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Author Topic: Mike Wanchic Saskatoon Interview  (Read 1724 times)
walktall2010
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« on: July 13, 2015, 01:38:16 pm »

Mike Wanchic reflects on 35 years of giving John Mellencamp the right hook

By CBC News

John Mellencamp is playing Saskatoon tonight, following two shows in Regina this past weekend.

Mike Wanchic will be there.

The guitarist will be onstage to Mellencamp's left, a position he's anchored for more than three decades.
Back in 1980, the pair had a single on the charts Ain't Even Done With The Night but they weren't happy with the direction that the record company wanted the band to go.

Then they came across the musical template that would set them on their path.

"I think our first a-ha moment was probably not until, maybe, 1980, 81, when we played Hurts So Good and kind of went, y'know, it's simple, it's clean," he said.

"It's exactly what we know. So let's just apply the skills we have."

That one song had the all elements that became the hallmarks of the Mellencamp sound, from the lyrical themes to the distinctively sparse guitars.

Wanchic understands his role in the band, and with his relationship with Mellencamp.

"John is singer-songwriter, he brings us a finished song in a rough form with melody, lyrics, general chords. And then we take that from there and we put a lot of lipstick on it," he said.

"Come up with a great hook line, put a good bridge in it, build a form around it. Find the rhythm that really enhances the lyric."

Wanchic is a multi-instrumentalist who plays electric guitar onstage, writes on acoustic guitar and thinks musically with a piano keyboard. His sympathy with Mellencamp comes from growing up in the same time and place.

"We're both from the midwest, we grew up within a radius of 100 miles of each other, we centralized on a radio station from Louisville, Kentucky," he said.

"We have a really deep understanding of Motown, of early Brit rock, so as we're fleshing out a song those things kind of bubble to the surface."

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoon/mike-wanchic-reflects-on-35-years-of-giving-john-mellencamp-the-right-hook-1.3149602
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