Mickey Avalon On Orange County, His New Album and How MySpace Jumpstarted His Career
This week's print feature profiled rapper Mickey Avalon ahead of his show next Wednesday night at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano. Here are some of the things that we discussed with the Los Angeles-based rapper that didn't necessarily make it into the piece.
What are your feelings on Orange County? Are you surprised that your music has been such a hit here?
I actually really like it there. I like playing to the kids down there and it wasn't always like that at first because there's all these weird thoughts you have about people in other places and what they're supposed to be like. I'm happy that I was wrong because in the end, it is just bullshit and people are people. I felt like a big asshole about it.
Do you think your deeply personal and earnest lyrics serves as a reason why kids in OC gravitate towards your music?
Not to toot my horn or anything, but I'm just trying to tell the truth on some sort of level, which is always a good thing. A lot of it is tongue and cheek, but underneath it all, there's some kind of truth to it.
What was the recording process like for this album? What were some of the topics you addressed in your lyrics?
There was stuff leftover from the first record. I kind of just record the whole time regardless of whether or not I'm making an album or not. For my lyrics, doesn't always have to be autobiographical, since there's all this stuff going on the world. I'm a fan of music before anything and I know what I want to hear and don't want to hear about. There's always life struggles going on and if everything was awesome, why would you want to waste your time making art?
It's been six years since you released your last full-length. How come it took so long for album two to come to fruition?
I've got a big catalog in my computer of stuff that I've never put out. I lost a lot of stuff to my last label, which I left in 2009. It was disappointing because it hasn't come and when you work on something that you're proud of and can make money off it, you don't want to see it in the trash. I'm sure everything will resurface at some point and hopefully for the third record, there won't have to be a 5-year gap. We have a lot of things in progress right now to make sure that the lag doesn't happen again. Though I lost a lot of stuff to Interscope, when all was said and done, the album came out exactly how I wanted it to be and is the perfect second chapter, except I wish I didn't have to wait so long for it to happen.
You were one of the first musicians to get his music heard through social media. How do you think that helped you build a fanbase?
I think it happened to be at a time when everything kind of lined up in my favor. Say if it were 10-15 years ago, I wouldn't have been able to go to my friend's house where he was making beats and make a song in a night. You would have had to go to a studio. I remember when people told me about MySpace and I was like "that's the stupidest thing I've ever heard of." I was living in a halfway-house-type thing and I had to be home by midnight and the only thing I could do was go on the computer or go to sleep. So I went online it somehow caught on.
What are your thoughts on "Jane Fonda" and the success it's had?
Honestly, I thought it was by far the worst song when I did it. Looking at it now, I see it's catchy and all that stuff. Funny how things work out.
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