Mike Herrera (Tumbledown)
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Under the influence of great American songwriters and countless punk rawk shows, forged from love songs and heartbreak, Mike Herrera's Tumbledown was born.While the world-traveling Bremerton musician may be most well-known as the dynamic bassist and lead singer of the Left Coast three-piece MxPx, beneath all the tattoos and piercings, the ranting and stage wrecking, Herrera has long been an acoustic-wielding songsmith. His alt/country/pop-punk-abilly solo project Tumbledown is at the root and on the flipside of all that (distinctive) punk rock.
'It's all about the songs,' Herrera says. 'What it sounds like depends on who you are.'
Tumbledown officially formed in 2006 when Herrera asked a trio of Bremerton musicians -- Marshall Trotland (bass), Harley Trotland (drums) and Jack Parker (lead guitar) of the (former) Bremerton band Rocky Point All-Stars -- to back him up on the Tumbledown record, in exchange for his services recording a Rocky Point All Stars' CD. Tumbledown released those sessions (the Atlantic City picture disk) in the summer of 2006, anticipating the first full-length this summer. and has since toured the West Coast, opening for Social D at the Fillmore and making repeat appearances at South by Southwest in 2008 and 2009. Herrera also embarked on a full solo tour of Australia earlier this year. But these songs had been brewing in his head long before that.
The music carries an old-school country-western swagger, reminiscent of Hank Williams, Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash, with Herrera strumming a big dreadnaught acoustic over a chugging snare drum and stand-up bass. Parker adds to the Americana, with swiftly meandering, mean lead work.
'I don't claim that we're a country band... we're just a band... whatever... I just like the fact that it's a different sound,' Herrera says. 'Different than a country band, different than a punk rock band, different than a rockabilly band -- we're somewhere there in the ether, somewhere in between it all.' Miles and miles of landscape, experience and the lonely open road have been crafted into these songs of love and heartbreak, orchestrated by a crew of blue-collar musicians, creating the sound of a skull with heart-shaped eye sockets.
Check out this video of Mike and the Takamine LTD 2009 in action.