On the Stage: A Q&A with Mike Mains


On Friday, March 14, after performing with his band Mike Mains and the Branches, vocalist Mike Mains shared with the Press a glimpse into musician life and aspiring artist advice.

While Austinites enjoy the South By Southwest music festival each Spring, Dallas/Fort Worth residents have their own collection of indie music performances at South By So What. On Friday, March 14, Mike Mains, vocalist of the indie rock band Mike Mains and The Branches took time out to share with the Press a taste of the festival and the life of an indie musician.

Q: How long have you and your band been together, and how did you get started?

A: We’ve been together for about five years, and I absolutely love it. We actually started in Gainesville, Texas, and I absolutely love Texas. Texas is such a cool spot to start everything.

Q: Would you say you guys are pretty big around the world?

A: I feel like we have a humble following that I’m super thankful for. It seems like we’re continuing to grow, and I’m just really thankful for that.

Q: As an independent band, would you ever consider signing on to a record label if the opportunity came up?

A: We’re independent and love it. If it was the right label and we felt like they really believed in us, then heck yeah.

Q: How did your band get booked here at South By So What?

A:  They asked us. Mike Ziemer reached out, and he owns the festival. He’s a really sweet guy.

Q: What is touring like?

A: We’ve been touring for about five years. It’s amazing, and I feel really thankful and blessed to be able to do what I’ve been doing.

Q: How difficult is it traveling from one city to another in just less than a day?

A: It depends on how far it is. If it’s four or five hours or more, I’m okay. Anything above that is pretty challenging.

Q: So do you have a bus you guys travel in, or do you just travel by yourselves?

A: Yeah, we travel in a van. It’s not glamorous, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. I mean, we’re really thankful to be where we’re at.

Q: In the span of a year, are you on the road more than you are at home?

A: I would love to be on the road as much as humanly possible, but we’re not out as much as I’d like to be. We tour between three to five months a year.

Q: What keeps you motivated to keep touring and writing music?

A: I can’t stop. That’s the only thing I know how to do.

Q: What do you think you would be doing if you weren’t doing music?

A: Nothing. I’d rather not do anything. I love music.

Q: Do you have any words of wisdom or inspiration for aspiring musicians?

A: Keep writing, and if you think you’ve written enough, keep writing. You can never write enough. Keep writing.