Life and Career: Mike was taught clarinet by his father at the tender age of five – and thus began a lifelong love affair with music of all sorts. As a young teenager, Mike started out playing in local bands, as well as in the pit orchestra for theatre musicals. At 14, he started DJ’ing in his local youth club and by the age of 17 he was working in the club scene . His DJ’ing career took off, and he was forced to drop the live music gigs, moving over into the more commercial dance scene. 25 years as a DJ have seen him play in underground and mainstream dance clubs across the UK, also working on resident mix dj on Radio sometimes for crowds excising over 250,000 people.
After two decades in the dance clubs – Mike began to want to play in live bands again, inspired by some local bands – Too Hot and the Simmertones . He once again took up the clarinet – playing in the back of his Dad’s band. To improve his musical knowledge and skill, he started to diversify into other instruments, first learning the guitar with the help of Kris Barras and then saxophone. His move into sax happened one night when watching Ray Beavis perform a sax solo at a Simmertones gig. Mike knew then and there that the sax was for him – and many years later he was lucky enough to bag Ray Beavis as his teacher. Mike also learnt about more about the recording and production side of thing from help from Paul Ayriss at the Music Mill Studios. After that, he branched out into music production, making and releasing his own dance records, even remixing a track for the Rudimentals.
One night out, Fester said about starting a band after hearing some of the ideas mike had started to compose. From there mike started to arrange more songs using his music passion and his life’s expertise, from this The Reggaskas started to be formed. The other band members were friends of mike and fester and really liked what mike was composing.
Influences: The Specials, Otis Redding, The Beat, UB40, Paul Weller, Augustus Pablo, Maddness, New Order, John Peel, Beats International, Norman Cook, Eva Cassidy, Bob Marley, Massive Attack, Depeche mode, Jimi Hendrix, The Skints, Too Hot and the Simmertones, but most of all – his father.
Instruments: Instruments that mike can play are Saxophone, Melodica, Guitar, Clarinet, Keyboard.
Summary: His passion for music has defined Mike’s life, with tastes as wide ranging as Reggae, Ska, deep house, progressive house, trance, and Drum and Bass. When his brother Fester suggested starting a band of their own, Mike jumped at the idea – and the Reggaskas were born.