On his newest album Seeker, Mikal Cronin was looking for a change. Much of the album was written during a month spent in a cabin in the woods outside of Idyllwild, a small town in the mountains of Southern California. Cronin’s stay at the cabin was cut short, however, when a wildfire came rampaging through the woods, forcing him to pack up and evacuate as the ever-growing flames danced in the windows.
It’s not surprising then that an album about Cronin’s personal rebirth took on a new meaning in the wake of the fire, with fire becoming a metaphor for destruction and rehabilitation of the earth. With Seeker now out in the world, Cronin sat down to talk Black Sabbath, La La Land, and waking up covered in kittens in the latest Indie Mixtape 20 Q&A.
What are four words you would use to describe your music?
Aggressively emotional power pop.
It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?
I’d hope to remembered as a decent songwriter who left a few good tunes to soundtrack the apocalypse.
What’s your favorite city in the world to perform?
I had a great time playing in Osaka, Japan.
Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?
It may be Kurt Cobain, because Nirvana was the first rock band I listened to when I was a kid.
Where did you eat the best meal of your life?
Once on tour in the UK, there was a perfectly timed night off combined with a Dominos pizza. It was a classic example of just-okay food hitting the spot directly because of the situation.
What album do you know every word to?
I’m terrible at remembering lyrics, but I could hum the melody of quite a few albums.
What was the best concert you’ve ever attended?
I saw Nine Inch Nails at a festival while touring in Europe and it blew my mind.
What is the best outfit for performing and why?
Jumpsuits are pretty great because it feels like you can really work in them.
Who’s your favorite person to follow on Twitter and/or Instagram?
Nihilist Arby’s on Twitter is very interesting.
What’s your most frequently played song in the van on tour?
Probably something by Black Sabbath, let’s go with “Paranoid.”
What’s the last thing you Googled?
The William Sheller album Lux Aeterna.
What album makes for the perfect gift?
Kate Bush’s Hounds Of Love.
Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?
I once woke up in Nashville covered in kittens.
What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?
My first. I walked miles in the rain to get a circle tattooed on my foot.
What artists keep you from flipping the channel on the radio?
I like the production on the Billie Eilish album.
What’s the nicest thing anyone has ever done for you?
My mother gave birth to me, which was great.
What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?
To calm down and realize that everything will work out okay, and to enjoy everything more.
What’s the last show you went to?
Sleep at the Bataclan in Paris.
What movie can you not resist watching when it’s on TV?
I fell asleep watching La La Land on the BBC a few days ago.
What would you cook if Kanye were coming to your house for dinner?