Mike Kroeger Transcript

*Editor’s note: This is a rough translation of the interview, designed to be readable with all the Uhhs, Umms, and repeated words taken out. While this transcription may not be perfect, the basic statements should reflect what the speaker was trying to get across*

(Matt Bechtel) Well, Mike its Mike Kroeger. It’s great to have you here today. I wanted to ask you first, how’s your back doing? Last time we talked it sounds like you had some issues.

(Mike Kroeger) I had some issues. It’s gotten way, way, way better, a combination of rest and drugs, I guess, whatever it’s doing a lot, lot better. And I’m getting close to being able to re-enter training world and get back to work. It was pretty miserable for a while there. It really sucked. Thanks for asking.

Yeah, no problem. I went to tag you on a post on Instagram because two days after we had talked, I finished the book, The Old man and the Sea, you had inspired me to read it. And so I thought it was beautiful. And one of my favorite parts of it is when he says, he wishes he would have never even pursued the fish. I thought that was a tragically beautiful. So I appreciate you talking about that cause it spurred me to read it.

Yeah. It’s that thing about being a man, right. You know, we all have the giant Marlin. We all have the white whale, and sometimes you utilize your whole life to pursue a thing and when you get it in your hands, it’s either chewed right down to the bones and there’s nothing left because you’ve just tried everything to get there, or you get it and you just realize it didn’t really change anything. It didn’t make you better or different or fulfilled you’re still just as empty as you were before you started your quest. And I think that, a dear friend of mine who I’ve also read his books, and frankly, I’ve never met the man, but he’s become a dear friend of mine through COVID, is a comedian by the name of Doug Stanhope.

And, he has a bit in his live show. I forget which special it is, but he’s talking about the 27 club, you know, all these famous people who, kind of checked out of life at the top of their game, whether it was suicide or a drug overdose or whatever, you know, 27 year olds.  And what his bit is about, he’s a really funny guy, really dark, and I find him to be hilarious, but it is like a real, there’s a, it’s a real point. The point is that, and he says, these people, you decide you want to be this thing, this famous whatever, you want to be, the best, biggest thing, you know, that you can be and you give up your whole life for it. You sacrifice all the relationships for it. You probably leave some of your mental health and sanity behind as well. And then you get to the top of the mountain. You go, “Ah, shit. I thought if I got here, it would make me feel complete and happy, but I’m still empty and I’m still alone.” Maybe more alone than before, and he equates that to the 27 club.

These people that reached the pinnacle of success at that age, it seems. And it’s kind of also an existential kind of tipping point too 27, cause you’re right at the verge of adulthood, like you’re still kind of a kid until you’re about 27, and then your body starts to hurt a little bit and you start to become a little more grown up around there.

You know, first of all, your interviews with Doug Stanhope are really funny. And I’ll link those in the show notes, I’ll link the two or three that you did cause they’re pretty funny. It’s really odd that you’re telling me about that because I just turned 27, 2 months ago, and I kind of will beat myself up for my age. Cause I know, Chad wrote “How You Remind Me” when he was like 26 or 27. And I always thought I was going to have my, “How You Remind Me” out by the time I was this age.

He was 27, I just ran the math on that one, but that, yeah, you’re right. Absolutely.

There’s actually a book about the 27 club, I’m looking on my shelf. I can’t tell who wrote it, but it’s just kind of about the history of it. But this morning, I was literally thinking about the 27 club, and I was thinking about, you know, geez, like I think Kurt Cobain was in it, I believe and to think about all that Nirvana did by the time he was my age. And it’s weird because it’s like the time you graduate until you’re 27, just seems to go by in the blink of an eye.

Yes. Yeah. And that’s another example of someone who, you know, wasn’t a very happy person, he really had a hard time and just not relating. I don’t think that he was the type of guy who had these undue expectations about what would happen, you know, if they were successful. I don’t think that really crossed his mind so much. I think he just wanted to play. And I think when he got famous, I think that got in the way of just being able to just play. And I think, he went from being kind of troubled, to in the end, just being miserable, you know? Cause all that pressure coming in on him. I think it crushed him.

