He’s a funny boy, Mike Rosenberg. Maybe it’s all that bracing Brighton air. Or perhaps English people have to refine their wit so as to maintain some semblance of high spirits during their 360 days a year of grey skies. Either way, he’s funny, and not just in interviews. His sense of humour when it comes to music is what gives Passenger, the five piece Brighton band of which he is the founder and lead singer, their distinctive edge. Okay, so it’s one of the things. The catchy, guitar driven tunes and Mike’s accent heavy vocals, reminiscent of musical genii past and present (think Van Morrison meets Brett Dennan) also lend a hand, earning the band a well deserved presence on the music scene.
Listening to Passenger’s music makes you want to dance like they do in movies about the sixties, cry and drink some sort of hard liquor in a tumbler, all simultaneously, which you may think is difficult until you press play on Do What You Like. Not so difficult anymore. Slip off the dancing shoes but keep the alcohol for the beautiful Things You’ve Never Done and Wicked Man’s Rest. Mike may also be the only songwriter to get away with penning a song about stalking that is sweet enough to eat. Night Vision Binoculars is as poptastic as it is unsettling. **
Mike kindly gave us some of his spare time, whilst on a whirlwind Australian tour, to discuss his problem with small dogs, his favourite shopping spot and his plans to market the Tambuca. ***
For more information, gig dates, videos and unlimited access to some of their brilliant music, head here.
** Mike, if you’re reading this, you can stalk me any time, as long as you sing that song while you’re standing outside my bedroom window in the rain.
*** What is it with the English and Sambuca?
- Name: Mike Rosenberg
- Occupation: upsetting people with music
- Reason I am being Trespassed: I am the lead singer (massive show off) of a band called Passenger
- Favourite book: a bit geeky but at the moment I’m reading Lord of the Rings. Its really amazing, actually .
- Favourite movie: What’s a movie ? is it the things that play on the magic box? I think I saw it once but my mum covered my eyes . She said it was the work of the devil.
- Favourite shopping spot: Bunnings
- My best memory: coming down the stairs on Christmas morning when I was five or six to find Death Mountain (a Heman toy) under the tree and being so excited that I did handstands on the sofa for about 15 minutes.
- When I was little I wanted to: push other kids over but I never knew why.
- Favourite TV Show: The Wire. Sometimes I like to pretend I’m in it.
- Can’t live without: my central nervous system
- If I could live anywhere in the world, I would choose: Australia of course
- Last film I watched was: Madagascar 2
- First album I ever bought: Bad by Michael Jackson . Me and my friend Dom (who wasn’t the brightest spark) bought it together and we each had it for three and a half days a week . After a few weeks of this I overheard him singing “I’m Ben, I’m Ben , you know it …” Yes, he actually thought the lyric was Ben instead of bad!!!! You would have thought the clue was in the title?!
- Song I can’t get out of my head: all of my songs, they’re just so catchy! Why don’t you come and check it out for yourself at one of my upcoming Australian gigs. All details at www.passengerofficial.com
- I wish I wrote/sang/directed: Umbrella by Rihanna
- When I grow up I want to be: alive
- My goals for the next two years: invent and market a drink called the tambuca (using a shot of Sambuca and drinking it through a Tim Tam)
- Five years: bring out Diet Tambuca and have Tambuca go global
- Ten years: lose all the money I made from Tambuca on fast women and lots of cheese
- The thing that bugs me about life is: the glass is always half empty
- But the thing that makes it all worthwhile is: there are free refills (see what I’ve done there?!)
- Top three travel essentials are: Eyes, ears and a whole lot of love
- The first thing I do each morning is: sing a little song with the birds that sit outside my window and by the end of it loads of little animals and birds are in my room all singing in a Disney sort of way. (Imagine snow white with a beard…)
- I unwind by: kicking small dogs
- The last thing I do at night: kick a small dog
- I wish I could: kick small dogs all day (only joking, I’ve never hurt small dogs.)
- The celeb I am crushing on, but am embarrassed to admit is: Alf Stewart from Home and Away. I could never tell him though, it would ruin a beautiful friendship.
- The celeb I am crushing loud and proud on is: Penelope Cruz. Enough said.
- My most frugal desire is: running naked through meadows
- On Sundays I like to: worry about Monday morning
- I got my big break when: still waiting for it if I’m honest
- Right now I am craving an apple floating in a bowl of beef stew but normally my favourite food is rusting cutlery.