbing me with needles to get me an IV (I basically had heat stroke) and couldn’t breathe or talk, etc. Super scary shit! After 20 minutes on the IV, I was thankfully better.

Choice bands?
I grew up on Linkin Park, Gorillaz, and Good Charlotte mixed with NY hip hop like Big L, MF DOOM, Gang Starr etc. Currently, I’m really enjoying Sleep Token, 3TEETH, Kublai Khan TX, and a few others. I’ve been in this strange underground zone lately and been listening to alot of techno and hard techno. I think its good to broaden your listening horizon, as it helps broaden your own music a bit more.

Words to the fans!
The EP is just a big mix of singles. Each song is carefully curated and unique. I hope everyone can find one or two specific songs they resonate with and make them their favorite. I know as of right now a lot of fans have been leaning into “GRIP “and “Bite Down” as their major two. I know each song might not be for everyone, but I promise there’s at least one or two on the project that you won’t be able to get out of your head.

Check out Mike’s Dead coming to a city near you!

REBIRTH is now available. Check out FB and IG for more dates on tours!

Photo courtesy of Mike’s Dead 

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