Yeah, he’s an interesting character to study too, because I’ve often gone back and forth. He’s romanticized as somebody who just purely wanted to be an artist. And I think that’s true, but I think people are so complicated that I think that he had a lot of ambition as well. And I don’t think he knew how to balance that. And I think it’s the same thing, the more popular he got and he would look into the audience and see the kind of kids that bullied him in high school. And I think that that pissed him off as much as it would have made him happy, you know?

Yeah, sure. Because I think at the beginning of their band, they were playing to mostly the punks and the outcasts and the, you know, the sorta like the bullied people. And then when you get mass appeal, of course, that opens up. All the shitheads are coming in too, you know, everybody, you’re no longer just a sort of, group of kids that got shoved in the lockers anymore. It’s everybody. And he might not have wanted that. He might not have wanted to be a part of all of those other things.

Exactly. Yeah. So I, uh, it, um, it kinda reminds me of, uh, when I was younger. So Mike, I don’t know if you know this about me, but I’m the youngest elected official in Nebraska’s history.

I did not know that, I didn’t know you were an elected official. I should have Googled you.

Actually my term ended on in November, so I ran for city council when I was 19. I lost by 48 votes. Ran again and then I got elected when I was 22. And, when you’re talking about like the youth and ambition, Julius Caesar is a fascinating person to study. He cried, I believe when he turned 30, because he hadn’t conquered the world yet like Alexander, the Great had, and I remember when I was younger, man I completely resonated with that. I remember when I read that, I thought, “Well, I would have cried too.” you know.

So with thinking of Julius Caesar, I wanted to ask you what your favorite, writing is from Shakespeare. My favorite is the Julie Caesar one. I remember once there was some stuff I was getting fed up with on the city council, and I just wanted to kind of let it all out and I was going to do it publicly and there was some intimidation behind it. And I remember reading when Julius Caesar said, “Have I conquered all that I have to be afraid of some old men?” And I was like, “Hell yeah! I’m going in there and I’m going to do it!” Which, then in retrospect I’m like, uh he did that and then he immediately got killed. Right? It’s like, you know, there was risk with that ambition. And you know, for me, I went head to head with the things that were bothering me and of course you have even bigger obstacles to follow. But what was your favorite writing by Shakespeare that you’ve read?

I’m kinda with you, man. Not to, you know, whatever, copy your answer, but Julius Caesar is one that I really, really enjoy. And the part that I enjoy the most is right when he’s contemplating the risk conquering Rome and crosses the Rubicon and he says “The die is cast.” That to me is such a pivotal moment in a man’s life where it’s like, you’re going. You’re going in now, the biggest challenge of your life. And yes, like Caligula that, you know, that’s not in Shakespeare, but you know, the story of Caligula, he was not necessarily the most ruthless, but up there, he was a Dick for sure. This is a horrible, horrible, a psychopath, really like a complete nut job, and how did he meet his end? The Praetorian Guard, his guards killed him. So Julius Caesar story is not the only one where you’re shaking hands with a guy one minute and the next minute he’s plunging a sword into you. This is pretty universal in ambitious circles I think.

Absolutely. So whenever I’ve been doing these interviews with people, my friends always ask me “What was his favorite book?” And I never, I don’t really like to ask that question because if you had asked me when I was 16, what my favorite book was, I would have said Motley Crue, The Dirt, and then at 20 years old, I would have said either The Traveler’s Gift by Andy Andrews or one of Andy Andrew’s other books, because I think your favorite book really has a lot to do with the moment. Do you have a favorite book or a couple of books that are your favorites?

So one that really affected me and, and it’s a little out there and it’s an antiquity is The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne


Yeah, the allegory in that is… Oh, fuck, have you read?

No, but I’m going to, I’ll buy it probably tomorrow.

The lesson in thereof, you know, when you get branded as the bad one or the offender and what have you, it can be, you know, all the way down to when you’re in school, you get branded as the bad kid. You’re essentially condemned and it doesn’t matter what you did to get there and you might have not even done anything, but the hypocrisy of the condemners…I don’t want to spoil the story for you, but it shows there’s this real human experience of a person who’s kind of going through their life brushes with power, and then as a result of that brush with power is essentially, I guess the word is castigated. Like, pretty much personally destroyed and the power that she brushed with, Hester Prynne remained completely blameless and that power was when the offense took place. I don’t want to do a whole book report on it cause I don’t want to fuck it up for you cause it’s a really fucking great book.

