Weekend Warrior - Mike Davis of Mixed Nuts

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DAY GIG: The Chevron refinery in Richmond, California. Our group runs transportation for the maintenance department. We work four ten-hour days per week—the perfect weekend warrior schedule.

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HOW I GOT STARTED: When I was seven, my dad took a night class and I tagged along. The students were learning “Love Is Blue”. When the class ended, all the adults were hanging around and chatting while I sat down and played the song.

BAND: Mixed Nuts plays top-40 dance tunes, rock, funk, and jazz standards from caveman days to the present—write your request on a fivedollar bill and we’ll figure it out! Everyone sings lead and harmonies, so we’re pretty versatile vocally. We play about six times a month, mostly in [California’s] East Bay.

INFLUENCES: Elton John, Chuck Leavell, and Bruce Hornsby are the piano players I aim to sound like. The Cars, Devo, and the Fixx used synths in ways that inspired me to get simple and rhythmic. David Bowie and Stevie Wonder are two artists I always seem to come back to as the ultimate songwriters.

GEAR: An expanded Korg M3 sititng above a Yamaha Motif ES8. To my left, on a smaller stand, is a Roland D-550 [the rack version of the famed D-50] that I layer with the M3. I warn curious onlookers in a half-joking way, “Don’t be touching my D-550—don’t even look at it!” Above the M3 is an Alesis Micron, the ultimate bang-for-buck, top-40 tool. I submix everything on a Yamaha MG-10/2 mixer, and send a mono signal to our P.A. We use Shure in-ear monitors. For big outdoor gigs I use a JBL Eon powered speaker as a stage monitor.

LEARN MORE AT: mixednutsband.com