Interview by Kris Griffiths
PHASE9 talks to country artist Michael Stacey in a question and answer session about his latest album AFTER THE STORM and why Country is his chosen music genre.
Apparently you had to whittle down 12 tracks for AFTER THE STORM from a choice of 500. How did you decide which songs would make it to the album?
Basically, I wanted all of the songs to intertwine. Almost like chapters in a book. I can definitely relate to all of the material on the album.
My favourite songs off the album are probably the title track and EASY STREET. Do you have any particular favourites?
That’s tough, because every one of the songs means some different to me. If I were going to have to choose, I’d say the song OKAY is probably the one that ranks at number one with me.
You say that a girl you were dating converted you to Country music when she told you to listen to a Randy Travis album. Say you had never dated her – in what genre of music do you reckon you would have ended up trying to establish yourself?
Probably Rock, with a southern sound of course.
The title track contains the strong theme of ‘you are the master of your own destiny’. Do you believe in Fate at all? Do you not think it was Fate that you were converted to Country?
I believe that both play a role in someone’s future. Good things can sometimes come your way, but I believe that how you react to them determines just how far the good things can take you.
How come you don’t play any guitars on the album?
I play live, but I chose to leave the recordings up to the studio musicians. Different influences make for a more rounded sound. Those guys are great!
Do you have a particular songwriting process?
I have a hard time writing if I don’t feel anything about the subject matter. Therefore, I try to write about things that I have experienced or at least shared with someone else. Then I usually write melody first, then lyrics.
You have been described as a purveyor of ‘True Country music’. What are your views on other sub-genres of Country?
I really appreciate all forms of music. I think that it can be categorized as pleasing to the ear or not. One person’s taste will definitely vary from another’s. As for me, I prefer to keep it simple and preserve traditional country while maintaining my own style. That may not work for other Country artists. Either way, it gives the audience more to choose from, and I feel that Country fans will always seek traditional sounds as well as the more contemporary ones.
What were the main folk, rock and Motown acts that influenced you?
Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gay, Al Green, CCR, and the list goes on and on.
Apart from Country, what other kinds of music do you listen to nowadays?
I listen to anyone from AC/DC and James Taylor to the Temptations and Four Tops.
Are there any British Country artists you know of and like?
Unfortunately, I haven’t had the opportunity to hear a great deal of British Country artists, but I think with the different types of media that we now have, we will be hearing a lot from them in the future. I definitely look forward to that.
Ernest Hemingway wrote a story called AFTER THE STORM. Any connection?
No. Totally different.
What was the last novel you read?
Sea Glass by Anita Shreve
What are your plans for this year?
I plan to continue to promote my debut album throughout the US and hopefully have a chance to tour Europe. Then get back into the studio in late Fall.
Where do you see yourself a decade from now?
Still making music and being the best father that I can possibly be.
Thanks for talking to PHASE9 Entertainment.