Today the Venice Paparazzi spotlight shines on THE BROBOTS’ Mike Sully Sullivan

How many years in Venice?

I have lived in the Venice~Santa Monica~Mar Vista~Del Rey area since 1995.

Tell us about your music/band:

The band I’m currently in is called THE BROBOTS and we are a fun party cover band.  I like to call it a “Tribute to Rock N Roll.” We do our best to play the songs like they should be played – full throttle, melt your face, 100% Rock N Roll, no BS!!!   I love that I have two of the coolest, hardest working Russians in the band, Tarry & Dima. They are both exceptional musicians and are used to playing huge venues in Russia. I have a lot of respect for them and they work so hard on all of their parts & to get the right tones. Then of course, my boy, Bryan from Boston on the drums. A band is only a good as their drummer and Bryan is the real deal. He’s also fun to have a few pints with and talk about the good times. They are the hardest working band and I’m super proud of these guys.

Genre:  Rock N Roll

Photo by MaÏwenn Raoult

 

Your job in the band:

I wish I could say my job is just to Rock but it takes so much more if you want to be in a professional band. I am also the manager, booker, bass player, choreographer, therapist, PA provider, jam coordinator, set list creator/printer, storage care taker, band wagon provider, studio booker, talk bollocks on the mic and the “Put Your Hands Up In The Air” crowd pleaser and even after all that I still love my job because then I get to Rock.

Band’s Influences:

We have so many influences from all eras, too many to list. But if I had to pick my favorite bass tune we play in THE BROBOTS it would be “Driven to Tears” by The Police. I dig that song & it’s always fun to play with other drummers, they all play it differently. Stuart Copeland was a genius back then when Sting would let him do his thing.

 

View The Brobots video by Konstantin Frolov!

How many years have you been a musician, and how did you get into it?

I started playing guitar when I was around twelve and played my first live show in a band called OFF THE WALL when I was fourteen years old in Croyde Village Hall in the UK.  As for how I got into music, well, I have to thank my Dad for buying me a record player. He was in the Juke Box business so I had an endless supply of 7″ records. They made great frisbees.  And a massive cheers to my older brother for bringing home a red Fender Strat from a friend he went to boarding school with. I remember the first song I learned was Deep Purple – Smoke On The Water. I then found a book of “Easy To Learn Folk Songs”. As soon as I learned how to play Bob Dylan in front of my Dad, he went out and bought me a guitar of my own. That day changed my life, I was so stoked.  I would say that I’m a rare breed of a musician. I started out playing the triangle & then quickly moved on to the cow bell. From there I learned guitar and tried my hardest to sing. Moved on to play the drums for 20 years and now I am slappin’ the Bass. Next I would like to learn how to play The Great Stalacpipe Organ or the Fluba.  It makes me laugh that I have never had a professional lesson, I can’t read music and I’m half deaf.

What would you say has had the largest impact upon your particular style?

The Ramones. I remember when I first heard The Ramones I was like WTF is this? It was Brilliant! They looked sharp, they had two minute anthems, the wide stance, the three chord songs and they had the best “1234” count in. I remember going to see them in London at Brixton Academy when I was a menehune. It was a life changing gig. To this day if I get to play any Ramones song at a show it brings back nothing but good memories.  RIP Dee Dee, Joey, Marky and Tommy. 1234.

What projects are your currently working on?

I am lucky enough to have a constant rotation of awesome musicians that jam at my house. I have hours and hours of jams recorded that I still need to listen to. Nothing makes me happier than watching my friends make music. I could put my two drum students Kiyo or Yana Poos on the drums and they will keep a pocket for days. That puts a smile on my face.

Past bands/ Albums recorded:
  • Albums: OFF THE WALL ~ The Gap – The Battered Sausage MEET ME AT THE PUB ~ Live @ The Malibu Inn 1 & 2 – Monday Night – Tall Can Wednesday
  • Current Bands:   THE BROBOTS, THE BOATERS Sometimes drums:   HORNY TOAD, THE UNTOUCHABLES
  • Past bands:    THE FUDOGS, BRAW, RAWHIDE, SKEEBALL

Photo by MaÏwenn Raoult

Upcoming Shows:

We play two to three times a week so it’s easy to catch us live somewhere local. Every Friday we play a cool pub in Santa Monica called the Craftsman Bar & Kitchen. You can also find us once a month playing two of my favorite local Venice spots Hinano’s and Surfside. Also, you can catch us in Long Beach, Whittier, Hermosa or Huntington Beach. We post all of our gigs on social media so give us a “Like.”

Best memory/show:

That’s easy. It has to be playing with MEET ME AT THE PUB in the village I grew up in England. We headlined the Oceanfest in 2006 and we got the chance to play in front of thousands. The weather was perfect, the kids were dancing like crazy, my whole English family were there, the beer was flowing, the sound was huge….it was like that gig you’ve always dreamed of.  I was on a high for days after that show.

What advice would you give someone starting out in your field?

Practice, practice and when you think you are good enough practice some more. Play in front of anyone that wants to listen and most important: Don’t be a Wanker.

Picture by: Jeremy Marco

A FEW PERSONAL QUESTIONS:

Favorite book, band or movie?

I’m not much of a reader as I have the attention span of a gnat but I did like The Celestine Prophecy, should I go left or right?   My top 5 favorite bands are The Ramones, The Specials, Steve Miller, Bad Manners, The Police, The Untouchables, The Clash, NOFX, The Cult, The Presidents of the United States of America, Sublime, Joe Jackson, Queen, AC/DC, Bob Marley, Hunters & Collectors &The Hoodoo Gurus. My Favorite movie is Big Wednesday. It’s a classic.

What causes do you support?

