Reggae-infused and inspired Mike Pinto and his band, brings his sound and vocals to Smith’s Olde Bar on Tuesday, July 2 in Atlanta. Pinto’s musical style blends rock and reggae for an easy and laid-back good time for all who enjoy his music. Joining Mike on his summer tour that will take him from the West to East Coast are Hawaiian Sons, Natural Vibrations, with Philly’s Three-Legged Fox. These additions bring a variety of musical styles to his line-up, including reggae, funk, rock and roots.
His current tour is in support of his recently released fifth album, Truthful Lies (May 14). The album includes a stand-out crowd of notable musicians, including Junior Marvin (Bob Marley), Jesse Wagner and Roger Rivas (The Aggrolites), Micah Brown, George Laks (Lenny Kravitz) and Chuck Treece (Bad Brains, G Love, McRad). The album has thirteen original tracks, along with his recently released single, “Where The Beach Meets The Ocean,” released on May 13, the day before his album dropped. Truthful Lies debuted at #1 on iTunes Reggae Charts.
What was unique about the recording of Truthful Lies?
A little more folk and funk, and some rock and roll, which was a little bit of a deviation away from what I had been doing. More of what I was doing was SoCal, reggae, ska, a little bit of surf involved with some Latin horns. I think on this record I tried to show a little more diversity with my songwriting; I tried to implement folk and rock and roll. I like all of those styles of music too, so I figured let’s try something new. As far as that, I think that came out really well, and I’m happy to be a part of the Studio Soundmine up in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania in the Kokono Mountains. It’s a beautiful place up there. Dan Malsch (The Misfits) is the producer and the Soundmine is a really, really special place.
How did you get involved in music, per se? What motivated you to do it?
When I was kid, I was probably about 15 or 16, and my friend’s Mom used to cut my hair. He and I used to be on the same baseball team. He had like 8 siblings, and always had someone in the house, and they were all very athletic and creative people. One of the brothers was playing guitar and I kept going there, and was mesmerized by it. So, I was young enough my Mom would come too and I would always ask “Can I play guitar too?” and I really loved it and couldn’t stop listening to this guy play guitar and I was trying to learn too. That was the beginning; all because my friend’s Mom cut my hair (laughs). That’s how it started you know. Good family friends taught me. Then I was laid up in my room for awhile, trying to write some songs.
You’ve worked with an all-star of musical acts, including Junior Martin (Bob Marley), Jesse Wagner and Roger Rivas (The Aggrolites), and others. How did all that come about?
Well, I have to give a lot of credit to Chuck Treece. Chuck Treece is a very, very well-respected musician in Philadelphia, and has been for over 25 years. He’s worked with a lot; from Santigold to punk, to singer-songwriters, to hip-hop, to you name it. He’s a chameleon. The guy is incredible and every instrument he plays; the drums, the guitar, and bass. So Chuck has been my facilitator of trying to help me get my music out there. He linked me with the producer, Dan Malsch, linked me with George Laks (Lenny Kravitz), and hooked me up with a couple of other musicians in my time of producers. As far as The Aggrolites go, that’s the West Coast connection. We had a tour with them; they have a lot of soul and are a great band. They have a lot of soul and are doing well in Europe, as well as the States. Then my friend from Chicago, David Wells, hooked me up with Junior Marvin. It’s surprising, but in Chicago and Washington, DC, there’s actually some older reggae artists that have their own scene going on, especially down in DC, and that’s where Junior Marvin (Bob Marley) lives.
What is your dream line-up gig?
That’s a good one. Aw man; that’s tough. It’ll probably be, I’d have to open, because these people are incredible. It would probably be me and then Bob Marley and the Wailers, with the original line-up, and then Stevie Wonder; that would be the dream. Then have (Jimi) Hendrix play in-between sets.
What was your first concert, and do you have a favorite one that you attended?
My first concert was a big ska show in Philadelphia and I believe the name of the band was called Mustard Plug. It was really ska and my one friend was really big into ska, and I was about 14. He drug me out to the show, and they had the horns, and they hooked me. I had to go see more ska. I went to the Warped Tour shortly after that and that really established the music I was listening to for the next five or six years.
My favorite show: I’ve seen (Bob) Dylan and Tom Petty. Those experiences were awesome when I was younger, and are probably the two that stick out in my mind right now. I was 19 years old when I saw Petty, and they crushed it, and played for like three hours. Everything sounded incredible. I love Dylan, but I think Petty brought it.
What is your guilty musical pleasure, and what music makes you cringe?
I can’t stand dubstep. I can’t take it. I’ve tried my best, but I need real instruments. I can’t deal with synthetic music.
My guilty musical pleasure…hmm…I wish I played piano; if there’s a piano in the room, I have to go touch it. My children will play piano whether they like it or not; that’s going to be our biggest fight (laughs).
Grab tickets to see Mike Pinto and his band perform at Smith’s Olde Bar, Tuesday July 2!