MPMF artist profile: Mike Oliva of The Harlequins


Performing Saturday, 9/26@3pm at Washington Park

Fans can download the Harlequins single “Not Yet Dead” for free by visiting the Freeosk at the Woodward Theater on Friday.

The Harlequins are a psychedelic garage-pop trio formed in 2007 in Cincinnati, OH. They have released five albums independently and played hundreds of shows spanning the east coast, midwest and south.

The band has been a regular fixture at the Midpoint Music Festival and nominated for numerous Cincinnati Entertainment Awards. In 2011, they caught the attention of VICE & The Black Lips and were picked to represent Cincinnati for a feature on The band is currently demoing tracks for their sixth release slated for 2015.

This is The Harlequin’s 7th MPMF appearance.

FREEOSK: We’ve licensed the song ‘Not Yet Dead’ as an exclusive Freeosk download. What can you tell us about this tune?

Michael Oliva: It’s the first single off our upcoming full length due out next spring. “Not Yet Dead” is loosely about the state of America, and more importantly, about the flaws of the human condition. But it’s hopeful and looking to the future by narrowing in on the ‘now’. We can all do better, and we still have a chance to.

F: How is MPMF different from other fests you’ve attended or played?

MO: MPMF feels a little more intimate and personal. Like you are a part of this little private society that’s now grown and blossomed into a giant community. It’s pretty similar to SXSW in some ways, except you don’t feel as much like cattle lining up and fighting for your 15 minutes of fame. Feels more focused on the music than the music business. It’s also a lot less intense trying catch the shows you want to see.

F: Freeosk is all about helping people discover their new favorite products through samples—often snacks. What is your favorite snack when you’re touring?

MO: Well, that would most likely have to be the apple. On the road, it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

F: Have you learned any handy road tour hacks that you’d be willing to share?

MO: Taking lots of plastic forks/napkins from salad bars. They’ll usually have salt and pepper inside too. That one is from Rob. We try to camp a lot to avoid hotels as well.

F: Are there any bands you’re going to go see at Midpoint this year? Any you’d urge others to check out?

MO: I’m psyched to be playing with Ride, I’d suggest you don’t miss them (or The Harlequins). Heaters are not to be missed. They are label mates of ours (Dizzybird Records) and one of Grand Rapids’ finest. Other than that I’d say think for yourself, ‘cuz I won’t be there with you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *