Musician Spotlight: Mike Scott
You probably know him has the bassist from the fast, hardcore-punk group Phinius Gage. And you’ve probably been wondering what Mike Scott is up to these days. Well, he’s using his voice to perform vocals for the hardcore band Lay It On The Line and, of course, to speak out for animals! Busy doing gigs with the newly formed group, Mike took a breather to talk with us about his vegan lifestyle, his influences and his music. Check out the exclusive interview and join Mike in kick-starting your vegan diet by ordering our free vegan starter kit. Oh, and if you’re a hardcore fan, don’t forget to download the band’s intensely melodic debut EP too!
Here’s Mike in his own words:
1. What was your first introduction to animal rights?
Hmm, that’s a difficult one. I don’t know if it was particularly one thing. I guess I grew up in the age of mass hysteria about “Mad Cow Disease” and as a young and impressionable boy it did seem very strange that it all happened – when the horror stories about the food the cows had been given come out on the news and stuff, it all sounded pretty sick. That definitely didn’t sit right with me and is maybe the lasting initial memory I have of animal rights.
2. How long have you been vegan and what influenced your decision to go vegan?
I have been vegan a bit over 9 years now. I actually used to date a girl who was vegan and I was only veggie at the time. I hadn’t really particularly ever considered the concept. Anyway, we split up and I just started touring full time with a band at the same time. She leant me a book to read in the van to pass the time called Vegan: The New Ethics of Eating. It provided very reasonable arguments without pushing anything in your face in a deliberately antagonistic way. I was thoroughly impressed and thought it was for me. I said to myself I would go vegan for as long as I could – be it one week or life. And so far, yeah, 9 years…
3. What are your favourite vegan foods?
Hmmm, well, I am a bit of a spice freak so when people say the usual thing – “But what can you eat?” – “There’s nothing on this menu for you” – I would answer that I love good Indian/Bangaladeshi/Pakistani food – and it’s very easy to make or even eat restaurant vegan food from those cultures. And their vegan friendly beer – best you can buy, in my humble opinion.
4. Of all the major animal rights issues, are there any in particular that are close to your heart?
Yes – eggs and the subject of free-range eggs, battery farms and all that kind of thing really gets me going every time. The conditions those animals put up with – it’s sickening. And then adverts suggesting “Happy Hens” get all the exercise they need? And the laughable definition of “free range”?! Ahhh, it makes me angry!
Well, bands wise, I love that Ignite have tirelessly promoted the Sea Shepherd campaign. It was also cool back a few years when Household Name records and the London punk scene was really strong, based around the Garage and stuff. PETA always came and flyered the shows, and it was always a great way to get people thinking. I was in a band called Phinius Gage and we always put PETA stuff out on our merch tables – as did many of our friends’ bands. So it’s more that I like the juxtaposition of music and literature I think … I more thoroughly endorse the “softly, softly” approach to enlightening people. Just making them think a bit, you know? That is much more constructive that providing people with regulation.
6. What’s projects do you have coming up that we can look forward to?
Well, we have our debut mini album out in the new year, called Crowhurst. And plenty of gigs to back it up. We have a single out in November, on Spotify and all that. Solo wise – my second album is coming out on CD before Christmas. It’s gone down really well since it came out digitally, so that is exciting too. Doing a solo tour with Joe from Random Hand in the new year too.