So the other day, The Emperor told me to interview a rock band hailing from North Hollywood called Til All is One. So I did that. I took a long, thought provoking stroll to the couch in my living room. There, I racked my heart, my soul, my brain, nay, the very core of my being for soul quenching questions to fire at Mike Mckay, vocalist of Til All is One. After about fifteen minutes of this, I called that guy.
Hey, my name is Dan, I’m from Racket Magazine. I’m going to ask you some questions, if that is alright with you. If you could answer them, that would be spectacular.
Hello, Dan. My name is Mike Mckay, and I sing for Til All Is One. That sounds fine.
Fantastic. Now if you could please, describe your sound.
Well I think the best way to describe it would be Melodic hard rock. This is oversimplifying, though. Punk, metal, and classic rock, just to name a few, are all part of our sound. It’s pretty all over the place. As a songwriter, I am hugely influenced by people like The Beatles and Jimi Hendrix, as well as some more modern folks. A big part of our philosophy is that all are becoming one. So this means we run the gamut as far as sonic and emotional influences. This project is really an amalgamation of everything we enjoy.
Fascinating. So you just crushed all of these influences together, like the talon of some gargantuan bird?
Yes. Something like that.
Incredible. How did all of you meet up?
I was writing by myself for a long time. I moved from Florida to California, and spent a long time just doing solo music and hunting around. After about 5-6 years of playing with other people and being unsatisfied, I found Neil and Karthik (guitarist and bassist) at another show that I was Emceeing. They were backing up a rapper by the name of Sean Anthony at the time. There was just something about that performance that made the hairs on the back of my neck hairs stand up. Marco joined up a little while later. He was introduced to us via a mutual friend. Now we have been playing music together for about a year and a half at our space.
Scintillating. And where exactly is that?
We’re all based out of North Hollywood. We rent a large rehearsal space with a lot of other bands. Our mutual friend was actually the guy across hall from us. Who recommended the drummer, I mean.
Riveting. How was it rehearsing in a large space? Could that be a small part of why you have so many different influences?
I mean, I grew up listening to oldies like The Beatles and doo wop. Later on, I started to like punk and thrash metal and that sort of scene. The bands of the early 90s were a revelation to me. That was like my Woodstock era. It was just refreshing to listen to for me. This wide array of listening pleasures is also coupled with the different stylistic inclinations of the other members. One of Karthik’s favorites has got to be Les Claypool, and both Karthik and Neil are jazzheads. Marco definitely also brings the eurometal vibe. So it’s an amalgamation of all of this
So…. No then?
No, I guess not.
Marvelous. Why do you choose to play music?
You know, I didn’t make this up, but it rings true for me. I don’t play music, music plays me. The act of playing music is deeply ingrained in the fiber of being. Even if I wanted to stop playing, I don’t think I could. I do not think it would be possible for me to turn that off.
Incredulous. So you are currently being controlled completely by the fingers of music? Music is using your vocal flaps as a fleshy meat puppet with which to do it’s bidding?
Compelling. Who would your ideal touring lineup consist of?
This is like anyone? Like a dream line up?
I would have to say the Foo fighters, Incubus, and Lamb of God. Foo Fighters are really like the last accessible last rock band. To me, at least. Like the last rock band that plays accessible music, but still have their Integrity.
Enthralling. Who, why, when or what inspires you?
Oh, I could go on for days about who, as I’ve already mentioned. I would say things that are intrinsically real. I believe in connecting emotions and art. Any style of music can inspire me. Even Pop singers that have great affinity for what they do. Kelly Clarkson and Christina Augilera both really exemplify this. Steve Vai isn’t a pop singer, but really inspires me as well. Just anything gritty and visceral. Anything real. I run on both sides of spectrum. Whatever serves the purpose of the song.
Captivating. Have you ever been on Reddit?
My guitarist is always on it. Why?
So you’ve never done a TIL post titled “All Is One”?
Today I Learned All Is One.
Pretty trippy shit man.
How would one…
I take it this is not your first musical project. I know that Marco, the drummer was in another Italian band called KINK. What other types of projects have you or your other members been in?
Well I met both Karthik and Neil doing hip hop. They were in a reggae band before that. They have pretty much always been playing together. I’ve always been working on just one large project. The last band I was in was called The Wakes they were more or less punk rock. I was in it for 7 or 6 years. Before that was Car bomb theory. Our sound was kind of hard to describe, but it was more or less punk. Then when I was a kid, I was in this band called Kangaroo Line. I didn’t play guitar then, I was just the singer. It was kind of funny, because the guitarist was very easily influenced. Whatever he would be listening to at the time would be like exactly what he would write. We had a Sabbath sounding song, and then an Alice in Chains sounding song and so on. I always thought we should just be an Alice in Chains cover band.
Kids these days. How was the experience of recording the EP? Was there anything unexpected or unusual about it?
I would say it was bittersweet. It was much more sweet than bitter. We recorded it with Rob Hill, whom I have worked with before. He is a great man and he really knows what he is doing, but he is not the easiest to work with. He really pushes bands to their potential. I am very organic, so it was a little out of my element. He holds you to fire, but it gets better production. He definitely knows what he is doing. We had a tiff once. We just had some false starts and stuff. I would say they were minor personality clashes.
Mesmerizing. Is it in fact grammatically correct to say Til All Is One?
Well I’m glad you asked that actually. It is actually grammatically incorrect to say that. I did it on purpose to imply that everything already is one. To say Til All Are One implies the Future tense. I want to imply that everything is already one. That everything is this amalgamation of everything. I also took it out of the ending lyric of stairway to heaven. “And if you listen very hard, the tune will come to you at last, when all is one and one is all, to be a rock and not to roll.”
Brilliant. So you don’t believe that grammar is in fact an institution that should be fucked by the hard truth of rock and roll?
Not exactly. Words are a way to provoke thought. I mean, they can also be used in percussive types of songs and stuff. But bending grammar can be useful when done right. It is done in hip hop, and it works.
Word to your mother. What is your next move?
I think the next major move is spreading word of Til All Is One’s music and sound as diligently and rapidly as possible. We’re going to play lots of shows to the right audiences, and writing. Always writing. We’re working on making friends, building a team of people we can rely on, networking. Basically we’re working on an Infrastructure to start touring. We also have a new video coming out in March. It’s interesting because it is the antithesis of our video fro “Front Row at the Apocalypse”. It is a lot more playful than that video. It will be for our song, “Situation Normal” off of the EP.
Excellent. What is it exactly that you are trying to convey with “Front Row at The Apocalypse”?
It’s mostly just a pun of the Mayan calendar, end of the world, 2012 farce. This end of the world rhetoric has been going on for a while now. It is tiring. If the world does actually end, I believe that it will be at mans own folly. It’s not going to be a four horsemen, rain down fire from heaven kind of thing, it will be some stupid, greedy mistake that we have made as humans. This generation being such an Internet and tv generation, we will be literally watching the end of the world from the front row of our couches.
Delightful. Is it in fact ironic that your name is mike, and you sing into a mic?
Yes. I think about it every time. It’s like, am I singing into myself?
Do you really?
Spectacular. Is there anything you would like to add?
Actually pay to download our music, motherfuckers.