It’s not the smallest, and a lot of people who see this probably would look at it and say, “Well, fuck that.” cause it’s written in that Olde English style, you know, it’s like way back there. And, uh, but, um, uh, it, it really made a mark on me about the human experience and sort of the nature of being wrongfully cast out and also the nature of you know that old saying power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely, this is more that, the thrust of this is that power is corruption. It’s a great book.

Do you think, did that have an impact on you cause you’re in the world’s biggest band? Was there relations that you made because of that?

I read it when I was about 14 so I had started playing music after I read that book. So it was, yeah, it fits in there. You know, now in hindsight, I should probably read it again. Now that I’ve lived this life, it might hit me in an entirely different way. But no I read it before I started playing anything.

Wow. Were you a big reader as a kid?

Yes I was. I told you I read all the works of Shakespeare, except for Titus Andronicus, I can’t believe I haven’t got there. But that’s what I did instead of having a social life cause I didn’t really have one. I was kind of not, I wasn’t really accepted, in any social circle that I necessarily wanted to be a part of. So I spent a lot of time by myself, but I had books as my friends and that’s what I did.I mercilessly read, in a town of 3000 people there’s not that many subgroups to join. You’re either in or you’re out. My grad class, I think there’s 28 or 30 people. So you’re talking about, there’s an in and there’s an out and there’s not like all these subdivisions that you might fit into. You know, there wasn’t like the jocks and the nerds and the cool kids and the rich kids and the poor kids. We didn’t have that. It was, you know, it was like a binary.

Wow, that’s interesting. I actually wish I would have read more. I read a lot as like a teenager, but I actually wish I would have read more and ironically had less of a social life, that’s wild. I was wondering this too, with your career as a musician, and I’m going to say rock star, I don’t know if that term makes you uncomfortable or not, but I worked for Budweiser for almost five years and I would daydream there about being a rockstar or I would have these other blue collar jobs that I would really idealize. Like I was thinking about how nice it would be to be a rancher. I feel like every guy goes through that where they just want to move out to a ranch, or I thought about being like, a field guide, like a game guide, like a game warden, I thought about those kinds of jobs as well. Do you think, do rockstars fantasize about having simple day jobs?

I don’t know what rock stars fantasize, because I’m not a very good one, you know? Um, aside from having a few drinks, I haven’t really checked very many of the boxes of rock stardom, you know? Yeah. I live in Hollywood, California, big deal. I didn’t move here because of me because of my wife and kids. I like it here and I’m happy here, but I wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t for them.

Um, you know, I didn’t ever. You know, I don’t run around on my wife. Uh, I don’t, you know, line up groupies. I’m not getting STDs all over the place. I haven’t been hooked on drugs. Um, I, I’m not a very volatile person, you know, I, I’m not a big risk taker. I mean, I guess he, yeah, not really. I, I like, I like sort of controlled risk and you know, I like dangerous freedom. No, like I’m not a very good rock star. And a lot of my friends who arguably live far more rockstar lives than me, um, you know, that work sort of straight jobs, uh, you know, they think I wasted it and I should feel bad cause I didn’t, you know, um, you know, uh, rundown, every groupie I could and everything else.

Of course I could have done all that stuff. I wouldn’t have what I have now, which is a great family and, and, and, uh, and a great life. Um, you know, I never wanted to take that because in my mind that trust is like, it’s like a fine piece of China, like a fine vase. And once you break it, yeah, sure you can glue that vase back together. It’s never the same again. It can’t ever be the same again, once you, once you break that trust. Rebuilding it is to me to a hundred percent is impossible. If, if, uh, you know, if, if God forbid my wife cheated on me, uh, you know, we have an agreement, either one of us, you know, jumps over the fence, we’re done, we’re done, that’s it we’re done. That’s it both ways. Um, so, you know, if that was, were to happen to me, it would, it would crush me. So I wouldn’t want to do that to someone else.

