Travel Profile: Michael Sheils of Dinosaur Pile-Up
By Dean Azriel | Published on July 26, 2017
Travel Profile: Michael Sheils of Dinosaur Pile-Up

United Kingdom-based “grunge revivalists” Dinosaur Pile-Up have been said to have “a sense of melody that falls somewhere between Nirvana and Failure.” The gents dropped their record “Eleven Eleven” in August 2016, with their song “Grim Valentine” continually spinning at radio stations across the globe and their album title track “11:11” receiving over four-million streams on Spotify. Always keeping busy, they’ve been on the road touring with Chevelle, as well.

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Dean Azriel: Coming from Leeds in West Yorkshire, England, describe the country as whole. What stands out to you and makes it special? What’s one sight you would suggest a first-time visitor to see when they’re in town?

Michael Sheils: As a whole it’s got some really cool cities. We all live in London now, which is really cool. Matt and I live in South London. It’s a bit more gritty, but I live in a posher area. All the tourist stuff is cool in London, I would send a first-timer to all those spots. If your into going out to bars, East London is pretty cool. It’s a bit more independent.

Travel Profile: Dinosaur Pile-Up© Peter Coughlan

DA: As someone who’s consistently creating music, and traveling to promote it, what do you think is the most impactful and meaningful part of it? Does traveling around inspire you creatively to make music?

MS: Matt [Bigland (lead singer and guitarist)] will come up with an idea, and a lot of the times he’ll get those from places that we’ve been to or things that we’ve seen while we been touring. A lot of the ideas start while we’re on the road, then we’ll go into the practice room and perfect them. One of the last songs on [our third album] “Eleven Eleven”, “Cross My Heart”, was written on the airplane from Japan. Everyone else was asleep on the flight.

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DA: Just goes to show you can be inspired anywhere on your travels. Speaking of your third album, how do you feel it’s been received? Talk about your excitement you’ve had for your latest run of shows with Chevelle?

MS: It’s been amazing special in America, they’ve welcomed it with open arms. We’ve been really lucky to get radio play and a lot of support from influential people over there. It’s been received well when we go out to play it live. We’ve been able to give it a run out a few times and it went very well, especially at the festivals. We’ve played a few support shows already with Chevelle. We did quite a few festivals a month ago, and the turn up was, and has been, amazing. The crowd has been just brilliant for these shows. Playing with Chevelle has been amazing. We cant wait to get back out again with them.

DA: That’s awesome to hear. How does music and travel complement and go hand-in-hand with each other?

MS: We do a lot of touring and always have something playing on the radio. Or, Matt’s always got the guitar in the back and he’s writing songs during the long journey. Sometimes we really needed the music to keep us going or well go insane, especially on something like the 16-hour journey that we’ve got across America. I’m fortunate to have a bit more of a broader music taste. It’s hard to keep playing the same couple albums over and over again. I really love country music. I really got into it while we were doing out last tour. I think they definitely go hand-in-hand. You can’t have a good road trip without a good soundtrack.

DA: For sure! I couldn’t imagine taking a road trip without my favorite jams. When searching for a personal getaway, are you looking for a serene beach, up in the mountains somewhere or in a city? Why?

MS: I’d be looking into a city trip, cause I get a bit bored after a couple of days on the beach. In the city there’s plenty to go do, see and experience. I like pizza and barbecue. I’m always looking for cool spots to get food. I also love the culture in cities. Really anywhere that’s got cool museums or places to go see.

Travel Profile: Dinosaur Pile-Up© Pedro Szekely

DA: Finding the best-local foods is definitely one of my favorite travel rituals for a new destination. One of our core objectives at SCP is to bring people together while traveling, not only to influence people to see and appreciate our beautiful world, but to also minimize cross-cultural divides. What effect does traveling around music have on humans in this regard? How has it broadened your perspective of the world?

MS: Through playing music in a lot of different countries, and traveling a lot, we’ve been able to meet a lot of different people from all walks of life. When we played music in India, we got to meet people from a completely different background, who have a completely different perspective on every type of issue. It was really cool to meet people who look at things and grew up learning differently. Interacting with all different types of people can open your mind. I look at things in different ways than I did in the past from it.

DA: Sounds like you’ve had quite a few cultural experiences. Everyone has a list of places they want to see, but haven’t yet. What are three destinations that you still need to hit? Why?

MS: I would definitely like to go see Petra in Jordan. I think that would be awesome. I really want to go to South America — Brazil or Argentina. Those are two big ones on my list — Australia too. I’ve heard some really good things.

Travel Profile: Dinosaur Pile-Up© J.K. Byram

DA: I hope you get to hit all of those.Most destinations have a festival that they’re known for, whether it’s Mardi Gras in New Orleans or Oktoberfest in Munich. Which one would you choose to attend? Why?

MS: Definitely Mardi Gras! we went through Louisiana around the time Mardi Gras was happening. We were up in Baton Rouge for one night, and everyone we met said if we got the chance we had to go. It’s such a massive movement and celebration, so that’s something I’d like to go do someday.

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DA: It certainly is one of the best known parties that takes place here in the states. When you’re relaxing on a beach, or just have some downtime, what music are you listening to?

MS: I have a really expansive taste in music. I like anything from Kendrick Lamar and hip-hop, to guitar bands similar to us, like Nirvana or Foo Fighters. Pop is one of my guilty pleasures. I’ll listen to current pop music like Justin Bieber. I have a really broad taste.

Travel Profile: Dinosaur Pile-Up

DA: Sounds like you’d have quite the music library. After the tour wraps up in August do you have any vacations planned? What’s next after that?

MS: We’ve got a headline tour in the UK in November. Then my girlfriend and I are planning on doing a road trip for a few months. Well be busy. It’ll be just like touring, but with places interesting to us.

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For more on Dinosaur Pile-Up visit their website:

Travel Profile: Dinosaur Pile-Up

About The Writer
Dean Azriel

By: Dean Azriel | Published on July 26, 2017

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