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Sludgeaholic Of The Month – May 2004, Mike Nickas


Mike Nickas

This month’s Sludgeaholic has provided us with a variety of Captures and looks like a fun enough guy. Doesn’t he look like the type of guy you’d want to have a beer with? He gave us some long answers and is also a frequent contributor to the Gossip Board.

Congratulations to Mike for being our May 2004 Sludgeaholic Of The Month!

1. Where are you from and how old are you?

I am 25 years old and originally hail from a small pissant town on the Eastern Utah high desert called Price. It was the kind of town where it was pretty difficult to get away with any hi-jinks or shenanigans without your folks finding out. Thankfully I had some pretty cool parents that gave me plenty of freedom and let me find out what was the right and wrong thing to do on my own. I think that made me a well adjusted adult. That’s not to say I didn’t fuck up quite a few things along the road. I wish I’d performed a lot better in school so I would not have had to pay so much for college. My alcoholic phase in my mid-teens certainly didn’t help matters either, other than it showed me that it was a lot more fun to cop a buzz and laugh at the drunk than be the drunk doing the stupid shit. I moved from Price to Salt Lake City when I was twenty to go continue my education, and now that I’m finished I’m trying to earn enough money to move to Southern California, or Vegas or even Arizona where they don’t have winter. God I hate snow.


2. Ambitions: In the immediate future I’d like to finish the PGA’s Professional Golf Management program so I can make a little better money as a teaching pro. That way I can finally move out of Utah and live in a warmer locale. Down the road, I’d definitely like to lose about 75 pounds and get into good enough shape to make a run at the PGA Tour. People tell me I’ve got the game for it, but if you run out of gas on the back nine a good round can turn shitty awful damn quick. I’d also like to do what I can to update golf’s image as a stodgy, stuffy, exclusionary game for old bastards.

Mike with Jack Nicklaus

I respect and understand the tradition that people like Bobby Jones, Ben Hogan, and Jack Nicklaus laid the groundwork for, but the game definitely needs to lighten up and broaden its appeal to everyday folks. Granted, there’s not much I can do immediately for this, but I try. Plus I’m sick of having to wear heavy knit polo shirts and slacks out in the 100 degree heat. For god sakes there are a lot cooler clothes we could wear. Write a book. Oh yeah, and learn to shred on the guitar!

3. Turn-ons: It’s kind of tough to describe but one of the biggest turn-ons is if she has a sort of goofy personality. I’m not talking being out there for the sake of being out there, but I like it if she just sort of marches to a different beat. Being the type of guy who shops at tall and fat stores, I have a tough time being picky, but she’s got to look better than me (not too tough) and smell better than me. That might be tough to do; I’m kind of a germ-phobe and take about four showers a day. I also like the well-read, ambitious, intellectual types that I can have a good conversation with and be challenged by. Of course a smokin’ bod, a good short game and a love for hard rocking good times only add to the appeal.

4. Turn-offs: A controlling attitude lasts about 5 minutes with me. It took me a lot of time and effort to end up with the personality and attitude I have now please don’t try to change it, it will probably change on its own the next time I screw up anyway. I also don’t have a whole lot of respect for a lack of ambition. There were too many people that I grew up around that never saw anything for themselves past the county line. It drove me crazy. It’s a big world and I think everybody should at least have the desire to experience some of it. And then the usual turn-offs like poor hygiene, black lung and a lack of responsibility.

5. How long have you been coming to Metal Sludge?

I first caught up with ya’ll at probably the jumping on point for at least 75% of your loyal fan base and that would be the legendary Nikki Sixx 20 Questions in May of 1999. Since then it’s been at least five times a day, even when it isn’t practical. From my college graduation, up until a year ago I had no internet access at home, so I’d have to sneak in on the work computer during my shift. Then the boss blocked our internet access in the office so I had to hit the public library on my way home every day like a junkie needing a fix. Sure, people might say I’ve wasted a lot of time, but damn it, it is well worth it now!

