Mike Mineo talks wanderlust and his new album Eccocentricity

Mike Mineo's not your average guy — unless your average guy has lived like Jack Kerouac, succumbing to wanderlust and setting out on the road right after high school.

His debut album Eccocentricity wanders a little too. A marriage of folk, pop-rock, soul, and even some jazz, the 24-year-old singer-songwriter's first effort is surprisingly confident. And Mineo makes no bones about the album's eclecticism, though he does admit his second record, which is already in pre-production and aimed for a March 2011 release, will be a bit more focused.

New Times recently spoke with him about his unorthodox approach to music and life.

New Times: You set out on the open road right out of high school.

Mike Mineo: Yeah, I kind of lived out of my van for awhile, just drove around the country meeting people and checking festivals and just sort of exploring.

What's the most important thing you learned in your travels?

I guess that as long as you keep going and putting your energy out there, there's always an opportunity for magic. It's just so inconsistently consistent when you're out there on the road.

Tell me a bit about your debut release Eccocentricity. It's offers a very refreshing approach.

I wanted to consciously make an eclectic album, because I've never really written in one particular style at all. So I wanted to showcase, like almost as a singer-songwriter type of an album, just a bunch of different genres. And also experiment and not really limit myself with it. And I'm pretty glad I did it.

And you're already planning a follow-up in 2011?

Yeah. I'll probably be releasing it in March.

Wow. You wasted no time.

Nope. Got no time to waste. And I can't really relax anyway, unless I know something else is coming out or in the works. The next album's already in pre-production. It's called Beach Guava. That one's going to have a slightly more focused sound. And instead of using Mike Mineo, we're just using [the name] Mineo, and it's going to be more of a band [effort]. The first album had a whole range of musicians on it, just sort of mixing and matching people from all over, musicians and friends. I played almost all the instruments on some songs. But this one's going to be more of a band.

I'm trying to claim that this is the sound of South Florida. I'm a native down here and I've gained so much inspiration from the beach. So this album is a tribute to the beach and what it's given me.

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Christopher Lopez