Houston Calling

10 Questions for MorningsideDrive

June 27th, 2007 · No Comments

Local rock act MorningsideDrive play with Glass Intrepid, Memphis May Fire, Enter The Collector, Novista, and The Last Great Assault this Thursday (6.28.07) — that’s tomorrow — at Warehouse Live (tickets here). The band — vocalist Gabriel Cavasos, guitarist Kenyon Puntenney, bassist Jon Alksne, and drummer Micah Miller — has opened for Avril Lavigne, Fallout Boy, and more.

I recently asked MorningsideDrive’s Micah Miller some questions about the band, their music, views on Houston, and what he’s listening to these days.


Photo credit – phillip ngo : photokinetic

10 Questions for MorningsideDrive

HC: How would you describe your music to someone who has never heard it before?

Micah: Concentrated and natural, with no gimmicks or caked up make up to hide its personality and lyrical content.

HC: What’s your take on the state of the local music scene? What would you do to make it better?

Micah: We’re proud Houstonians as well as Texans but we’re far from local. We’ve been across the USA numerous times putting in work. After an out-of-town show people want to know where we’re from and when they hear Houston, TX, I might as well have said “We’re from the moon,” because the common reaction is, “What’s up there?” People don’t associate Houston with rock stars, celebrities, and heiresses that crash into tollbooths.

We carry a great work ethic everywhere we go, so our concerns aren’t the whys of the local scene but HOW. There are millions of people in this city and we know 200,000 plus would really feel what we are creating. Having Houston’s own SXSW for all artists would be a blast wouldn’t it? Having the original Westheimer Street Festival would be as well.

HC: What do you consider to be your musical influences? Are they reflected in your music or do you just try to temper it as much as possible with what’s going through your head while writing?

Micah: Our influences are your influences. I’m a visual writer. I need my songs to paint a picture that you can understand and hopefully reflect on and move to.

HC: How do you think that digital technology and the Internet has helped your band? How critical is MySpace to connecting with your fans and booking gigs?

Micah: Digital technology has dwarfed the traditional workings of bands in the past and rightfully so. It has its downsides as well. It’s a shiny tool but not the only tool in the box. It can make you lazy. Before MySpace you had to use your legs and other means of promotion and networking and there’s something to appreciate in that; it’s still valid. The more tools you have the better, and though MySpace is extremely useful, there are other ways to be involved in the music community. Going out to shows and being face to face with the people you want at your shows is a great one.

HC: How has the response to your music been outside of the Houston area? Do you feel a need to “prove” yourselves more when you play out of town gigs?

Micah: Our response is wonderful out of town, and it means a lot because we’re the fish out of water 9 times out of 10. At home though, it means even more. We do feel we have something to prove. We represent this city because the people that have been coming and continue coming to our shows were the initial boost and blessings that got this band going in the first place. We want to bring the trophy home.

HC: Is this a full-time thing for you guys or do you have “day jobs” that pay the bills? If you have jobs, what do you do?

Micah: It’s definitely full-time and we juggle jobs along with it. Balancing a life outside of this band is a challenge in itself. From real estate, to the sign industry, Houston nightlife, and the office life, we’re all in the mix.

HC: What can you tell me about the show here on the 28th (at Warehouse Live)? Obviously, other local bands are on the bill. Anything special planned?

Micah: The show features some new bands from Dallas, TX. We’ve got new material we’ve been playing at every show including this one. We’ve recently changed our name to “Critics Hall of Fame,” though there will be no ice sculptures displaying that it’s another new edition to our story.

HC: What’s currently in your iPod/CD player/turntable?

Micah: Gosh, the Rocky 4 soundtrack, Chasing Victory, Amy Winehouse, Paul Wall — you name it, chances are someone’s got it on the playlist. The digital world has been good to our ears. Did you know Frankie Stallone had a number one hit in the 80’s?

HC: What other local bands do you like these days?

Micah: The majority of the bands we’ve shared the stage with have our respect and love. I’d say lately we’ve been digging Penny Royal and The Dimes. We’ve always enjoyed The Finalist, Eyeagainst, The Last Place You Look, Windsor Drive, Million Year Dance, Thee Armada, and our friends Meriwether from Louisiana (who get a lot of love here in town).

HC: What’s next for Morningside Drive? Are you guys working on new material? Touring this summer?

Micah: We’ve got material for two albums and a long-awaited DVD coming out. We’ve been working with Restless Management and other labels. Once those are completed, we’ll be on the road where we belong. There’s this unspoken vibe that all of our hard work and persistence will take shape in 2007. We’re excited. See you June 28th.

Special thanks to Micah from MorningsideDrive for taking the time to answer these questions for Houston Calling. Be sure to come out this Thursday to Warehouse Live, undoubtedly one of the city’s nicest venues, to see a great night of rock.

You can get MorningsideDrive’s self-titled album on iTunes. Also, here’s an online video from the band’s DVD. Visit them online here.

Tags: Music

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