Downtime with: Mikey Escalante

I got to talk with Mikey the day before he and his band, Young Creatures, leave to San Diego for their first stop in their seventeen day tour. Mikey is probably one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet who’s all about throwing out good vibes. Like most of my friends I met him through skateboarding and did not know at all that he was also a musician. I remember taking my sister to one of their shows at a Whole Foods Market a while ago in Huntington Beach and loving it! The managers there even told them to not play too loud which I thought was hilarious! Unfortunately for me Mikey and his band mostly play at venues that are 21+ so I can never make it out. If you are lucky enough you should definitely check Mikey and his crew out!

Patrick Do

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Photos // Tony Magtoto

PD: Alright so let’s start it up! How’s life treating you these days?

ME: Dude life’s been good! Busy as fuck but I can’t complain man.

PD: Yeah I bet man! I hear you have a tour coming up, how are you feeling about that?

ME: Dude I’m psyched! We head out tomorrow to SD and tackling the whole west coast up to Vancouver and back down into Colorado and some other states in 17 days. Little nervous cause we are playing some better venues this time around but stoked overall.

PD: It’s crazy to see how you guys have grown within the past few years. Do you think having the previous experience of going on tour and playing shows will help you out a bit on this longer one? How do you prepare for a band trip?

Have you played at some of these cities before?

ME: Yeah man it’s been trippin me out too haha but definitely helps. You get a better layout of the land and can really see what you’re capable of doing. This tour is the longest one we’ve done, something like 4500 miles of ground covered. But dude I’ve been playing drums every day this year so I’m hoping all that practice time prepped me hahaha it’s pretty chill touring with the band. And compared to my regular workin life it’s a breeze.

And yeah we hit up  a few of the first leg of the tour. The second leg is guna be all new to me. Hyped for Denver!

PD: 4500 miles seems pretty intimidating, are you guys driving all of the way also?

ME: Yeah man! Driving the whole thing soccer mom status

PD: Dude that’s heavy! How do you think your body is gonna keep up through the trip because I remember talking to you about your back pains. Are you worried about that acting up during the tour, have to do some special stretches or eat all healthy non GMO!

ME: Hahaha I think it’ll be chill! Definitely gonna be hittin’ up those Whole Foods along the way and Denver gots me covered on the CBDs!

Definitely gonna be hittin’ up those Whole Foods along the way and Denver gots me covered on the CBDs!

PD: haha! So you guys are working on new music right now and just filmed a music video. How was all of that? Saw a lot of green screen going on!

ME: Dude it’s sick! It’s always dope to get into a studio and track new tunes and our singer Mike just opened up his own studio called MooseCat Recording that has some insane gear. The video shoot was legit.. I don’t really have a lot to do with the music vid end of things. Our bassist Spencer handled most of that since he does a lot of video work. But yeah hella green screen hella psych vibes haha I think it’ll come out pretty sick though! Stoked to start releasing new material

PD: That’s rad that you guys have your own studio and everything, I can imagine it makes it a lot easier to go and record new songs. And I back the psych vibes! As a musician what influences you artistically to try out new beats? Do you usually just play off of what is given to you through guitar riffs and vocals or do you sometimes create your own beat first and have the other bandmates play off of it?

ME: Yeah dude makes a huge part of being in a band a lot easier. Watching and listening to the greats influences my beats fursure. Taking ideas and trying to make them my own. Kind of like the skating approach to things. But dude for the most part I play whatever I’m feeling when I’m behind my kit. Sometimes it’ll be a super chill beat that’s in the pocket or something groovy or something just straight aggressive! We usually play off it and lock into something that we all feel is good and take time to flush out the kinks to make it a song. But I also play off my guitarists or Mike will  come to us with something he’s wrote and we’ll flush it out.

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For the most part I play whatever I’m feeling when I’m behind my kit. Sometimes it’ll be a super chill beat that’s in the pocket or something groovy or something just straight aggressive!

PD: That’s cool to hear that everyone has a creative influence in the band. But yeah I remember jamming out with you in your old studio and thought you were a madman pounding on your kit and making going in and out of flows so effortlessly!

So on your previous trips you took a lot of photos particularly using a 35mm camera. Is there a reason why you choose film over digital to document your travels?

ME: Hell yeah! That was a sick night dude!

I feel like 35mm just has its own luster. I think it’s cool that once you shoot that photo it’s a done deal, it either came out art or it’s wack. Also like the colors 35mm produces. Digital is sick too don’t get me wrong but I’ve always been into the vintage look of things. Plus the excitement of waiting on a roll to come back is dope!

PD: Yeah man film definitely feels a lot more CORE! So for this trip are you planning on taking a lot of photos as well? Do you have time to explore the cities you guys play at?

ME: Always going for the core! And definitely gonna be shooting on the road. Sometimes gets a little repetitive with just landscape for endless miles but we made sure that we definitely have some exploring time in Vancouver. I think we have a day off in Portland too so hoping to be able to shoot some vibe there

PD: That’s sick man, time to vibe around!

So just one last question, it might sound obvious but I have to ask, would you quit your day job to be a full time musician?

MD: Dude. No questions asked.. for damn sure!!

PD: Hell yeah man! Thanks Mikey and have a good trip! We gotta catch up after!

ME: Hell yeah thanks pat! I’ll keep you updated fursure!

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Art by John Le

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