Mike Doyle (This Was The Scene Podcast/Lanemeyer) - Sound In The Signals Interview

I recently had the chance to interview Mike Doyle, host of This Was The Scene Podcast and member of Lanemeyer. We discussed a never-before-heard Lanemeyer story, getting artists to open up in interviews, how he got into music and hosting his podcast, and more. Read it below.

First, thanks for the interview.

Hell yeah!

For anyone not familiar with you, you used to be in Lanemeyer and you host a podcast about the late 90s and the early 2000 punk scene. What got you into music and made you want to start a band? On the flip side what made you decide to start This Was The Scene Podcast?

I remember listening to a Sesame Street record when I was really little and just playing it over and over and over because I needed to keep hearing this one song. That progressed to making my older sister play her vinyl version of “I love rock n roll” by Joan Jett on repeat. And later on MTV opened my eyes to bands like Def Leppard, Duran Duran, The Police and so on.

What made me want to play in a band was when I was 7 or 8 and would put on shows with my friends for our parents. We’d dress up with sunglasses, head bands, and wristbands and use tennis rackets to play air guitar to Bon Jovi. It was probably so painful to watch.

Later on I met Chris Barker when I was in High School. He was writing songs and knew how to play guitar so I ended up buying my bass from my buddy Bob Bikel. That led to Chris and I creating Congress of Cow which later morphed into Lanemeyer.

This Was The Scene was started in 2018 because I wanted to do a documentary about the late 90s punk scene but realized this would take a long time and a shit ton of money. I fucking hate waiting to do anything so I thought what could I do today to make some form of documentary happen by tomorrow? Making a podcast seemed like the easiest way to start it. Granted, it’s a lot of work to make each episode happen but I love it.

Something I really like about your podcast is that as an interviewer you’re able to get an artist to open up and share details we’ve never heard before. What do you think it is about your style that causes that to happen?

I’m very open about my life with everyone I meet which makes them feel comfortable opening up with me. I also love listening to people and giving them 100% of my attention because I find what they’re saying so fascinating. I think I use my ability to be vulnerable as permission to ask people personal questions. Granted, they might not give me permission but in my head I’m like, “Why the fuck would you NOT want to talk about this?”

I think I see life as this short amount of time that means absolutely nothing. So why wouldn’t you just have fun with it?

What are a couple of the more surprising things artists have opened up about or said on the show?

The real stuff typically comes out once I stop recording, haha. I get a pretty soft version of people’s opinions about certain things or members of their old band during the actual interview because the tone of the show isn’t to be negative. Granted, there was a recent interview that got me a lot of heat because of what the guest said. However, I cut A LOT out of that interview because it could have been way worse.

There have been a few times when I’ve caught people off guard. Like when Vinnie from Less Than Jake said he was kicked out of school and I asked why. You can hear him totally deflect the question which was great. I also asked Blair from Knapsack a question about Cold Enough To Break, and you can hear him slowly move away from the answer. Granted, I don’t do any of this to make people uncomfortable. I just grant myself permission to ask anyone anything because I’m very honest about my personal life. I constantly talk about how jealous I was of Midtown back in the 90s and how cocky I became in my band. I even tell Heath and Rob from Midtown about this in my interviews with them.

I figure, fuck it. This shit happened 20 years ago so why wouldn’t you talk about it?

One thing I think that stands out is how you’re extremely honest with your thoughts and opinions on bands. I think that it helps the conversations you’re having. Do you have any hesitation about being so honest? Do you ever worry it might cause an artist not to want to be on the show?

Oh totally. I don’t think I could ever have the Descendants or Promise Ring on because I’ve stated many times how I never got into their bands. I would totally love to talk to them about their history because I respect the shit out of what they did but their music never did anything for me. I think it would be completely dishonest of me to pretend that I did.

I treat the podcast like I’m hanging out with my close friends. We’ve always been honest about what albums we think are great and what we think are shit. I just do this now with people I don’t really know while recording it :)

And yes, I think this totally helps the conversation. The last thing I want this podcast to be is some contrived crap where people act like cartoon characters. That shit turns me off and is so uncomfortable to listen to.

I also feel like your podcast has sort of revitalized a lot of bands in the scene you cover. I’ve seen more people talking about those classic bands recently and a lot of it seems to be fueled by all of these interesting conversations that you’re having with them. Have you noticed it at all and what do you think about it?

Totally! It’s absolutely amazing and such a side effect to what this podcast started as. I never thought this would revitalize anything. I definitely knew there would be a small crowd who would listen but nothing like what it’s become.

I selfishly wanted to get answers to questions I’ve had since I was 17. Because of this, people are reconnecting with friends from back then, old bands are releasing songs that have never seen the light of day, reunion shows are happening, and I’m sure there’s been a small spike in punk rock downloads on Spotify.

