Daily Discovery: Mike Mentz, “Cigarette”


Videos by American Songwriter

In 2013, Mike’s single “Cigarette” rode the Nashville Songwriters Association International’s Top 40 Chart for 4 months. An avid traveler, he has performed in over 25 countries, and his last 15 recorded songs were written in 12 cities including Chicago, Paris, Cozumel, Helsinki, Dublin, Barcelona, Tallinn, Nashville, and the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

ARTIST: Mike Mentz

SONG: “Cigarette”

BIRTHDATE: December 7th, 1983

HOMETOWN: Northbrook, IL


AMBITIONS:  Traveling to and playing in every country in the world

TURN-OFFS: Intolerance and negativity

TURN-ONS: Confidence and pancakes

DREAM GIG: 1000+ sold out beach show on a private island in Thailand, sharing the bill with Jason Mraz and Fountains of Wayne. And the whole thing would be sponsored by Guinness, which would flow abundantly.

FAVORITE LYRIC: “Now maybe there’s a god above/but all I’ve ever learned from love/is how to shoot somebody who outdrew ya/it’s not a cry that you hear at night/it’s not somebody who’s seen the light/it’s a cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah” — The impossibly beautiful work of Leonard Cohen

CRAZIEST PERSON I KNOW: Al Rahn, frontman of L.A. art rock ensemble Sixstep. We’ve traveled and performed together many times, and he’s one of my favorite people in the world. Pipes like an angel and couldn’t give less of a shit what anyone thinks about him. Never a dull moment.

SONG I WISH I WROTE: “I Can’t Make You Love Me” by Mike Reid & Allen Shamblin (recorded by Bonnie Raitt & many others)

5 PEOPLE I’D MOST LIKE TO HAVE DINNER WITH: Emmy Rossum, Noel Gallagher, Daniel Quinn, the late George Carlin, President Jed Bartlet

MY FAVORITE CONCERT EXPERIENCE: Oooo that’s gotta be Jason Mraz outdoors at the Charter One Pavilion in Chicago right on Lake Michigan. Perfect weather, crowd dancing and singing, Jason rocking barefoot on a carpet with his badass horn section bringing the house down. The show was filmed for his “Live On Earth” DVD actually, which I still haven’t seen…I need to relive that.

I WROTE THIS SONG: I wrote Cigarette about a flight delay I experienced at O’Hare Airport in Chicago. I had multiple hours to kill, so I found a seat at the Chicago Cubs Bar. A charming lady sat down next to me. We hit it off quickly and dove into the feeling, talking for hours while knowing full well we most likely wouldn’t see each other again. The situation struck me as particularly beautiful. It doesn’t matter whether you know somebody for 20 minutes or 20 years; we can connect with each other under almost any circumstances if we’re open to it.


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