In the fall of 1985, Mike Park began his journey in the music world. His first band Psychiatric Disorder, played blistering punk rock influenced by BLACK FLAG, 7 SECONDS, MINOR THREAT, and THE MINUTEMEN. Unfortunately, the band was horrible. But that was more than twenty five years ago and though the music has changed, the philosophy of punk has remained a staple in the life of Mr. Park. As a member of the now defunct band Skankin' Pickle, Mike Park was able to release five full length records, tour fourteen countries, and make his mark in the independent music world.
In 1996, Park started his own record label Asian Man Records. Modeling it after the successful Dischord Records of Washington, D.C., Park hoped he could create an equal counterpart on the West Coast that stayed true to the spirit of punk ideas and practices. Not to be motivated by capitalism, but by change and action through the power of music. He proudly explains that he still runs his label from his parent's garage, despite having sold over 1,000,000 albums (A commendable feat for any small label). Enlisting the help of just 2 employees (one of whom is his mother), one phone line, a fax line, two computers, and an undersized garage, the label continues to be one of the heavyweights in the indie music community. Even after being offered major label deals, Park has made it clear that he will continue to operate on an independent level. Although he claims that he wants the label to always "STAY SMALL", Asian Man Records now supports over 50 bands, including independent heavyweights Alkaline Trio, Smoking Popes, The Queers, The Lawrence Arms, and many more. With a catalog of well over 200 releases and the celebration of 15 years (June 2011), Mike Park looks forward to continuing his presence in the music community.
Mike Park has also been a strong advocate of racial unity and community activism. Through his music, he has revealed insights into his Korean background. Tackling important issues that plague the Asian American community, as well as social and political issues that Park takes to heart. Continuing to expand upon his commitment to give back to his community of musicians, Mike Park founded the Plea For Peace Foundation (www.pleaforpeace.com). A 501C3 non-profit organization that facilitates benefit tours, CD's, and publications backed by a strong network of bands, labels, charities, and supporters. Founded in 1999, the message is simple: "To promote the ideas of peace through the power of music". The belief that all individuals are created equal and through their efforts, a hope to create a scene of positive minded people to help bring forth action and education in the process of sharing ideas of peace and practical uses of peace in everyday life. In December of 2008, Plea For Peace opened their first youth center in Stockton, California. A center that is open year round for kids who have interests other than sports or the normal medium that schools and peers deem normal. A center that will give youth an outlet to perform music, create art, dance, and talk to others of similar interests. And to create a safe atmosphere in a drug and alcohol free environment.
In November of 2003, Park released his first solo record entitled "FOR THE LOVE OF MUSIC." 2004 saw Park on the road for the first time since 1996, touring with artists such as CURSIVE, SAUL WILLIAMS, ALKALINE TRIO, and ANTI-FLAG. The follow up release entitled "NORTH HANGOOK FALLING" was released on August 23rd, 2005, and may provide the most personal look into Mike Park to date. Lyrics about politics, race, war and his everyday experiences will surely be a breath of fresh air in an industry void of much substance.
In 2006 Park welcomed his first child, daughter Maggie Elizabeth Park to the world. A year off from music and then a second child in 2008(Moses Young Park) brought much change for Mr. Park, but his newfound love for fatherhood has given him new direction. In August of 2011, Park released his first children's album titled "SMILE". Park's son and daughter have given their seal of approval on this one. If you don't like the record, they are to blame. 12 tracks that deal with crossing the street, dancing like a worm, and eating apples. YES, very political!! The tracks are high energy mixing SKA and INDIE POP sounds that will get the kids jumping and ready for nap time.
Touring is not a constant anymore these days, but Park hopes to continue spreading his ideas and music whenever possible.