Mike Medved, acoustic guitarist and lead vocalist of the Mike Medved Band is this month’s featured face on HughShows Live @ Eide’s flier. Medved will be performing with bassist Seth Pierson for Saturday’s show, but usually includes Ted Pavlack on drums and Jeremy Frantz on lead guitar. We caught up with Mike to get to know the featured face a bit more. HughShows is nearing its end pretty quickly, so come and join the fun Saturday, November 8! Check out the interview below.
Sound Scene Express: What’s the name of your band? What’s the origin of that name? Have
you changed the band’s name before?
Mike Medved: I had been a solo artist for a few years prior to the official formation of the band. I toured and played in the UK for a year with a group of guys we called Mike Medved and the Redcoats, and I had been playing solo in America as well. In 2010 I had a single go to #3 on the Luxembourg iTunes singer/songwriter chart, so we didn’t want to lose any name recognition that I may have had at the time, so we officially became “The Mike Medved Band.”
SSE: What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your
MM: Defining our genre has always been a fun challenge for us. We like to think we play good old American rock music, but we also love funk and R&B, so there are tinges of that as well. When I was growing up, I was constantly spinning tracks from the Temptations, Van Halen, The Eagles, James Taylor and Garth Brooks, in the true spirit of my still occurring musical ADD taste in music. These days I really look up to artists like David Ramirez, Amos Lee, Jason Isbell and Allen Stone. Allen Stone is way too talented to be a real person, but he is very much a real guy.
SSE: How long have you all known each other? How did you meet?
MM: Jeremy, Ted and I go back five years now. I had just graduated from college and started playing out around my town of Elizabeth and I saw Ted sitting in with Jim Relja and the Regular Joes. I had thoughts of putting together a full band thing for a Club Cafe show. Jeremy was a guitar professor at St. Vincent College, where I went to school, and I used his one credit, one on one class, to stay on my parents health insurance. We hit it off immediately and he learned all of my tunes when we were playing and jumped onto the show last minute when it became clear his wife wasn’t going to have their first child that weekend. It all came together pretty quickly and we played as a trio. Seth Pearson joined the fold in the Christmas of 2011 for a sold out show at Club Cafe. He absolutely nailed it, and has since become the glue that holds it all together.
SSE: Who writes your song lyrics? What is your inspiration?
MM: I write all of the lyrics and music for the band. My inspiration is drawn from real life events and sometimes idealistic thoughts and feelings. It is usually a pretty whirlwind process.
SSE: When did you form your band? What inspired you to make music
MM: The band was officially formed as “The Mike Medved Band” in the summer of 2012 after I moved home from living in the UK. We had been playing together as a full band since 2009, adding Seth along the way, but we became a more permanent thing that summer when I realized I was home for good.
SSE: Where have you performed? What are your favorite venues?
MM: I was really proud to play SXSW this past year as part of the JiveWiredAmerica showcase. I am really looking forward to going back this spring as well. Austin is a great city and I really enjoyed the scene down there. When I lived in the UK, I played some really cool little pubs and some nice stages in London and Leeds at different times throughout my years there. I’m looking forward to heading back this summer for another tour. As a band, we’ve been really blessed to play some nice venues over the years. Club Cafe has been very supportive to us over the years and we have really been able to grow together there as a band and as people. We have enjoyed a couple of great shows at the Hard Rock Cafe as well. Most recently at the Beat Cancer Pittsburgh benefit concert. We’ve played the Acousticafe Stage at the Three Rivers Arts Festival for a number of years. We played the Thunderbird for the first time this year and we really liked the scene there. It is such a cool room. You can always find us outside as well when summer rolls around. We really enjoy playing the South Side Works stage outside of the Cheesecake Factory and you can’t keep us away from a good winery show. We’ve been playing at Greendance Winery in Mt. Pleasant for five years now and just finished up our first pair of shows at Narcissi Winery in Gibsonia. We’ve played the Market Square shows and I was part of RANT in Lawrenceville this year as well.
SSE: What are your rehearsals generally like? Do you have a set time each
week in which you practice or are rehearsals more spontaneous?
MM: Our rehearsals are pretty fun. We really like to play music together and we are all close friends, so it is easy for us to get after it. We have been hitting it hard since February this year and we generally practice three times a month but Saturday’s show is one of our last shows for the year and we’ve decided to take some time to rest throughout the Holidays.
SSE: What’s your ultimate direction for your band? Are you seeking fame
MM: Fame or fortune? I think pursuing fame and fortune would be putting the cart before the horse. We have developed a way we like to do things, and what works best for us as musicians. If someone came along and plopped $1 million in our laps and didn’t want to change our core beliefs and values, I’m sure we would all consider the lifestyle change that would bring, but our primary goal as a band is to do good in the world with the gifts that we have been given. Anything positive that happens after that is just icing on the cake to us.
SSE: What do you think of the Pittsburgh Music Scene?
MM: The Pittsburgh Music Scene is a nice thing to be a part of. I am always impressed by how many benefit concerts take place throughout the year, and by how many talented people will lend a hand to make them possible. Musicians, concert organizers, bloggers and venues in this city are generally friendly and humble as well. I think we understand that we are all on this journey together and that a lot more good can come of supporting each other, rather than trying to prove, and trying to feel, that one of us is king of the hill. I’m not sure tat metaphorical hill even exists in Pittsburgh. And if someone is up there, they are probably pretty lonely.
SSE:How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website
with sample songs or a demo CD?
MM: We recorded an album called “Live at Club Cafe” in January of 2013 that we recorded straight from the board. We didn’t touch a thing. There are no overdubs or tweaks on that album, and we are really proud of the way it turned out. People can find that album on iTunes and CD Baby, and at our shows of course. People can also download and preview songs at our website: www.mikemedvedmusic.com
SSE: How do you feel about being featured on HughShows Live @ Eide’s flier?
MM: I’m thrilled man! Hugh has been such a proponent of Pittsburgh Music over the years and I’m really happy that he felt our band made music that he wanted at one of his shows. To be featured on the flyer is a huge bonus!
SSE: When is your next show?
MM: Our next show is Saturday’s show and then we will hopefully be reemerging in the late Spring with a new album and a cd release show somewhere in the area.
SSE: Is there anything else you would like to add?
MM: A huge congrats to Hugh for earning his own day in the city of Pittsburgh! Well deserved my man.
HughShows is a free monthly family-friendly Pittsburgh concert series featuring:
Orange Mammoth (Rock) 1pm
Pairdown (Acoustic Fingerstyle-Folk) 2pm
Wreck Loose (Piano Garage Pop) 3pm
The Mike Medved Duo (Singer-Songwriter) 4pm
presented by The Wilderness Recording Studio
If you are attending, please consider bringing a new school supply item (listed below) for the Homeless Children’s Education Fund’s GEAR FOR GRADES BACKPACK DRIVE.
-Small Boxes Crayons
-Small Tissue Packs