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February - Mr. 1986

Mr. 1986

One of the first things that sets Mr. 1986 apart from the rest of the bands in Lincoln is that they're an all instrumental band. Their music is incredibly dynamic, and densely layered, but it's the subtleties that one should be listening for. Here's what's going on with Mr. 1986

SCS: How and when did Mr. 1986 form as a band?

Micah: July 2001, Joe, Jim, and I started to play in Jim’s parents house. We moved upstairs and asked Andy if he wanted to "jam metal." He agreed that it was a good idea. After our recording of the TTH/1986 Split album on which we added piano to a track, we decided that keys sounded pleasant and full. Soon after acquiring a yamaha keyboard Ryan Phillips joined our line-up.

SCS: You guys have a very unique sound, both in that it’s all instrumental music, and also the music is really effect drenched. How would you explain your sound to someone who’s never heard the band?

Jim: Instrumental rock with long builds and a variety of textures.

SCS: How would you describe a Mr. 1986 show? -- If people come to see you live, what can they expect?

Micah: Like Rent Money Big, except louder.

Nate: The best lead singer in town.

SCS: Since you do rely pretty heavily on effects on a lot of your songs. Have you found yourselves needing to do a lot of re-thinking the music or changing work habits in reworking your music for an acoustic set for the upcoming Powerless show?

Andy: A lot of rethinking. Not much we can really talk about. If it works out the way we want it to, it won’t be a disappointment.

SCS: What types of music and which musicians/groups were influences on the band?

Jim: The guitarist from the mercury program has influenced a lot of my initial experimenting with odd tempos of delay.

Micah: Random instrumental acts like The Cancer Conspiracy, Godspeed You Black Emperor, Explosions in the Sky, Mogwai, etc.

Ryan: Coldplay, the Appleseed Cast, yeah, I just play

Andy: the guitarist from Godspeed you black emperor, and appleseed cast has put a lot of the endless walls of sound, the stuff that doesn’t sound like guitar. And the guitarists from Peer Down helped a lot with my metal influences.

Joe: Five Iron Frenzy, initially got me into drumming. Now I really like Shiner and Aloha.

SCS: What's the story behind the bands name?

Jim: Not telling.

SCS: OK then, I'm going to make up my own story about where the name came from, and it's going to involve Jim wetting his pants in front of a whole roomful of senior citizens. Does the name always stay Mr. 1986, or do you change it every year at midnight on Dec 31st?

Jim: Ummm... (an akward silence begins here, in which the band members and I just sit looking uncomfortably around at each other. It lasts for 4 hours and 37 minutes)

SCS: have you grown, musically and creatively, since the band first started?

Jim: The songs have begun to grow and we have become a lot more patient not only in our songs but also while writing.

Andy: We’ve done a lot more improvising and jamming on parts for like an hour to come up with new ideas.

Joe: A lot more experimenting with different time signatures and listening to more techno. The system is down.

SCS: How would you describe the band's working relationship, as far as the musical process is concerned? Is there a single songwriter in the band, or do you work everything out together?

Jim: I bring the initial riffs. But the entire writing process is done by each individual band member almost 95% of the time. “The starting of “Where Motion is Rest” was brought to me by Joe and it was really interesting, so we spent a couple hours messing around with it at his house and it just kept expanding.

SCS: When it comes to writing/recording vs. live performance, do you have a preference?

Andy: I prefer live performance, But I get super giddy over recording time.

Micah: My favorite is when we write new stuff and it is still unscripted and we just let the music take us for an hour or so.

Jim: I love thinking about recording, but so far I haven’t had enough time in the studio to experiment and get really comfortable with the environment.

Ryan: I enjoy live because I’ve only been in the studio for a half hour on one album.

Joe: I like live the best because there is nothing like looking out at people, even if there only happens to be one, for example, Fayetsville, Arkansas, and seeing people dancing, bobbing their heads, or shaking their heads, especially if we’re on the money. If we’re not on, I’d rather be writing/jamming, because everyone is usually so relaxed about it, unlike recording.

SCS: When and where was your first local show, and how did it go?

