Fast cars, cheap beer, funny outfits: Mike and Rick take anthem rock to new lows 

Simply put, the existing taxonomy of popular music lacks a classification for Mike and Rick. How are they to be described? Mike himself had the following to offer: “[Mike and Rick] is a full sensory experience encompassing all the major faculties of the central nervous system.”

Right.

Continues Rick: “Well, we’re all schooled in the fine arts and we decided to go into performance art as a sort of thing. Uh, actually, we just picked up the instruments one day and said, ‘Fuck it. Let’s make a band.’”

The guy who plays drums casually interjects: “We’re gonna be number one.”

Interviewing Mike and Rick is no less a wild ride than their live performance. The conversation ran a bizarre gamut of topics from the smelting of platinum to their love of snowmobiling, but when the boys aren’t busy discussing metallurgy or tuning up their sleds, they’re hard at work pumping out the most powerful anthemic thunder around.

Mike and Rick cull their melodious concoctions from a bygone era of storytelling rock and a practice of unprecedented future-thinking. Mike’s power riffs and Rick’s galloping fretwork along with the drummer’s thunderous concussions stew into ballads dressed with poignant lyricism. Above all Mike and Rick’s music is about mensch.

From undeniable classics such as “Falstaff” to songs like “Southgate Cindy” detailing the story of a young couple whose only crime was love, to sing-along anthems like “Sunset on Evaro,” Mike and Rick make a life of musically documenting the joys and sorrows of the common man.

But wait, there’s more!

Mike and Rick are a package deal. Not only do they take aim to rock you, but they put on an unrivaled stage show. We’re talking donner und blitzen.

These rock hooligans seem to specialize in reviving the forgotten ways of rock and roll costumage, donning what some would describe as ridiculous attire as a canvas for their on-stage shenanigans. But the self-professed “vintage” clothing enthusiasts rise to the defense of their fashion sensibilities, describing them as “emotive.”

Mike and Rick’s unique sense of style isn’t just limited to their threads, either. These guys have something to say about what to drink, where to hang and what to drive. Rick opined his thoughts on automobiles: “The Gremlin is a beautiful car… but the Z-28 was way ahead of it’s time. It was the platonic ideal form of the automobile.”

After a while this all starts to make sense when one thinks about Mike and Rick’s small town roots in Haugan, Mont. “We were born in a small town west of here, so this is like the big city,” Mike says after a recent performance in Missoula.

“We love the Garden City, we love the people here. They’re so welcoming. … Well, I don’t know, some of them really piss me off,” Rick adds.

Whether you welcome their unique spin on rock or not, Mike is sure you won’t be disappointed. “We know that the people are going to have a great time,” he says. “It’s not a matter of making them enjoy the show, it’s how much they enjoy the show.”
Mike and Rick rock Jay’s Upstairs on Wednesday, Nov. 10 at 10 p.m. Cover TBA. Call 728-9915.

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