Mike Oregano

By Jesse Bertel


Mike Oregano is a one-man band with an innovative approach to performing. His music is like a fusion between Steely Dan and John Mayer. On stage, Oregano plays a full drum set with his feet while singing and playing guitar and bass, using effects pedals and loopers.

Oregano spoke with Across the Street ahead of his upcoming performance at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 8, at the Raven Cafe, 142 N. Cortez St., Prescott. The following interview was edited for length and clarity.

How do you manage

so many instruments

on stage?

I’ve been doing this for at least about eight years or so now. Over the years the setup has gotten bigger and bigger and I’ve gotten more ideas. Basically, it’s a kick drum, snare drum, tom and crash. So you got a four-piece drum kit.

I just laid it out with a pedal board in front of it and I figured out how to get everything to connect this way with pedals that I can control with my feet. I don’t know how I figured that out necessarily. I guess it kind of morphed into its own, but I’ve had a lot of hours of practice on it.

So, how I do it is mostly just at this point, I kind of let my body take over. I feel like an octopus man, because my legs are just kind of controlling themselves, my hands are controlling themselves and my head is doing something different too.

What made you want

to be a musician?

When I was a kid, I used to listen to music all day. I was always interested in anything music. I started playing the guitar when I was a kid. I was in the school band. When I was a kid, I remember I used to listen to Green Day all day. I would listen to the album, Dookie, on repeat. I like those kind of bands. I used to tell my parents, “When I’m older, I’m going to sing curse words for a living.” So I guess initially, just like, you know, MTV and kind of cool bands and stuff, I used to be attracted to that. Then as I got older, I got more into reggae music and then jazz music. My taste got a little bit more complex, I guess you could say. So, what initially got me was Green Day and Blink 182. When we were kids, they were popular.

How do you come up

with song ideas?

What inspires you?

Most recently, what’s inspiring me is, I’ve been traveling for the last at least five years, playing music around the country. I go to a lot of different places. I see a lot of different things. I meet a lot of different people and it kind of gives me new perspectives and I learn things and that ends up showing itself in my writing, at least for the last few years. I always like to write about things that I feel there should be some songs about, you know, being more positive to each other, you know, being friendly, helping each other, and my travels, people I meet, things that I do, things that I see. That’s what inspires my writing. At least lately.

For more information about Mike Oregano, visit www.linktr.ee/MikeOregano.

Jesse Bertel is a reporter/videographer for the Prescott News Network. Follow him on Twitter @ JesseBertel, email him at jbertel@prescottaz.com, or call 928-445-3333, ext. 2043.

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