Jettison The Pod Sparky (30th Anniversary Edition) by Every Damn Day | INTERVIEW
Author: Thommy Delaney

Mike Daly and his band, Every Damn Day, began in the early 1990s when the music scene was changing and different styles of music were emerging. When doing a local college radio show, Lazlo discovered this fine group and praised them for being a band that was beginning to truly go places. Though they have overdriven guitars, they were not grunge at all. EDD was power pop at its best. The band is currently celebrating their quintessential album "Jettison The Pod Sparky" by releasing a remixed, remastered 30th Anniversary Edition. Without any further delay, let's catch up with Mike and find out more about the reissue!

Greetings, Mike! Congrats on the 30th Anniversary of EDD's album, "Jettison The Pod Sparky"! How would you describe your music for someone who hasn't heard you before?

We've mostly been described as "power pop," and it suits us, but to me, there's an obvious "arena rock" component to a lot of our stuff as well. Big guitars, big bass and drums, with sweet harmonies and some complex arrangements.

When we were first starting out, I left a message for Roger Probert, a British guy who managed Kenny's Castaways in NYC, in which I described our music as "loud pop." He called me back and said, "Let's book this bloody 'loud pop' band in the room!" I still think it's an apt description.

When you guys first met, what were some of the artists that you would listen to in order to get inspired to develop your own sound? Were there any influences that you shared with one another?

All of us were fans of the Beatles and Kiss! We also liked The Posies, the Smithereens, Matthew Sweet, and the Gin Blossoms. There was a lot of guitar-based rock coming out and getting played on Top 40 radio then, and I remember us being all over that. But our drummer, Rich, was a real Eighties metal guy. John, the lead guitarist, was a huge fan of Prince and Queen. Jim, the bass player, listened to a lot of Rush and Pink Floyd. It was quite a mix, and many of those bands informed our sound as time went on.

Every song on the album was written by you except for "Spit It Out" and "Taken." After this album, were there any other times where either two of you or the whole group would write a song together?

Absolutely. John wrote several songs for us post-"Jettison." Rich would play electric guitar at home sometimes and come to rehearsal with a cool guitar part he'd found, and we'd build something around it. That's how "Spit It Out" happened.

From a production point of view, I noticed that your sound combines clean and overdriven guitar that miraculously works with the vibe of the band as a whole. When you finish writing songs, do you always envision how the song will sound before you record them in the studio or does that come later?

Some of my songs come fully formed in my mind. I can hear all the parts. But then John, who's a great arranger, would add flourishes that would never have occurred to me. And Jim developed these great melodic bass parts that we wouldn't hear clearly until they were played back for us in the studio: "Wow, have you always played it like that?!" We were able to feed off each other's strengths more and more as we continued playing together. It was a pleasure to experience all the ways these guys would improve on what I'd bring to rehearsal.

"Unconditional Love" is such a classic sounding song. From the vocal harmonies and catchy guitar riffs, the whole song is an earworm from start to finish. Though this was written in the early 90s, this generation can certainly relate to this song. Did you ever imagine that your songs might relate to a generation 30 years after you wrote this song?

"Unconditional" was like a Songwriting 101 course. Someone asked me how I wrote songs. I picked up the guitar, played a couple of chords, hummed a melody, added some changes, improvised some lyrics, and the whole thing came together in about an hour. It's a pretty universal and evergreen theme; people have been pining away for people who don't love them back since the dawn of time. The lyrics are kind of corny to me now, but they do tell a widely relatable story. And I understood the assignment!

When we started talking about releasing "Jettison30," we gave the songs a fresh listen after not hearing them much recently, and we found that a lot of them were timeless. John told us he hated his guitar tone, and we had gotten our original tapes transferred from tape to digital, so we took a shot at having the whole album remixed, and it ended up sounding fresh. And coincidentally, Nineties guitar rock seems to be making a comeback, so, as they say, the stars aligned.

I noticed near the end of "Married To A Memory," you added some guitar harmonies. Where did the idea to add them in that particular part come from as opposed to the whole or other parts of the song?

That's all John, channeling Brian May. He came to the studio armed with that idea, along with so many others. It's definitely the highlight of that song for me.

Out of all the tracks, "Sex With You" is a song that will certainly capture one's attention before even listening to it. Was the song written after a sexual experience you had back in the day?

Actually, that started off as a joke. "All these songs with flowery sentiments about climbing the highest mountain and swimming the biggest ocean - we all know what they're getting at! Why doesn't anybody just say what they really mean?!"

We did a live set one night where at the start of each song, John would ask, "Mike, what's this song about?" Each time, my answer was, "Sex!" Some were not as blatant as others, but true nonetheless!

Do you plan on doing anything else to promote the 30th Anniversary Edition of "Jettison The Pod Sparky"? Perhaps a few live shows?

Never say never, but I moved south for family reasons in 2021, and since then I've had a series of health issues, so it's hard to make plans. I will say that the desire and hope to play live again is there for all four of us.

You have another project that you began back in 2010 called Mike Daly & The Planets. Do you guys have any plans to release new music in the future?

Again, never say never. Ironically, MD&TP was originally conceived as a band with interchangeable parts. I would get to play with a variety of musicians, and I'd never have to turn down a gig due to scheduling conflicts. And it ended up being a set lineup featuring John and Jim from EDD, and our friend Jim Smith on drums. It showed me that there's no substitute for playing in a group of people who are instinctually connected. I've been blessed to have had that with these two bands.

Is there anything you would like to say to our readers?

You mentioned that Lazlo thought EDD was going places back in the day, and he said on one of his shows recently that he was surprised we didn't. To a certain extent, so were we. Fortunately, we didn't experience the real ugly side of the music business, like some of our contemporaries did. We just weren't on the radar of anyone who could have helped propel us forward.

When we first put "Jettison" out on CD, not a lot of bands were doing that, because the minimum order was 1,000 copies and it was expensive. We thought it was a cool idea, and that our material was worthy of being on CD alongside many successful bands of the day. But it was nearly impossible to distribute them to a significant number of record stores, especially the major chains; the only place people could buy them was at gigs.

Now, any band can release their material to all the global music sites. But as hard as it was to get noticed 30 years ago, it's infinitely more difficult now. Still, it matters to me that my records are out in the world, and it's still exciting when a total stranger discovers them, seemingly against all odds, and becomes a fan. I find it to be well worth the effort.

Artist Bio
Founded in 1991 by guitarists Mike Daly and John Reynolds, bassist Jim Van Sickle and drummer Rich Stout, Every Damn Day were based in Haledon, New Jersey, a suburban town in northern New Jersey that spawned The Feelies and their various offshoots. Over the next 15 years, they performed at many of the major clubs in the New York/New Jersey area. EDD self-released two full-length albums and several EPs. Daly, the band's frontman and chief songwriter, currently resides in Mobile, Alabama.

About the Author: Thommy Delaney is a Senior Music Business Major at New Jersey City University. He is also the lead guitarist and a vocalist in the Bayonne Indie pop-rock band BreakTime: a four-piece writing modern pop tunes with generous vintage allusions to artists such as The Beatles, The Beach Boys, and Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Looking for something new to listen to? Be sure to follow BreakTime @breaktimelivenj on social media and stream their music on all platforms.

Return to Homepage