Some people listen to music and others live the music. Many of us, myself included, are quite content with hearing our favorite music blaring from the fine acoustics of iPhone earbuds but not Mike Schoder. When Mike hears the music from our favorite playlists he is hearing it live, in-person. And eight years into his ownership of the famous Granada Theater the music has never sounded sweeter. He has become as necessary for Dallas’ music scene as a guitar pick. It wasn’t enough to head the marquee music venue in town, Mike also wanted to revision the way you eat with Sundown at Granada. One could assume that power like that could easily corrupt but in Schoder’s case you’d be wrong. The fearlessness and humility of the city’s most laidback music guru made our conversation one that I won’t soon forget. How could a man with so much responsibility be so carefree? For Mike it’s all about staying in tune.
What was the moment that you sat back and thought to yourself “I have the coolest job ever”?
It started when I was a kid working in the resort business 31 years ago. Being in that setting working to create that perfect environment where people can relax and enjoy themselves has been my motivation with the Granada.
What’s one band that stepped onto the stage and truly surprised you?
I would say !!! (Chk Chk Chk) [Chick Chick Chick]. That band reminds me of the funkiest Talking Heads style of music.
Coolest piece of memorabilia that you own?
I own a plaster cast of Ozzy’s tattooed hand and you can hold a CD in it. It was a promotional piece when Ozzy’s Greatest Hits CD came out. I also have a pretty cool promotional mushroom from the Allman Brothers.
What did you want to bring to the city with Sundown at Granada?
East Dallas. It’s always been very comfortable and artsy in a non-pious type of way. You just come and be yourself. Julia [Garton] and I have worked to make it an extension of our home. We want you to bring the finest ingredients that you can consume with your mouths and your ears and for you to just have a great time.
Best way to get backstage passes?
[Laughing] A lot of time and hard work supporting an artist when you were one of 10 that was there at their first concerts. The really hardcore fans. Generally who I see backstage are really old friends of the artists, but sometimes we do contests on Facebook and giveaway some passes if the band is okay with it. That way you get to go backstage and sort of circumvent all the hard work.
With Hollywood’s eyes set on making money off of music, who would play
you in the film about your life at the Granada?
Man, I dunno. I haven’t been to the movies in years. If the movie doesn’t have a guitar in it, I haven’t seen it.
[Laughing] Okay, so what rocker would you want to play you?
Someone that never likes to sit still and has an insatiable passion to pursue music and