Michael Ian Cummings
Feeling Generic at SXSW
To be honest, it’s kind of a place where it makes you feel like you’re soooo, I don’t know just like, Generic Rock Dude. I’ve never felt as unoriginal in my life as at SXSW. Walking around and everybody looks exactly like each other. It’s bizarre…lots of leather jackets in the sun.
Starting the Band
Josh [guitar] ended up showing up in New York City on one day’s notice. I’d just moved to New York. Noah [drummer] and I met him for a drink, and he dropped the bomb on us that he was expecting to start a band. That day. I’m like, “Alright, we’ll get together tomorrow. We’ll jam.” He’s like, “Hey, I didn’t just move to New York to jam. I’ve just flown 3,000 miles to start a band.” We looked at each other; we had no clue. So we said ok. Then next morning we booked our first three shows with like no songs and played a bunch of covers and stuff like that, and that’s how it started.
I wrote that song actually about something that happened near my apartment. I watched this guy shoot at a cop outside the projects window. I lived on the sixth floor at the time, so I was just watching it; it was kind of like a real-life movie, which happens sometimes in New York ‘cuz everything is kind of picturesque. This guy shoots this cop, and then all the sudden these SWAT teams come, and 30 cop cars, and a helicopter, and they end up raiding the building. And I just couldn’t stop thinking about that guy’s perspective on how much he must’ve regretted that right after it happened. So that song was written through that guy’s eyes.
“Miss Teen Massachusetts” Music Video
That video, [Danilo Para] just wanted it to feel like One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and have this mental hospital, but I didn’t really understand how we were going to accomplish that. But he found an old nunnery, I guess you’d call it a convent or something, and it was abandoned since the 70’s. It was right in Brooklyn and no one had touched it, so it had all the beds, everything was completely like a frozen place in time. We ended up shooting the video there…it was really creepy.
Check out SKATERS’ debut album Manhattan