Yeah, I think that’s really important that a lot of people hear you say that too, that, you know, because, uh, there, there’s definitely the fantasy of the guy working the day job that, oh man, I bet that guy, every night he’s doing this and that and I was thinking it was an interesting, uh, dichotomy, I guess. Thinking of a rock star on stage, looking down at a guy that, you know, is maybe a cook in a kitchen. And they, the guy in the kitchen wants to be him. And the rockstar’s thinking, man, I, you know, I had a job when I was in high school flipping burgers and what I would give to just do that and to, to be unknown for a couple of minutes, you know, it was just an interesting thought I had. And I wasn’t sure if that’s ever, if you’ve ever heard of that, talked about.

Yeah, me personally, I’ve never really been that visible. You know, I generally try to stay out of the way the cameras and, um, being famous is not anything I’ve ever been interested in, never really sought it out so as a result of that, it hasn’t really happened. You know, I’m the only one in my band that doesn’t have a Wikipedia page and damn it I really want it to stay that way. I’m really not interested, you know, for more than one reason. Largely, those are bullshit, but, uh, um, you know, the other thing is I don’t really want people knowing who I am, you know, it’s, it’s a really odd and weird thing.

And, and it has happened to me a limited number of times where somebody runs up on you and they know your middle name, they know your wife’s name, they know your kids’ names. They know how old your kids are and you don’t know anything about them. I have a very tactical mind. That offends my tactical mind to a level I can’t even explain because you’re instantly you’re on the back foot. You’re basically screwed. Like yeah, this person could be anybody and they know everything about you and you know nothing about them. I that’s why fame. I’m glad I don’t have it. I’m glad I don’t have it.

That’s one thing I’ve tried to stay away from it in interviews, you know, like when the first time we talked, you know, I looked up magazines from the early 2000s and I did my research, but I actually will purposely not read about somebody’s, uh, family, because I’ve noticed it in interviews. When people bring it up, you can tell it bothers them. You know when they’re like, oh, you know, your kid is this old now that’s crazy. Huh. And I could tell that the specific person who had happened to, I could tell it, bothered him and you know, I didn’t, I never wanted to do that.

I can roll with that shit. To be honest with you. My kids are 18 and 20 years old now, like, yeah, it’s not like they’re little, you know, they’re going to get snatched or somethings going to happen. Um, you know, I really like my privacy for sure. I can, I can roll with all that stuff. And usually when people do that, they don’t realize the kind of, of course, uh, implication that there is that, you know, they, they don’t necessarily understand.

I actually got to get that on a very small scale being on, on city council where going into Walmart and being afraid of people stopping you and talking to you. And, and then you never know who knows you. And that’s an uncomfortable feeling, uh, to a certain degree. Um, so, uh, one thing that I don’t think a lot of people know about you that I think you do like to talk about, I haven’t really heard you talk about though, is that you’re a gemologist, right? I’m kind of interested in that I’ve been trying to get into, you know, watches and understanding diamonds and jewelry a little bit more. So a couple of things, you know, has that always been an interest? And is there any books that, uh, you know, somebody could order off of Amazon to learn more about that? Or how does that work?

Well, in the way that I came into it, uh, it’s all my wife’s fault because, um, when I first met my wife, In Vancouver in the humble beginnings, she was, I, she is still, she’s a jewelry designer, Goldsmith, jeweler. She carves and does a lot lost wax carving. So she can essentially make anything that can become a precious metal, uh, jewelry piece with a stone or whatever it is. I never really been exposed to that stuff where I grew up. It was not like that. It was cows. And you know, when skateboarding, you know, BMX freestyle and rap writing and stuff like it, wasn’t, uh, you know, I wasn’t around that stuff. I had no, no concept of it, but when I met her, I would, because I wanted to spend time with her. I would go to work with her. And watch her work or, you know, she would do runs where she would have to either pick up or deliver sometimes stones, sometimes finished pieces, you know, deliver them to clients, et cetera. And I, I just became kind of enamored with that whole thing and seeing how happy it made people to get these things really, really struck a chord with me, so to speak no pun intended, but the, uh, um, The stones was what really got me, you know, diamonds, especially.

