Q. and A. with Mike Keller of Park Lane



<!– @page { margin: 0.79in } P { margin-bottom: 0.08in } A:link { so-language: zxx } –Park Lane is a young metal band coming out of the bay area here in California. I recently caught up with lead guitarist Mike Keller. The following are some of the highlights of our conversation:

On the basics of the band:

Mike Keller: “we’re different dudes, we all have different musical backgrounds. We’re a brand new band. March of this year was our first show. We got some good help from other bands like ‘destroy the runner.’ They heard our first demo tracks from the studios. Dwayne Reed, their guitarist, decided to help us out. We did our first studio spot in December. Since then we’ve been doing shows and getting on festivals. We played the ‘Whiskey a go go’ in Southern Cal. We were pretty stoked. I’m more of the 80’s guy, so listening to bands that played there was a huge deal. I was really excited to play there. As far as the band, we’re very into our fans and friends. We make music for ourselves but also for our friends, many of whom we’ve met on myspace. We want to be the kind of band that’s always accessible.”

On labeling their style of music:

Mike: “we’re definitely a hard rock band. We’re kind of like everyone’s favorite band in one. We all have such different musical backgrounds. Some of us listen to the more heavy metal stuff. I listen to more of the cheesy 80’s stuff. The other guitarist listens to more of the modern metal. It all combines into what we hope is a different and unique sound and that you can also hear our own inspirations in the music.”

On playing with the other guitar player, Grayson Hurd:

Mike: “We kind of share the leads on most of the songs. Most of the solos are me. Most of the softer leads are him.”

On their musical inspirations:

Mike: “My personal hero is of course Metallica. I grew up listening to them. When I was 13, I went to my first Metallica concert, actually my first concert ever. I saw them and just said, wow, that’s what I want to do. I picked up the guitar and started plating and have been ever since. Bands like “Killswitch Engage” have also inspired us a lot and kept us going. Seeing their DVD and learning about how they overcame their obstacles taught us a lot about what to do and what not to do.”

On auditioning over 80 singers:

Mike: “We went through myspace and craigslist and heard lots of singers, but nobody had that right fit. The last guy on the list, who only lives a couple of miles away, ended up being the guy. We tried him out four different times to make sure he was the guy. We waited so long, we just wanted to make sure we got it right. He just kept coming in and improving. His first studio experience was the first song you hear on our myspace. He just blew us away and we knew he was the guy.”

On playing out of the bay area:

Mike: “The area obviously has a lot of history as far as bands coming out of here. Thus far it feels kind of combative. There are a lot of promoters here that don’t really care about the bands. They put on these shows and it’s flooding the music scene. The only bands getting attention are the already nationally known bands. It’s a lot harder for local bands to get their start. We’ve been fortunate to have a lot of loyal fans, so we’re still able to draw 350 kids to a show, which has been big for us. It has also become important for us to go to other states and Cities and no so much just at home.”

On making more music:

Mike: “we actually have 15 more songs written and a few more that we play live that may or may not go on the new record. We’re gonna be doing two myspace exclusive songs, which are ones we play live. We’re constantly writing. We were supposed to record in December, but we decided to tour more instead. We felt that our EP wasn’t dead yet. I’m not sure when we’ll be recording new songs, but we do have new songs written and ready to go.”

On the upcoming tour:

Mike: “we did a mini- tour in Southern California, then a mini- tour in Washington and Oregon. This is gonna be the biggest tour we’ve done so far, something like 14 straight shows, which we love. Being away from home is a great experience for us. Most of us are in school still, so this will be our Christmas vacation. Most of the tour is already booked. Playing shows every day is obviously very tiring and tough. We play and practice every day. We’re gonna start working out together as a band; running and getting physically fit to be able to put on a great show every day.”

On playing with “I am empire”:

Mike: “They’re another local band from the bay area. They’re kind of, I wouldn’t say competition, because they’re really good friends of ours. They’re kind of a band that we try to one up. They’re kind of our running partner, they keep us going. They’re good friends of ours, we hang out with them a lot. They’ve been touring a lot also. It’s good to go out with them, just to have a familiar face on the road.”

On things to come:

Mike: “We’re obviously grateful to be doing this interview. We’re just ready to get out there and play shows for everybody. We’re doing our best to get out further East. We’re in talks with a couple of labels right now. Hopefully we can get signed by touring non- stop.”

Park Lane can be found on myspace at: http://www.myspace.com/155351587

Their merchandise and music can be found and purchased there as well.

This is an up- and- coming band that we will definitely be keeping our eyes on. Here, in the Continuum.

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