Grunge is not dead

Mike James grew up on the outskirts of Louisville but has been finding himself increasingly embraced by fans of guitar rock. His latest band, the two-piece Been to the Gallows, releases their second album today (March 13) with a release show at the Tim Faulkner Gallery in Butchertown ($5, 7 p.m.).

LEO: Tell me about how you put this album together. How do you feel it compares to your first one?

Mike James: I kept November through February clear as far as gigs go so that I could focus on the album. There’s nothing I love more than taking my time to experiment with my music, without dreading any sort of deadline. As far as how Cryptozoology compares to my previous album, A Knock at the Door, each certainly reflects elements of the other, but they do differ to a considerable degree. The main difference would be that while Door was basically a compilation of songs I’d done over a few years, Cryptozoology consists of songs that were written specifically to accompany one another, giving it a consistent vibe with recurring themes, and even somewhat of a story arc, if you dig deep enough.


LEO: You get a big, classic rock sound from your guitar. How long have you been playing?

MJ: Guitar has been a part of my life that I take very seriously since I was relatively young. As I was growing up, I was exposed to it on a regular basis; there were always guitars lying around the house, and it was something I just began to toy with. I really started taking it seriously in about sixth grade or so. I still practice on a daily basis, because — despite that I’ve been at it for over a decade — I’ve really only just begun. As a guitar teacher, “Practice, practice, practice” tends to be my motto, and my students can vouch for that.

Go to beentothegallows.wordpress.com.