My Town My Music’s Local Artist Spotlight

Our next Spotlight features Mike Terrill, bassist of local indie grunge punk trio Second Story. I met Mike at a Minnesota Music Coalition meeting just a few months ago, and I was struck by his open, friendly energy. I had mentioned that we were starting a music promotion business, and he immediately offered his assistance, should we ever need it. So, naturally, I thought of his band right away when considering artists for our local artist feature.

During high school and college, music became a primary outlet for Mike. He spent hours learning to write and record, which kept him away from the rabble and helped him forge some lifelong friendships. While watching live music documentaries, he was fascinated by the way his favorite bands could energize and influence an audience. He knew it was something he wanted to do, too.

These days, Second Story have been busy performing around town. They went animalistic at Elysium III – The Zoo, and most recently opened for Caroline Smith at Forager Brewing. Recording is also in the works—the band will be heading back to the studio to lay down a handful of songs that they have written. Also newly released from Second Story is a video for their current single “Long Story Short”, filmed in one take right here in downtown Rochester. It’s up on their Facebook page, and the song is available as a name-your-price download on their website:

Mike Terril and Second Story, Rochester MN
Second Story at Forager, photo by Will Forsman

What particular experiences have shaped you as a musician/performer?
An endless number of experiences have shaped me. From hearing “Say it Ain’t So” by Weezer for the first time, writing my first song, playing in the battle of bands in school, or playing for sold-out shows with my first band, Runway 36, in The Cities. Every show gives you something to grow on.

Meeting which artist would turn you into a big pile of nerd?
I always thought about what it would be like to meet Rivers Cuomo from Weezer. How do I explain to them how much the music impacted me in a short period of time? I think I would just have to say, “Thank you.”

What does live performance mean to you? Why is it important to our community?
If you can captivate an audience, or be a part of a captivated audience, it is a special experience. Everyone becomes one as they sway/jump/rock out to the music together. It brings everyone together to a place that can’t be recreated on a youtube video or streaming on Spotify. The feeling of the bass in your chest and the sweat of a room as everyone dances…it’s only an experience you can have at a live show.

Mike playing with Second Story at Kathys
Mike playing with Second Story at Kathy’s – (Photo via Facebook)

What do you see as strengths of the Rochester music scene?
Community is the biggest strength we have. We all promote each other and suggest each other for show opportunities.

What aspects of the local scene do you feel could use improvement/more attention?
Places to play. Places where music is the focal point rather than background entertainment. And all ages—we don’t have any music shows that high school kids can go to.

What is your idea of a perfect venue, as a performer and/or fan?
A perfect venue is a room where the stage is the focal point. Nothing huge, 200 to 500 people max. No TVs playing a game, just people performing their art.

What is the best concert you’ve seen in Rochester?
Probably Lucius at the Riverside Concerts. Or Wilco at the Civic Center.

What artist(s) would you love to see come to Rochester?
Just more mid-level talent. Some talents The Current promotes, bands like Hippo Campus, Har Mar [Superstar], TV on the Radio, Car Seat Headrest, Father John Misty, etc.

You can catch Second Story for FREE at Salute to the 4th and opening for Dessa, at the July 16th Riverside Concert. Now go! Support local music!

My Town My Music Presents the Rochester Local Artist Showdown

Calling all musicians!

My Town My Music is hosting a friendly competition for local music performers. We’re looking for artists of all kinds. This competition is intended to showcase all the talent Rochester’s music scene has to offer.  The community narrows the performers to five acts with an online vote, and the top five will perform live on September 9th!

Think you have what it takes to win the Local Music Showdown?

Join the competition!