News August 28, 2020

Former Drones drummer turned solo artist Mike Noga passes

Former Drones drummer turned solo artist Mike Noga passes

Mike Noga, singer songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and former Drones drummer has died aged 43.

His sister Ali revealed the news on Facebook: “We are absolutely devastated to inform you of the passing of our beloved brother, son, uncle and dearest friend Mike.

“We know how much he and his music meant to so many of you and there’s nothing we can say to make this hurt any less.

“We miss you and love you so much, Mike.”

Mike Noga was born in southern Tasmania and moved to Melbourne at the age of 16 (some reports put it at 18).

He was responsible for some remarkable solo albums, but emerged with the highly acclaimed The Drones, with whom he made the Gala Mill, Havilah and I See Seaweed albums.

Always interested in the visual side, during Drones tours, he photographed every hotel bed he slept in, with a view to collating them in a book with comments on where they were taken and what was happening in his life at the time.

But the project was discarded after the computer he stored them in was stolen. He would follow up such ideas after he left The Drones after a decade, in 2014.

“It felt like the right time to move away from The Drones. Ten years was a pretty good innings,” he said at the time, adding he would always love the band’s members.

He also played drums with Mick Turner, The Legends of Motorsport and Sandr.

Articulate and intelligent, he regularly appeared on ABC Hobart with thoughtful comments on music and music industry issues.

After Folk Songs (2005) and The Balladeer Hunter (2012), his third album KING (2017) was a dark concept about one man’s descent into violent madness.

He made with close friend Something For Kate’s Paul Dempsey and featured actor Noah Taylor (Game of Thrones, Almost Famous) whom he had met when living in London, as “The Narrator”.

KING was loosely based on Georg Büchner’s play Woyzeck, which Noga set in a 1950s Australian small town.

“Büchner never finished the play, so it allowed me to interpret it how I wanted to.”

To perform the album live, he drew on his memories of an amateur London theatre group Punchdrunk whose performances put the audience in the spotlight.

Mike Noga’s fourth solo album Open Fire was made in the US late last year with Low founder Alan Sparhawk in the producer’s seat.

It is scheduled for release in early 2021 through Part Time Records to which he signed in July.

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