Surfers Against Sewage, Habitat for Humanity, The Children’s Tumor Foundation & Firefighter Aid. I will play any show that helps out for a good cause in our community.

Favorite affirmation, mantra, or quote

“These go to 11.” – Nigel Tufnel

Finish off the statement “Music is…

Music is my life. I think Bob Marley said it best ‘The one good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain.’

What’s one thing we can do to make the world a better place?

Stop throwing garbage on the streets, save our oceans.

In this photo: Moises Casillas, Kevin T Williams, Sully, Jeremy Parker and Masao Miyashiro

VENICE QUESTIONS:

Describe Venice:

I’ve seen a huge change in Venice over the last 24 years, the OGs will tell you more stories of how different it is. But I still feel that Venice is the last beach side town in California that is still trying to hold on to its grit. It’s nothing like Hermosa, PB, Santa Cruz or Huntington. Venice still has the crazies, the buskers, the hippies, the muscle heads, the dancers, the fruit booters, the skaters, the punks, the weirdos, the artists, the freaks, the gangsters, the drum circle heads, the stoners……. that’s why I love it because the last time I checked I’m not normal so I fit right in. Venice has a very distinct vibe like nowhere else in the world where you can be yourself and no one is going to judge you & I like that.

Describe your perfect day in Venice:

It would have to be the good ol’ fashion “Pub Crawl”. You can’t go wrong hanging with a bunch of good friends going from pub to pub all over Venice on a hot summer day.

Anything else you want to share about yourself to the world? Fun facts or accomplishments?

I am an amazing Mop salesman and I’m great at teaching dogs how to do tricks.

Mike and his beautiful wife Caree at the 2012 SULLCHELLA.

List any of your favorite Venice businesses, event(s) or activities?

My two favorite pubs are Hinano’s and Surfside, for obvious reasons because the staff are amazing, they always have killer live music and I always get a smile from everyone that works there. That’s important to me, smiles go a long way. As for when my belly is rumbling, that’s a tough one as there are so many amazing places to eat. I have to mention the Cock N Bull because I am English, even though it’s in Santa Monica. I have chowed down and drunk a few pints there since the 90’s. Classic English breakfast and they make the best mince beef pie & chips. Clutch down the street serves tasty dishes and the owner Oscar is super cool and looks after the locals. My wife & I have eaten at Baja Catina a gazillion times but I miss Big Mike the bartender. If you like five star Mexican, again you will have to step out of Venice and try Casa Sanchez.  It’s the bomb, the service is top notch and you get to enjoy a full on Mariachi band.   As for events, I always dig The Venice Spring Fling & The VB Music Fest. Milton Rosenberg is a local legend and works hard at both of these events and it’s always nice to see live music on the beach. Jeffest in Santa Monica is always an epic local party. There’s nothing better than old school back yard parties with a bar-B-Q, keg and a live band. The Venice Art Crawl is always fun – live music & art. THE BROBOTS played a house party on the Venice Canals for the Holiday Boat Parade, that was a riot. Anytime they change the bulbs in the Venice sign, the locals are out partying and swinging from the rafters. The Venice Light Parade, Mardi Gras Parade, Neptune Parade, Abbot Kinney Festival – I  guess there is always something happening somewhere in VENICE. That’s why you have to love what Alex and Edizen Stowell do with this website. You will always be in the know of what is happening.  Also…….In the 20 years of playing drums in Meet Me At the Pub and the hundreds of drum dives we broke a lot of gear. Shane from Time Warp in Mar Vista has fixed a lot of our gear. Good to know if you are a musician that breaks shit. Across the street you can also get a nice haircut by Kaycee B at Floyds.

Among the many musicians and bands here in Venice, who are your favorites?

Back in the day there was a time when I was booking twelve to fifteens bands a night in three different westside clubs so I’ve seen a lot of bands come and go but right now my favorites are Horny Toad, The Untouchables, Fishbone, The Smash Up, House Of Vibe, Back of The Hand All Stars, Jewpanese Brothers, Yikes, Rated X, Tone Def, Luicidal, Beowülf, Ginger Merkin, The Gumbo Brothers, Venice Beach Dub Club, Fly N Lion, Zen Robbi, Tone Def, Stevie Starlight, Christopher Hawley Rollers, Mayaztek, Good Cop Bad Cop, Not A Band, Johnny Hawthorn, Electric Gremlin, Peace Frog, VTA, James Andrews Band, Cristina Vane, The Cardiac Arrest, Rich Sheldon, The Black Stripes, Michael Jost, Los Pochos and sorry if I left anyone out.

In the early 2000’s Brandon Frizzle and I started Acoustic Tuesdays at 14 Below in Santa Monica. Years later my best pal Jeremy Parker continued the night at the Venice Whaler. We had some of the best nights of our lives. It’s good to see that the night continues right here in Venice with Isaac Irvin hosting Open Mic Night at Surfside every Wednesday. This is a great way to meet other local musicians in town.

Sully Pops, Anthony Sullivan, Mike Sullivan, Caree Sullivan and Sully’s Mum!

Who has the best Venice nightlife? Favorite places to watch live music?

Anywhere that has live music is OK with me.

What is your craziest or fondest Venice experience?

Too many crazy experiences. I plead the fifth on this one.

Any shoutouts or thank you’s?

Thanks to everyone I’ve crossed a path with on this crazy ride called life.

Anything else about Venice that you would like to say?

Thanks to Alex and Edizen Stowell from Venice Paparazzi for this opportunity. You guys do a lot for the Venice community and CHEERS to that!

2012 SULLCHELLA. Photos by Venice Paparazzi

Who should Venice Paparazzi cast the spotlight on next?

That’s easy, 100% Masao Miyashiro. He’s got some fun stories and he has perfect hair.

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