We got in touch with NYC band The Mystery Lights during the final stretch of their 7-date tour of the U.K. Frontman Mike Brandon took 5 minutes to shoot the shit with us about his birthday celebrations in Liverpool, being introduced to Buckfast, having to drum for their support band Sleaze and being raised on hair metal.
Originally from Salinas, California, The Mystery Lights moved to NYC and set up shop in Ridgewood, Queens where they shared an apartment with a basement that doubled up as a makeshift rehearsal space. They cut their teeth with a raw take on late 60’s psych-tinged garage rock and after found themselves signing to Wick Records. Their self-titled debut album dropped last year to rave reviews, with Brandon describing the album recording process as “Real deal, all analog, all tape”. The band successfully harnessed their electric on stage energy into a raw, live sounding rock ‘n’ roll record which sits as one of the stand out albums of last year.
The Mystery Lights took Moth Club by storm this week (05/12) with their raucous brand of rock ‘n roll, a set which spanned the length of their debut record as well as some new tracks from their upcoming second album due next year.
5 minutes with… Mike Brandon of The Mystery Lights
What are your favourite moments of this tour so far?
“Well it was my birthday on December 2nd ( we were in Liverpool) and a good friend and fan of our music baked me a cake that said “21 and Counting” on it which was a great moment for me personally . Really nice of him. On the side of that moment, there have been many others … I had to drum for Sleaze (support band we toured with ) for two shows because their drummer couldn’t make it, so that was a lot of fun as well. I love any opportunity to drum. But yeah this tour has been pretty wild, a lot of great moments but unfortunately I can’t remember them all. Meeting the guys from Sleaze has been a treat . Great guys, really inspiring. Had A lot of good times with them, and hope to do more with them in the future.”
My dad will be attending your show tomorrow in Norwich, he brought me up on a healthy diet of Lou Reed, Bowie, and T.Rex, do you have memories of being forcefully strapped into the back of a hot car with music forced upon you?
“Oh yes – my dad raised me on 80’s hair metal bands like Poison, Ratt, Mötley Crüe, stuff like that, haha.”
What is the best drink you’ve had on this tour so far, anything strange and wonderful?
“The guys from Sleaze introduced us to this stuff Buckfast . Pretty good and never heard of it before … other than that we’ve just been throwing back the usual tequila.”
You’re playing in some beautiful places in Spain and Portugal, what do you think about playing to crowds that perhaps don’t fully understand your lyrics?
“Most people there can speak a bit of English, but whether they understand the lyrics or not, they can still feel it and that’s all that matters really. People will come out who don’t speak any English at all and they’ll still jump around passionately and have a great time. They can fell what I’m saying.”
What actually happens when you turn the devil down?
“Only time will tell I suppose, ha.”
Currently the band continue their tour through Spain and Portugal finishing up in Barcelona on the 16/12. See the amazing tour poster above.
By Karl Johnson
Hard Of Hearing Music