I’ve also got a shit ton of long emails and DMs from people saying how much they love it. I always feel bad with my replies because I never feel like I can express how truly awesome it is that it’s affecting them so positively.

You’ve talked about wanting to interview Jay from Pinball Records and that he did not want to do it. Are you any closer to getting that interview and what about his interview do you think will fill in the gaps of that scene?

Oh man, I wish I was any closer. I just think his point of view would be sooooo amazing because he’s such a great dude and was so involved in growing the NJ scene. I want to know why he was so passionate and also why he stopped. I would definitely start the interview with why it was such a pain in the ass to get him on, haha. It’s funny because people have asked if I would interview Fat Mike or Fletcher, which I totally would, but interviewing Jay would be a bigger win.

I like the fact that this podcast is giving a spotlight to people who other podcasts aren’t looking to talk to. Like, I bet there are so many people outside of Jersey who are like, “Who the fuck is INSERT NAME?” But to me, everyone I’ve got on is a fucking home run.

What are a couple of your favorite episodes you’ve done and why did you like them so much?
Man, that’s hard. Chris Gethard was one of the top ones because I had no idea who he is, even though he’s pretty famous. His story about Some Kid was absolutely brilliant. I start the interview literally saying that I had no idea who he was or what he wanted to talk about but as it unravels I couldn’t believe the story. That’s my one interview which is a total gateway drug for people who have no idea what the late 90s scene was but they fucking love that episode.

Talking to Chris Barker and Sean Smith about our band Lanemeyer was huge because it was so honest. I also like how I made Chris choke up at the end because he’s been my best friend since I was 14 and wanted to tell him that I love him :)

Some honorable mentions are Boxcar, Jay Jerkoff, Popeye from Farside, Chris from Braid, Benny from Gaslight, Ricky Saporta, Travis from Buddyhead, Tom Martin… the fucking list goes on.

I will say that Chuck from Weston’s interview was one of my biggest wins. That dude was a legend when I was 18 and he didn’t want to be interviewed at first. But I just kept on it because I wanted to ask him so many questions and holy fuck did that episode not disappoint.

What’s the most awkward thing that’s been said or happened on the podcast?

Honestly, not a lot. It’s more awkward for me when someone mentions a band and I’m like “Oh, yeahhh” when I have no idea who they’re talking about. My buddy Bob calls me out on it. He’ll say, “I love it when I can hear it in your voice that you have no idea what they’re talking about.” He knows this because we’ve been friends since we were 14, haha. That’s why I always have my browser open when I’m interviewing because I can quickly Google who they’re talking about. I wouldn’t say it happens a lot but now I call myself out more when it does.

Here’s a couple of things that I’ll call myself out for not knowing in a few episodes:

• Norman from Texas Is The Reason putting out the Anti Matter comp

• The song “Ultimate Devotion” that Wendy Cherry talks about

• Thinking Rob Hitt played in Professor Plum

Granted, they weren’t huge deals but in the moment I was like “Ha, ugh.”

Lanemeyer, like Humble Beginnings, had a lot of members that went on to be in other bands. I remember growing up and being really excited when Day At The Fair signed to Rushmore/Drive-Thru. What were your thoughts when they signed to Rushmore and did you like the album when it was released?

Fuck that band.


Chris is one of my favorite song writers, I remember hearing the demos for the DATF album and was like “Holy fuck, dude.” The Lost, the Lucky and Erasing Wilkes are 2 of the best songs he’s ever written.

By the time they got on Rushmore I was so over ever wanting to do the band thing that I was fired up for him.

Actually, I’ve never thought of this until now. If I was in a band that toured, I think it would have been a blast to go out with those dudes. It probably would have been the only tour where Chris and I wouldn’t have wanted to kill each.

Since you’re unearthing all these awesome stories from others, I feel like I’ve gotta ask, can I get one Lanemeyer story you’ve never told anyone?

Ha, let me think…

We went on tour with Humble Beginnings for 3 weeks and for some reason different members of both bands always got naked. There’s photos of all of us and Set Alpha Six lined up against a wall after a show with our pants down holding our d**ks. There’s also photos of 2 members of Lanemeyer, I’m not one of them, from another tour where they jumped on Whippersnapper’s bus completely naked when we parted ways. It’s hilarious because all of the Whipper boys are huddled in their loft while the other 2 dudes are sitting on their couches rubbing their asses all around.

Other than that, we were pretty lame.

What’s coming up on the podcast as far as guests you’re trying to get or episodes we can expect?

I never tell ;)

They’ve been covered some already, but is there any chance we’ll hear more about the band Outline on the podcast?

I definitely want to get Jack Antonoff on the show because it would be great to hear him talk about Outline, the Jersey scene, and how he’s now printing money. 

I guess that wraps it up. Thanks for taking the time to answer the questions. Do you have anything else that you would like to add?

Nope! I appreciate the questions. Keep me posted if you think of some people who should be on the show!

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