Mike Spine is a Seattle born and Seattle/Europe based musician who has played hundreds of shows across the globe since 1995.
Spine’s decade-old punk rock band At the Spine have been compared to The Clash, The Pixies, Sonic Youth, Built to Spill, and Fugazi. They are known for their intelligent lyrics, combined with energetic and explosive live performances.
His folk rock band The Beautiful Sunsets play clever and salient original songs with a spattering of worthy traditional and cover songs (Hank Williams Sr., early Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, etc.). As the name implies, the band focuses on making beautiful music rich with textures and harmonies, and lyrics with substance.
Since 2012, Mike has been playing extensively around the world and has mostly been living and playing music overseas.
Mike Spine has shared bills and stages with artists such as Mike Watt (Iggy Pop & The Stooges, Minutemen, Firehose), Los Lobos, Creedence Clearwater Revisited, Artis the Spoonman (Soundgarden), The Murder City Devils, Damien Jurado, Johnny Sangster (Steve Turner of Mudhoney, K.D. Lang, Neko Case, Laura Veirs), Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession, Three Mile Pilot), Dick Valentine (Electric Six), Stef Burns (Alice Cooper, Vasco Rossi), Ian Moore (Joe Ely), The Districts, The Lonely Forest, Vince Mira, The Blakes, Joel RL Phelps (Silkworm), Pete Krebs (Hazel), Fernando Viciconte, Napalm Beach, Chiodos, Boat, The Cops, The DT’s, Hounds of the Wild Hunt, David Mallett, Korby Lenker, Leif Totusek, and the Smokey Brights to name a few.
He has performed several times at the The Seattle Weekly Reverb Festival (headlining slot), Evel Knievel Days (headlining slot), Northwest Folklife Festival (annual attendance 230,000), The Marin County Fair, Oakland Fire Arts, Meanyfest in NYC and hundreds of other venues throughout the US, Europe, Asia and the Americas.
He has had several songs songs featured on KEXP (Seattle), KISW (Seattle), KUFO (Portland, OR), KALX (Berkeley, CA), WERU (Maine) and dozens of other radio stations around the United States and in Europe.
Spine started playing organ at the age of five, shifting to acoustic folk guitar at eight, and adding an electric guitar at 10. His mother was a public school teacher and his father was a helicopter pilot in Vietnam flying secret missions into Laos and Cambodia with U.S. Army Special Forces (Green Berets) and indigenous hill tribe mercenaries, when the U.S. supposedly had no troops there. This reality impacted and shaped much of his life and political understanding of the world, and drew him into political activism and justice issues at a young age.
In 1996 while living in Portland OR, Spine founded the independent label Global Seepej Records. In 2001 he founded hybrid rock/punk/folk rock band At the Spine and between 2003 and 2012 released 5 critically acclaimed albums and toured substantially throughout the United States and Italy. In 2006 he spent seven months in Europe teaching, writing songs and performing as a solo acoustic artist. In 2008, Global Seepej Records released the compilation album Sounds from the Seattle Underground. The project aimed to bring exposure to deserving independent musicians in the Puget Sound area through the power of community and included bands such as The Lonely Forest, Head Like a Kite and The Tea Cozies. In 2010 he formed the folk rock band, The Beautiful Sunsets, who released the critically acclaimed album Coalminers & Moonshiners in 2012.
When not playing music, Mike has spent the last 20 years working as an activist and public school teacher in areas like The South Bronx, South London, and inner city Seattle, Portland and San Diego. These experiences have added rich layers of maturity and depth to Spine’s persona and music. We meet him on the other side more solid and true than ever, his fire more grounded but very much alive and glowing in ever powerful and passionate performances.