I really dig diamonds. I think they’re really, there’s such an awesome, um, physical accident that is so tightly focused like, you know, the, the age of them is, you know, they’re billions of years old, right? Like, uh, like, like a natural diamond is billions of years old. Right. Uh, they, they only can be. Um, grown in very, very particular in extraordinarily like extreme conditions, like the highest pressure and the highest temperature you can imagine. And they just get spit up through layers of the, you know, the earth, you know, a molten core areas where they start and they get spit up and they get to the surface or close to the surface.And that’s when we get to get our hands on them. It’s just such a magical thing to me.

These things are, are, are such a happy accident. You know, they’re just amazing. And, you know, I understand there’s a lot of people that say, oh, it’s just a, you know, thing. Like, it’s just whatever, it’s not worth anything. And I get it, I understand that it is compressed carbon. You know, why should you pay $10,000 for a little, teeny little piece of compressed carbon? I get, yeah. Thankfully, there’s a lot of people who think they are cool and, you know, by them and they, you know, help, uh, help my wife, you know, her living with her jewelry line, you know, she, she does, uh, you know, we have, uh, we have a jewelry business now that that’s operating out of Hollywood and it’s going really, really well.

We’re putting that stuff on some of the biggest, biggest stars of entertainment right now. So it’s just fantastic. We’re really excited for that. But as far as getting into the gemology world, You know, we’ve talked as a second time, we’ve talked Matt and probably getting a sense that I’m kind of a head first or not at all kind of guy. So what I did was I found the school, the GIA Gemological Institute of America, which has, uh, they have campuses around the world. Um, but the home base is in Carlsbad and I. No. I was like, oh, well maybe I’ll maybe I’ll study this. And this was in the lake nineties, like 98, 99. I was thinking about studying this stuff in a very real way.

I found the school, the GIA, and they actually had a distance learning program. Even then you could do all the coursework on the internet. Uh, they would ship stones and you have to grade them. And send them back with the grading and, you know, in Vancouver, you’re not only going a long way, you’re going over an international border. Looking back on it. It’s really crazy. And I started doing that and yeah, like 99, uh, in 2000 we got signed to Roadrunner records and essentially went on the road till the present day. And so I was about halfway through my degree. And, and I, you know, being the head first or not at all type, I had bought the entire graduate gemologist course.

I just, I bought the whole thing and, and they, you know, I was going through the process and yeah. Yeah. And then we just kind of Nickelback kind of hit the big time and we had kids. So my wife, essentially, they had to put her career on hold entirely, which she did, uh, Like 19 years, which, you know, I can’t, um, obviously I can’t thank her enough I have a lot of gratitude for that because her, you know, putting her career on hold, let me pursue mine with music. Um, so anyway, fast forward to. Uh, a year ago, um, when things started to get quiet, you know, I was like, are you around about two years ago? Um, I was like, I kinda got bored between tours and records and I was like, oh, I think I might like to go to law school. I think I wanna, you know, be a lawyer and, you know, little, teeny little goals. Right. Yeah. Um, and so I started looking into it. I ran into some problems because to be honest, my transcripts were brutal. You know, my high school grades were terrible because I had epilepsy during high school and I was on anticonvulsive drugs that couldn’t pay attention to anything.

So I was severely handicapped at school. There’s just, there’s no way I could, I could succeed in that time. It was a fucking awful experience. I was a terrible student. I probably a terrible student to begin with. Plus I was on drugs, which made it so I couldn’t concentrate or focus on anything. So, um, fast forward to, you know, here Iam trying to look at, you know, I’m going to go to like a junior college to brush things up, and then I’m going to go to university and go to law school and kind of ran into these walls. And it gave me a moment of pause and, you know, I, I was kind of sitting there and I’m like, wow. I wonder if that’s, you know, not going to work for you.

It also appeared it was going to take 6, 7, 8 years to get it done. Right. Um, and you want it to go to school? Like I wanted to go to UCLA law school. With my grades there  is no chance. Like I would have to get in and ace college in the biggest way to even be considered. And even then it probably wouldn’t work. I was sitting there and I was kind of pissed off that, you know, all the roadblocks came up and then I w I realized it was like, wait a minute. I I’m already have done a degree, you know, in gemology, which I really enjoy. Maybe, maybe I should just finish that. You know, I reached out to the school and they told me that, uh, all those courses were still available to me. And all the credits that I had put in were good still. So I picked it up after 19 year absence, and now I’m finished with the exception, man. I got one lab that I got to do and then I’ll be, you know, bonafide without a doubt. gemologist guy, but because of COVID I couldn’t, I have to attend the campus to do these, these final labs for gem identification is what I got to go finish. And it’s been getting pushed and pushed and pushed. Now it’s, um, November is when, uh, that final lab is for me.

