Mikey Hamptons & The Meows, an original Alternative Rock and Indie band from New York, join Music Trails to discuss their journey and release of “Okay, I’m Ready To Rock Now” which was influenced by The Beatles and The British Invasion.
“Okay, I’m Ready To Rock Now” was made for those die-hard classic rock lovers as well as younger Oasis, Nirvana, Green Day and Foo Fighter fans. Check out our full interview down below:
How did Mikey Hamptons & The Meows come together as a band?
Well, originally I had a band named Predestined …we’ve made a few CDs and have an EP on Pandora. Those early days I had a bass player (Eddie Ramos) and drummer (Joe DeFrancesco), and we practiced up in Harlem like every Saturday afternoon at the bass player’s basement in an apartment complex he lived in. It was a bad neighborhood really, after rehearsal, I couldn’t get back to the subway to get out of there, fast enough!
After several years of Predestined … I knew we had to change the name …but to what?
What’s the story behind the band name?
The answer came one day while I was at work at a call center on Long Island, NY. A former manager, rrRitchie (photographer of cover image) gave me the name. He said, “I got it … How about Mikey Hamptons & The Meows?” I resisted and laughed at it initially, but a year later took it as my own, and really LOVE it.
The Meows comes from the fact that I rescue feral cats. I trap them and get them neutered or spayed when necessary. I set up shelters for them where I can to shield them from the winter weather. Right now I have 5 at the house and around 10 more up the street that I feed every day, without fail, rain or shine.
What can you tell us about your new album “Okay, I’m Ready to Rock Now” and the inspiration behind it?
“Okay” is LOADED with great songs, some from the Predestined days, some newer with nice production. I had a lot of help with this one, especially from my engineer, Ben Rice at Degraw Sound Studios in Brooklyn … Ben does magic behind the board and works wonders for me. Andreas Altmann is a guest lead guitarist on 4 of the 12 tracks and really does a phenomenal job. My drummer, Stefano Leone has to best one of the BEST drummers, on this planet. Listen closely and you’ll hear what I mean.
The inspirations for my music in general come from God, the creator … and His nature. Also, previous great artists I have enjoyed over the years. They set the bar for me in my creative aspirations.
What’s your creative process like when it comes to songwriting and putting together the sounds for your songs?
When I’m in the mood to create … I turn on the recorder and strum my guitar while mumbling words to a melody, that I later listen to and set the words up. So, with me, the music usually comes first.
Describe as “Fuel meets Ozzy Osbourne … with a touch of The Beatles,” how did you discover your musical interest in Rock?
Well, as you can hear on the record most of these songs have a driving and a hard edge sound about them. I listened to Ozzy and Black Sabbath a lot as a young teen, and later to Fuel in the 2000’s. I think the influence of both those bands comes out on most of these tracks. “Full Circle” and “Guide” are truly Beatles reminiscent. The Beatles have been my biggest inspiration/influence and are the reason ultimately, why I picked up the guitar and started to write.
What do you hope listeners feel when they listen to your new album?
I would hope they feel a need to enjoy life and deal with any issues that are stopping them from becoming their best, and who they really are. Most of the time, I think people say and do things they think will be accepted by others, and they listen too much to other people’s opinions instead of being whom they were meant to be …who they really are.
“Okay, I’m Ready to Rock Now” features 12 songs. Can you tell us which one was your favorite to create from start to finish?
Oh man, I didn’t really have one particular favorite, But I enjoyed “Full Circle” and “Magic In Your Mind” … It took a while for them to come together as I kept changing things to experiment with what they could be when finished. I LOVE the work Andy did on Magic … He really makes that song work, and the backing vocals we added last … and I think it works well. At the present time, “Magic In Your Mind” has the most streams on Spotify of all the album’s tracks.
Is there any song that has a particularly special story behind it?
All my songs have a story behind them, I guess. Most of my songs tell of keeping your personal vision, and being who you are, and persevering through whatever one needs to do to get to where they are going. “Magic In Your Mind” is a lot about that.
How long did it take you to finish the entire album?
It took me about 2 years to finish it … I was never satisfied with what I heard, and even changed a few lyrics here and there.
What are your hopes for the rest of 2020?
My hope for 2020 is to succeed with the project more than ever before.
I’ve just discovered Spotify, and am amazed at what it’s really about. I am promoting the record now more to that site than anything else right now. In June, I have a Christian Rock album slated for release and am looking forward to that very much.
Where can fans see Mikey Hamptons & The Meows performing live in concert?
Well, they can see The Meows when I feed them at night on Long Island lol.
At present Mikey Hamptons (without The Meows) plays Wednesday and Saturday nights at St Paul’s Lutheran Church in Amityville, NY. As I mentioned, my first original Christian Rock CD is slated for a June 2020 release. Watch for that one …it should be special!