Mike Joyce, originally from Fallowfield, is internationally known as the former drummer of iconic Manchester band ‘The Smiths’. Mike has worked with some of music’s most innovative musicians including Buzzcocks, Julian Cope and Sinead O’Conner.
How did your career in music begin?
“I started drumming at 16 and set up a punk outfit called ‘The Hoax’, we released a 7” single and later went on to play for an Irish band called ‘Victim’ until 1981. It was 1982 when I got an audition for a brand new band called ‘The Smiths’. I got the gig and played with them until 1987. After that I toured with Sinead O’Conner. It was late 1988 when I played on two hit singles ‘International Playboys’ and ‘Interesting Drug’ with Morrissey as a solo artist. In 1990 I got the opportunity to work with some of my heroes ‘The Buzzcocks’ and later I played with Julian Cope.”
What inspires you as a musician?
“Music inspires me. I can go and see a live band, who will never be considered good, who are actually pretty terrible and it inspires me. Likewise I can see a live band that are amazing and they totally blow me away. Sometimes I see a band, which make me angry… or jealous and it’s that anger or jealousy that inspires me in music.”
How has ‘Manchester’ helped you in your music and your career?
“Manchester is everything to me and I couldn’t be anywhere else. I get a buzz from the Manchester vibe that I just don’t get from anywhere else. The record shops, the people, the scene, the banter .. it’s the centre of everything for me. Manchester has made me what I am. Manchester has everything I need – in a nutshell.”
What advice would you offer to someone who wants to pursue a career in music?
“Be honest with yourself and play as much music and as many gigs as you can. Take your music out there to the clubs and the pubs, and wait for the reaction. You can’t kid a Mancunian, so get out there and if you’ve got something – the people of Manchester will let you know. Equally – they’ll let you know if you haven’t and then you move on. We’ve all been in a band and some make it – some don’t. The point is to be honest and don’t try to fool yourself if there’s any doubt. Above all you have to believe in yourself.
Keep your eye on other bands – Oasis, Happy Mondays and New Order, all set the bar high for music so check out what they did and how they did it.”
What are you working on at the moment and what plans do you have for your music in the future?
“I’m djing across the world, presenting the ‘Alternative Therapy’ show on Revolution FM and I’m working with my new band ‘Autokat’, amongst a million other things! I occassionally get time to work on my allotment. I’m a veggie, so it’s great to have a place I can go to for relaxation and food. Above all; I’m living the dream and loving what life has to offer me at the moment.”
You can also catch Mike on his ‘Alternative Therapy’ show every Sunday between 4pm and 7pm at 96.2FM The Revolution.