You spent 11 years touring the world as drummer for The Drones. Tell us a little bit about it.
When I joined the band they were about to embark on a six month tour of Europe. I packed my bag and climbed aboard and before I knew it, six months had turned into 11 years. Somehow we just scraped by financially, but in terms of wealth of experience, I am a multi millionaire. From being pashed by Patti Smith on stage at the Sydney Opera House, to touring stadiums with Neil Young, to playing numerous festivals across the world and every horrible, run-down-toilet-of-a-venue in between.
What prompted the move back to Hobart?
I’d been thinking about moving back for a few years. I love Hobart so much. I grew up here until I was 18 when it became time to head to Melbourne to pursue music over there, but I’m a Hobart boy through and through. Now, 22 years later I’m back! The timing just felt right. My family is here. I have a great group of friends here. The arts and music scene is obviously phenomenal here these days. And it terms of writing, it’s a pretty inspiring place. I’m putting the finishing touches on the follow up to 2016’s album KING and I couldn’t think of a better place to do that.
You’ve organised a gig in August to raise funds to help cover legal costs for the campaign opposing the Mt Wellington Cable Car. Why has this issue grabbed you?
Upon my return earlier this year I became aware of the proposed plans to build a cable car on Mt.Wellington. The mountain represents so much for so many Hobartians. It’s a constant. We look to it each morning and it sets the tone for the day. It’s rugged and it’s wild and sits above us like an ancient monument. A select few stand to line their pockets handsomely with this proposal. I couldn’t just sit back and let this happen without lending my voice to the opposition in some way. This is just my small way of contributing. 6,000 people turned up to the rally against the cable car that was planned recently. I guess I’m not the only one who would like to keep the mountain wild.
What can people expect at the gig?
I’ve managed to call in a few favours and secure a pretty incredible line-up of Hobart’s best bands. From A. Swayze and the Ghosts who have just finished playing to huge audiences around the country opening for JET, to art-rockers The Native Cats who have just released an incredible, critically acclaimed new album, and many more. Plus some wonderful organisations who feel as strongly as I do – Bob Brown Foundation, The Wilderness Society, Friends of the Earth, Residents Opposed to the Cable Car, Young Henry’s, RuffCut Records etc are throwing their weight behind the cause too. It’s going to be a huge night. I’ll even get up and have a yodel myself.
What’s next for Mike Noga?
My next album (a kind of “sequel” to KING) will be released later this year so I’ll be tucked away working on that for next while. But keep your eyes peeled, I’m always ducking out to play a gig around town and road test some of the new songs. And make sure you get down to the Brisbane Hotel on August 4th to support this cause and keep the mountain beautiful and cable car free. Your kids will thank you for it.
You can buy tickets to the gig at the Brisbane Hotel at www.oztix.com.au