Where are you from and how did you get to Brooklyn?
I’m from Wisconsin, and I went out to the east coast to go to Berklee College of Music. I had an internship here before moving out to Boulder, where I lived for two years – but came back to Brooklyn for the opportunities in the music scene and more people to collaborate with.
When did you start rock climbing?
I started when I was 20, back in 2009. I was addicted to heroin, starting off with opiates when I was younger, about fifteen or sixteen. It just progressed until I was nineteen, and then I went to rehab in Provo, Utah for six months. I turned twenty while I was in rehab and I started climbing after my birthday. Ever since then, I haven’t touched opiates. They took you out to do a lot of nature related things, on hikes – that sort of thing. I just kept climbing because I really liked it.
Did climbing help your addiction?
When you’re recovering from a drug addiction, you have all these messed up relationships with yourself. You can’t tell who you are, how you deal with problems, or why you use to do horrible things, you’re just completely lost. Climbing gave me a support system.
The people who climb tend to be healthy, they are active, and they want to achieve something, and I really believe that you need to surround yourself with people you strive to be like. The other great thing about climbing and recovery is that it’s a distraction.
There needs to be mental as well as physical stimulation to keep your mind off everything, focused, and to take out your frustrations and emotions. It still does. If I don’t climb, if I don’t work out for a month, I’d be going crazy.
What are you currently working on?
I’m doing all the music for the upcoming ABS competition – I’m inspired by John Williams & The Olympics, The Alpine Skiing Nationals.
I just finished doing the Dark Horse competition music with the production company Louder Than Eleven. Also just finished a La Sportiva video which I’m psyched about – it’s a Dr. Suess voice over that’s super artistic and classically arranged, orchestral.
It’s nice because usually there is a lot of electronic music in videos, but I think people are moving away from that. It’s getting old.
Say hi next time you see Mike at BKB, and check out his & his company here.