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INTERVIEW WITH MIKEH: bassist Mike Ayley of Marianas Trench releases debut solo EP “Golden Hour: First Issues First”


Mike Ayley, finest referred to as the bassist for multi-platinum-selling Vancouver pop-rock band Marianas Trench stepped into the highlight beneath the moniker MIKEH (pronounced MIKE, EH) along with his debut solo undertaking, an EP titled Golden Hour: First Issues First launched on October 18 by way of 604 Information and all streaming platforms.

Golden Hour: First Issues First was produced by Mike and Pedro Dzelme, and collectively, the pair explored the road between full-on rock and pop effortlessly, capturing the form of beginnings, endings, and uncertainties that lay between them when something can occur in a way that’s relentlessly hooky, richly textured, and leans closely on Mike’s hovering, usually chill-inducing vocals.

Aptly titled, the five-song EP is impressed by emotional grey areas Ayley usually discovered himself pondering throughout his favourite occasions of day whereas the pandemic put his musical profession on maintain. The songs are extremely private whereas leaving loads of room for listeners to see their very own lives and the form of uncertainties so many people have skilled over the previous two years and the change mirrored in them.

Mike credit a lot of his musical inspiration to the artistic world that Marianas Trench exists in, lead singer Josh Ramsay’s strategy to vocals as devices in their very own proper, and the band’s capability to up their sport and push the envelope with every successive document; issues that opened his thoughts to infinite musical potentialities.

Finally, Golden Hour: First Issues First is a celebration of the form of each day victories we too usually take as a right that’s compellingly trustworthy and instantly relatable, musically, and lyrically.

Music Life Journal lately spoke to MIKEH on October 24 to speak about his music, Marianas Trench, and extra! Test it out:

Music Life Journal: Congratulations in your debut solo EP, Golden Hour: First Issues First.  It’s been out now, virtually per week. First off, the place did the title come from?

Mikeh: The Golden Hour, so it’s attention-grabbing to me. I feel the sundown is gorgeous. I like the lighting. I like all these items about it. There’s additionally dawn, I suppose they’re each Golden Hour. However to me, I believed it was attention-grabbing to have an album titled that as a result of it’s lovely, but it surely’s the tip of the day. And for me, the tip of the day is a time of reconciliation. Once you begin the day, you’ve acquired your listing of issues to do and your hopes and potentialities and stuff you’re enthusiastic about and desires and all of this potential. On the finish of the day, you’re form of left with an accounting, virtually, of what you completed and what you didn’t accomplish. You form of have to just accept the failures or the misses with the successes and the accomplishments. Due to that, it’s a mix of feelings. It’s not likely simply, “oh, immediately was good” or “immediately was dangerous”. It was, “Properly, there was this and this and this,” I discover that that’s a great comparability to how life is and feelings. Most occasions you’re not simply, “I’m comfortable” or “I’m unhappy”. It’s like, I’m comfortable due to one thing. And due to one thing is usually simply since you’re not unhappy, you’re feeling good. Or due to no matter but it surely’s by no means so simple as this or this. And I believed the combination of feelings is much like the way in which that the day ends with the solar happening. It’s lovely however there’s at all times this underlying stuff.

MLM: Have you ever heard something because the launch? Have you ever heard any suggestions or do you not take note of that form of factor?

Mikeh: Yeah, I listen. To this point so good. I don’t know. I’m principally simply attempting to only be comfortable. By the point we launched Kaleidoscope, which is the final tune, when it got here out I’m like, “you already know what? No matter occurs, I’m comfortable as a result of I’m proud of the work”. In fact, I might love as many individuals to hook up with this as attainable as a result of I really feel prefer it’s all actually trustworthy and simply actual. It’s not like a personality that I picked out to painting like David Bowie or any person who would construct an album or the Marianas Trench albums. They’re form of like a theme, after which we’re in that mode for the entire album. That is simply actual stuff that I really feel and I feel it’s not calculated in any respect. It’s only a true illustration of moments or ideas that I’ve had that I felt was worthy of sharing.

MLM: You been with Marianas Trench for over 18 years now, since 2004. Why did you wait till now to place one thing out?

Mikeh: There wasn’t time. I suppose there may need been time however that is the one time within the historical past the place I knew there was time. A few occasions previously, I most likely might have achieved one thing then, however I didn’t actually know what was going to occur. I didn’t know there’d be such an extended hole between Ever After and Astoria and if I did, I most likely would’ve achieved one thing there too, or not less than checked out it. I began writing that point however I didn’t know easy methods to use the recording software program or something. However once you’re sitting house alone or with all this time in your arms from all of 2020, after 4 or 5 months, I’m like, I feel I’m going to start out figuring this out. I believed this pandemic factor was going to be a few months, then we’d be again to enterprise as ordinary. Clearly, it wasn’t. So, Josh [Ramsay, singer] was like, “You understand what guys, I’m going to do a aspect album only for enjoyable”.

