Meet the Noise: Five Questions for Mike Belitsky of The Sadies

March 31, 2011 | TPL Local Music

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Mike Belitsky started pounding the skins in the Halifax punk scene the early '80s. He has since moved to Toronto, and has subsequently performed with numerous acts including Neko Case, Jale and The Pernice Brothers. At present, Mike can be found at the back of the hardest working band in the business.

Come see Mike and the rest of the Sadies play a free, all-ages show at the Toronto Reference Library on Saturday April 16th.

What is your most memorable Toronto concert experience?
I think it was seeing The Bad Brains at the Concert Hall.. I think probably 1986 or 1987. I was so into I Against I and they were touring to promote that album.. The Ramones at RPM was pretty high up there too.. maybe that was in '85 or '86... It was my first mosh pit experience where I had no control over my body... Whichever way the crowd went, so went I....  it was both Scary and Awesome at the same time.

What Greater Toronto Area musician/band's album do you think everyone should listen to?
Any recording by The Deadly Snakes.

What does the term 'Independent Music' mean to you?
It's weird that Indie music has now become a genre or style of music. To me Indie means the band did not release the album on a major label, that's the only pre-requisite... So it can be country, folk, metal or punk.. whatever, as long as the band is operating independently from a major record company and the promotional machine that comes with that.

What advice would you give someone trying to break into the Toronto music scene?
Oh boy.... I think the most important thing is to be sure you really love making and performing music. There's so much that goes into being in a working band besides just playing a show, or making a recording. So I'd say its really important to be committed to all aspects of the process involved in  getting on stage and performing. If you don't really love the experience of playing it might not be worth all the other work involved.

Who would win in a fight between Geddy Lee and Gordon Lightfoot?
---- I'm guessing David Clayton Thomas would be in the audience for that fight. After a few rounds of watching a couple of light weights like Lee & Lightfoot shadowboxing each other, Thomas would jump into the ring and put a whooping on both of them, the ref and the security guards.

photo of Mike Belitsky by Cheyenne Rae