For the past 16 years, these fine gentlemen have been playing music with one another, which is evident by their sound- When a band has chemistry, it is something that is unmistakable… this holds true for Ann Arbor Natives Great Lakes Myth Society. I recently was fortunate enough to have a Q&A with Timothy Monger, lead vocals, guitar and accordion for Great Lakes Myth Society- Here is what He had to say…
Tell me, how did Great Lake Myth Society come to be?
Jamie, Scott and I grew up together in Brighton and then played together for a brief time at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant. We moved down to Ann Arbor in the late 1990’s and formed our first legitimate band, which later turned into Great Lakes Myth Society. We’ve all been playing music together in one form or another for about 16 years now.
What really inspires you when it comes to your songwriting process?
We all really love bands that focus on songwriting and craft. We’re fans of bands like XTC, The Kinks and the Pogues. We love Queen, David Bowie, Robyn Hitchcock… so many influences.
How much influence does Metro Detroit have on your song writing?
The urban decay, tough economy and gritty spirit of Detroit have been well covered in the arts and the media, but for us growing up in the suburbs, Detroit was the de facto capitol of our Midwest. When we were young, it was where we went to go see shows and later it was where our bands aspired to play shows. Detroit is where friends live and where our baseball team plays. I would be surprised if it didn’t influence our music.
There are a lot of great venues to play in Detroit- Do you have any favorites?
We love the comfy character of PJ’s Lager House, the diverse layers of the Majestic Complex and the unexpected grandeur of New Center Park.
As well as venues, there are a lot of amazing bands coming out of Detroit- Who are some of your favorites?
The Hard Lessons, The High Strung, Zoos of Berlin, Scarlet Oaks and many, many more…
A lot of us in Michigan were raised on money from “The Big Three” – Do you have any direct ties to General Motors/Chevrolet? If so, do you have any fond memories that involve Chevrolet?
Way back in 2000 we began playing enough shows that we found ourselves needed touring van. We answered an ad in the paper for a used 1992 Chevy Beauville with blue and white stripes. She became known as “Jeffine” and dutifully carried us all across the country for the next eight years. Jeffine was a tank. We absolutely loved that van! In 2008, she came on hard times and was quietly retired to a secret location in Flint. I thought we had seen the last of her, but a couple of weeks ago I got a call from our drummer Fido. After his minivan suddenly died, he somehow managed to revive the ailing Jeffine and she’s now back on the road at a very young 180,000 miles!
I know you must have a lot of memorable shows that you’ve been a part of- What is one of your favorite Detroit shows you’ve ever played?
Most of our Detroit shows have been memorable for one reason or another. While there certainly have been more interesting and controversial shows, I remember playing downtown at Cityfest on the 4th of July. Perfect weather, huge crowd, friends and family all around… I was just so glad to be playing in a band. For me, it was a really happy snapshot of a good time in our career.
What can we expect next Great Lakes Myth Society?
We’re taking our time making what we hope will be the best record of our career. Something big and timeless. It will be worth the wait!