Hello Mikey how are you?
I’m well thanks Del, hanging out for the end of the school year, but can’t complain too much!
Congratulations on the release of “Suburban Musings”. How does it feel?
It’s amazing. I think it is by far my most ‘polished’ release and am pretty proud of the songs!
Describe it in three words.
From the heart.
What are your favourite tracks from it?
I have to say I love them all, but my personal faves are: So Tired – because it was a step away from the ‘sappy love songs’ I normally write and I think the message is needed; Dreams because I really like the bass line and Running Back To You because of the guitar solo.
You collaborated with other people on this project even though you played the instruments on it how did that come about?
That’s right, it was all written, performed and recorded by me at home – all guitar, bass and vocals are yours truly with the drum tracks courtesy of GarageBand smart drummers. I got some help from Adam (@mixedbyadam) on the production front and I have some of the best ears and sounding boards going around in Kelly Kintner (@thekintners) and Matt Peitsch (@omegamusic) who I lean on for advice. Adam and Kelly I met in the wonderful indie music community in Twitter, and Matt is an old mate and colleague from my days living and working in China.
You are a singer songwriter musician from Australia how did it all begin for you?
I’ve always been around music from an early age and began writing songs when I was in high school in the 90s. I wrote another album for my wife as an anniversary present about 10 years ago, but, like many others, the wonderful COVID years gave me the time and space to be begin again.
What did you listen to growing up?
A lot of different artists, the Beatles are an ongoing favourite, but I also loved Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, the Beach boys, CCR, Hendrix, Pink Floyd, the Small Face, The Who, the Mammas and the Papas The Guess Who, Donovan, the Kinks, as well as GnR, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, You Am I, the Cat Empire, Crowded House, Garbage, Oasis, Pulp, Weezer, No Doubt and many more!
You play guitar who are your favourite guitarists?
George Harrison is probably my all time favourite. He just, like all the Beatles, had a knack for having the right part at that right time. Never too flashy, but many I love listening to his work. I love Hendrix too.
You have a modest setup what’s an essential part of it for you?
It’s all essential because it’s so modest! My line 6 spider amp allows me to plug the old iPad or iPhone straight in and record directly into GB, my Shure MV51 mic is similar and my Mac does the mixing for me in Logic. That’s all I use (except for the actual instruments)!
COVID impacted the creative industry in a big way what kept you motivated?
It was that which got me (re)motivated! I finally had the time to be able to sit and tinker and the ideas just started flowing!
2020 was a time to reflect what did you learn about yourself?
I think I learned what was really important to me. I’m a teacher by trade and while I love my job, 2020 (and 2021 for us melburnians) made me realise that it’s ok to slow down and smell the roses. I went on daily walks with my darling wife and got to clear my mind from everything. I also learnt that I do have some skills and can write music that I’m proud of.
Did you pick up any new skills?
2 big ones – electric bass (I finally bought my own before Melbourne’s Lockdown 3 in 2020) and mixing skills.
What are you listening to at the moment?
Aside from many of the bands mentioned above, most of my music intake comes from the indie scene, there are so many supremely talented people putting out music it’s just inspiring. Without wanting to forget anyone, some of my current favs are The Kintners, The Future Us, Scoopski, Modern Amusement, Rose Alaimo, Chenel No 1, Ri Wolf, Sophie Dorsten, Joe Peacock, The Perics, Ant Holland, Villanomous Rex, Johnny and the Box, JC Miller, Ade Wilding, Byron Smith, Leigh Thomas, Post Industrial Poets, Portobello Express, Kiffie… the list could go on for days! (Some incredible talent here! D.O.)
What are you looking forward to next?
I’m currently working on album number 5 which will be a bit of an acoustic / unplugged type album and reintroducing the cello to my recording repertoire! I’m doing a bit of collaborating too which is fun! I’m just excited about where I’m heading and hope to continue making music!