This week we delved into the mind of Hand Of Mercy’s bassist Michael Dawson in the wake of their final tour as an ensemble, exploring some of his live influences, nostalgia inducing memories and favourite artists within the industry both past and present.
What is your favourite venue to perform at?
In Australia it would have to be Fowlers Live in Adelaide. The people that run the venue are the greatest legends you will ever meet and make you feel like family every time you roll in. The rider always rules and being licensed / all ages the shows are great!
Overseas I would say The Underworld in London. We were lucky enough to play there as part of Bleeding Through’s final tour ever. The venue has an incredible history in the hardcore community; there is no barrier, great vibe and right in the heart of Camden. I’ve also been lucky enough to see incredible shows there like Terror and also Comeback Kid on their 10 year ‘Turn it Around’ Anniversary. I pitted hard to ‘Talk Is Cheap’ and it was MAD!
Who was the first artist you saw live?
When I was young there was a council run festival called ‘Youthfest’ which was on the beach at Deewhy just north of Sydney. NOFX headlined and Jebediah, Area 7 and Bodyjar played too. It was seriously so much fun and part of the reason I wanted to start a band myself.
What is your favourite memory of a live performance you have done/attended?
Probably playing Warped Tour in Australia in 2013. Each of the shows for us as a band were incredible and a heap of fun. But the whole experience was really topped off by getting to watch the bands I used to cover as a kid from the side of the stage and sing along. Bands like New Found Glory, The Used, Millencolin, The Offspring, Hatebreed, Parkway. It was wild! Something I will never forget.
If you could sit down with any artist living or dead for a chat who would it be and why?
I’d love to have a beer and a chat with Noel Gallegher from Oasis. There are obviously a heap of people in bands that are no longer alive, but for me I grew up with Oasis and they had a far bigger influence on my musical life and life in general. I watch interviews of him all the time and just love how blunt he is and I think he would have a tone of incredible stories. I’d just sit there fan-boying out hard the whole time.
Dream album to see played in its entirety live?
The only band which I really love but have never seen live isRancid, so I think seeing them play … And Out Come The Wolves from start to finish means I could die quite happy.
What do you think makes for a good live performance?
I think it’s about seeing the artist really wanting to be there in the performance and showing passion for what they are singing out. Whether it’s telling a heartfelt story about the song, screaming their lungs out in a fit of rage, or just absolutely destroying the stage or their instrument in their performance. Something that I can be engaged with as an observer I think is key.
If you could construct a band of any Musician’s you have come across, who be a part of it, and why?
I think I would just sub myself into Limp Bizkit to replace DJ Lethal. Let’s be real, he doesn’t exactly do a whole lot right? I think it would be a nice change to have less responsibility on stage but still get to hang out on giant tours and play massive shows. And why? ‘Nookie’.