Mike Pedersen of Elephant Bear

Elephantbear, fronted by the promising young songwriter and guitarist Mike Pedersen, has already won comparisons to artists like Snow Patrol, Ben Lee, and the Foo Fighters because of their smartly written, deftly executed, and highly original brand of rock. Sharing the songwriting duties with Pedersen are his longtime friend and collaborator, the multi-talented musician extraordinaire Tim Collins and bassist George Facteau.

The band members draw on their own diverse individual influences to create a pop-rock sound that seamlessly incorporates elements of funk, punk, classic rock, jam rock, and jazz into one unique and vibrant groove.  Glide’s Melissa Brodeur recently had a chance to put Pedersen in the hot spot.

Have you always wanted to be a musician?

No, but I always wanted to be an artist. I was not sure what that meant, but I always wanted to do something creative, the thing I really wanted to be was a cartoonist, until I discovered music at the age of 11 or 12 from my neighbor/best friend.

Now do you just want to be a musician?

I still make t-shirts to get some creative juices flowing but yes now I just want to be musician.

You recently moved from Plattsburg NY to Burlington VT, how do you feel living in Burlington will change/effect your music?

It already has, just everyday I have seen or have been involved with musicians. Being completely immersed in the music community after just 2 months I feel I am a better musician already. My feet are taking root, its a nurturing environment and lots of creative juices are flowing. Its been along time over do!

What are some of your music career goals?

I would love to be on the festival circuit, esp. Bonnaroo and play for enduring fans. To play music and feel good about  it every night.

What are some of your non-musical goals?

Enlightenment, all knowing! I have always wanted to fly-levitate.  I would like to be a better cook and eat healthier.
What was your first concert?

LL COOL J at Plattsburg State.  It was a hell of a show, he was awesome!
When was the last time you remember getting really nervous?

I am sure there have been other times, but when I ran track at Ithaca College, it was the 4×4 relay, the last race of the night, and I was the first runner. Getting ready in the starting block always made me nervous!  I never get nervous for music, but always for track. We qualified for nationals, it was the fastest time and we broke records, but we got disqualified. It was my last race! A bittersweet experience!

If you could have lived in any other time period when you would have liked to live?

I would have loved to live in the late 60′ because of the music. Hendrix, Janis, all of it! Their minds were out there, I wish   I could have been in the scene as a musician or a spectator.
If you could have one slow dance with one woman, who would it be and what song would you want to dance to?

I have a thing for Fiona Apple, I would dance to one of her songs! She has some great slow ballads.
What has been one of  the highlights of musical career so far?

Well, before until I got to play with Micheal Franti on stage at Mountain Jam a few months ago it would have to be recording the album in Brooklyn, for Elephant Bear with Tim(my best friends/musical mentor/old neighbor) and all the musicians we worked with.  The guys in the studio, I learned so much putting the whole thing together. The whole process of taking the songs I have been playing for awhile and making them into  a polished product was nice to have! All the art work, and finished product that looked and sounded so professional. AND also playing with Russ Lawton thanks to the guys from The Grift. 

Glide contributor Melissa Brodeur  writes and works within her three passions: alternative health, music and bees by providing off-beat, creative healing methods to musicians and artist and creative minds alike.  Check her out at beewellmassage.com.




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