Monday, January 31, 2011

Arizona to Texas

The past couple of days have been quite entertaining. After our show in Tuscon we set up camp in our van and decided to leave for  Texas in the morning. On our way to Texas, Mike saw a sign for Tombstone, AZ. He's in love with the west and all it's cowboys and outlaws, so naturally we thought it would be a fun idea visiting the town.
It's fun being a tourist in a ghost town. All the locals dress like cowboys and pretend to shoot each other everyday at 3pm. We couldn't afford to actually watch the shootout, but walked around Boothill Cemetery, downtown, and saw the OK Corral.
On the way back out to the highway, we stopped at Holy Trinity Monastery in St. David. It was a refreshing experience. We got to tour the monastery by ourselves and took time to reflect and soak up the tranquility of the place. Perhaps the most beautiful site was the church, Our Lady of Guadalupe.  The amazing little church was built by hand in 1974 using damp dirt and plaster. If you ever find yourself on your way to Tombstone, make sure to experience this tiny piece of pure serenity.


Sunday, January 30, 2011

A bit scattered perhaps...

I don’t know what this will be about. I do know that I am over two days behind in my blogging. For all those who read this, I apologize. I have made some difficult decisions lately. Some of which have changed relationships immensely. You certainly cannot predict the future. You stand over the new year with a handful of dreams and plans, then a month goes by and you realize that things change.

I blog because I am in a band and we have agreed to do this to engage our “fans”.  Honestly though, I can't say I am always interested in engaging anyone. At times, I could care less. Sometimes it feels like I am trying too hard to make something happen. I spent years of my life going to school, working on a farm, doing what I was told do and wondering why?

Why do we sincerely want “fans”? I guess if you are a fan you will invest in us financially and enable one by one for us to do this for a living. It is in this that I realize there is way more to it than this. I grew up listening to bands and felt like they were writing about everything I was going through. I went to see them and was star struck by there performance and even more, how nice the majority of them were. It was far more than just a financial transaction at a merchandise table. They were communicating something that I believed in. It was real to me. It resonated inside of me.

I say all of that to say this: If after all that we have accomplished as a band and this ends tomorrow, I would be encouraged to know that at least a few of your lives were touched by something that I have put my hand to. There is no thought of stopping at all for me but I say that to express my gratitude for your faith in me. Not only for me but our entire band. This has been something that has had highs and lows. The deeper the valley the more glorious the view once you reach the top on the mountain. If you don’t have to fight for something I doubt it’s as significant as you assume it to be.

This is life. It’s difficult. Yet its worth fighting and enjoying every single day. Like the ending line of American History X: “Life’s too short to be pissed off all the time.” I agree. Today is a gift, tomorrow is not certain so I implore you all to give every second, every word, every task your greatest effort. I am thankful to all of you who may be “fans” of what we are doing. Yet I desire for you to feel apart of this and connected to what we are doing. As Burk said earlier: “We want you to be a branch.” I desire that you feel connected to us. Anyway, this has been a random blog and I am now ready for sleep world. Thanks to every person who has purchased a shirt, cd, sticker, button, or a ticket in support of what we are doing.

Thank you for believing in us. I will keep on keeping on and I hope you do the same.  Here are some photos from our stop we made in Tombstone, Arizona. I especially like the one of Shannon and I. Doesn’t she look lovely? Tombstone is a place that I have wanted to go since I was a child. My Father raised me on strong diet of western films and a very “cowboy” type outlook on life. Sadly, I never became the next Lane Frost. To tell you the truth my sister was way better at riding dirt bikes than me! I was more interested in writing poetry or playing my guitar. I hope you enjoy these photos. I will be staying in touch more. Thank you for reading.

Walk in love…

- Mike

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hey there Kanye, Ima let you finish. But first I need to address a few things. Music is stupid these days. We played with Mickey Avalon the other day. I guess that’s what sparked these thoughts. I feel like writing good music is no longer what makes bands successful. Being bizarre or marketable or good looking or of questionable sanity is what packs out venues and sells records. I’m talking just as much about the generic-formula-country garbage as I am the generic-formula-indie rock garbage or the booty-poppin-club-rockin excuse for hip-hop music. I’m kind of angry about it. I don’t make a pay check, and I’m not even complaining about that. It’s just frustrating that the remedy for that isn’t to write better music, but to have a better marketing strategy.

Sorry to sound so negative today. This has just been on my mind lately. It's not really a reflection of my overall mood. I'm happy as a clam, in fact.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Great Salt Lake

Last night we arrived in Salt Lake City after driving 14 hours from what might have been the most odd show we have ever played. Worn out and tired as can be, we arrived to our new friend Eric's home, where we were blessed with a homemade meal and the most welcoming folk who made us feel at home. After our stomach's were satisfied we traveled a few miles to play an acoustic house show in a beautiful living room that was dimly lit and smelled like flowers. It was an absolutely refreshing experience for us all. Tonight we play one more show in Salt Lake before heading down to Reno. I hope we can make it back to this place again- the people are all so wonderful and encouraging to be around. Tomorrow I plan on listening to Band of Horses' "Great Salt Lake" as we drive past the lake. It will be so literal! Salt Lake, I will miss thee. 


Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Hardest Part

The hardest part about touring for me is being away from my beautiful girlfriend. Heading out on a 2 ½ month tour seemed so daunting. We are now 3 weeks into and its going really well.
Of course, I’d give anything for us to be together this whole time. She understands me better than anyone and sometimes I’m scared to leave her side. But, with her support and constant communication I’ve been able to make these past weeks really good ones. We are constantly texting and calling and keeping each other informed about our days. While most of my days are spent driving from point A to point B, her’s are actually entertaining to hear about!
I’d like to thank you Casey for being the girl I’ve always wanted. Constantly encouraging and building me up. I love you.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Work Work Work.

“If something comes easily and without sacrifice, it’s rarely significant.”

-       Cameron Strang, CEO Founder RELEVANT magazine.

Whether it is a band or a Master’s degree or a business venture. All of these things require hard work and discipline. We have had a lot of promising interest in our band these days. There has also been a lot of room for doubt. When were out here doing this once again it’s certainly easy to daydream about all the other ways you could make a comfortable living. Yet I am grateful to be doing this. I am thankful that in the midst of hardship and a difficult season for any industry, we are independently making our ends meet.

            The people we meet every stop make this worth it. I am excited to see what the next few months bring. I encourage you once again to fight with everything inside of you to live out your dreams. No one will do it for you. Now were off to go play a show in Bend Oregon. The drive today was accompanied with immense rainfall. Lot’s or twists and turns through the mountains. Thankful to be seeing things I’ve dreamt of seeing my whole life.


- Mike

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Westward, ho!

Being out west has been quite the trip. We've met a lot of interesting people and seen a lot of amazing sights. We had a fun day in Seattle yesterday. Ate some tasty BBQ, drove around Seattle, and got to play another show. I also got to see a childhood friend of mine and get to spend some more time with her today. It's comforting to be so far away from "home" but still drink milk from a U of M cup. :) It's a great feeling to see familiar faces on the road. Whenever we get to visit someone or stay with them it's like finding a little piece of home away from home. 
Oh, here are some pictures from Oregon. As always, enjoy.


Is there ever such a thing as a truly selfless act? Even when we do something kind for someone, we feel good about our generosity, meaning that both parties gain. It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Does this reality diminish the value of kind deeds? Does it lend more value to kind deeds, since they are mutually beneficial? I think that it is almost always easier to avoid helping others out. Even if we feel good about giving money to the poor, we would likely benefit from the money if we were to keep it. I think the only gifts of any real value are the ones that require sacrifice on the part of the giver. Sorry if there doesn’t seem to be any real point or conclusion here. This is just what I have been thinking about today. Hope all is well.

Grace and Peace

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Keep At It

“When can I go into the supermarket and buy what I need with my good looks?”

-       Allen Ginsberg (America)

I feel like this at times on the road. We desire to live a peaceful comfortable life at times. This lifestyle is not found with ease on the road. Yet in an industry paved with the failures of so many others who have gone before us, along with the success of others, here we are. The true test of what you believe in doing isn’t found only when there is an overflow of abundance.

            I spent SEVENTY FOUR DOLLARS on some retarded steak eating contest. Now I am pissed about it. Yet I am out on the road living in the answer of so many of my prayers. I am a traveling musician. This is what I do. I am possessed with this dream that has a hook in my heart. No matter how difficult life’s potholes become to avoid I’ll drive on. Will you drive on? Or will you settle? Are you willing to pay the price to live out the dreams that are inside of you?

In a book by a famous theologian E.W. Kenyon is a story about a man who hade these incredible pieces of art out of wood. People from all other the world came to see what he had created. When asked how he had even come to a place of such artistic wonder he responded simply: “I just kept at it.”

Think on that.


Monday, January 17, 2011

Sicky Sicky Uh Oh!

This past week has been a tough one for the band, we’ve all been battling flu and cold symptoms. I never thought we’d have these problems when we set out to tour California and the west coast! Isn’t it supposed to be warm out here? I had envisioned bright sunshine everyday and temps in the 70’s or so. I even packed a pair of shorts in my suitcase for this tour. Talk about disappointments!

Thankfully, with the help of plenty of rest, fluids, and medications the four of us are feeling much better and back to rocking faces off. Check out our upcoming tour dates and come out to a show, this is a tour you don’t want to miss. We will be in Texas in February, I would love to see some familiar faces.

With all that being said I would like to close with some advice:
         If you have a cold use Nyquil, it’s an amazing product.


