Artist Spotlight: Mic Boshans of HUMDRUM, Union Electric, AND née
Michael “Mic” Boshans plays drums in not one, but three, St. Louis bands. He also coaches high school wrestling and slings drinks of the hot and cold variety at Foam Coffee & Beer. This metropolitan man of mystery spent some of his precious free moments with me, answering reasonably difficult questions about music and morals. To make all this easier, do take a minute to familiarize yourself with Mr. Boshans many projects:
Who was the first person who encouraged you to play the drums?
I didn’t need much encouragement. I started begging my parents for lessons when I was like 6 years old. When I was 7, I started lessons with this leather clad, bleach blond, glam metal looking woman my mom met through a friend at work. She was so cool, especially if you’re 7 years old and it’s 1988.
I can only imagine.
She had two 8 foot long boa constrictors and a drum studio in her house.
Okay now you’re shitting me.
[Laughs] I know, it’s pretty ridiculous. BUT, I was into snakes as a kid, and I was also into glam metal because I have an uncle who’s 5 years older than me. That’s what he was listening to when he was a teenager and I was a tag-along. I got over it after a few years and started to develop my own taste in music.
How’d you end up playing in three different bands concurrently?
The short answer is I have trouble saying no…
As far as HUMDRUM, initially I was in two bands that were just getting started, one with Paul (my cousin) and Phil, the other with Dan. [Ed: Paul Maguire, Phil Strangman, and Dan Meehan are all current members of HUMDRUM]. Dan had asked me to help him work on lyrics and drums for some songs he was writing, while Paul was asking me to play drums for some songs he and Phil had written. I wanted to combine the two projects to avoid ending up in four bands at once. It just seemed like the two projects had a serendipitous connection. They meshed very well together and HUMDRUM was born.
Then, Glenn [Burleigh] asked me to play in Union Electric.
And finally, after seeing Kristin’s [Dennis, of née] live set at Tap Room I immediately wanted to play drums with her, so when she asked me it was a no-brainer.
What was it like to start playing on an electronic kit with née?
I never really liked electro drums, but after playing a show or two with “real” drums with née, I agreed with [Old Lights's David] Beeman’s assessment that it was the way to go. Playing with the click was the hardest part; that’s why I wear the headphones. Née was using a sampler with some pre-recorded tracks, so I had to be perfectly in sync with her and we couldn’t adjust to each other like most bands naturally do when they play live. I had a metronome in one ear and the sample in the other. The new, full band version of née is going to be a lot more fun.
Can you talk a bit about the new 4-piece configuration, now featuring Lex Herbert and Beeman on keys and guitar, respectively?
Beeman was there from the start as the producer/sound guy who helped us pull off the live show. Then he started playing guitar on “Hands of Thieves” and that sounded cool. Kristin wanted to bring in our mutual friend Lex to play some of the lead keyboard parts to free her up a bit.
In addition to being a very busy musician, you coach high school wrestling. It’s a sport that requires viciousness and also self-control…and grace to a large extent, too. It seems that drumming requires those same characteristics. What example to you try to set for the young people you influence, either through your music or your sport?
I never really made the connection before, but I like your comparison of drumming to wrestling. To be honest, I don’t really talk to the wrestlers about my music much. As far as being an example or a positive influence…believe it or not, homophobia and sexism tend to run rampant in this sport and I refuse to be complacent to such an egregious blight on society, especially in high school boys sports.
It’s hard sometimes when other coaches tend to be equal, if not worse, perpetrators. It’s so ingrained into that culture. I just had a talk with the guys yesterday though, and told them I have a zero tolerance policy about that kind of stuff and that if I hear any of that language they’ll wish I hadn’t.
So there you have it, folks. Great musician, even better dude. Catch Mic this Saturday at Heavy Anchor as HUMDRUM shares a ticket with two more local indie acts, The Potomac Accord and Navigator. He’ll return to Heavy Anchor on Thursday December 8th, when Union Electric hosts KCMO’s Scouts and STL’s Time & Time.