20 Questions: Mike Park of Asian Man Records

Sunday, July 15th, 2018
Ogikubo Station - Mike Park and Maura Weaver

Ogikubo Station – Mike Park and Maura Weaver

20 Questions With Verbicide” is an interview series in which an artist is handed a list of more than 100 questions and they select 20 from the list they would like to answer.

If you’re familiar with ska or punk, you’re probably familiar with Reverend Mike Park. Largely known as the owner of the long-running label Asian Man Records and a former member of ’90s ska-punks Skankin’ Pickle, Park has kept busy for more than two decades with an abundance of his own musical projects. In addition to Skankin’ Pickle, Park has performed solo (including several records for kids) and as a member of The Chinkees and The Bruce Lee Band.

Now, alongside Maura Weaver, Park has a new project, Ogikubo Station. The duo has just released its first full-length album, We Can Pretend Like, and Rev. Mike kindly took the time to answer “20 Questions With Verbicide.”

What was the best day of your life?

I don’t know if it was the best day of my life, but here goes a good one: I was living in Japan running Asian Man Records and the Suicide Machines were on tour, so I met up with them and on a day off their record label took them out on the town. They paid for everything and, for some reason, they paid for me too. But it wasn’t just dinner and talking — it was like we went for it. Dinner of course, but then karaoke, and then bowling, and constant drinking throughout, and then another bar and then the sun came out and then ramen at 6 a.m. and then I crashed on the floor of the bass player and I thought that was a good day.

Did you prefer life prior to the internet and cell phones and social media, or do you think we’re better for it?

I think I preferred it pre-internet. I am a phone addict, I must admit, and I don’t like it. I can spend hours just lying on the floor staring at my phone and it pisses me off that I can’t easily stop.

If you could only appear on one late-night television show, which would it be?

Nowadays, probably Colbert ’cause I like him. He’s funny.

Apples or bananas?

Ooooh, tough one. But I’d say bananas.

Where is your ideal vacation spot?

Hawaii always. Kailua Beach.

Which city draws the best crowds for your shows?

Historically, probably Chicago. I’m not sure why, but Chicago buys so much merchandise too. It always makes you feel so good because you’re usually broke by the time you hit Chicago.

What is your absolute oldest memory?

I can remember being two years old driving to Disneyland and getting carsick. Puking all over the place.

What is the greatest live band you’ve ever seen?

Fishbone, by far. Especially in the ’80s. I would lay at in bed at night after their show wide awake thinking, Wow, that was amazing.

How many times have you visited Disneyland and/or Disney World? What is your favorite attraction?

I’ve been to Disneyland about 12 times, Disney World three times, and Tokyo Disneyland three times. I love Disneyland. I’m a super fan, but it’s so expensive and I’m so cheap. But I love Cars Land in the California Adventure section. It’s awesome.

What was the first album you ever bought? What format was it in? Do you still have it?

I believe it was AC/DC Back in Black on vinyl. I definitely do not have it. This was back in 1980.

How many pillows do you use?

Way too many. Four.

Have you ever had a part in a film?

I was an extra in Angels In the Outfield, Junior, Copycat, and a TV movie of the week starring Craig T. Nelson and Kirk Douglas. The only movie I made it into was Angels In the Outfield: when Tony Danza starts tiring in the later innings, they keep calling the bullpen to make sure the reliever is ready. I’m in the front row with glasses and a “number one” foam finger. I’m in it about four times.

What do you believe is the easiest way a person can make the world a better place?

Stop being an asshole.

What is one obscure fact you remember from grade school?

My fifth grade teacher Mrs. Burt. She was so strict. It was still to this day the hardest year of school in my life. She sucked.

Which social media site do you use/like the most? How can people find/follow you?

Instagram, @mikeparkmusic.

What’s the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen?

Seeing the Grand Canyon was a woah moment. I remember seeing the Brady Bunch visit the Grand Canyon and thinking, What’s the big deal? But when I went I truly was like WOAH!!

Ever been to prison?

Never. I’ve never even gotten a speeding ticket.

What is your favorite restaurant to eat at while on tour?

Sadly and embarrassingly, Taco Bell. I can’t explain it, but something about going to Taco Bell late at night after a show is comforting.

What is your best tip for soothing a crying infant? Seriously, I need to know.

I would play my guitar and sing songs to my kids when they were infants. It worked well back then.

What kind of car was your first car?

I drove a green Plymouth Duster in the ’80s.

What type of car do you drive now?

I now drive a 2014 Hyundai Accent.

What type of car do you wish you drove?

The 1980s Plymouth Duster.

How many tattoos do you have?

Zero! And proud that I have somehow kept myself from getting one, or maybe it was the fear that my mom would be so angry…

Who was your first celebrity crush?

Amanda Stepto. She played Spike on the original “Degrassi” show that played on PBS.

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