Jim: September at the Joyo Theatre, it was the second "last Leftovers show." Not too many people liked it.

SCS: What was your most memorable live performance and what made it that?

Micah: The Cd release show with Tie These Hands.

Andy: It was interesting because we played the album straight through without stopping in between bands.

Jim: The "Versus" show we did with A Tolerant Suppression. We switched bands after each song and on our last song “Folders and Essays” all four members from the other band played with us. Four guitars, 1 bass, and Two Drummers made random noise for the last five minutes. It made me happy.

Joe: The Arts and Humanities show, because of all the crazy people and the evil that possessed me to push over my kit. Like Ian Whitmore (of Call In Call Out) always says, "Sometimes you gotta let the evil out."

SCS: What do you like and dislike about the music scene in Lincoln?

Ryan: The support for touring bands is pretty weak and it is sad.

Joe: I feel a sort of connection with almost everyone who is in a band here. It’s like we’re working together. The support for touring bands and overall support for local bands is very weak. Leave your homes, Lincoln.

SCS: Have you learned anything in your experiences in a band that you feel newer local bands could learn from, or made any mistakes they should avoid?

Micah: Don’t play at the Ranch Bowl because someone will steal 600 dollars from you before you're recording and you will have to go in debt to your mothers.

SCS: Who are some local bands or musicians that you admire or feel should be recognized?

Andy: Nick Tarlowski, Darren Keen.

Ryan: Tie These Hands.

Jim: Bright Calm Blue, especially Dustin’s guitar work, Rent Money Big, Tie These Hands, Darren Keen.

Micah: Darren Keen, Brendan McGinn (Her Flyaway Manner)

Joe: Patch Adams from Her Flyaway Manner, Javid, Jabid, and Mike Young.

SCS: Who’s your favorite local band to play with?

Jim: The Show is the Rainbow, I like the all instruments versus all vocals concept.

Micah: Tie These Hands.

Andy: Bright Calm Blue, The Show Is The Rainbow

Ryan: Tie These Hands.

Joe: Tie these hands and a tolerant suppression (RIP)

SCS: Do you think growing up/living in Lincoln influences your music in any way?

Jim: I’m influenced by a lot of the musicians here.

Joe: I grew up on the farm. I’m such a small town kind of guy. I loved being able to practice drums as long as I wanted out in the garage where only the neighbor’s cows could hear.

SCS: The only recording I know of is the split w/Tie These Hands. Do you have anything else recorded?

Jim: A full length CD called The Everbimes, and a tour demo with The Show Is The Rainbow, and a cassette tape of a live recording with some songs we recorded in Dallas January 2002.

SCS: How did the split with Tie These Hands come about, are they just friends of yours?

Jim: They are long time friends to some of the band members, and short time to others. They are good friends and we play ping pong at their house weekly.

Joe: I’ve known the twins since second grade and will never forget the day they both wet their pants just seconds apart. They are real twins, this is no game.

SCS: Who recorded your album, and where was it done?

Micah: A.J. Mogis did the recording down at presto studios here in Lincoln. We had three days to record and mix our tracks for the split and we finished up the tracking in a bit over a day. We then took it to Omaha to get it mastered at Studio B by Doug Van Sloan.

SCS: Are there any local producers/engineers you'd like to work with who you think could help to develop your sound even more?

Andy: More A.J. Mogis. He did what needed to be done as far as our project and it’s time constraints were concerned, but we’d love to have him as more of a producer on our next recording.

SCS: Are you working on a new full-length, and if so, when do you expect it to come out?

Micah: We’re writing material for what could be a full-length. We have a show scheduled in March to play for a St. Louis label called First Flight. We hope to be able to record and release something of worth sometime in the first half of 2004.

SCS: Any rituals before you go onstage?

Andy: About 10 min. before we go onstage, Micah leads the "rock stretches" which consists of all the stretches we need to rock. We finish it with a quick lap around the venue, and then we play.

SCS: If you could tour with any band in history, who would be your dream band to tour with?

Jim: The Flaming Lips. That’s what I’m going to say right now.

Ryan: The Darkness. They are the only band uglier than we are.