So once I, once I get that, I’ll be legit, but for the purposes of what we do, um, severely over-educated, you know, to really, because most of the things that, that I need to know. If I don’t remember them, if I don’t, you know, if, if, uh, I don’t remember the practical application, you can Google the most shit. Now, if you want to know the harden, it, you know, the, the most, uh, hardness scale, a number of, of a, of a stone. You, you just Google it. I’m like, it’s all like, so I don’t even have to really consult my textbooks very much, it’s sort of that’s out there, but if I ever, you know, I have the opportunity to, I can work for an auction house or something like that, you know, or some kind of historical society, if there’s, you know, there’s like four jobs in the world for shit like that, where you get to actually like, go and look at stones that, you know, were found in, in archeological digs and stuff. There’s like, yeah, there’s like four to six people in the world that, you know, make a living at that. And the only way you get that job is if they die. So I’m waiting in the wings.

Good luck on that. Good luck on your lab in November. So an uninitiated question then I have to ask, did you watch, and did you like the movie “Uncut Gems” with Adam Sandler?

Full disclosure I started watching it. Um, and there’s so much artistic license taken with how diamonds work and how the jewelry business works. That I couldn’t watch it anymore.

No kidding.

Yeah, it was, it was so far off. It was so not, um, accurate. And, and, and it shouldn’t have bothered me. I sh you know, it’s, I have a big problem with that sometimes. Like, I can’t go to Marvel movies because. I’m a humorless fuck. Like I can’t suspend disbelief. I can’t like I watched those things that I watched the first few minutes.I’m like, I’m just sitting here getting dumber. Like I can’t watch that stuff. It just gives you must be able to suspend disbelief to, to sit in there and watch those things. And, and, and, you know, yeah, I, of course I know that there aren’t, you know, uh, uh, robots that can turn into semi-trucks and shit. It’s not that.It’s everything else. It’s, it’s the human part of it that’s frankly, the most unbelievable, you know, to me in those kinds of situations. So that’s why I got bucked off of Uncut Gems because I’m a massive fan of Adam Sandler too, like huge he’s one of my favorites.

I actually can relate to the Marvel thing. I haven’t watched the last, however many movies that they’ve put out. Do you like comics? Was that ever something you were into?

The comics I like were, more like. Geez. I can’t even remember what the ones were. There was one comic in particular two comics, series in particular that got me. One was a, like a Konan the barbarian one way back. I just found the art to be fascinating. And it was just, it was really rich. Um, and the other one, what was that one called? Maybe we, you know, maybe you can help me with this one. It was about, uh, I think the guy was a tank operator. And he was a ghost.

Is it like a World War 2 one?

I gotta find it. Um, and I’m going to look this up while I’m talking to you because it’s killing me now. Um, uh, comic book, and I remember, uh, the guy’s name was Jeb and it was a, um, it was called GI combat. That’s right.

I’ve never heard of that. I’ve never even heard of that one. Wow.

Yeah. It’s like a combination of war stories and ghost stories put together haunting, haunting, and the art. I can still see the art now, dark gruesome, um, really guttural stuff, really guttural stuff. I think it’s world war two stuff. Um, that is, uh, uh, I’m probably gonna, after we get off of this, you know, when I’m, when I’m really going on my thing, I got to go run for. I’m going to probably look it up again and see if there’s been any developments.

Hop on eBay and get a few. Well, I wanted to, you know, before we hop off just a few minutes left here, I want to do a couple of things. Wanted to see if you had any monthly updates of any books you’ve read this month that you’ve been into. And I wanted to play, I guess you’d call it a quick game. Where we just kind of throw out a couple of random books to each other and see if you’ve read them. So, and any updates this month of anything new you’ve read?

