Bear World Playlist Featured Artist: Mike Maimone

This week’s Bear World Playlist Featured Artist is Mike Maimone!

Songs on Playlist: “Stay” and “Dirty”

Current City: Nashville, TN

Hometown: Ashtabula, OH

Mike Maimone
Photo Credit: Mike Maimone

Bear World Magazine: What can you tell us about “Stay” and “Dirty”?

Mike Maimone: “Stay” is based on a true story. I was living with my boyfriend, we had a fight, and I packed up everything I owned, got a hotel room by the airport, and tried to figure out what I’d do next. But I missed our dog. And then I missed him. 

So I didn’t even spend the night there, I just drove home and unpacked. I wanted to write a love song about those really turbulent moments in a long-term relationship. I also wanted to have someone tell the other side of the story, since it takes two people to make a relationship work. Or not work. So I asked JC Brooks if he would join me on the track, and he did a great job with it. He also co-directed and is editing the music video, which should be out soon.

It’s also the latest song that I produced, recorded, and mixed myself. I’ve been really enjoying that part of the process. And when the pandemic hit, I was glad that I had the ability to finish and release my own songs. I made a quarantine album, and then a video for each song, each with a different character that all fit together into a full-album music video. It’s called isolation:001:the movie. The track “Dirty” is my favorite because it translated the best from me creating the song alone in my studio to performing on stage with a band. 

Mike Maimone
Photo credit: Melissa Alderton
BWM: You were based in Chicago for years before heading south. Did the relocation affect your sound, style or writing?

MM: I don’t think the move has affected my sound. I had started writing some more Americana-leaning music before I got to Nashville. And since I got here, I’ve written some of my poppiest songs (like “Taste U”) and some bluesy rock songs that could’ve been Mutts tracks (“Tommy Dakota Theme”). I’ve never really had a focus in terms of genre. 

Mike Maimone
Photo credit: Melissa Alderton
BWM: What musical accomplishment (performance, recording, what have you) from recent years are you most proud of and why?

MM: Definitely isolation:001:the movie getting into film festivals, and then getting to perform it live at Hobnobben Film Fest in Fort Wayne. They said they wanted to show it in its entirety. I asked if I could perform the audio live while the movie played and they were into it. So I made a version without vocals or piano, and did those parts live. The audience cheered during “Dirty” when I busted out the Progress flag, and that was an emotional moment! 

BWM: What is one physical and one non-physical trait you find drop-dead sexy in a guy?

MM: Physical is chest hair, for sure. Non- physical is intelligence. 

BWM: Who is your current celebrity crush?

MM: I’m not really sure… I’m really bad with celebrity names. 

BWM: Who are your biggest musical influences over the years? Do you have a favorite LGBTQ artist?

MM: My biggest inspiration comes from Fiona Apple, St. Vincent, Beastie Boys, Randy Newman, Dr. John, and Tom Waits. I recently saw Todrick Hall, and the show kinda blew my mind. I feel like I need more costume changes in my set…

Photo Credit: Chris Rugowski
BWM: What can we expect next from you?

MM: I have a few more singles scheduled to come out the rest of the year. And I’m working on an acoustic version of my album, Broke, Not Broken. I was in the hospital with pericarditis when that record came out last June, and I had to cancel my record release tour. So I want a redo. I’m doing the whole record again, this time just me and my piano. It’s going to be called Broken Down, Not Broken.

Photo Credit: Mike Monaco

Hear Mike Maimone and other sexy artists on the Bear World Playlist!
Follow Mike Maimone on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

BWM Staff

Our Staff Writing Team works hard to bring you great content and share news & events from the bear community and beyond.