With Bowling For Soup

6. Favorite bands: Well, the big three for me have always been The Rolling Stones, Alice Cooper and Metallica. The Stones kind of laid the groundwork for the kind of dark not-always-nice rock and roll attitude that I’ve always found appealing. They always seemed to me the antithesis of the Beatles peace and love kind of attitude. Alice Cooper I’ve always respected as probably one of the most original artists ever to come from this country. The fact that he’s really a normal guy makes his work seem a little edgier to me. Plus he credits golf with saving his life and I feel the same way. Metallica, for all the shit they take, and most of it is deserved, was the band I grew up on and nothing’s going to change the fact that there was usually one of their tunes playing during some of my most memorable moments growing up. I have a tough time just walking away from that. Aside from those three, I dig the standards, Zeppelin, AC/DC, Sabbath, The Blizzard’s solo work, Guns N’ Roses, L.A. Guns, Mötley Crüe, Van Halen, Anthrax, Def Leppard, Megadeth, Love/Hate Slayer, Pink Floyd, Poison, Tesla, Skid Row, Cheap Trick, Tuff, Jackyl, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Aerosmith, Bon Jovi, The Cult, and pretty much every band that made up the late 80’s early 90’s hard rock scene. As far as newer stuff goes, I like Butch Walker’s stuff, The Brides of Destruction, Josh Todd and Buckcherry, The Supersuckers, Pantera, Killingbird, Fear Factory, White Zombie/Rob Zombie, Halfcocked (wish they were still around), Lit, Clutch, Bowling For Soup, here goes all my cred – The Darkness and Andrew W.K., and pretty much most of the other newer bands that have a little melody to them and might name the Crüe as an influence. What do you call that? Nü-Glam? Fuck if I know. I credit Sludge and the Sludgeaholics with introducing me to about a zillion awesome bands I never would have heard of otherwise.

7. Least favorite bands: Well, I can’t say I hate all rap music, because I sort of liked it back in the days of Public Enemy and NWA when it was a bunch of pissed off black dudes that had something to say. As soon as it started being marketed for a mostly white suburban audience and became about nothing except what Ice Cube used to say, “Life ain’t nuthin’ but bitches and money” it completely lost its edge and all appeal to me as a musical genre. Now, I’ve always said that disposable pop music could lead to the end of society, and lo and behold we have the Janet-Justin Super Bowl incident which has all the so-called “moralists” up in arms now about the “decay” of decency in America. They are now leading the charge to have just about anything that might be thought of as edgy, or rebellious removed from public view. The problem is, there are people in charge now giving them a sympathetic ear as opposed to just laughing them off as a bunch of lunatics. Sure disposable pop music probably isn’t to blame, but that incident pulled the trigger. I never was a fan of grunge bands like Nirvana, Nü-metal acts like Korn, neo-shockers like Marilyn Manson, or message rockers like Rage Against The Machine. But that’s mostly because their typical fans usually got on my nerves. I mean, my musical tastes are anything but high-brow, but damn, life can’t possibly be as fucked up as some of these folks make it sound. There’s got to at least be a spark of optimism in there somewhere. I sure as hell don’t want to hear any depressing shit or self important pretentiousness in the music I listen to. I just want to have a good time. And don’t get me started with shit like Dave Matthews and Hootie and the Blowfish, every goddamn Pro on the circuit likes those bands and I can’t stand it!

8. What do you do for a living?

I’m currently a golf professional at the University of Utah Golf Course. I help manage the whole operation and also teach lessons and golf classes at the University. I’ve been working in the golf industry since I was fifteen years old and have literally done everything there is to do in this business. I serviced golf carts and managed a driving range at a country club in my hometown which was a lot like Caddyshack. When I moved to Salt Lake I worked as a starter, range picker upper guy, and greens keeper at a local municipal course in a shitty neighborhood. I broke into the professional world last year when I was brought in to teach some summer kids golf camps at the University of Utah. Our head professional, James Kilgore, liked my work and hired me on as his assistant. While I was in college I worked as a student assistant for the Westminster College Griffins Men’s Basketball team. During the season I still serve as their public address announcer for home basketball games.

