Making Music with Mikey Holland

Beautiful Delusion
by Mean Creek's Mikey Holland

Now on their second national tour of the year,
Mean Creek are opening for Counting Crows.

TOUR DIARY: There are 8.5 million unemployed people living in America today. As of Oct 16th, I joined their ranks. I chose to let go and started out on this national tour with Counting Crows. Also joining the unemployment line this fall is Chris Keene (guitar/vocal) and Erik Wormwood (bass) from my band Mean Creek.

Mean Creek just released our new full length, Youth Companion, on Old Flame Records, October 16th - the very same day I lost my job of seven years. Along with chronicling our particular story on the road with Counting Crows, I want to shed some light on the reality of being a smaller independent act - and maybe help readers understand some of the sacrifices that go unseen.


I’ve managed an independent shoe store in Harvard Square for the better part of my twenties. I recently was asked to become a partial owner there, an opportunity I had a very difficult time declining. Since my start there I’ve always been in national touring bands. I can’t stress how lucky I was to have an employer that understood my passion and let me fulfill it when the opportunity arose. It hasn’t always been easy (for the owner or for me), that much is for sure, but we have always been able to make it work somehow. That is until now.

So while I'm out on tour, I realize I did so only a the cost of regular income. I left a job of seven years to tour for six weeks... Only to return jobless and in debt. Pre-tour is one of the most stressful times for any musician. It’s all a juggling act till you actually get in the van and hit the gas. I’ve been personally lost in my head for the better part of a month trying to get all my pieces together before we left. It’s a strange feeling to have this amazing opportunity on the horizon and a new album we’ve been working endlessly - and yet to also feel so unsteady at the same time.

Bandmates: Aurore Ounjian, Erik Wormwood and Chris Keene

"There comes a time I suppose where you need to decide what you want to do in life. Being a musician, that important choice is effortlessly easy and infinitely hard at the same time."

“So how was it opening for Counting Crows?!” My response has always been “fucking great!” Really, it’s a mind blowing experience. And besides the wonderful audiences we get the great honor to play in front of, we get to work with the most amazing crew. (These people run all the most important and absolutely necessary operations behind the scenes - and are really, damn good at it!) Opening Counting Crows shows this past year has been a validation of my soul, my struggle and my life’s work. I’m forever grateful to the Counting Crows and there great audience for filling me up when I was low ... and inspiring our band every time we walked on that stage. And then they asked us to do it again……

Mean Creek recently shot a video in my apartment for a single off Youth Companion called “Come on, Before It’s Gone.” The director wanted us to write down some of our fears in relation to where we currently are at personally and hold them up to the camera. My card read, “I hope I never lose this wild wild heart” and Erik’s read “I have two separate lives and I’m afraid they will never meet” I don’t know how to perfectly summarize this ride Mean Creek is on or what our future will be. I feel blessed and honored to have been able to do any of the things we have been able to do thus far. Not to mention doing it with three of the most heartfelt and talented folks I've ever known.

My head already hurts thinking about what happens when the tour is all over with, the day I return back to “normal life”. How I feel like I’m getting older and feeling further away from this beautiful delusion of mine but at the same time: closer every day. The truth is I’m scared of failure. I’m sacred of having my talent and my dreams disappear. I've seen it happen to friends. That’s what motivates me.

I choose music, I guess I always have.

Mikey Holland was recently profiled in Modern Drummer.

Mean Creek
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Unknown said…
Mikey you inspire us everytime we play your music ! Skylah sings and yells uncle. it brings a tear to my eyes everytime we love you and Hope all your hard work makes your dreams come true! Mean Creek has changed me I can't. go a day without listening to it!!You guys Are great and we love you !! love Halona,Shaun,and Skylah !!
Lois Therrien said…
Mikey I am so proud of you. I know your guardian angel is watching over you and soaring high thanks to you. very much love Auntie Lois

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