Mike Daly (born February 22, 1962) is an American singer/songwriter/guitarist and front man for the New Jersey-based indie rock band, Mike Daly & The Planets. The band’s self-titled debut album was released worldwide on Nov. 10, 2017.
Most of Daly’s original material was recorded by his earlier group, Every Damn Day (often shortened to “EDD”). EDD has released two full-length albums and several EPs, gaining airplay on college and satellite radio in the U.S., commercial radio in Spain and state-run radio in Finland.
EARLY LIFE AND CAREER
Daly was born in Passaic, New Jersey and raised in Prospect Park, New Jersey. His early live performances were as lead singer and bassist in the bands Nightwing, Mixed Company and The Fuse. He later became the lead singer and rhythm guitarist for The Daly Planets. Each of these four bands performed a few of Daly’s original songs along with classic rock covers and popular hits of the day.
EVERY DAMN DAY
In late 1990, Daly and guitarist John Reynolds, who were working as music journalists at a New Jersey-based alternative newspaper, The Aquarian Weekly, founded Every Damn Day based on demos of several original songs Daly had recorded using a drum machine. Also enlisted were another co-worker, Keith Lyle, on drums, and bassist Jim Van Sickle, a schoolmate of Daly’s who had been a member of all four of his aforementioned bands. Lyle was replaced after a few rehearsals by Rich Stout, with whom Reynolds had played in a band while both attended Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania.
EDD soon became a staple of the Hoboken, New Jersey music scene, appearing frequently at the downtown club Live Tonight! and later Maxwell’s. They also performed in New York City at CBGB, the Hard Rock Café, The Cat Club, Desmond’s Tavern, Kenny’s Castaways, Bond Street Café and the Lion’s Den; in Asbury Park, New Jersey at The Stone Pony and The Fast Lane; Brighton Bar in Long Branch, New Jersey; and The Court Tavern in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
Every Damn Day recorded two full-length CDs and several EPs before going on indefinite hiatus in 2007 due to scheduling conflicts. In 2008, EDD was featured on “Beautiful Escape: The Songs of the Posies Revisited” (Burning Sky Records) a 3-CD collection of songs originated by the Seattle alternative rock/power pop group, The Posies. EDD contributed its version of “Help Yourself,” from the Posies’ “Dear 23” album. In 2011, the band reunited for a 20th Anniversary concert in Clifton, New Jersey.
POP GOES THE WORLD
In 1996, Daly launched an independent label, Pop Goes The World. He served as executive producer for the label’s first release, “A Very Indie Christmas,” a compilation CD that primarily featured original holiday songs by local artists, including Every Damn Day and The Daly Planets (now rechristened The Planets). David Hinckley of The Daily News (New York) hailed “A Very Indie Christmas” as “the best of several new ‘alternative’ Christmas collections,” while New Jersey’s largest newspaper, The Star-Ledger, called it “one of the most engaging new Christmas rock albums of 1996, especially for those who prefer tight, quirky power-pop songs to sober reflections on the holiday’s meaning.”
All subsequent recordings issued by Every Damn Day and Mike Daly & The Planets have been released under the Pop Goes The World imprint.
Pop Goes The World also dabbled briefly in concert promotion. In 1997, it produced a unsigned New Jersey band showcase called “Unscene” at the William Carlos Williams Center for the Performing Arts in Rutherford, New Jersey. The event featured 10 local bands selected by a music-industry panel, as well as special guest star Pat DiNizio of The Smithereens, who performed an acoustic set with band mate Jim Babjak. Though marred by poor attendance, the bill included such future notable groups as Catch-22, The Churchills and The Grip Weeds.
In 2008, Daly embarked on a new recording and performing project, Mike Daly & The Planets, which currently features Jim Van Sickle (bass/organ), Jim “Smitty” Smith (drums), and John Reynolds (lead guitar).
The band’s debut 4-song EP, “The Cosmic Adventures of ManBoy,” was released internationally in August 2010. The Aquarian Weekly selected the EP as its “Disc of The Week” on January 13, 2011, giving it an “A” grade and praising it as “Four songs. 13 minutes. All muscle. Not a second of fat.”
Recording of what was to be a full-length follow-up began in early 2011, during which the band made sporadic live appearances. They made their live debut opening for The Smithereens at Dinizio’s 5th Annual Memorial Day BBQ/Fan Jam in Scotch Plains, New Jersey on May 29, 2011. The band also performed at Soul Kitchen Music Hall in Mobile, Alabama (July 2011) and Maxwell’s in Hoboken, New Jersey (November 2011).
In December 2011, the band released a single, “Kill A Clown (No, Not Really),” in response to the positive reception the song received at their live shows. “Kill A Clown” received airplay from DJ Rich Russo on his “Anything Anything” program on WXPK-FM “The Peak” in New York and WDHA-FM in New Jersey. Russo had asked for a recording of the song after hearing the band perform it at Maxwell’s. The music website Atlas Jams lauded the song as “a delicious slice of power pop … with chunky guitars and perfecto vocals.” Broken Hearted Toy, a music blog, described the song as having “a catchy, guitar-driven arrangement reminiscent of Webb Wilder or possibly ZZ Top … exuberant backup vocals … (and) funny lyrics.”
In 2016, Daly reissued the entire Every Damn Day catalog (most featuring bonus material) on Amazon, iTunes, Google Play and other top digital sites worldwide to celebrate the band’s 25th anniversary.
Three online singles were released worldwide by Mike Daly & The Planets in 2016 and 2017: “Never Too Late,” “Hero’s Trial,” and “Salvation.”
In 2018, the band recorded a new song, “Slack,” which had its world premiere in May on the Plástico Elástico radio show out of Madrid, Spain. It subsequently was featured on the new “IPO Vol. 21” compilation, which will be released soon by Omnivore Recordings, and on “Songs We Learnt At Sundae School,” a compilation from Ice Cream Man Power Pop and More Records in Sweden. As a result of the latter release, “Slack” was featured on the Aug. 4 broadcast of “Shakin’ Street” on Dublin City FM 103.2 in Ireland. A remastered version will be included on their upcoming album, “All It Takes Is One.”
Also in 2018, Mike Daly & The Planets were selected for the third consecutive year to perform at the New York segment of the International Pop Overthrow Festival.