So, that’s after I understand, I don’t need to waste time doing nothing. My spouse (Emily) and I did a Christmas tune.  After which, I began simply placing down a few of my very own concepts as a result of it made me comfortable because the concepts began to pile up. After which, you filter out the much less candy ones and the higher ones begin to rise to the highest. I began sending them to the label. I’m like, “What do you suppose”? They usually requested, “What do you need to do with these songs”? And I used to be like, “Properly, I suppose I simply need to put them out”. So then, they allowed me to re-record them professionally with a greater engineer of their superb studio, and producer Pedro Dzelme produced it. And that’s why now. As a result of it took a very long time. I’ve been engaged on this, I began the recording with Pedro a 12 months and a half in the past, after which 6 months of doing it by myself.

MLM: Once you began doing this due to the pandemic did you have got something written earlier than that or was all of it recent?

Mikeh: It’s humorous as a result of I’ve had different concepts however after I tried to document them they by no means actually panned out. The one factor, truly, is that this one concept that’s older than Marianas Trench, and I took a bit little bit of that tune. I used to be going to redo the entire tune as a result of I had time. I didn’t know what to do, so I began engaged on it. And it’s that little piano half in Kaleidoscope, just a bit bit within the pre-chorus and that’s all I took from this previous, previous thought. And the entire thought was on the guitar anyway, however I used to be like, that’s a cool melody, after which form of constructed round that. Properly, didn’t actually construct round that, but it surely truly helped actually create and outline that exact tune.

MLM: Golden Hour has 5 songs, did you have got greater than 5 written?

Mikeh: I’ve greater than 5 written.

MLM: Are there plans for a follow-up or full-length?

Mikeh: We are going to see what the label says. I have already got the following one written and demoed however they don’t know that. However now they do!

MLM: A couple of month earlier than the discharge, starting September sixteenth, you began releasing YouTube movies for every tune. Was that your thought or was it the document firm’s thought to try this? Why did you determine to launch every thing earlier than the official launch?

Mikeh: I didn’t understand how it will go or easy methods to do it and after I was talking with the label that was a prompt timeline. They had been going to launch one each week. I stated, “Properly, can we simply give the primary one a few weeks to breathe after which go from there”? And I don’t know, previously, with the Marianas it has by no means gone that means. We’ve at all times put out a single, then you definitely wait some time, after which possibly one other single then the album. But it surely’s totally different with an EP. It’s totally different now as a result of it’s so streaming heavy and no one’s actually ready for a CD to come back out like they had been and even the digital launch on iTunes, the place you purchase it. It’s nearly having one thing popping out continuous as a lot as attainable. It’s a brand new technique to me as effectively.

MLM: Whose thought was to do a cartoon for Strolling Hill?

Mike: That was my thought, not initially although. So I had this concept for that video and it actually began with that half within the tune, “and take me house, house” and the final refrain drops. I used to be out for a stroll fascinated with it and I used to be like, it appears like a breakthrough. That second the place there’s all this stress and it’s about melancholy and frustration, and being caught after which that second is the breakthrough and hope and all these items. Think about simply smashing by way of a wall, how cool that might really feel in case you might do this once you’re in these moments. And for that, it needs to be fairly cool within the video. Then I talked to the video man, Roman, from the label. We had been attempting to determine a means to try this in a video and have it construct a narrative round it so it’s not only one second. There are literally three and a half minutes price of stuff to look at.  I needed to do that and this as a result of by then I had a full idea. I needed to be on this huge, infinite grey form of wasteland, fascinated with being in a mine, an underground mine with simply grey, grey, grey mud all over the place form of vibe.

After which, this big wall that I simply can’t get by way of. However on the opposite aspect, I do know it, is paradise. This lush, tropical, lovely place. The woman is there. Hope is there. Optimism is there. All the things is there that I can’t get proper now and I would like it, however I’m caught and I’ve been working at this wall endlessly. We tried to think about methods to do it with a video but it surely was simply, “how do you seize one thing like that, particularly once you’re not on a Inexperienced Day price range or one thing like that,” you already know what I imply? He began speaking about alternate options. I’m like, “I don’t suppose it’s going to work. It’s going to look crappy.” And I used to be like, “what if we simply did it animated as a result of then we are able to do every thing nonetheless”? And he checked into it. And we discovered this firm that’s achieved another stuff and so they did. I additionally thought it was cool as a result of it’s a bit totally different as an alternative of only a efficiency video with all people enjoying the identical as all people else. It felt like a barely totally different vibe than a typical video.

