Growing Younger: Montreal’s Michou will school you on happiness

After watching Michou’s video for “Growing Younger,” I was immediately intrigued by the band and ended up spending about an hour browsing through different uploads of them on YouTube. From a Christmas song they recorded last year to hilarious clips that they regularly post while touring, I could not stop clicking ‘next video.’ In every clip that I saw, each of the band members was always smiling and laughing, which incidentally had the same effect on me. So when Mike Hargreaves showed up for our interview in his slippers and with a big smile on his face, I immediately knew that my feeling about this band had been right.

Hailing from Windsor, Ontario, Michou is a fun band that is there to make you smile. What’s good about them is that while they don’t take themselves too seriously, they always come up with well-written songs that provide instant happiness. The group is made up of four close friends: Mike Hargreaves (vocals), Ryan Frith (bass), Sasha Cvetkovic (trumpets) and Stefan Appler (drums). The boys enjoy each other’s company so much that whether they’re on tour or back home, they always meet for a big daily breakfast, which is Mike’s favourite part of the day.

In recent years, Michou has grown from performing at Barfly, a small venue in Montreal, to opening for Lights at Club Soda, which confirms their talent. Their songs are catchy, especially because the message of their lyrics is easy to understand and the sound created by the mix of their instruments is one that is alive.

Their recent Montreal gig was engaging and had a nice feeling to it. Throughout their performance, you could tell that they were enjoying themselves, and that is what their sound reflected. They played a new song “You’re Missing Me Now,” which was well received by the audience, and Mike’s constant interaction with the public certified his love for the fans. Mike also kept on encouraging fans to donate money in support of World Vision’s Sponsor a Child program, which brought a smile to my face once again!

My favourite part of the night was their encore for which they played “Growing Younger” – a song that I’ve become addicted to. Overall, if you’re looking for an entertaining and friendly band that delivers quality songs with happy melodies, then Michou is for you. Here’s what Mike had to say about happiness, Michou and inspiration.

Q: From your well-imagined biography to the way that you constantly keep in touch with your fans – your band is really fun. What is your main motivation?

A: We have a philosophy that happiness is something that you choose to do. Some wake up and decide to be happy, and as a band I feel that we do that.

Q: What makes you guys happy?

A: It makes us happy to create a good energy for one another. For instance, we always pick and cheer each other up as we all are very good friends. We also go out for a big breakfast every day, even when we are not touring, so we really just enjoy the simple things that we can all share together.

Q: You seem to be very close to your fans – how do you keep in touch with them?

A: Yes, it is definitely important for us to keep a dialogue with our fans. We use social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, to make ourselves as accessible as possible. We always try to write back to the fans that contact us. We also enjoy uploading funny videos of us while touring. We post those clips on YouTube.

Q: I really like your video for “Growing Younger” in which you’re all biking in circle. Was it hard to shoot?

A: It took about 50 shots to get it right. We often had to stop because of cars passing on the road. It took us two days and $100, which was used for gas, beers and burgers, to complete the video.

Q: What inspires you when composing the lyrics and the music?

A: Well, myself. No, that’s a joke! Then I guess, yes, personal stuff is definitely an inspiration and also what we encounter as a band. The music industry is also something I look at when composing. Also, being on tour is stimulating, as it makes me feel my blood and I end up feeling romantic and more humanistic. Composing the lyrics makes me think, and I usually do it in moments of solitude when I think of memories.

Q: Is there any specific band that you look up?

A: I enjoy Dashboard Confessional, Dr. Luke and Arkells.

Q: What is the one word that sums up Michou?

A: Entertaining!

For all the latest on Michou: http://www.myspace.com/itsnicetomichou

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