Jhon Cosgrove, Mike TV [08/2013]

By Tom Aylott

We sat down for a quick chinwag with Jhon Cosgrove, famous vegan of Mike TV – UK pop punk survivalists from the age of skacore, Household Name Records and the dawn of Punktastic – to hear some musings on their future, Green Day and thumbs:

Firstly, how are you today?

Hi Punktastic, we’re doing OK. I’m writing crap on the internet and getting paid for it. Domb is lifting up trees and wishing he was watching Green Day videos on the internet. Glyn is writing crap on the internet and not getting paid for it and Richie is taking pictures of his son making cakes (and putting them on the internet).

For those unfamiliar with Mike TV, why should they check you out and where should they start with you back catalogue

Punktastic once described us as ‘the best pop-punk band in the U.K’ – so that’s reason enough, although that was during PT’s ketamine days… the site wouldn’t get updated for literally minutes as the writers were rolling about on the floor with spinach soup for brains. We actually used to be called Pickled Dick but we changed our name to Mike TV as we wanted to make things a lot more difficult for ourselves. My advice is to start with the Pickled Dick stuff and work your way through until you’re up to date… kinda like a punk rock boxset. It’s really good punk rock with lots of harmonies… we offered get compared to a very ugly McFly.

Do you still classify yourself as pop punk?

I think that people take the whole genre thing a little bit too seriously, it’s way harder to pigeonhole bands these days. The pop bands are now rock bands, the rock bands are now emo and what gets classified as pop punk is usually a steaming pile of shit. We could be quirky and set up a new genre for ourselves… but we’ll stick with pop and punk coz that’s what we sound like!

Is is our understanding that a new album is in the works… where are you at with that?

As always PT, you’re correct! First, I must mention that we have another new guitarist (last one left to weave baskets for hot air balloons) and he’s called Richie. He’s a little bit fat but he’s a super chap and we don’t let his portliness get in the way of our opinion of him. We are recording a new album in January with Peter Miles… the songs are all written, we’re just demoing them so we’re totally organised. It’s gonna sound like a cross between the PD and MTV stuff… I’m actually even a little teeny weeny bit excited.

What took you so long?

After we recorded our last album in 2008 and we toured until 2010, we decided to have a little bit of a break. We didn’t make a big deal about it coz a) no one would give a fuck and b) hiatus is a horrible word for serious bands. We’ve started working slowly on the new album stuff as life stuff got in the way… cricket, football, ladies, kids, dogs, TV show fame, new members and the long distance between the band. Glyn lives in Stoke (never go there) and Domb and I live in the quaint market town of Petersfield.

To summarise: good things come to those who wait for five years for a band they’d long forgotten about to release something new.

Are you still big in China?

Of course, two of us are over six feet tall and as we all know, China is a country full of very small people. Casual racism aside, we went there in 2009 and 2010 and we’re planning to go back next year once the album is out. Hopefully the Chinese public will still dig our great music (they like any old shit) and breathtaking live performances (quality of air in the cities is awful).

Does Domb’s thumb actually still work?

Yes, Domb still has his magic thumb for playing bass. He’s a very talented chap. He’s let the thumb write the whole new album, so expect a concept album about hanging out with four fingers and occasionally visting the murky depths of his own rancid anus.

How are you feeling about the new Green Day records and their recent ‘Dookie’ setlists?

Domb went to the Emirates show but they didn’t play Dookie and he was annoyed. We all watched them play Dookie at Reading online and it did sound pretty fucking amazing. To be fair even the new songs sound good when they play them live. I think that last sentence answers the first part of your question. You can diss Green Day for writing shit albums but you can’t diss them for being a great live band. Wayyyyy-ohhhhhhhh!!!

Any tips for new bands to listen to?

Glyn only likes Scouting For Girls, he has a massive crush on the bassist. Richie only likes fast punk rock, he could crush a bassist. Domb has been listening to Green Day, he has a crush on them all. I’ve been playing cricket too much to listen to any bands but let’s go with Sons of Buddha, Masked Intruder, Teenage Bottlerocket, and the Duckworth Lewis Method. Who should we be listening to? [Ed: Whatever we recommend]


Try these three interviews

Interview: Greywind [Reading 2016]

Interview: Arcane Roots [Reading 2016]

Interview: Trash Boat [Reading 2016]