I met Mike at a Werk Out in Ohio and have always known him as part of the loving and fun Ohio festival scene that I grew so close to love. Over the years I’ve seen the man known as “Discoman” grow from a music enthusiast to an active participant in the music industry, working with multiple events and continuing to be a source of, quite literally, shining and sparkling light in the scene! How did he become the “Discoman”? Find out in our interview below.
Hey Mike! Where were you born and where do you live now? What do you like most about the place that you live?
Hamilton, Ohio. The best part of living in Hamilton, Ohio is that in the last five or so years the city has really invested in itself to become a “place to be” during the warmer months. The built the RiversEdge Amphitheater and have put on some of the best shows you will see all summer long, like Billy Strings, The Revivalists, Main Squeeze, Elementree Livity Project, Signs Of Life, and more!
What was your first concert? What was your first jam concert? What was your first festival?
My first concert was KISS and Aerosmith when I was 16. My first jam concert was Spring Hookahville 2011 which was also my first jam festival. My first ever festival though would be Ozzfest 2005.
What was it about the jam band music and festival scene that made you want to come back over and over again?
What keeps me coming back over and over again is all the great memories that never seem to stop. Whether it would be the late night shenanigans with some of my closest friends during the smallest of festivals or whether it may be a band or sit in with one of my favorite bands (like Steve Sweney sitting in with Umphrey’s McGee at Werk Out 2015). Mainly it is the homegrown aspect of all the regional and smaller fests that really are the driving force for my commitment.
How did you come to be the Discoman? How has this evolved?
“When the moon shines on the disco ball..” The lyrics from “Duck Farm” by The Werks inspired me to first wear the outfit. Later on it was the band, Grover, who had a song titled “Discoman” before I ever knew of them. They played this song at Miami Valley Music Fest in Troy, Ohio and, obviously, I had to introduce myself to them and we have been good friends ever since. Since then, they have changed the song to be about me and it is always humbling to hear them play it.
I’ve evolved the Discoman persona to be the driving force behind my own promotions company, Discoman Promotions. From there I try to always deliver on what things are happening and tell people of upcoming events I’m either involved in or attending.
What events are you involved with and in what capacity?
There are three shows a year that I spend most of my free time working on currently. Discoball is a show I put on for my birthday every year at the end of March or beginning of April. Discogiving is a Thanksgiving show I put on every year and pick a nonprofit organization to give back to that is local to the venue the show is located at. The last, but certainly not least, is Birds of a Feather Music Festival in Morning View, KY. The next one takes place August 13-16, 2020 and we are really putting together something special this year. Last year, we had a stellar lineup as well with headliners Goose, Rumpke Mountain Boys, DIZGO, and more.
Who is your favorite band right now and why?
I may be a little biased on this one, but I would have to say Eyeris Wide. My brother, Ben, is the lead singer/guitarist of the group and they are really evolving as a band and their sound is getting to be like Umphrey’s McGee in the sense of progression and heaviness. But my lifetime favorite band has got to be ekoostik hookah. They literally changed my life and changed the way I see the world with their lyrics and music.
What is a new band you just discovered recently?
Captain Midnight Band from Nashville, TN I have been really getting into. Everyone should check them out when they get the chance.
Where will you be for New Year’s eve?
My plans are to be in Asheville, NC for 2 nights of Pigeons Playing Ping Pong with TAUK.
What is your New Year’s resolution?
I actually hadn’t really thought about it yet. If I had to say now, I would say to continue to grow as a person and continue to share my music and experiences with people that I meet.