Wot this month, but, uh, I wanted to mention Jocko Willink, his book, Discipline=Freedom. That, uh, that is a fantastic book. That is a tremendous book. Uh, I’m a fan of his, and yeah, he’s a Navy seal and all that, but that is just a great book straight up, no matter who wrote it, that’s a good book. Um, and then speaking to Navy seals, I started at the Jack Carr, uh, the, the Jack Carr series of books.

There we go. There we go. What are you on, The Terminal List?

I’m not I’m on Savage Son, number three.

Okay. I’m on the, I just finished this one. I’m on the second one, right now.

Yes. Very good. Very well written.

Yeah. Jack seems like such a nice guy. I don’t know if you’ve ever bumped into him or not, but he seems like an incredibly nice guy.

He shoots at the tactical range while it’s just actually, he was on Instagram at the tactical range. I shoot at. He came to visit, um, Taran Butler and the whole, um, Taran Tactical group. I wish I was there. I was out of the country when he came but I’d love to meet the guy. He seems like a real, real good dude.

I want to get Taren on the show, but I don’t know if Taron reads or not, but he’s hilarious to listen to. I would just let him talk and do his impression of Arnold Schwarzenegger.

I don’t know if Taren’s a reader, next time I go out, which is going to be next week. I’ll mention it. I was going to go this week, but they’re repaving the whole, um, the entire, uh, uh, campus, I guess you call it down there at Taron Tactical. It’s so they’re not, there’s no shooting this week, unfortunately, but I will ask him that. Awesome. Well, I just want to say all Jack’s books are at the range, you know, cause he he’s a friend of Taran tactical, so there’s copies of his books all over the place. So people, clients like me can flip through them and look at them and, and uh, it probably subliminally planted in my mind to get me to, you know, get out there and get them. Uh, but uh, I know I love I’m loving those books, the, uh, the attention to detail, right?

Exactly. He did a tremendous job on there. I read it in Fort Knox while I was visiting my brother-in-law. So it was kind of bad-ass to read it on a military base too. Well, before I do the, have you read, I wanted to reference this book because I think you’ll love it. And I’m going to find a way I’m going to ship this out to you somehow. The it’s called Summertime in Murdertown by David Gunn. And I told you about his band King 810. Okay. Just from us talking, I think you’re going to find this book extremely fascinating. So, um, I had, uh, I’m going to get David to sign one, I think. And then I’ll send one out to you because I think you’ll be really blown away by it.

You can do that, but I’m going to buy it too.

Okay. Either way it is Amazon and their website.

So I’ll, I’ll find it. I’m not the type to take, uh, free things from, from an artist of any kind. I, I don’t. I paid for all my bass guitars. Uh, you know, like I, yeah, I don’t take free stuff from, you know, I don’t deserve it. Number one. And that’s how they make their living. Yeah I don’t need somebody to give me something for free to talk nicely about it. If it’s good, I’ll talk nicely about it and I’ll pay for it. Of course.

So, did you, did you accept Harley’s book because you’re afraid of telling him no. Or did you pay him 20 bucks on the spot?

No. No, no. It was different, you know, it wasn’t, you know, cause there’s, there’s all, always these situations, you know, when you do what I do at the level, I do it that there’s people who just want to give you stuff, give you stuff, give you the stuff, right. It’s like, Hey, you’re a big deal here take this. With Harley it was more like. Hey, you’re my friend. I want to give you a gift, my friend. And it was different. It was different. It wasn’t like getting swag. You know what I mean? Like get like free shampoo just because it’s sold a million records, you know, it was, it was, I actually really felt a deep connection with Harley right away.

Yeah and you’ve said that in an early interviews too, I’ve heard you say that, uh, you know, you pay for all your bass guitars, even though you could get any, any brand would give them to you for free you’ve you’ve always paid for them, which is cool. Well, so for how have you read, I know that you’ve read a Moby Dick, right? And, and you’ve read The Old Man and the Sea. Have you read the book The Perfect Storm?

No, no, I haven’t.

I was trying to, I’m looking for the book here and, uh, I’ve lost it in my library, but, um, do you remember that movie when it came out in the nineties? Okay. So it’s the book about that and um, it’s, it’s, it’s a sad book, obviously. I mean, if you know what happens in the movie and about the ship, but it’s a relatively short book. Um, but it’s also a pretty powerful read.

