Over the years, bassist Mikal Cronin has been a vital cog in a variety of bands, perhaps best known as the McCartney to Ty Segall’s garage-rocking Lennon. But he’s also made a name for himself with three excellent self-titled solo albums, including this year’s terrific MCIII (stream it below). Out on the road in support of it, Cronin (below, performing “Made My Mind Up” for KEXP FM) comes to Brooklyn Bowl on Saturday night. And before getting here, he answered some questions for Knockdown Alley.
Which band have you seen play live the most often (excluding bands you’ve toured with)? I did tour with them, but before I did I would
go see Thee Oh Sees any time I could. Same with White Fence.
I never toured with Grass Widow but saw them every chance I got when they were around, so I’ll go with them.
What’s the best part of playing New York City? And what’s the toughest part of playing New York City? It’s always fun and usually the biggest crowd in the country for us. Great food and lots of friends there. Driving a van around and parking isn’t fun.
Do you notice if your music is received any differently in
New York City than it is elsewhere? And does performing live here have any special significance? I couldn’t say that I notice a
different reaction, but I will say that the first time I played a show in NYC, it seemed like a huge deal that our little band traveled all the way
across the country to play in the cultural hub of the U.S. I think my first show was at Death by Audio (RIP).
Is touring in support of one of your own albums any different than when you go on the road for someone else’s? (Like for Ty Segall?) Yeah, it is. It’s nice to alleviate some of the pressure when you’re playing in your friend’s band and not taking lead duties. It’s also satisfying to spread my music around. Both have their advantages, yeah.
Your most recent studio album came out earlier this year. How often do you come up with new material? Do you already have any new music in the pipeline? And do you ever road-test new music live before recording it? It takes me a while to finish music because I have the bad habit of abandoning ideas that I think won’t work before I follow through and complete the song. So, yeah, songs can come pretty quickly or I’ll work on them slowly for months. I’d say I started formally writing the songs for this record a handful of months before I started recording. I’ve got some stuff I’m excited to work on after all the touring this year. Have more big ideas than actual music at this point. I don’t think I’ve road-tested material before recording it with this band ever … because I typically teach my live band the songs with my recordings.
Do you have any crutches when writing a song — are there certain words or styles you feel you lean on too much? I absolutely do,
but I’m not going to list them out just in case nobody has actually noticed before, haha. Both lyrically and musically, it’s frustrating and
I try to catch them before I commit to them. But at the same time I’ve found that most musicians and artists in general have their particular crutches, and those crutches over time turn into a distinctive style. Or maybe I just bullshitted that. Cool.
Do you have to be depressed to write a sad song? Do you have to be in love to write a love song? Is a song better when it really happened to you? I’ve noticed a lot of the time it’s the opposite actually; I’d write depressing songs when I’m OK and upbeat songs when I’m depressed. I think it has something to do with having enough distance from the thing you’re writing about to fully contextualize it and think about it critically. I’ve written dark songs when I’m down, definitely, and some work out well … but then others seem narrow-minded and unintelligent because I’m too deep in the hole to fully understand what’s going on. Maybe it’s just me. —R. Zizmor | @Hand_Dog
Saturday, Aug 19th
Enter to WIN A BOWLING PARTY WITH ANDREW W.K at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas. The Giveaway Includes: -A pre-show show bowling party with the party-god himself AWK -2 tickets to Andrew W.K. with Rayner...
Tuesday, Aug 15th
BBLV Giveaway: Enter for a Chance to Win 2 VIP Tix to the Metal Alliance Tour ft. Overkill + a $100 Harley Davidson Gift Card
Enter to WIN 2 VIP Tickets to the Metal Alliance Tour ft. Overkill at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas + a $100 Harley Davidson gift card. The show is on Sunday, September 24 and includes...
Monday, Aug 14th
We’ve partnered with Pacifico to give two ticket holders and three of their friends the chance to win a post show Meet and Greet with Donavon Frankenreiter, this Wednesday, August...
Sunday, Aug 13th
In honor of International Left Handers Day we have compiled a list of the most kick-ass, left-handed musicians that you probably didn’t know were in the left-handers club. Only about...
Friday, Aug 11th
Brooklyn Bowl is offering internships in the Marketing department at our New York venue! We’re looking for dedicated music lovers who are eager to learn the ropes of the thriving...
Wednesday, Aug 2nd
Sound the alarm! Enter to WIN a VIP Bowling with the Band Experience for Thievery Corporation Fueled By Lagunitas at Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas on Friday, Aug 4th! The experience...
Tuesday, Jul 25th
We knew it was going to be a wild show when tickets sold out only 45 minutes after going on sale (a rarity in Vegas!) Khalid, the 19-year-old singer, and...
Monday, Jul 24th
Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas was in the presence of royalty on Thursday, July 20 when Erykah Badu, the Queen of Neo-Soul, played the venue. Though she took the stage nearly...
Friday, Jul 21st
Playboi Carti MILLY ROCKED Brooklyn Bowl Las Vegas on Wednesday, July 19. The night started off strong with opening acts, Young Nudy and Pierre Bourne, who did a solid job of...
Monday, Jul 10th
RECAP: Brooklyn Bowl New York’s Official 8th Birthday at Brooklyn Brewery Presents: A Brooklyn Blast on July 7, 2017
We turned eight-years-old last Friday, July 7, 2017 and it was our best birthday to date! There was a contagious energy in the room from the jump, leading up to...
Friday, Jun 23rd
We’re embarking on our 8th trip around the sun, and we wouldn’t be here without the loyal fans and artists that make up our rockstar music community. In a few...
Wednesday, Jun 21st
Can you believe that Brooklyn Bowl New York is turning 8?! To honor this momentous occasion, we have teamed up with Brooklyn Brewery to bring you A Brooklyn Blast: 8...