Interview with Mike Chick of Yawn Mower and new solo project video

Interview by Eddie Templeton

Mike Chick, solo artist, Asbury Park socialite and 1 part of Asbury royalty garage rockers Yawn Mower sat down with us to answer some questions on what makes him tick.

What Does Your Band Name Mean?  

The name Mike Chick is an abbreviation of my full legal name. The name Beach Wolff came from a period in time where lots of indie bands had either Beach or Wolf in their name, so I decided to just combine those two words.   

How Did You Meet?  Mike, Nick and Bob all worked at an ice cream shop in the mall for years, paper hats and all. We made sundaes, mopped floors and argued about which radio station to play.  Over time, the three of us became proficient at our musical instruments. We’ve been playing shows with each other's bands for years ever since.    

What's Your Songwriting Process? For this project, Mike had two acoustic songs he wanted to turn into full band songs, so he asked Bob and Nick if they were up for the challenge to learn and record them as a three piece in one night. We conquered that challenge, as evidenced in the Beach Wolff double single.    

Who Do You Sound Like? I think these two songs sound like “In A Jar” era Dinosaur Jr, Slanted and Enchanted era Pavement and lo-fi in general. Recording on a four track live helped set the vibe. 

What first got you into music? My mom playing songs on her car stereo. I can remember The Who’s “My Generation” making all the hairs on my neck stand up at a young age.  

Who inspired you to make music? Grunge. 

How would you describe the music that you typically create? The music I usually write falls into the alternative/punk/indie/garage/surf/folk wheelhouse. I’d like to make more beats in the future, as soon as I’ve mastered Pro Tools a little more.  

What is your creative process like? Depends on which way the wind is blowing. Onshore winds will lead to lots of unformed ideas that usually go nowhere and cross winds breed more angular/choppy riffs. Offshore winds always yield the best and most flushed out results.  

Who would you most like to collaborate with? 

I would be really excited to have Mike Watt play bass on one of my projects. If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be? I’m gonna take it a step further and say what festival would you want to play, and that would be Desert Daze in California. I was there in 2017, and remember watching some either boring or shitty bands, thinking, “If my band could magically be placed in their spot, would the crowd dig it? ‘Cause these guys suck.” The majority of bands on that bill were great, but some made me wonder how they got onto that stage.  

What is one message you would give to your fans? Keep doing what makes you happy, regardless of likes or money. If you create something and it didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to, send it to the shredder and start over. Sometimes destroying art is as satisfying as making it. 

What is the most useless talent you have? If something is a talent, it should be somewhat useful, yes? 

What would you be doing right now, if you weren't playing in a band? I would be writing songs and music on my own.  

Where have you performed? What are your favourite and least favourite venues? I think the bigger question here is why do so many smaller venues use PA system for open mic/acoustic acts? I think more acoustic shows should be without amplification.  

How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business? I just don’t make the millions that I used to. I miss the days of cruising around the harbor on the Mint 400 Records yacht, sipping mojitos and eating shrimp cocktails. However, it is nice to have every song in the world available to you, any time you want. Anyone want to buy my record collection? 

What is your favourite song to perform? “Groove Is In The Heart” by Deee-Lite. 

Which famous musicians do you admire? Ty Segall, Aesop Rock, David Bazan, Regina Spektor, Tim Presley, Stephen Malkmus, Q-Tip, Donovan, Madlib, Emily Haines. 

What is the most trouble you’ve ever gotten into? Being caught smoking cigarettes behind the local Circle K by my parents, who were stopping in to buy milk and lottery tickets. I was grounded for two weeks. Harsh.   

What is the best advice you’ve been given? Don’t put all your eggs into one basket, unless the basket is made of wicker, then put ALL of your eggs in it!  

If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be? Release more music into the mainstream that makes people think or step out of their comfort zones. But that won’t sell soda, will it? 

What’s next for you? Continue working on songs with friends and musicians that I admire.  

What are your favorite movies or books? I am currently reading Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. The last movie I watched was Guava Island.  

What are your top 3 desert island albums (3 records for the rest of your life)? Rock- Sublime- 40oz to Freedom, Dogs on Acid- S/T, Minutemen- Double Nickels on the Dime. Hip Hop- A Tribe Called Quest- The Low End Theory, De La Soul- Buhloone Mind State, Aesop Rock- The Impossible Kid. 

Thank you.