Skip to content

noise polluter

music that's worth your while

Tag Archives: mike donovan


written by Aimee Myers

San Francisco’s non-techie population is in dire need of a little sonic redemption as they sift through the cultural debris, trying to make rent on time, if at all. Fortunately, Mike Donovan has graced our beloved city with yet another band post-Sic Alps: Peacers. With former Oh Sees member Mike Shoun on drums and Ty Segall manning the soundboard, Peacers’ debut record is certainly a step in the right direction in terms of restoring San Francisco to its former psych rock glory. Having just completed a U.S. tour alongside Elisa Ambrogio, Donovan and I discussed by email (seemingly the modern equivalent of a handwritten letter in the realm of Twitter, Google, and whatever app your neighbor just developed) the current state of the Bay’s scene, the birth of Peacers, and reviving history.


AIMEE MYERS FOR NOISE POLLUTER: Over the past few years, there seems to have been a mass exodus of talent from the Bay Area, most notably by John Dwyer and Ty Segall. What kept you in San Francisco?

MIKE DONOVAN (VOX/GUITAR): I really didn’t really want to leave, though this city has become unbelievably corny. I often feel like I’m in a boring and lazily written Saturday Night Live skit. Everybody is obsessed with convenience and how to make a lot of money off it. Mental-moral pygmies are running the show. The main reason I stay here is because I have a place which is nice and cheap enough, though sometimes I’m worried I might run out of vomit.


NP: San Francisco’s music scene certainly isn’t what it was in the early 2000s, but is it possible to still find inspiration here in 2016?

MD: Sad that fun times are gone, but on the other hand I think sometimes the most interesting times creatively for a city are often before and after the scene – the payoff isn’t in the spotlight but there’s always a chance some odd band will cut some unthought-of path.


NP:The disbandment of Sic Alps in 2013 seemed to signal the beginning of the end for the Bay Area’s modern garage-psych scene. Are you concerned at all that fans, out of nostalgia, may view Peacers as a sort of Sic Alps reincarnation rather than an entirely separate entity?

MD: If anyone is being nostalgic about Sic Alps that is cool with me. I don’t expect that will ever change.


NP: When you began writing the record, did you enter the creative process knowing that you were going to start Peacers, or was it initially another solo record?

MD: It was gonna be something new from the start, a new project. The name came later.


NP:Wendy Farina was Peacers’ original drummer, but Mike Shoun took over the position this past July. What caused this change?

MD: She wanted to take time to concentrate on not being my girlfriend.


NP: Ty Segall produced the record, and many of the songs on it are reminiscent of his style. Did he have any influence on the songwriting process, or was he strictly on the technical side of it all?

MD: Ty plays drums and bass on most of the songs on the record, so his playing has a lot to do with the vibe of the record of course – but he was also in Sic Alps in 2009 and we’ve recorded and played together over the years, so the style thing is really just a little history coming back.


NP: From Sic Alps to a solo record and now Peacers, do you think it’s important to constantly reinvent oneself creatively through different projects?

MD: Change is life’s characteristic.


NP: Tell us about what’s next for Peacers. Will there be another record or a full tour?

MD: We’ve started recording the next record (this time at the home studio) and we’ve just finished a U.S. tour, which was a barrel of laughs.


Peacers’ self-titled debut record is available now through Drag City.



Tags: , ,