Burnt out Former Alt-Pop star
Mike Hawk was the lead singer and primary songwriter for Name Without a Number (NwoN), a band that rode the alt/rock wave of the late 1990s. Their first (and biggest hit), “Anything,” peaked at #4 on the charts. Two subsequent singles from the self-titled debut album hit the top-20, and garnered solid airplay on AOR stations around the country.
The double-platinum debut was followed by the less-successful 1999 album “Love and Squalor,” which yielded one top-20 single and just over half a million copies sold. After being dropped by their label, the band took a break. The band returned with the 2002 album “Crazy Sunday.” On a smaller label with limited promotion, it sold a modest 150,000 copies and produced no hits.
Mike Hawk insists that he always felt that the band should have pushed for a harder-edged sound, and blames the band for forcing him to write more radio-friendly tunes. Following the band’s 2004 breakup/hiatus, Mike released his first solo record, “In Your Face.” It received interest from only the most hardcore NwoN fans. “Deep Inside” (2007) went in a different direction, with more introspective, acoustic-driven material.
Mike continues to play live in clubs and coffee houses around the Bay Area, and tour occasionally. Royalties from the first couple NwoN albums pay most of his bills, and despite being nowhere near the heights he achieved at the turn of the millennium, he is able to maintain a relatively comfortable lifestyle.
Here are some useful tidbits:
1. NwoN was fairly successful for a while (2 or 3 songs people would immediately recognize, but not be able to name the band). They toured nationally, mostly as the opener for other groups, and appeared at major festivals. As a headlining act, they were able to play clubs and theaters in North America, Japan, and parts of Europe.
2. Back in the day, Mike was known to be kind of a self-important asshole. This trait still comes out sometimes.
3. While he still considers himself a “celebrity,” 99.9% of people wouldn’t recognize him walking down the street.
4. Mike is over 40, and getting to that “desperately trying to recapture/preserve your youth” stage.
5. Mike’s cash is starting to dry up. His band is no longer together, and solo career never took off. While he is still “comfortable,” and can make ends meet, he can’t maintain the “rock star lifestyle” that he feels he’s earned.
6. At the peak of his career, Mike had a relationship of nearly two years with Jennifer Cole, a TV sitcom star who went on to success in the movies. She was named one of People magazine’s most beautiful people in 2004, and again in 2007. He’s been rumored to have dated several other actresses and musicians, none of which rose above the b-list. He is currently dating a young singer-songwriter named Marley Dawson who has become a fixture in the SF coffee house scene. She is beginning to doubt that their relationship has a future, especially given their 15-year age difference.
7. Prior to embarking on a full-time music career, Mike received a Bachelor’s Degree in History with a minor in Humanities from San Francisco State University.