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March 13, 2013

B-sides

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.