9. Any formal education: During my senior year of high school in 1997, my mom split on us for some tall drink of white trash fucktard. My dad was kind of messed up by it, so I turned down a chance to play some big-time college golf to attend the local junior college in Price, The College of Eastern Utah. I had to make sure my pops would be all right you know? I graduated from CEU in 1999 with an associate in science degree. From there I transferred to a small (about 2500 students), private school in Salt Lake City called Westminster College. It was pricey, and I probably could have gotten just as good an education elsewhere for a lot cheaper, but the friends I made and the experiences I had made it worth every damn penny. We could also drink in the very coed dorms (a major no-no at every other Utah school). Plus I still got my chance to play college golf at Westminster. I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Psychology with a minor in history (my thesis was on Alice Cooper!) in June of 2002.

10. If you could bang any Sludgette of the Month, who would it be?

Well, they all have one of my turn-ons in common, a love for hard rock. And it seems like quite a few have the goofy thing going as well. But, here comes the copout, I can’t pick just one. They’ve all got qualities that make them unique and I dig that. I would like to send a shoutout to that sexy little cheeto Ette, she’s the only one I’ve ever actually met in person at the ill-fated MSX Salt Lake City Tour Stop (details here: http://www.metal-sludge.com/MSXSaltLakeCity.htm, and here: http://www.metal-sludge.com/MSXTourDiary6-23.htm). I’m hoping to meet more superfine Sludgettes at the Sludge’n in L.A. trip this summer!

11. Salt Lake City is known for having some of the wildest groupies in the country. Do you think that’s true and have you hooked up with any freaky chicks out there?

Well, I think there might be something to that. Utah, as a general society has somewhat religiously repressive social norms. From what I’ve seen and read the Mormon Church has quite a few rules when it comes to socialization in regards to what age you are supposed to date (not until you’re sixteen), and who you are supposed to date (dating members of other faiths is strongly discouraged unless you can bring them into the fold). This is pretty fertile ground for young adult rebellion. There were a few occasions back in the day where I was able to take advantage of having a “bad boy” image. I’m really not, but I don’t belong to their faith, so I can see how I might appear that way to some of those girls that were tired of being held down. If going to an R-rated movie with me, an Orthodox Christian, can be seen by these girls as a way to piss off the old man, imagine if you are a hard rock act, say W.A.S.P. and you’re pillaging your way across the countryside on tour. You would be the ultimate symbol of rebellion against the standards your faith and parents set for you. That might be an extreme example, but it makes it understandable. Once most of these girls are married in their church, all fun outside of the family context starts going downhill, so you can also see it as sort of a sowing of their wild oats before they settle down. I’ve had the “I don’t want you seeing my daughter” talk from several dads over the years and all I can think is, “you don’t really know her too well.”

That being said, I really haven’t hooked up with too many freaky chicks over the years, I usually leave that up to my friends. One good story though. On my college golf team there was this girl that was a good little Mormon girl as long as her dad was around, but on the road that’s another story. It was the team’s first year of existence and I was like the old man on the squad, three years older than everybody else. We were staying the night in West Yellowstone on the way to a tournament. Now on the road I’d room with this redheaded dude named Zack who gave off sort of a “Natural Born Killers” vibe which is to say I was the only one on the team who wasn’t afraid of him. I thought it was funny. Anyway, I stop in the grocery store next to our hotel and pick up two cases of Alaskan Amber beer to bootleg home because we can’t get it here. I get back to the room and he’s in there with that chick hanging out watching “True Romance” on the TV. Zack comes up to me, stoned to the bejeezus, “can we borrow some beer, man. We’re hitting the hot tub, man.” “Go ahead bro, I’m icing down my knees and hitting the sack.” I replied, not knowing something truly beautiful and twisted for those two was probably going down in the future. They split for the hot-tub. I pass out watching “Armageddon.” At about 2:30 in the morning I wake up, shake the cobwebs out of my eyes and look over to see those two crazy kids basically making a porno in the bed next to mine. Aw hell, they did it all! But what do you do? It was obviously a beautiful moment for the two of them, who am I to spoil it? So I tried to go back to sleep, but it just wasn’t happening. An hour and a half later, I hear her ask him, “Isn’t it a turn on, doing it with another man in the room?” “Oh, yeah!” was that crazy bastard’s reply. The next day, I’m drinking my coffee and eating toast in the motel lobby and pretty much the whole women’s team started badgering me wanting to know why their teammate never came back to their room last night. They probably didn’t want to know the truth about that one. Those two are probably on a cross-country killing spree as we speak.