MLM: Do you have got a favourite monitor on the EP?

Mikeh: Kaleidoscope, it’s the one which simply got here out. It’s humorous as a result of when you have got issues right here after which attempt to get them onto your demo after which attempt to get them from the demo to the producer and to the studio, it at all times molds a bit every step of the way in which. And I really feel like Kaleidoscope is the one that’s the closest to how I had envisioned it. After which truly, the producer helped write some stuff in there too, guitar elements, and all this stuff that I feel actually elevated it much more. I like what it’s about. Possibly it’s probably the most hopeful tune in there as a result of Strolling Hill is a bit bit about being depressed. And Up Up Up is a bit bit about attempting to let go of the previous and transfer ahead and never get caught within the realm of reminiscences.

Breathe Out is about writing a tune for my son for that first worst day of his life the place he’s like, “I don’t know if I need to reside. Is it actually price it”? And my concern is that I’m not there. So I need to have this tune that may be there for him. Like, “I’m with you. You are able to do this. Simply make it by way of one other day.” Stay In The Previous Tonight is about receiving horrible information or life-changing information that you just simply want you didn’t reply the telephone. And I might simply delay this sense for a number of extra hours and wait until tomorrow as a result of it simply modified every thing. However Kaleidoscope is in regards to the day I met my spouse and it was this magical connection. She lived in New York and I lived in Vancouver. We met and it was like, “It’s by no means going to work, so let’s not even attempt.” However saying goodbye on the finish of the day appeared terrible. All that being stated, it labored out. We made it work, so it’s a contented ending too. I feel that’s one of many causes I prefer it. And I like the drums on the finish. It’s so cool!

MLM: So now that the EP is out, are there plans to do any solo reveals or open for anyone?

Mikeh: I don’t know, I don’t have any plans proper now. I don’t suppose I might take it on the highway, but when the correct opening spot (got here up) I suppose I’d look into it. It’s plenty of work to do a reside present and it’s plenty of time to be away, so it must be a great state of affairs. And asking for a extremely good state of affairs proper off the bat is fairly presumptuous.

MLM: Each Josh Ramsay and Matt Webb have solo initiatives out as effectively. Have you ever guys ever talked about doing a Marianas Trench present and the three of you doing your individual opening units for yourselves?

Mikeh: We haven’t talked about it however that might be fairly cool!

MLM: It could be!

Mikeh: Particularly if it was simply the identical band and all of us simply performed for one another. Matt does 5 songs, Mike does 5 songs, Josh does 5 and there’s your opening acts. After which we simply do Marianas. However it’s also plenty of work in a single evening to play 35 songs!

MLM: What’s going on with Marianas Trench? I do know you guys simply did some reveals in the summertime.

Mikeh: Getting again into motion was superb however exhausting as a result of we performed throughout Canada – Newfoundland, Edmonton, Vancouver, Ontario, however then we additionally performed three reveals in Australia and performed reveals within the UK. By the tip of September, after that Sault Ste. Marie present, we had been fairly beat. Nevertheless, earlier than we began all these reveals within the spring, Josh did a bit solo tour, in Might, I feel it was. However proper into then, we had already began engaged on the following Marianas album. So, nonetheless, there’s one within the works, it’s early levels however there’s most likely one full tune and a few begun concepts. The idea is there. The idea is basically good!

MLM: Do you guys plan on releasing the brand new album in 2023?

Mikeh: Hopefully, spring 2023. That’s my hope. After which, we are able to tour as Marianas Trench.

MLM: That’s just about all I’ve proper now, if there something you want to add or point out or plug?

Mikeh: I don’t know, I’m fairly stoked. I imply, it’s humorous as a result of as quickly as I completed this EP, I used to be proper into (engaged on a brand new Christmas tune with my spouse). My spouse and I put out Christmas songs the final couple of years and he or she’s like, “I’ve acquired an thought for this 12 months’s Christmas tune,” and I’m like, “We don’t have very a lot time.” So, I acquired house from Newfoundland and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (we had been writing) this entire new tune. Preserving busy even when the Christmas season rolls upon us, I stated nothing occurs. However I’m going to place out a tune with my spouse and this one is superior. It’s one of the best one of many ones we’ve achieved. It’s with throwbacks and a pop-punk factor. It was actually enjoyable. So, conserving busy even when the snow begins to fall, I’m not going to cease.

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