Michael Kelly

Code name: MK

Instruments: 4, 5, 12 String Basses, Upright Bass. Background Vocals.

The Gear: Waterstone TP-12 String Bass, Waterstone TP-4 String Bass, MusicMan Sting Ray 4 HH, MusicMan Sting Ray 5 HH, Rickenbacker 4003, '72 Fender Jazz, Fender Precision, Fender Jazz V, Fender Precision V, E. Wilfer String Bass, Peavey Amplification: ProBass 500, TransTube FEX Pre-Amp, Avatar Bass Cabinets, Tech 21 VT Deluxe, SansAmp Bass DI, Fender Sub-Lime Distortion, Radial Twin City Splitter, Bass Big Muff Pie, D'Addario Strings, Ernie Ball Strings, Canare Cables and Stereo 'Dan-O-Box' (for the Ric) custom made by my brother Danny, and Fancy Custom Picks (the yella ones by Steve Clayton).

Q: It's been 5 years since your last studio album, what big changes have you seen for yourself and The Grip Weeds?

MK: We've been busy. In terms of the band, everyone has made incredible progress in growth as musicians, producers and people and that has changed the dynamic of the band. With that evolution, my contributions to the music are bigger, sonically and musically, and that influence has been absorbed and become a part of The Grip Weeds Sound. We are quite a diverse lot in terms of musical background and within the band; we've had to learn how to balance the creative needs of each individual for the 'good of the songs'. The result of that is the new album.

Q: What are your favorite tracks on Strange Change Machine, and you're not allow to say "all of it"?

MK: Looking back on the process, the good the bad and the ugly, I have to say every song for me has great memories. Kurt of course writes it all down in the logbook somewhere. However, I do have few faves: "Close To the Sun": Kurt's original demo included him banging on a garbage can, and I love the slow groove of it. "The Law" is another favorite and stands out as being really fun putting it together. I was goofing around with old historical speech files and added one I thought fit to Rick's demo of the song and sent it off to him to have a listen. I was thinking "No Way" are they going to use a sample in a Grip Weeds record. Those Reil boys made it work, in an incredible way. My first "Sgt Pepper" moment with the band. Not that last, that's for sure!

Q: What significance does the title 'Strange Change Machine' hold for you?

MK: It's always about that dangerous little toy! You would NEVER see something like that come on the market today, which I'm not really sure is a good thing or a bad thing, as cell phones and video games for kids aren't really an improvement. On a personal level, the last 5 years has brought incredible change I never expected even dreamed about. There was incredible loss of friends and family, the birth of my daughter and even more recently, another son. Life seems to balance things out that way. We really are Strange Change Machines.

Anything you'd like to Change if you had the chance?

MK: Sure, like a Captain Kirk time continuum thing? I'd time travel to 1976, I'd bring back a DVD, no wait, a VCR tape of what was going on today and show everyone what's going on - Come on people now, smile on your brother; everybody get together and try to love one another right now.