Bikes, guitars and gypsy punk rock
Michael Ward is a man with a serious passion for guitars and bikes. He’s played for bands including the Wallflowers and now is with Gogol Bordello. Michael also wrote the children’s cycling book, “Mike and the Bike” and provided some sweet music for Zipp videos including the “303: Resurrection” mini-documentary.
Zipp caught up with him while he was in Indy:
Zipp: What brings you to Indy?
Michael: I’m playing with a band called Gogol Bordello and we have a record coming out in July and we’re doing a little warm up, with a strong string of dates, like 9 shows in 13 days on this particular run... go over to Europe for a month, come back… more stuff in America… South America… We call it an album cycle. When you have a new album coming out, you tend to do about a year of kind of hard-core (touring).
Zipp: What can people expect if they come out to a Gogol Bordello show?
Michael: The band’s model is gypsy punk. It’s high-energy punk rock so of ethos and style of music that we do but it’s all infused with the Eastern, Russian, Ukrainian type of harmony musical background. Definitely fun, high energy. If you want to get in the pit, get in the pit. If you’re afraid of getting hurt, stand back because it’s crazy.
Zipp: What made you want to visit Zipp?
Michael: I did a little bit of music for Zipp, project and videos over the last couple of years…. We were like, let’s come by and meet you guys.
Zipp: So, you’re riding 303 Tubulars and 202 Firecrest Carbon Clinchers?
Michael: Exactly. Like always, the tubulars are the special day, I’m going to treat myself to the tubulars today. But I really like the 202 Firecrest Carbon Clinchers just as much… I got the 202s on there and was blow away by the performance of them. The 202s are just magic for me.
Zipp: When you travel the world do you have your bike with you?
Zipp: What’s your favorite place to ride?
Michael: We’re going to Europe next week. If we’re in Switzerland, or France or Italy where we can hit the mountains for half a day… I love climbing, looking at the beautiful mountains.
Zipp: You wrote the children’s cycling book “Mike and the Bike.” Now that the book’s been out a few years, what does it mean to you?
Michael: It’s been actually one of the most satisfying things I’ve ever done – to try to combine everything I do… cycling, music. The books comes with CDs. My son, Tennessee, sings the songs on the CD. We wrote the songs together.