Today on Journey of a Frontman, I give to you my interview with the singer for the amazing rock band, The Days The Nights, Michael Draper. A fun fact about the band, their song Radical Sabbatical, was featured on the Playstation Network/XBOX Live reissue of Crazy Taxi, one of the greatest video games ever! While playing the game and listening to the brand new in-game soundtrack, one song in particular blew my mind by how awesome it was and how much it reminded me of “You Think I Ain’t Worth A Dollar, But I Feel Like A Millionaire” by Queens of the Stone Age. I researched for a good week to find out what the name of the song was and who it was by. Once I found out, I put the album with the song on it on my Christmas list and rocked out to the great album as soon as I got it!
Tell me about the process of how you were discovered (or however it may have went) for Radical Sabbatical to be featured on the PSN/XBL reissue of Crazy Taxi?
We were fortunate enough to work with a Portland licensing company called Rumblefish. They got us on board with Crazy Taxi, a few other games and the movie The Wrestler.
Speaking of Crazy Taxi, what are your thoughts on the bands featured in the original release: The Offspring and Bad Religion?
I grew up listening to Offspring! Ignition and Smash were two of my favorite albums as a young teenager. Saw them live a few times as well. I didn’t delve into Bad Religion until a little later. Great song writers.
Which bands inspired your sound? Clearly, Queens of the Stone Age is one of them.
QOTSA was definitely a common ground for everyone in the band. We all had a really wide range of music we listened to. It ran the gambit from Pantera to The Melvins to Muse to Glassjaw to U2! You name it, one of us liked it. And we all loved the attitude and slickness of QOTSA, so it was a great starting point for us.
Why the album titles, “Radical Sabbatical” and “Neon Lion”?
Radical Sabbatical started out as a joke! It was a working title for one of the songs, then eventually stuck as the songs name. We were discussing the name of the album and our manager at the time, said we should go with it. Rock N Roll should be a sabbatical from real life. Take you elsewhere. Its cheezy and fun, just like us. So we ran with it. Neon Lion was an idea I had while sitting in a bar. I saw one of those light up neon signs in the window that was shaped like a fish. So drunkenly I started jotting down animals that would look cooler than a fish and Neon Lion had a nice ring to it. Once again, kind of fun, just like us.
Tell me about your adventures in acting and the film industry.
I actually went to college for it up in Seattle, but graduated and decided that I didn’t want to be an actor! I moved to Portland, and starting working security at the Crystal Ballroom and met James, the drummer, who was bartending there. TDTN happened for the next few years, and after Neon Lion was released, the band slowed a bit. But I wasn’t done being creative! I was watching really good TV shows at the time, and got a wild hair up my ass and decided to audition for a local independent film called Lighter People and got the part. Been hitting it hard ever since. I prefer to work on small independent films, because of the open collaboration and the ability to put in my own input. Feels like being in a band!
What is the most memorable concert that you have ever been to?
Oh man. While working at the Crystal Ballroom seeing Eagles Of Death Metal was pretty amazing. They killed it, and I had never seen so many hot girls in one room. As far as going to a show, I went to an Every Time I Die show, got halfway through the first song, got in a fist fight near the mosh pit, then had a security guard wrap my hands up behind my back, while another security guard socked me in the face. Broke my nose. That was pretty memorable. We had a show the next night at the old Satyricon. I looked like a raccoon, but rocked as hard as I could. It informed the performance!
Who are some of your favorite voices in rock?
Skyler Croom, Elliot Smith, Keith Buckley, Thom York, David Lee Roth, Phil Anselmo. I’m a little all over the place.
Describe what a typical jam session/practice session is like for The Days The Nights.
Beer, energy drinks, beef jerky and fart jokes. About 20 minutes of just messing around, switching instruments, getting warmed up. Run the set for whatever upcoming show we had, then if anyone had any new ideas they would show the rest of the band and we would mess around and vibe it out.
Which song is your favorite to play live?
Flush Fever. all the way. high energy. loved opening with it. it just screams WE’RE NOT HERE TO MESS AROUND, LET’S PARTY!
What is the greatest music-related advice that you have ever received?
Play whatever kind of music you want. What makes you happy. Some people will like it, others won’t. The ones that do, will be die-hard and appreciate your honesty. The rest of em, fuck em.