As you know I have a reading list that’s as big as your bookcase behind you.

Of course, literally. What about me? What do you got for me?

Um, well, okay. Let’s, uh, let’s go along that, um, nautical disaster sort of attack there’s a book called The Wave. Have you ever heard the wave before?

I’ve never even heard of it? No.

Okay. It, I cannot remember the name of the author. Uh, it’s a female author and she’s fantastic. Um, my, uh, A guy that I really look up to named Laird Hamilton. Uh, actually I think he wrote the introduction prologue or something.

I know who he is.

Of course, uh, you know, he’s an alpha male, you, you know, you should know who he is. Um, of course

I’ve had his supplements before. They’re pretty good.

Oh yeah. Yeah. And I’m really happy for him and Gabby that they’re just, uh, they’re shooting the lights out with this stuff.

When I see people that special, I just want them to just be successful and rich and, you know, and win, I love to see my friends win, but the wave, fantastic book, fantastic book.

So I’ll throw out, I’m gonna throw out one more, um, just kinda randomly, have you read any Marcus Aurelius or Seneca Letters From a Stoic, any stoicism?

I’ve never gone back that far. I haven’t read back that far yet. I actually, I shouldn’t say that I read The Odyssey and The Iliad, which is kind of in that sort of, um, uh, temporal, you know, uh, uh, ballpark, but, uh, um, no, I have not made and actually, I, I have some friends that are, I think, obsessed with Marcus Aurelius and, um, I think there’s a reason why people read that, you know, something really great there.

That’ll be a crazy rabbit hole, I think, for you to go down. I think that you probably live pretty stoically already with a lot of their thoughts. I think that the term stoic and stoicism, um, people have a misunderstanding of it, but, but yeah. Well, all right. One more from, from you for me, throw something out there.

Let’s see. Let’s see. What, have I read that I could tell you about why don’t you throw one at me? If you have one and I’ll keep thinking.

Okay. I haven’t read this book yet, but I’m really excited to read it. It’s called, uh, The Desert and the Sea. I think it was a journalist who got captured by Somali, Somali pirates. And I cannot wait to crack that one open because I think it’ll be fascinating. I like reading about Somalia. There’s another book called The World’s Most Dangerous Place, and Black Hawk Down all of that stuff in Mogadishu crazy fascinating.

Yes. Um, I had one for you and while you were talking, I lost it. Um, let’s see here. Let me see. Oh, we talked about it on the interview earlier. Okay. The, the, the interview that we did previously. Yep. Fargo Rock City. You must, if you have, yeah. You said, I think you said you haven’t read it. Any Chuck Klosterman.

I hadn’t even heard of it until I heard you say it in that. I think it was that, uh, an interview with the university maybe, but, um, yeah, I’m going to have to get that one because you told me to read everything by that author.

I would read everything by Chuck Klosterman. If you can, if, if you, if you have even the remotest, um, interest in rock music from say the seventies, eighties, nineties, It’s gonna it’s so perfect. So perfect.

Yeah. And it’s not that far away because I think that was like a tour in South Dakota or something, at least from reading the subtitle of the book. Right. So that’s not too far from where I’m at.

It’s written from me from the eyes of a Midwestern kid. Yeah, it’s fascinating.

I’m going to order that and The Scarlet Letter by, by this time next week, I’ll probably have both of those books in my possession. Well, yeah. Well, thank you, Mike. I want to do this again maybe in a month or so get another update from you and play a little, have you read throw some books out there.

Sure. That sounds great, man.

You’re a great dude, its fun talking to you, man.

Thank you. It was great talking to you too. I really appreciate you reaching out. And, and like I said, this is, you’re a real outlier in the people that I talk to, you know, you don’t talk about reading or, or, uh, you know, I, I don’t typically talk about reading or, or, uh, or any kind of intellectual pursuit typically, you know, talking about, you know, tour dates and new records and stuff, which is great to talk about, but this is a really refreshing change.

Cool. Well, I’m glad you like it, man.

Thank you.

We’ll talk again soon.

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