Musicians: Mike Lockrem

Warehouse Guy Bottoms Out in Local Band
By Jody Wood

Don’t get the wrong idea, both the guy and the band are doing fine. The guy is Mike Lockrem, long time South Coast employee, and bass player for local reggae band Vegitation. He’s been around the warehouse for about five years now, while holding down the bottom end of the Ocean Beach based band’s rhythm section. He’s done about every job in the place and plays a big role in things going smoothly. The same can be said for his role in Vegitation, which has several shows in Hawaii this month, along with shows at Winston’s and the Ocean Beach Street Fair and Chili Cook Off. Mike spends most of his time outside of South Coast either working with his band or in his recording studio, where he works well into the night recording other artists and friends.

Here’s a quick question and answer session with Mike, who stayed late to work this into his busy schedule.

How long have you been in Vegitation?
Five and a half years.

How has working at South Coast been good for you as a working musician?
South Coast has been really cool with letting me go on the road. Very few jobs would be that understanding.

Vegitation travels around quite a bit. Name a few of the biggest shows over the last few years.
We’ve played in Amsterdam, Costa Rica, and all over the west coast. We’ve played with The Skatalites, Barrington Levy, John Brown’s Body, Wailing Souls, and Ras Michael, among others.

Didn’t you record most of Vegitation’s last record?
Family Strong was my first attempt at recording an entire record. Most of it was done in my living room and bathroom. I learned lots of things not to do, but really enjoyed being in control of our own sounds.

What kind of projects are going on in your studio?
I’m currently working with lots of artists, from reggae to rock and singer-songwriter stuff. Although it can be difficult to handle the hours between South Coast, the band, and the studio, it’s my dream to be an engineer and producer. I’m young. I’ll sleep when I’m dead.

Vegitation is huge on, what’s up with that?
We recently hit 50,000 plays. I don’t personally handle the page, but apparently that’s a lot.

Your band writes socially conscious lyrics. If there’s a message in there, what would you say it is?
Our songs range in content, but I think the most basic message throughout is respect. Both for yourself, your neighbor, and the planet.

Any upcoming show you want to plug?
We’re off to Maui for five dates. Maybe I’ll even go surfing!

Vegitation is scheduled for Winston’s on June 20th , and the Ocean Beach Street Fair on June 30th.. Check out their myspace page for a sample of their music. Dubbed “original rebel reggae”, Vegitation blends roots, reggae, jam, dub, and organic psychedelia with a positive vibe and relevant lyrics.

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