Sunday, January 16, 2011


Hello world. It’s me, David. Today is my dad’s birthday. As a result, I’ve been thinking a lot about the importance of family. My family is very important to me, and we are very close. They don’t just tell me they love me, they show me.

I don’t see my family very often, and I think that’s the case with many people. But I am fortunate enough to have friends that are so close that I consider them family. Obviously, we are not all given the opportunity to live in a van with our closest friends. But we are all given the opportunity to treat those around us like they are our family. I am reminded today about how much my dad has demonstrated his love to me. Sacrifice is the only evidence of love. If we love one another, we will serve one another selflessly.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Farewell to the Golden State

I'm a little disappointed. I expected California to be full of sunshine and warm weather. However, since we've been here it's been nothing but cold, partly cloudy, and even rainy- not to mention we've all gotten pretty ill during our visit to the Golden State. I think after being blessed with a hotel room or two and getting a few solid nights of rest we are beginning to make our way to being healthy again! Tonight we play in Chico. It's our last show in the state. There seems to be a lot of neat little stores, parks, and eateries here. Maybe we'll have time to walk around a experience the city for a little bit before we leave! Even though we're feeling a little under the weather, I'm hopeful that tonight will be a good ending to California before we head up into Oregon.
Here's a few photos from the past couple of days during our travels. Enjoy.


Thursday, January 13, 2011


One of my favorite things to do when I am home is play hockey. My friends and I
usually have enough people to play 3 on 3. When it’s the spring/summer/fall months we
play on rollerblades at a local rink. But, winter is the best because the house I reside at
has a pond, and it freezes over with ice. There is nothing like getting outside and playing
a sport you love with your friends, even if the temperature is in the teens!
Now that I’m on the road touring for the next couple of months, I am really missing
hockey. There is really no way to play it while touring. I could bring my rollerblades, but
there would be no time to play and no one to play with. I guess I will just have to wait til’
I get home to play again, and make more time to do so when I’m home.


Saturday, January 8, 2011

Grand Canyon, AZ

On our way out to California we found time to stop and visit the Grand Canyon. We got a little lost and drove about 40 miles too far through the desert, but eventually made it to our destination. I'd only seen pictures of the Grand Canyon, so to actually be there, in the flesh, was an amazing feeling. You feel so small next to something as grand as that. I was able to snap a few pictures of our adventure out to the canyon. I've posted a few of them here so you can share in the experience with us. Perhaps Enjoy!



Appreciating Each Day

What started off as a really difficult tour is quickly becoming one of the better ones thus far. We have experienced a lot of van trouble and other various trials the past few days. Yet I have been encouraged to see how everything has come together. I have been thinking very retrospectively as of lately. In doing so I have learned the importance of leaving my mistakes alone and walking forward. Life is too short to drive through it looking in the rear view mirror.

We never know when our time here ends. We have faith and belief, yet no way of knowing when our last breath will occur. Though this truth carries  a heavy weight, it has also been the catalyst for gratitude in my life for it's many blessings. I am eager to live out every second of every day with charity and grace in my heart towards God and my fellow neighbors. I am thankful to be on the road experiencing my dreams with an incredible group of people. Here's to an awesome year.


- Mikey

Thoughts About Nature

I have seen the most beautiful sights over the course of the last few days. I write this as we’re driving through California, through a series of enormous snow-covered mountains that are comparable even to the Grand Canyon, which we saw yesterday. In the presence of such a landscape, it is difficult to find a more inspiring topic to write about. It occurs to me, however, that I don’t know why I find these things to be so intriguing or majestic. I don’t think the animals that live in these mountains really take note of the visual appearance of it all. So why do I find them to be so inspiring?

My first thought was that the source of this inspiration is the untouched nature of these huge mountains, with peaks that must have looked the same for thousands of years. But if that were true, I would be just as moved by the Sahara Desert.

I think the answer lies within my chest. I believe I was created, and our species as a whole seems to have a well-developed awareness of the rest of creation. Life is simply a series of lessons and tests. I think that these mountains, full of life and beauty, serve to sculpt our understanding of the world we live in. Our attraction to the lush forests and snowy peaks is evidence of the fact that we like the lessons that they offer us. But I think we would value the mountains far less if not for the deserts. If we pretend that life’s deserts do not exist, we are not only robbing ourselves of a full appreciation for the mountains, but also rendering ourselves incapable of dealing with the test of reality.


Sunday, January 2, 2011


Hey everyone. We are officially launching the Mike Mains & The Branches blog. We will use this page not for news or show info, but exclusively to let you guys know what's on our minds. At the end of each post, whichever one of us wrote it will sign his or her name, so you know who's mind you're peering into. We will do our best to post new content everyday.

Let us know if you have any topics you would like to hear our thoughts on (, and please keep in mind that these posts are our individual opinions, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Mike Mains & The Branches as a whole.