12. Something I do every weekend: Well, I’m in season so no matter what it involves a golf course. We don’t get holidays or weekends off so I’m usually working all weekend. On the weekends I’m not in the shop, I try to play local mini-tour golf tournaments. I also try to catch at least one rock and roll show every weekend whether it be local or a major act. We get skipped on most major tours though, so it’s usually local. Weekends usually involve a little bit of liquor somewhere in there.

with Andrew W.K. 

13. Yes or no, have you ever:

Met a member of the Osmonds = I think I met Marie when I was eight years old. She showed up at our shitty county fair, I don’t think anyone knew who she was. I think I asked her something about if she was still dating Face from the A-Team (my favorite show at the time). She just turned and walked away.

Jacked off in an igloo during The Olympics = No, but I did get grazed in the ass with a rubber bullet downtown during a so called “riot situation” (translation – police over reaction) on the final night before the closing ceremonies. I got caught up in a mob of people running from the cops while I was just trying to mind my own business and get a beer.

Gone swimming in Great Salt Lake = There’s so much salt in that lake, even my fat ass can’t sink!

Punched a Mormon = In high school, but it had nothing to do with him being a Mormon; it had more to do with him being an asshole. God knows I’d like to sometimes though, they really like to push people around in this state. I don’t know how they are elsewhere, but here, they run the show politically and socially and they know it.

14. A good thing to do in Salt Lake City is: Pound some brews and ogle the hotties at the best club in town, Port o’ Call, wake up hung-over the next day and play a round of golf at the University of Utah Golf Course! Oh yeah, and give the missionaries some spare change and walk away when they come up to you. I always found that mildly amusing. There’s not much else to do. I guess I found my niche! 

with Butch Walker

15. How do you feel about being our May 2004 Sludgeaholic of the Month?

This is one hell of an honor to have my name mentioned along with such luminaries as Jim Bob Dwarf, Arkansas Cracker, Soichi Masuda, CC Banana, and the rest of the legends. I really appreciate this opportunity. In addition I’ve got to say that the Gossip Board fucking rules and has introduced me to some awesome people and perspectives from all over the country and I’m proud to represent those folks for a few weeks as the Sludgeaholic of the Month. God bless this site for making certain people and publications check themselves. I’m willing to bet some of those rock stars scale down their assaholic behavior when they see a Sludge shirt in the crowd, because they know, if they fuck up, everybody will know about it. That’s power!

16. Personal Motto: Stolen from a little known Richard Dreyfuss comedy from 1989 called “Let It Ride” – “You could be walkin’ around lucky, and not even know it.”

Thanks again for the opportunity to represent as the Sludgeaholic of the month! It only took five hours to answer all these questions! I’d like to give a shoutout to everybody on the Gossip Boards, that shit is always entertaining! And if you’re in Salt Lake on vacation or business and you want to play a little golf or hit the town, give me a ring at the University of Utah Golf Course and we’ll tee it up! Also if you are on myspace.com feel free to add me at manofsteel169@hotmail.com! Take it easy folks!

Congratulations to Mike for being our May 2004 Sludgeaholic Of The Month!

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