Who are you and what do you do in the band?
Hello, My name is Mike Ski… I sing for The A.K.A.s. It’s nice to meet you.
I know bands hate this, but could you give us a some history about the AKAs?
Bands really hate this? Maybe that’s because they secretly hate their own bands. I love my band, and I loved History because I had an amazing professor. He would bang his head on the chalkboard until he would almost fall down. It was rumoured that he lived in his office and slept on the floor until he was eventually fired for his unruly appearance and crass teaching style. It still makes me mad until this day because I think he was the best teacher I ever had. I think he was drunk most of the time. The A.K.A.s started when my good pal Lukas and I began to grow musically restless. I had been previously engaged in a full time band that had recently met it’s demise, so I was freaking out with nothing going on. I could hardly go to a show without bumming because I wanted to play again so badly. Also, I felt a strong urge to have some kind of voice in a time where I felt that punk and rock and roll was becoming very watery when so many important things were going on in the world. Chad (our favorite bassist in the world) worked in the mail room at my old job and I saw him walking down the street one day and asked him to rock. Nina (our lovely and talented lady on the keys) was Lukas’ old roomie (of the homegirl type, not the banging type.) Bobby was an old compadre from back in my home town and was easily coerced into joining our quest and moved to the big city to fulfill his dreams of thumping drums in a rock and roll outfit. We wrote some songs, made a demo, played a bunch of shows, and now here we are.
Who would you say is more your influence: David Hasselhoff or MC Hammer?
I would have to say that neither is an influence in almost any remote way I could imagine. MC Hammer could dance, but he fucked it all up with his solid gold water faucets. I would say that Chuck D from Public Enemy is my biggest influence. I always thought he was a really revolutionary artist for his time and genre. He was one of the first rappers to take on the state of his own music form and flew in the face of his peers and critics, took on the government, the CIA, FBI, big companies like Nike and Alcohol and Tobacco companies for targeting minorities and lower class neighborhoods. Somehow though, they always made great songs that were fun to listen to. I met him a couple years ago when I was on tour… he was sitting in a restaurant eating with Professor Griff and a big posse. When they were done eating I went up and introduced myself and he was totally cool. I was scared to death that he was going to be a dick, but he was awesome. I always love when someone uses their voice for something bigger than themselves.
How was it recording your first full length for Fueled By Ramen?
Recording our record was a very dichotomic experience. It was tons of fun at times, others it was very frustrating and hard work. We all made time in between our regular jobs here in the big apple, so over weeks it was like double duty everyday which can be very tiresome, so it is a record made in a desperate fit. It was also the most time any of us have ever spent making a record, so it was a learning experience having such a huge project on our hands and working with such a talented producer. Tim O’Heir was really fun to make a record with, he was always pushing us to do our best, and I think that’s what we got. I was sick the entire time, coughing up giant balls of green slime in between takes. I think I drank about 20 gallons of tea and a lake’s worth of H20. Ultimately we feel really proud of ourselves for making a record that we think is pretty fucking awesome. We were on tour when the record was getting mixed and driving back to NYC to pick up mixes every other night. There was a time when we heard the song “Always On” and everyone was smiling. I think it was Nina that commented that it was the first time that she knew if she wasn’t in the band, she would think we ruled.
If I had messy hair and wore black clothing, could I be in the band?
Dear Sir, Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding a position as a member of The A.K.A.s. Although your messy hair and black clothes seem to make you a qualified candidate for our team of professionals, we regret to inform you that due to a sluggish economy in a post 9/11 recession, we are not currently accepting any new associates. However, our hardworking staff has provided the following information that will hopefully aid you in leaving behind your unfruitful career as an under-appreciated music writer: 1: Keep the all black clothing, shave your head and join Alkaline Trio. 2: Keep the all black clothing, become a vampire and join A.F.I. 3: Move to Williamsburg and start a mediocre band, you’re sure to be famous. We wish you the best of luck. Thank you again for your inquiry. Sincerely, The A.K.A.s
Who was your favorite character on Saved By The Bell?
I never really watched it much… I remember that the girls were pretty hot. The one was in that horrible stripper movie right? Oh god, and poor Screech. Talk about typecasting yourself. Fuck, now I’m all depressed.
What other styles of music to you like to listen to?
I think I’m the kind of kid who is constantly starved for music. I’m way too broke to buy record very often, so when I find a new band that I like, I will listen to that record for months. I enjoy a lot of punk, rock and roll, some hardcore, and early hip hop (circa Run DMC/Eric B & Rakim), but I’ll listen to anything that speaks to me. I find myself listening to a lot of the record I bought when I was 14 lately and loving it. Dead Kennedy’s, Angry Samoans, Hanoi Rocks. As a band, we have really diverse musical tastes and interests, everything from Radiohead to Randy, which I’m listening to right now. As Ice T said: “I feel sorry for anyone who only listens to one form of music.”
How is your band different from the many other bands out there today?
We sometimes describe ourselves as ideologically reactionary, meaning that most of the time, we are reacting to what’s going on around us. Right now is a time where we are constantly bombarded and inundated with whatever is hot at the moment. The music becomes increasingly derivative and the content is more of a 2nd generation cliché. This inherently makes us different because whatever it is that is going on at a given moment, we’re usually acting out against it. At press time, we’re currently under invasion by thousands of anonymous, faceless emo boy bands and super hipper than hip self-important bad art soundtracks. As a result, our record is not a weepy diary nor an experimental trip on a time machine, more like a musical middle finger. We are constantly at war with trying to have fun in such a depressing musical time. We are in constant search for like-minded bandfolk to create an unstoppable posse of bros and birds. Send your applications to www.theAKAs.com
What’s the worst movie you’ve ever seen?
Charlie’s Angels 2: Full Throttle. It was like if someone asked the most creepy readers of MAXIM magazine to describe the top 10 situations they would most like to whack off to and made a really expensive, dumb movie with tying those situations together as the plot.
Do you think it was right to broadcast the pictures of Saddam’s dead sons, Boo-tay and Sa Da Tay?
I’m not surprised by anything the media will do these days to ensure the majority of our country is made up of fucking weirdos. “Boo-yaaaaah!”
“If I said you had a beautiful body would you take your pants off and dance around a little?”
Probably. As long as you promise to like it.
(Editor’s Note: Nice Futurama quote eh? I was hoping to interview the female in the group haha)
Got anything to plug? (Tours, Cds, Etc.)
Of course we do! Our debut album “White Doves & Smoking Guns” hits the streets September 9th on Fueled by Ramen Records (www.fueledbyramen.com) and vinyl on Law of Inertia Records (www.lawofinertia.com). We’re taking off on tour to spread the virus starting on September 5th (Dates at: www.theakas.com or www.fueledbyramen.com). In the meantime, thanks so much for taking the time to interview us and if anyone is reading this… thanks to you as well. You might just love our record. Peep it. Love, Mike Ski and The A.K.A.s