Paws, Pets & Metal is Metal Insider’s newest column on bands with pets, discovering who watches them on the road, and more. Get to know more about these metal furbabies. We caught up with Whispers In The Maze’s Mike as he revealed his reptilian family.
Tell us more about your pet(s) and their names?
Thanks for asking! Featured in the Poisoning Imagination video (shameless plug) are Spotty (Children’s python), Nemo (Crested gecko), Jaya (Irian Jaya Carpet python) and Darlene & Joe Croaker (White’s Tree frogs). I also brought in some ‘stunt worms.’ to use in various shots. This was a lot of fun to do and an opportunity to showcase these beautiful creatures in an artistic way. I’ve been keeping animals since I was 13 (only mammals at first) and really only got into cold-blooded animals after working at a pet store here in Ottawa. I became the ‘lizard guy’ at the store, and I was hooked from there.
Have you ever taken your pet on tour?
I’ve taken some of my pets to visit friends at home (I brought one of my snakes to our friends’ house as their son had a project to do on people that own interesting pets, so I got the call. haha). They’ve never been on a proper tour, and given the majority of what I own are reptiles/amphibians, this could get fairly complicated for temperature, stress, and safety, so I would probably only do a short weekend tour somewhere and could definitely not sleep in a van.
Who looks after your pet while on the road?
We’ve had a few friends look after my pets at home while we were out of town, and I think some have enjoyed it more than others. Seriously, who doesn’t like snakes, though? Haha. I think my parents have probably done it the most and are great about it, despite thinking the majority of what I own is fairly creepy. If I were to leave town for an extended period of time, I’d definitely have to get someone I know who is comfortable feeding, cleaning and handling these types of animals.
What’s your pet’s favorite song or album?
Glad you asked! Walk with me in Hell by Lamb of God as a song choice, and as an album, a current favourite is Witness by VOLA. Not sure why, but they do seem to have good taste.
How did you introduce your pet to metal?
I’ll often listen to music while I’m doing cleaning, feeding and general care chores with the animals, so I’m not surprised they’ve also developed a fondness for quality music. My male frog, Joe, responds to the bass frequencies in music and will call back loudly. Other than that, I’d like to think that they are as open-minded musically as I am, with a particular fondness for metal.
What animal charity means most to you?
There are so many great animal charities out there, big and small, so I’d encourage you to start local and support charities people may not always think to support – our cold-blooded friends need love, too! If you’re looking for reptile-oriented charities, then check out the Little Ray’s Foundation for Animal Rescue and Education (F.A.R.E.), as they do fantastic work.