Ingrid: Mike, you have income from a few different sources. You score movies, play guitar with Simply Saucer, teach music, among other things. How do you keep things straight? Mike: I pretty much keep two lines of business, Mike Trebilcock Music (www.miketrebilcockmusic.com) and Spit Take Films, the film production side. I also get into sound design for film, and editing podcasts, constantly improving on my skills. I kind of see life as an improv: I try to always say, “Yes and..” – expanding on the circumstance being created instead of killing the momentum.
Ingrid: On the website for The Killjoys, the last line reads “planning was never their forte.” Can you elaborate?
Mike: Yeah, the band just let things unfold as they did. We were fortunate that we had competent management, and a good record company behind us. There’s some things artists need to know going into the music business; the big one being that you are not going to make money for yourself until you make money for someone else.
Ingrid: This is true. You seem to be into gross creepy things in your movie making, and you scored a theatre production based on George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. Have you ever considered stuffing a dead rat?
Mike: Ummm, well no? I did have one crocheted for me for my short film, Chewed. I prefer the fake creepy things. Ingrid: You need to meet my friend Ankixa Risk at www.casualtaxidermy.com. I’m surprised you don’t know each other, given your shared love of creepy things, and she also lives in Hamilton. Ankixa will show you how to stuff a rat, posed with a guitar.
Ingrid: You taught Luke Bentham from the Dirty Nil how to play. What was he like as a student?
Mike: Yeah, he was about 12. At first he was just another kid strumming the guitar with his thumb. But after a while, I could tell he was more driven than most. He had the drive and the will, and it definitely paid off for him.
Ingrid: The Killjoys have a few timeless, versatile tunes like Rave + Drool that could easily be used in commercials, or movies. Do you have a music publisher?
Mike: Not right now, but I will definitely look into that, good idea. I usually look after that myself, and sometimes a specific production seeks me out. Recently, I did an acoustic cover of Teenage Head’s “Picture My Face.”
Ingrid: Last question. What would you tell young artists today?
Mike: You don’t need talent specifically. You need hard work, persistence, and also some luck. Bands need to stick with it, play everywhere and anywhere to build their audience and a loyal fan base. Your fans are your ticket, but engaging fans is totally different these days, you need to be social and creative!