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Mike Viola Releases 'Creeper,' a Tribute to Friend Adam Schlesinger

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Mike Viola is a Grammy®-nominated producer, musician, songwriter and singer.

Mike Viola Releases 'Creeper,' a Tribute to Friend Adam Schlesinger

Mike Viola is a Grammy®-nominated producer, musician, songwriter and singer best known for his work with Panic! At The Disco, Mandy Moore, Jenny Lewis, Ondara, Matt Nathanson and Fall Out Boy. His original music has been featured on soundtracks for movies such as "That Thing You Do!," "Get Him To The Greek," and "Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story."

Viola's latest album Godmuffin arrives Dec. 11th via Good Morning Monkey / Grand Phony preceded by the single "Drug Rug" on Sept. 25th.

Music lives in Mike Viola. s, it's his last name, right?

Godmuffin (Good Morning Monkey / Grand Phony, Dec. 11th) even opens with strings and man, do they tug.

Hard.

"Don't be afraid, no don't be afraid / We still have time, we still have time / There's so much I wanna do"

"I wrote 'Creeper' the morning I got the news my close friend died," Viola says. "He was my age. Now he can't make music. I still can. I can still spend my time looking for the secret cause, the next new song, even when it feels too late, 'cause I still have time."

Viola's friend is the artistically immortal, Adam Schlesinger, to whom Viola will forever be publicly tied as the voice of his friend's perfect, Oscar®-nominated pop song "That Thing You Do!"

At any other time, this association would be a fun fact. A bullet point in a career full of them. But right now it's painful to listen to with Viola's real-life tragedy in mind. Somehow, he makes it sound beautiful.

Godmuffin follows-up Viola's 2018 album The American Egypt, and is his first return in over a decade to the more conventional rock and pop sound that he first broke through with as front man of Candy Butchers during that band's string of major label records in the late-90s to mid-2000s.

Godmuffin was written and recorded alone in Viola's home studio. He describes it as "11 songs about transformation" and Viola isn't afraid to let you see.

"It's youthful in the chances it takes," he says. "It doesn't give a f."

In the face of fine-tuning everything into oblivion, Godmuffin is the least experimental-sounding experimental record you'll hear this year. Viola records on half-inch tape and mixes on a vintage Auditronics console without the advantage of digital editing.

"The recording is linear, 'cause I can't punch and fix things very easily, especially when I'm playing drums. On the computer, you can repair all of your mistakes 'til you sound perfect. Or even worse, tune or beat detective the life out of it. I prefer rock music that's beautifully flawed."

"It's human," he says.

"Only the dead get to heaven / Here on earth we just get lost"

Human it is.

Viola sings the chorus of the album's first single "Drug Rug," and it's as if you're listening to recently re-discovered dedications from a high school yearbook.

It's not nostalgia, it's time traveling written from the point of view of the graduated Viola, "who's spent a lifetime doing windmills on Big Star guitars, slick with Todd Rundgren syrup hand-drawn from the tree."

Elsewhere on Godmuffin, Viola sings about being a teenager ("USA Up All Night"), about being the father of teenagers ("The Littles," "Ordinary Girl"), and even offers up a sequel ("Superkid 2, Trying To Do The Thing I Was Born To Do") to a previously released song ("Superkid") about being a teenager.

Youthful. Not giving a f.

Is there a time in our lives when we feel more invincible? Godmuffin is the sound of fearlessness.

Listen to "Creeper" here:


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