for www.roadtojacksonville.com Juillet 2008. By John Molet.
RTJ: Hi Mike
We had the pleasure to meet and to appreciate you when Point Blank came in France last month, that's why we wish to ask you some questions for the many fans touring the site Road To Jacksonville !
JOHN ( Rock n Roll Soldier in France )
First, before talking about Point Blank, can you globally tell us about your musician's career?
Mike Gage : I started playing drums at age 7, formed my first band at age 10. Played on my first record by 21 and have had a lengthy career as a session drummer with multi-platinum album credits under my belt. I played in various bands in Texas including a 6 year stint with blues guitarist Bugs Henderson and lived in New York for a while playing with one of Steve Winwoods former guitar players. I have also been a recording engineer/producer for the last 25 years and have my own private recording studio.
are your musical influences?
Mike Gage : I have been influenced by nearly everything I have ever listened to, but I will narrow it down to some of the influences on my drumming---John Bonham, Phil Ehart, Don Brewer, Tony Williams, Mike Baird, Jeff Porcaro and many others including Texas drummer Ron Thompson.
did you meet Point Blank?
Mike Gage : I have played with all of the current and former members in different bands over the yearsI have played with John ODaniel in the Statoblasters off and on since 1986With
Rusty Burns in a band called Ouch in the early 90s---With Kim Davis in the Electrics in the late 80s and the rest of the guys in various bands and gigs. The only guys I havent played with before joining Point Blank are Phillip Petty and Buzzy Gruen (since Buzzy and I both are drummers).
RTJ: Did you know the band before meeting its members?
Mike Gage : I have been a fan since the first album. A girl I used to know worked in a record store and she turned me on to the band.
RTJ: You probably know that during the seventies, the band played more than 300 shows a year, do you know well its story?
Mike Gage : Yeah, unfortunately I never got the opportunity to see them live.
is the general feeling for a young musician like you to play with experienced
musicians like them?
Mike Gage : It is an honor to be playing with them.
RTJ: The present style is rather bluesy, is it very suitable for you or would you prefer atmospheres with a little more "Rock?
: There is plenty of rock for me in Point Blanks style,
especially the older stuff.
The new album has some songs that have more of a rock edge to them that we havent
played live yet.
RTJ: How do you consider your role with them today?
: Very excited to be in the band as their drummer.
RTJ: Was Buzzy Gruen's playing full of specific difficulties at all?
Mike Gage : Not really, but you have to take into consideration that I had over 30 years to learn the first 2 albumsplenty of prep time!
RTJ: What where Point Blank's demands in relation to your drumming parts?
: They have some specific ideas about what they want in the songs, but
give me a lot of freedom to put my own identity on them as well.
you know well their six albums and which one do you prefer?
Mike Gage : I used to have all 6 albums and liked them all, so to pick just one is a little hard.
The first album would probably be at the top of the list.
our area in Europe, we feel that Point Blank was a bit lost in Texas since
what is your opinion about it ?
Mike Gage : I think they were around until 1984 and then they took a very long vacation (ha-ha)!
RTJ:Is there still a lot of fans having a passion for Point Blank in the U.S.A.?
Mike Gage : We are starting to see that everywhere we play in the states.
RTJ: How can you explain their resurrection?
: Glad to see them doing it again. Texas radio never stopped playing them.
You can hear Nicole and Mean to your Queenie everyday down here.
RTJ: Do you contribute to the next album's recording?
: Yes, I am playing on the new record.
RTJ: What happens with "The Powerhouses career, half of the members of which finished
to play sooner or later with Point Blank?
: I started playing with Powerhouse in the summer of 2002 with Mouse Mayes
and Wayne Six (bass player) and stayed with them until the spring of 2006
and left to pursue other projects. Its a fun bandmiss playing
RTJ: Has you other musical projects?
: Mouse and I play with Buddy Whittington when we are able and
I am currently working on several projects--one being a solo albumI sing and play other instruments besides drums.
RTJ: Do you like the Southern Rock, in the style of Lynyrd Skynyrd, 38 Special, Molly Hatchet, Allman
: Yes, I do---grew up listening to it and playing it in a lot of bands over
RTJ: Does a young musician like you make a difference between Southern Rock and Texas Blues?
: I think good Southern Rock has a bit of Texas blues in it already whether
you notice it or not.
RTJ: If you had to finish your life on a desert island taking only 5 albums with you,
what could be those you may take?
: Led Zeppelin, Eagles, Poco, Blackfoot and of course Point Blank!
Thanks a lot Mike for your availability for the site Road To Jacksonville and Point Blank's fans!