Mike began drumming about the age of ten. His father was a band director, and his uncle a drummer, so he comes by his music naturally. His early influences included Alice Cooper, Uriah Heep, Deep Purple, and specifically, Buddy Rich. At the University of Miami (1982-86), he played a lot of jazz, and toured with Bob James. After college, Mike drifted for a while, session with Asia (he appears on "Then and Now" and "Aqua", although undcedited), Nina Hagen, Phenomena, and Phil Manzanera. After a while he began to work with Asia again, playing on the "Aria" CD and doing the subsequent tour.
Getting involved with Wishbone Ash was the first time Mike had been hired sight unseen (or sound unheard), without an audition. Mervyn Spence recommended him to Andy, and they worked the whole thing out on the phone. Mike was not familiar with Wishbone's music, and says that he was surprised by its diversity in a stylistic sense.
Although all of the current members of the band had the opportunity to learn their parts independently, they did not have a chance to play together as a unit until rehearsals for the tour began in London, just four days before the first concert. Asked his reactions to this situation, Mike said,"I was feeling very relaxed about the whole thing until my drum kit showed up hours late on the first day of rehearsals! We effectively lost a day because of it, so I felt somewhat responsible. Still, the atmosphere was a good one, and once we started playing it was clear that it was going to work. It was great getting to know all the guys, and the energy really started to build as we learned the material. Still, I have no idea how we made it through the marathon set we played at the first gig. It was at that time I dubbed Andy "Sgt. Powell", as it felt as if we had just left boot camp!"
This summer Mike has been involved in a number of different projects; he recorded an album with Adrian Smith (Iron Maiden), and did studio work with Asia, drum tracks for 21 Guns' forthcoming album, and a jazz album with bassist Tony Muschamp and guitarist Frank Gamble. Of his future with Wishbone Ash, Mike says,"I'm doing this tour, and really looking forward to it. Andy has also asked me to be involved on the new record, something else I'm really excited about. Whatever happens, I would like to say how warmly welcomed I've felt, not only by the band, but by the fans as well. I've been taken aback by how enthusiastic everyone has been, and it is very much appreciated."
Raising a family coupled with the instability of being on the road with a rock band, caused Mike to make a decision on his and his family's future. In 1998 Mike decided it was time to hang up his drumsticks, for the time being anyway, and take a teaching job with a local university. We wish Mike the best of luck and respect his dedication to his family. You will be missed!