Hawaiian Born Rasta | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Hawaiian Born Rasta

Mike Love flows through Bend

Mike Love makes roots rock reggae music with a gentle Hawaiian vibe. His new album, Love Will Find A Way, was released on September 1 and he started touring the country just a week later in support of it. There are many things to say about Mike Love, but let's hear them in his own words.

Source Weekly: How has being Hawaiian shaped and continued to shape your music?

Mike Love: Well, I don't have any Hawaiian blood, but being born and raised in Hawaii has definitely played a huge part in the formation of my sound and message. The natural connection we feel here, to the energy of Mother Earth has played a large role in my spiritual growth. Growing up, our favorite pastimes were going to the beach or going up in the mountains and exploring. I think that led to the feelings of respect and awe for nature that are a part of a lot of the messages in my music.

SW: Was reggae in your blood early, or was Hawaiian music an earlier influence?

ML: Reggae music and Hawaiian music are both major staples here, so they've always been a part of my life. I played and listened to all kinds of music growing up, though. From rock to folk to classical to delta blues to flamenco and many more, I was into everything. When I got heavily into writing reggae music, though, was when everything changed for me. The difference was the message. The spiritual, revolutionary aspect of the music really appealed to me. I slowly became aware of the healing purpose of music, and it became the main reason for me making music.

SW: What are some of your influences now?

ML: Musically, I have all kinds of influences, and a lot of them are people I'm blessed to know and work with personally. Trevor Hall, Nahko, Xavier Rudd, Groundation, Paula Fuga, Tubby Love, Paul Izak and many more. My real influences, though, are the people who inspire me to write. Mainly, my wife, my children, my family and friends. They're the ones who connect me to true joy, to pain and heartache, laughter and worry. These are the threads that are woven into my music, real emotion, real life, honesty. That's what people really need to hear about, and through music it can heal them.

SW: What do you hope your music shares with people? What kind of emotion do you get the most pleasure bringing out in people?

ML: I hope it shares with them whatever they need from it. Music has this amazing chameleon-like ability to be different things for different people. One song can make someone laugh and dance while making another cry. I just hope it helps, that's the reason why we do it, to help our sisters and brothers, to awaken them. 

SW: What's next?

ML: I go where the river flow takes me. I just keep playing and writing and recording and this thing just keeps growing in a beautifully organic way. We just released a brand new album called Love Will Find a Way and we're on a tour supporting that right now. We have another companion release called Love Overflowing out early next year, as well as some international touring planned for next year.

SW: What can we expect from your show in Bend?

ML:We're playing a bunch of new stuff from the brand new album, as well as some old favorites. It's my first time on the road with my four-piece band, so I'm really excited to share that with everyone!

SW: Anything else you would like to add before we wrap this up?

ML:Thanks for the Love!

Mike Love

Friday, September 18. 9:30pm

Volcanic Theatre Pub, 70 SW Century Dr.

$8 adv., $10 door.

About The Author

Jared Rasic

Film critic and author of food, arts and culture stories for the Source Weekly since 2010.
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