Interview with Mike Love

Mike Love and his band, The Full Circle, play Mullumbimby Civic Hall Friday, 28 Dec

Mike Love and The Full Circle

Mullumbimby Civic Hall  |  Friday, 28 December  |  7pm  |  $20–35

With more than 20 million hits on YouTube for his track Permanent Holiday Hawaii’s renowned reggae artist, Mike Love, returns with his full 6 piece band, The Full Circle.

How has the YouTube excitement of Permanent Holiday fed into your fanbase – do you see those numbers translate when you go on tour?

Being honest, without YouTube and Permanent Holiday in particular, I don’t know that I would be touring at all. It’s the number one thing people say to me when talking about how they discovered my music. It’s pretty amazing, because I have a similar sized audience wherever I go in the world. My fans seemed to be spread out fairly evenly over the planet and I think it’s due to YouTube not being a centralised source of entertainment, that and because my music is geared toward humans of any size, age, shape, colour, gender, etc. I have no demographic I try to target, I just write songs from the heart, from my experience and hope that it translates.

As a musician and ‘creative’ do you get a bit of a feeling about a song and its potential, or does it always come as a surprise what the listening public relates to?

Not really, honestly. Usually when I write a new song it’s just my favourite because I’m so excited about sharing it. I never can guess what will hit a nerve with people though. Sometimes I’ll play a new song to gauge how people connect and it just kind of falls flat, then I realise, well maybe that one is just more for me, for my personal experience. I have learned though, that certain songs work great in different situations, with varying types of crowds or venues. Sometimes I just have to come full-force if it’s a high-energy crowd, and I’m just coming on as a solo act after a band or something. Other times, I can get away with playing a lot of the softer, more vulnerable stuff if I’m in a theatre with a sit-down crowd or something like that. Although, both can work in both situations, it’s all about grasping the focus of the crowd and bringing the energy together into unity.

We are in a time when we need musicians with revolutionary voices – how important is it to you to inspire and motivate people with your music?

It’s really the reason we do it. I mean, we make enough money to pay the bills and we love what we do, but it’s a lot of hard work and a lot of gruelling travel. The energy I get back from the people when we’ve healed each other and had a spiritually enlightening experience is tantamount to my survival. If I was making music without a reason, without a purpose for the activation of people, for my own activation, I don’t think it would be worth doing, honestly. We do live in a time where change is happening rapidly, whether we like it or not. It’s up to us to embrace it and not be complacent about allowing it to be negative or positive change. We need to be a light, there are so many out there hanging on for dear life, and so many losing hope. Music can be a beacon in dark times and ignite the fires of positive revolutionary change!

What are the issues that you are most passionate about?

I’m very passionate about animal rights. I’m a vegan and promote that lifestyle. It’s something so simple that everyone can do, that will drastically change the vibration of the creatures of the planet, as well as significantly decrease our carbon footprint. I always tell people, if it’s not completely necessary, why would you take a life to sustain your own life? There are a plethora of good and healthy options available to you anywhere you go, there’s just no excuse. Of course, there are so many issues to be passionate about, climate change is incredibly important and I’m happy to see the massive movement happening around that. We just need to do more as individuals. It’s all about the choices we make, the lifestyle we choose, where we choose to spend our money. We have to look at every decision we make, and weigh up how it will affect our children.

We are in polarising times – what is your hope for the future Mike?

I still have hope for people. While the polarisation is real, it’s also largely due, in part, to the effects of social media, internet news and propaganda that’s directly designed to separate people, pit them against each other and in turn, control them. I believe that as time goes by, humanity will awaken from this bad dream we are experiencing now, remember that we are all connected in spirit and that these divisions we’ve been fed are simply fleeting illusions. One of the greatest effects of live music is that it’s an easy way to get people into a sort of group meditation. Whether they realize it or not, they are remembering the connection we have with one another. That’s why people still crave going to live shows rather than just watching them on their phone or TV. I have hope for humans. While we are all individuals, at different places on our spiritual journeys, we also have a collective spirit and karma that we are working through. This point in our collective journey is essential to our growth. I have to believe that, and I have to believe that we can overcome these obstacles and emerge with the spiritual and emotional knowledge to further evolve.

What should we expect for your shows here? Who are you playing with? What will you be playing?

I’m really excited to be bringing my band, The Full Circle, for the first time ever to Australia. This will be my fourth time Down Under but it’s the first time I’ll be coming with the full force of my 6 piece band. These are my favorite musicians in the world – hand picked from years of experience together, not just for their incredible musical talents, but also for their beautiful spirits and energy. I’m so excited to share our music in this way, it’s the peak experience of the songs I’ve written, as all of the music has grown and evolved greatly from the state it was in when it was recorded. I really am looking forward to it. The people of Australia hold a special place in my heart, as does the beautiful, sacred land there. I’ve heard so much about Woodford Folk Fest and am overjoyed we could finally do it this year. Mullumbimby is one of my absolute favourite places in the world, and I’m so happy to be returning there.

Mike Love and his band, The Full Circle, play Mullumbimby Civic Hall Friday, 28 Dec at 7pm. Tix are $20–35 from sticky tickets.

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