Music Talk with Taj Mihelich: August 20, 2007

Give us a quick update on your band Snaketrap...What have you guys been up to?
Not too much. We got to play the S&M 20 year anniversary and that was a pretty amazing show (and big honor for me, personally). We’ve been practicing at home a lot and sort of gearing up for recording a new record. You know, figuring out some new songs and talking about what we want from a new record.

Taj Mihelich – BMX Rider, Bass Player  credit: Fat Tony

Do you play any other instruments besides bass guitar?
Nope. I try banging on the drums sometimes and Bryan (my drummer) gave me a xylophone that is fun to play with.

How old were you when you started playing music?
I started when I was 29 or so I guess. A few years prior I had won a guitar from MTV at one of the sports and music festivals. I couldn’t play it so I gave it to Joe Rich. A while later I won another guitar from a La Revolution contest. I couldn’t play it so I gave it to Ryan Corrigan who was having knee surgery. Later I won another guitar and gave it away. Finally, I won a 4th guitar and decided someone was trying to tell me something. Joe and I both wanted to learn to play so we set up mandatory guitar lessons during the workweek at T-1. We kept that up for a while and it was generally really difficult for me to play guitar. But then, our teacher let me play his bass. All of a sudden everything clicked. I felt way more at home, and have been playing since.

Got any advice for young riders looking to get into music or start their own band?
Go for it! I wish I had started younger. I can’t believe I didn’t. You can ride 24 hours a day and there’s nothing better then playing some music on your down time. It is way healthier and more productive than watching TV or sitting around drinking. Get some instruments and bang on them ’till they sound good.

Nac-nac… Who’s there? Taj Mihelich.
Did we just steal a joke directly from T-1?  credit: Fat Tony

What are the best shows you ever attended?
– Avail in Austin, TX, 1992. First sort of real punk show I ever saw. So amazing.
– Shellac and The Redneck Manifesto in Dublin, Ireland, 2005. Two of my favorite bands, and so great to see them in a big, good-sounding venue with a crowd that really loved them. Plus, I was on the side of the stage with a great view.
-Fugazi in Austin, TX, 1997. First time I saw Fugazi, but the crowd was really jaded and pissed off. They kind of fucked around a bit and then stopped playing. They waited till all the pissed off people left and then they came back and played a whole other set that was fantastic. Felt like everyone was feeling the same thing and in the same place because of the music.
– Jape on the T-1 ramp, 2007. The whole ramp was dancing and having a great time. So fun to help set up a show and see everyone there in tune and really enjoying themselves.
– Lucero on the T-1 ramp, 2005. Great band, good friends, and the whole ramp full of people singing along and dancing. The band really enjoyed themselves too, and that’s always great to see. A moving moment, for sure.