Mishka – Above The Bones

(j.k. livin Records)


"Someday, after mastering winds, waves, tides and gravity, we shall harness the energy of love; and for the second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire."
Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (1881 - 1955) French "philosopher, paleontologist"





worldbeatcanada radio: To most of us it would appear Mishka led a charmed life as a kid, unless of course you're prone to seasickness. With his parents who were avid sailors, he criss-crossed the Caribbean in a 40 foot sailboat for the earliest years of his life. There's a Canadian connection to his life as well. His mother's a Canadian and he has spent several years living in the idyllic mountain village of Nelson, BC. While he would rather raise his own family on the water as he did, His music keeps him on the asphalt touring to support his latest recording.


Mishka: Hi, this is Mishka and my new album is called Above The Bones.


WBC: Can you explain the title of the new disc? Your sound has been described as bare bones, mostly you and your acoustic. Does that have something to do with it?


Mishka: No, not really. The title of the CD is one of the tracks on the album. It's a song I co-wrote with my wife. She wrote the lyrics. It's a poem I set to music. Above The Bones symbolizes rising above anger; rising above grief, keeping in mind the oppression people have been through and are still going through in the world today. Really, it's about honoring ancestors as well.


WBC: You're probably tired of talking about your upbringing, but it's fascinating to land lubbers like me. You've lived in Bermuda and Nevis. Is there one Caribbean Island that sticks out in your memory as a magical place?


Mishka: Yeah but, really and truly they all are ... all the islands. I spent quite a lot of time in Nevis and another island called St. Barts. Those are the two I spent the most time in. Like I say, they all have something special about them ... beautiful places, you know.


WBC:  What does the Caribbean experience bring to your music and your views on life?


Mishka: That's kind of hard to say because it is my view on life. My particular experience growing up there is probably quite different, even from most people who live there, because of living on a boat. And, so it was going from island to island ... it's really a free spirited way of life. I was spending a lot of time in the water and on the water, literally! So, it's mostly about the water and the culture I grew up with and the music.


WBC:  Into every life of peace and tranquility a storm must someday pass. It must have been terrifying when one of those came up on one of your voyages.


Mishka:  Yeah, I remember the first time the first time we were at sea and got into a really big storm and I think that probably had a very profound effect on my life. I was about seven years old and we were between the Carolinas and the Caribbean and it was a hurricane force winter storm. It was crazy, you know ... these huge, huge waves.


WBC: What do you do, just ride it out?


Mishka: Yeah, you just take the sails down and, we call 'heave to' which means put the boat about 45 degrees to the wind and just ride through it. You know, the waves are as tall as the mast on the boat. You just go below and pray (laughs).


WBC: What an experience! This is worldbeatcanada radio and Mishka is my guest. His newest release is called Above The Bones. Check out mishka.com for a cool clip of him performing the title track on Jimmy Kimmel and an entertaining interview with his label manager at j.k. livin, Matthew McConaughey. Is he really as much of a laid back surfer dude as he plays in his movie characters?


Mishka: Yes, he is. Really. I mean, he's a business man as well. He's running his company, j.k. livin. Maybe his surfer dude character is a little more spaced out than he is in reality, you know. He's running j.k. livin productions which is his movie production company and now j.k. livin records which is the label I'm signed to. But yeah, he's a cool guy, man. He's pretty chill.


WBC:  What are your thoughts at this time when the world seems to be going through some kind of paradigm shift? Don't you feel that ... like we're on the verge of something?


Mishka:  When you look at the way things are right now in the world it's either because of the age of communication we have the ability to see better what is going on with the planet, or it's because there is a greater amount of turmoil and imbalance going on. I see things from the point of view of yin yang, night and day. As far as I'm concerned it's the darkness before the light right now. Maybe this is the worst time in history in terms of the way the earth is suffering and people are suffering. I think a lot of people are under the allusion that things are OK and this is the age of enlightenment, but there are a lot of terrible things happening on the earth right now; the exploitation of one people by another and the general destruction we're wreaking on the earth, but like a I say, maybe it's always been that way and we just see it more now because the media.


WBC: We're going to hear one of my favorites from the new album called Coastline Journey, is it as autobiographical as the title would suggest?


Mishka: It's a funny tune, actually because Matthew called me up when we just started working together and he was doing a movie called Surfer Dude and he asked me if I could write a song for it. I said, "I don't know. Send me a script." I read it and I didn't really see anything in it right away. Then, one line in the whole thing caught my attention and from that, I wrote the whole song. The character in Surfer Dude was somewhat like me in that he's a person who loves the ocean and loves the waves. I love to wind surf and he loves to surf. He had this dilemma where the waves stop for two months and he's bummed out because he can't surf. Then this corporation is trying to get him to ride a mechanical wave and all this stuff ... (laughs). In that sense I could kind of relate to it. So, it's somewhat autobiographical because I related to that situation of being without wind, without waves.


Mishka was interviewed by Cal Koat on February 26/09 for broadcast on worldbeatcanda radio.