Mackncheeze: Who are you?
Michael: I am my friendships and relationships. I am very blessed that my friendships are from all over the world. My glass of water, I can honestly say, is half full or close to full. I work hard to keep it that way.
Its music, or what I do to motivate myself, or sitting practicing scales, or whatever I want to accomplish.
I am well supported on the planet.
Musically, I have always been drawn to very good vocalists, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel, Michael McDonald. Motivationally, great jazz players. I’m like every other player; I need inspiration.
I really enjoy a great melody coupled with great vocals. I’ve always been partial to Black Music and Swing. Classic Rock, I would call a squared off sort of rhythmic structure. I have experienced those, and they really don’t do a whole lot for me. I’ve always had swing in my music, one way or another. I was born with a quarter note triplet in my blood.
I have been thinking about the bands I have been with through the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and Millennials and how much they have really defined what I was doing and accomplishing. The last twenty years I have been trying to focus more on being a singer/songwriter, more of a front line approach.
I am focused on producing videos for my first album, Easy Street, and for current musical projects. Its really the task at hand.
Mackncheeze: What is Moondance?
Michael: A Van Morrison Tribute band, comprised of five really solid musicians who really enjoy Van Morrison’s music. We have great respect for Van who has been recording since the 60’s and even today is doing it at a very high level of success, which is really amazing.
Moondance captures the essence of the really great vibe of Morrison’s poetic ballads and pop tunes. We are not an orthodox tribute band; we don’t play note for note, but we certainly capture the essence, intros and hooks. We also inject solos within the arrangements, because we have accomplished people who know how to improvise.
Mackncheeze: What are your passions?
Michael: As a Berklee drummer, I would like to be playing drums in some sort of intelligent ensemble. I grew up being a drummer and vocalist, for me, those usually went hand in hand.
I just wrote a song called, Say Goodbye, looking forward to recording that. I’ve also recently written a more modern, hip-hop kind of song.
Presently I’m feeling very creative. This year, after taking a trip to Europe and visiting friends in Germany, Poland and Iceland, I had a switch come on. I can be inspired to write music by walking down the street. I’m learning how to make it tangible. Its the combination of things; the video perspective of capturing an image, learning how to listen better, conversations inspiring a lyric or a feeling, something I can visually see.
I love singing. Talk about passion. These ballads, when I sing these songs, I sing them to the bone, I feel them and I think about my own life and how the songs interact with the lyrics.
Presently, it’s an exciting, creative time. Considering the lack of sun in the Northwest, this is a good thing.
Mackncheeze: You are your sun. Whats the most exciting thing you have ever encountered ?
Michael: Helping deliver my daughter. She was born in the back seat of Volkswagen Bug. I was in the backseat with a midwife, as we were on the way to a hospital after forty two hours of labor.
My passion list would actually be long; things that actually changed my life. Moving from the east coast in ’74, ’75. Playing in front of 85,000 people at Seattle’s Bumbershoot when it was in Pioneer Square. In 1986, playing at the World Expo in Vancouver, British Columbia . Bake’s Place, Moondance, August 2019, the only band to sell out the club on a Friday night. Being debt free and a home owner; anomolous for most musicians. There are alot of successes.
My health and my music are somewhat intertwined. Right now it’s about being in the trenches and disciplining myself everyday, everyday. I’m learning that more and more.
Mackncheeze: What are your struggles?
Michael: Writer’s block, that’s been a struggle. I’m trying to write down everything: documenting, documenting, documenting.
Mackncheeze: Anything else?
Michael: I’m really thankful for all my friends. And Jasper, my Maine Coon Cat. What would we do without our cats?
Mackncheeze: Alright, Buddy. Thankyou.
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