Mike did what most would think is easy, and for those that have tried, know to be almost humanly impossible. Mike wrote a book. Writing, from a distance looks like fun, looks easy, but until you sit down day after day, then months, and before you know it, years to complete. Until you try you won't understand the struggle and perseverance this took. Congrats Mike we look forward to reading all your hard work HEY SUBURBIA: A guide to the emo/pop punk rise
How long did it take to write the book?
The book has been a passion project of mine for years, and took many different versions and re-writes before it became a coffee table book. I used to work as a copy editor, and web producer for Hearst/ Houston Chronicle. I also wrote for sports and features, and began to cover the "pop-punk scene" and events like X-Games and Warped Tour. Throughout that time I was able to meet and interview some of my heroes like blink-182, Bad Religion, Alkaline Trio, Descendents, Taking Back Sunday, and so many others. I had all these interviews and stories I've done with these bands, I thought I could piece them all together and tell the story of the emo and pop-punk boom from its punk rock roots to current scene. "Hey Suburbia" tells the story of the scene, and also includes essential album lists, testimonials, and other interactive guides. The book also dives into the cultural aspects, and part of that was fashion, so it was really cool to include Dylan Anderson (HMNIM brand manager) and the story of Atticus, because back in the day my wardrobe consisted of Atticus, Macbeth, band T-shirts, etc. I wish I still had all those old items to this day, as my collection has dwindled through the years from outgrowing, selling, donating, losing etc.
Is it the dream to be an Author?
After working in professional journalism for years, writing a book always felt like the next logical step. Before this book, I've written 3 books on unexplained phenomena, the latest "Punk rock and UFOs: Stranger Than Fiction," which is about trying to normalize paranormal occurrences to real-life sightings, religion, mythology, science and pop-culture. I continue that work on punkrockandufos.com
. I also wrote a young adult horror fiction novel "Pumpkin Spice and Nothing Nice."
Favorite book? author?
This is tough. Growing up I loved horror fiction like R.L. Stine, and Stephen King, but I also loved comics and books about UFOs. "Communion" by Whitley Strieber was the first UFO book that really blew my mind.
Do you write full time or is there a day job?
After leaving my job at the Chronicle, I began teaching English, Journalism, and Creative Writing. I do a music/ media blog for the Houston Chronicle's webpage MIKED (blog.chron.com/miked
), which I do mainly for fun to cover records from up-and-coming bands, and still cover shows. I actually covered the last X-Games in Austin for Hearst, and was one of the only media outlets to interview blink backstage before the show. I've interviewed Mark, Matt and Travis before, but never all at the same time on a couch with them, so that was a bucket-list moment.
Who was the biggest "get" to interview?
I pretty much got to interview everyone I wanted for the book, but there were a few artists that simply forgot to get back to me. Most of the interviews were conducted during my history as a music journalist, so a lot of the work was already done for the book, and so many of the quotes just fit the project perfectly, so it was really piecing together the puzzle to make this guide. It is really hard to pick who is the biggest "get" in the book. For fans of Mark Hoppus, he is quoted various times in the book from interviews I've done with him backstage at X-Games, and before "Neighborhoods" came out. I got to spend a day with the Descendents and shadow my friend who is their tour manager a few years ago and hang out with Milo, so that is really big to get his quotes for the book since many people new to this style of the music, can learn about the evolution and progression of pop-punk.
If you are interested in reading Mike's book we've included some links to preorder HEY SUBURBIA