Interview – Michael Baker

I was excited to hear in February this year that Brighton musician Michael Baker was working on his debut album. Being a fan for a while now, I added his impressive album ‘Keys to the Kingdom’ and EP ‘Caroline‘ to my collection. I was excited to hear what he would create next. (click names to read my reviews about these releases).

Michael decided to use the crowdfunding site Pledge Music to help make this album a reality. Obviously his fans rallied together to show their support and he exceeded his target. I’m happy to confirm his new album ‘Dust & Bone’ is now available to purchase.

Before I talk about the album I want to share a little chat I had with Michael Baker himself. We talked about the new album, the pledge project and a little more. This is what he had to say:

This album was made possible thanks to a successful Pledge Music. How did it feel when you achieved this goal and that is was thanks to your fans?

It was one of the hottest days of the year, I was on the beach with Nick Roberts who is the drummer on the project when I found out that the pledge had completed. Needless to say it was an amazing feeling. That feeling that you have actually achieved something and it has worked. I really cannot thank each and every person that bought the new album enough.

 

What were your goals when you began working on your debut album ‘Dust & Bone’?

I’m not sure there were any goals really. The album was roughly sketched out in my mind and ready to fall out. I had no preconceptions other than I wanted to do the songs justice. This was the most important goal for me.

During the process of putting the album together, what were the major highs and lows?

I lived in a van for about 2 and a half years to make this record. I was travelling to Bristol and back in the middle of tours, washing clothes round people’s houses, using local swimming pools for showers & doing part-time jobs here there and everywhere. There were so many ups and downs that came with that… but looking back now I have so many amazing memories. The producer of the record Dan Brown and his family took me into their home and Dan poured his whole heart into this record too. It really was a unique experience for me & one which has allowed a musical & non musical friendship to grow. I think this makes this record so special. Were there a bumps along the way? I could list a fair few. but where’s the sweet without the sour.

How did it feel when you heard the album in full for the first time?

There was a real late addition to the album with the inclusion of the track ‘Some Kind’ So really I didn’t hear the whole album in order as it is today until fairly close to its release. It’s so strange when all that hard work is just laid out in front of you in 10 tracks. I am so proud of the record.

Out of the 10 songs that are on show on the album, which is your favourite and why?

‘Half my love’ is my personal favourite. we used the original demo of the track which I recorded about 3/4 years ago in a house I lived in London. My room overlooked the whole skyline of London & that was the view I had while singing the vocals used on the track as it stand today. I didn’t really understand what I was writing it about at the time, but as time has passed I understand it better now than ever before. It’s a really important track for me.

I see on your social media sites that you have been busy performing the new songs. How does it feel to set them free for the world to hear and how has the response been?

I am so lucky to have such amazing friends who are also such amazing musicians. Each member of the band I have grown up playing with. It’s so great to be able to play this record live with the full band. The response has been overwhelming.

Now that the album is out there, what are the future goals for your music?

I want to tour this record as much as I can. I’m off on tour with the Common tongues around Europe in early November & then I am coming back to play a gig on the 15th at the Union Chapel which has been a lifelong dream. After this I want to get writing. I want to go down to a chalet that my granddad built in France to make the next one. Take any musicians I can and make something really special.

Finally, is there anything you would like to say to you fans?

Thanks so much for the support & keep listening!

 

When I received my copy of the album ‘Dust & Bone’ I couldn’t wait to press play and listen to what he had assembled. As soon as the album began with ‘The Steady and the Stuck’ I was instantly swept away in its sound. Michael always delivers music that grabs your attention with a delicate sound combined with vocals with a genuine emotion and this album is no exception. Each song is built on these foundations but they tell their own story. Michael’s lyrical content has always been one of his strongest qualities of his songwriting but with this album they are better than ever. ‘Anywhere Anytime Soon’ is a great example of this talent and this song is a personal highlight for me.

Obviously lyrics mean nothing without the right delivery which brings us back to the vocals. It doesn’t matter if its live or recorded, this is a musician who has a gift of connecting with his music which shines through when he sings. My favourite song ‘Only Human’ confirms what I am saying. This song stood out for me on the first listen and continues to do so with every listen since. This song is so good that it would probably be in my top 10 songs of 2016 (if I sat down to tackle such a task) and I would be surprised if you were not already then it would convert you into a fan.

I can understand why Michael Baker is proud of ‘Dust & Bone’ and as a fan, I am so happy that he has created an album of such a high calibre that showcases his talents perfectly. You can check out his music on his Soundcloud, Spotify or YouTube pages. If you agree that you are listening to something special then head over to iTunes or Amazon and grab your copy today.

I like that Michael has no plans on sitting back with this album and that he is already making plans to create more new music. You can find out when this new material will be ready by checking out his social media sites (at Facebook and Twitter). This is also great places to find out more about this talented musician and his tour that he mentioned earlier. I highly recommend that you catch him live.

I am a big fan of what Michael Baker creates and I’ll be doing what I can to support his music. If you feel the same then help spread the word about him today.