Tell us about yourself and your music
My name is Micheal Fordays. I’m an independent artist from Los Angeles. I’ve been a touring/recording artist for many years now and am in a writing/recording phase of deliberate creativity.
My early experiences and adventures were with a band called Mind Over Four. ( I played guitar and wrote songs under my given name Mike Jensen.) I was a founding member, guitarist and co-writer. We released 6 records on 6 different labels and toured North America and Europe. We started as a kind of psychedelic punk band but developed a unique brand of fierce prog/metal. We were together for many years and made a mark in the underground through persistent dedication and desire for perfection. Our struggles are highlighted and examined in a great book called, “Mean Deviation, four decades of progressive metal” by Jeff Wagner
I also played with the industrial pioneers, KMFDM touring North America and Europe. I was into distortion and dissonant guitar sounds but also wanted to further develop my songwriting. Along the way I was a tech for bands, touring behind the scenes with many bands including “Cherry Poppin Daddies” and “Macy Gray”, all along listening and working on songwriting as well as developing my skills as a vocalist. I worked for an artist named “Joan Jones” becoming her guitarist and a co-writer. My experiences with her decidedly Americana/pop music, and her influence as a vocalist/songwriter inspired me to “do my own thing” free of group/band compromises. I began to write, play and sing as I was, alone with a guitar, finding “my own voice”. The combination of experience as a musician and the experience of life itself yields what I do now.
Talk to us more about your latest release
All of my releases, (I’m working on my third), are completely independent, self-financed and self motivated. At this point in my career I’m under no delusion of fame or unrealistic expectation, rather I’m writing and recording because I’m driven to do so by the joy of creating something of high quality, with the essence of truth. I write about what I really know. I don’t try to be anybody but myself.
Here’s the test. If you were told through a vision of the future, that you’d never make a dime from your music, that nobody would care, what would you write? Would you write? If you “have to write”, then you would write. I have to write. It feels like my purpose in life. So I focus on the quality of my writing. I Want every song to sound the best it can, in its own unique way.
On this release, I had songs ready to go as I was simultaneously writing new songs. The best song at the time gets recorded next, (the song I’m most excited about) while new songs come, hopefully, down the pipeline. Everything is recorded one session at a time and every song is a journal entry from my personal experience through the most universal filter I can see. The songs on my latest release “All The Rusty Keys” are different forms of those experiences that occurred while I was trying to tell my story. I let them appear as they were meant to assemble without fear. Each song is its own little story about moving down the highway of life.
What inspired you to write this release?
Im in perpetual writing mode. This set of songs were individual experiences that unfolded and were documented while I was recording, one session at a time. It was a meticulous process and it took a very long time. It’s a great document of a very real time in my life.
Any plans to release a video?
I really want to work with someone with a cinamatic vision to match the mood of the songs. No current plans for a video because I’m eight songs in on a brand new recording.
Any plans to hit the road?
I would love to play live more often and I would love to get back “on the road”. My current band, which I’ve been working with for the past several years are all individual leaders of their own great bands, so getting them all together at one place at one time has been difficult. I would love to have a “live” band too. If you’re out there, call me.
As an indie artist, how do you brand yourself and your music to stand out from the rest of the artists out there?
I try to deliver the highest quality music in a truthful manner. I think that if you always make quality of self the primary goal you can’t help but have your own way of saying things and eventually your own signature sound. I try to do one thing very well. I am me. That makes me different and that is my brand.
Who have you been listening to lately?
I really like the Claypool Lennon Delirium, Them Crooked Vultures, Cage The Elephant
Tell us about your passions
What else is happening next in your world?
I’m well into my next release which will be an LP with the best material I’ve ever recorded in my life. I’m so excited about where it’s at. I’ll be sending the new songs to Chris Gill in Nashville for a proper mix by late spring hopefully for a late 2017 release. I’m fortunate to have been working with my dream band again, Josh Jove, Robert Columbus and Tony Beliveau and I can’t wait to share what we’ve come up with.
Thanks for an awesome interview, Micheal!