Andy: The Appleseed Cast. I think they would mesh very well with our sound.

Micah: I agree with Andy.

Joe: Captain Geech and the Shrimp Shack Shooters.

SCS: Who was the first person or band you saw that made you want to play music?

Andy, Ryan, and Micah: The Leftovers.

Jim: Boycaught

Joe: POD, Five Iron Frenzy, and Tiny Pants...I mean Tie These Hands.

SCS: What was the first album/CD you bought?

Micah: Foo Fighters – "Colour and The Shape" and 311 – "Transistor"

Jim: Snoop Doggy Dog – "Doggy Style"

Ryan: Wilson Phillips

Andy: Metallica – "Black Album"

Joe: DC Talk – "In the Light single"

SCS: Whose music are you listening to right now? -- What other bands would you recommend people check out?

Micah: Prefuse 73, Explosions in the Sky, Me Without You, Norma Jean, Engine Down, Blah Blah Blah…

Jim: Wilco, The Flaming Lips, Molly Hatchet, Explosions in the Sky, Botch.

Ryan: The Darkness, and the new Appleseed Cast.

Andy: Refused, Paper Chase, Explosions in the Sky, Lewis, Postal Service.

Joe: Right now I'm listening to Sleeping At Last - Denali. Other bands: Refused, Stan Getz, Dave Brubek Quartet, Forstella Ford, MeWithoutYou, and Herbie Hancock.

SCS: List off your top five albums of all time.

Micah: I’ve always loved "We Have The Facts and We’re Voting Yes" by Death Cab For Cutie.


  • Flaming Lips – "Zaireeka"
  • Wilco – "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot"
  • Godspeed You Black Emporer – "Lift Yr. Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven"
  • Cursive – "Storms of Early Summer"
  • Explosions in the Sky – "The Earth is not a Cold Dead Place"

    Ryan: Foo Fighters – "There is Nothing Left to Lose" and Weezer – "Pinkerton"


  • 1)Foo Fighters – "Color and Shape"
  • 2)Five Iron Frenzy – "our newest album ever"
  • 3)Stan Getz – "Focus"
  • 4)Shiner – "The Egg"
  • 5)Project 86 – "Drawing Black Lines"

    SCS: What single song, in the entire history of music, do you most wish you'd written?

    Ryan: Panama by Van Halen

    Jim: Radiohead – Go To Sleep"

    Andy: Luca Turilli – "War of The Universe"

    Micah: Death Cab For Cutie – "Lowell, MA"

    Joe: Star Dust

    SCS: What’s The last record you bought?

    Micah: Do Make Say Think – "& Yet & Yet"

    Andy: Damien Jurado – "Where Shall You Take Me"

    Ryan: The Heavenly States – "Self-titled"

    Jim: The Flaming Lips – "Zaireeka"

    Joe: Sleeping At Last – "Ghosts"

    SCS: What’s the best gig you've ever seen, local or otherwise?

    Micah: Cursive, The Appleseed Cast, and Race For Titles. Amazing show with both Cursive and Appleseed Cast at their peak.

    Jim: Exessive 1. All ages, all the time.

    Andy: Cursive and The Cast.

    Ryan: Foo Fighters in Council-tucky with Pete Yorn.

    Joe: Shiner, Local H, and Project: Wet

    SCS: Who do you think is the most underrated artist in the music industry?

    Joe: Aaron Druery

    Jim: Will Holmes

    SCS: Who do you think is the embodiment of evil in the music industry?

    Ryan: Good Charlotte.

    Jim: Clear Channel.

    Micah: Avril.

    Andy: Lizzy McGuire and Hillary Duff.

    Joe: RIAA

    SCS: Good Answers. Johnny, tell them what they've won! So what can we look forward to over the next year from Mr. 1986?

    Jim: Hopefully a new full-length but at least an ep with beautiful packaging by our own Micah.

    Andy: Louder, Longer, and more Levitation.

    SCS: Anything show you want to plug or anything to add?

    Joe: February 15 @ Sokol in Omaha. Denali and Call In / Call Out.

    - Tery Daly