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A Dirty Dozen with MYCHAEL GABRIEL – December 2022

| 21 December 2022 | Reply

We get Mychael Gabriel to discuss new music, influences, and more…

1. Tell us a little about your latest release.  What might a fan or listener not grab the first or second time they listen through?  Are there any hidden nuggets the band put in the material or that only diehard fans might find?

My latest release, Genesis, is a 12-track multi-genre album outlining the origin story of my musical journey through sounds that have inspired me to become the artist I am today. In releasing this album, it was important for me to have a materialized concept and theme. There are allegories and symbolism hidden throughout the record if you dig deep enough.

2. What got you into music, and can you tell us about the moment you realized you wanted to be a musician?

I grew up with parents who worked in the industry. As a child, I remember music always being a driving force in our home. For me, that evolved into an interest in guitar and eventually a passion for songwriting. That passion for songwriting propelled me into the world of production, audio engineering and mixing in order to better expand my musical artistry. In short, music was everything to me from the beginning – written in the stars.

3. Building on that, is there a specific song, album, performer, or live show that guided your musical taste?

Prince is a huge source of inspiration and the Minneapolis sound is a part of my DNA. The concert film, Sign o’ The Times, I played on repeat – emulating every dance, every move, every solo on my plastic guitar as a kid. BB King made me fall in love with Blues guitar, Jimi taught me to be free, Satriani showed me you could fly to outer space with a Floyd Rose and a Wammy pedal. I could go on and on.

4. Who would be your main five musical influences?

Like I said before – there are too many to mention and a near impossible task to pair down to five. I can tell you for certain Sheila E. and Prince are on that list though.

5. If you could call in any one collaborator to do a song with, who would it be, and why?

I’d like to collaborate with an artist by the name of Kavinsky. He has an affinity for sounds that bleed 1980s nostalgia. I think merging that with some Minneapolis Sound sensibilities could be fun.

6. How would you describe your music to someone who’d never listened to you before? What is the one comparison a reviewer or fan has made that made you cringe or you disagreed with?

I don’t cringe very easily and feel that everyone is entitled to their own tastes and opinions. That said, for the most part, the response to my music has been in-line with my intention. A little funk, a bit rock n’ roll, sprinkled with the Minneapolis Sound.

7. What’s the best thing about being a musician?

The best thing about being a touring musician is different foods you get to try from various cities and countries. A foodies’ paradise! In all seriousness though, I liken artistic musical expression to that of the spiritual. It’s transcendent – like having a superpower.

8. When the band are all hanging out together, who cooks; who gets the drinks in; and who is first to crack out the acoustic guitars for a singalong?

I’ve been touring with Sheila E. as her lead guitarist for about a decade and that whole band really does feel like family. It’s a party every time we are together. We all cook and have a taste for good food. If there’s an instrument in the green room, it’s getting played by someone. Our drummer will inevitably break into some ridiculously funny, original song.

9. When was the last time you were star struck and who was it?

Me. The last time I looked in the mirror. *laughs*

10. If you weren’t a musician, what would be your dream job?

If I wasn’t working in music, I’d be working in film.

11. Looking back over your career, is there a single moment or situation you feel was a misstep or you would like to have a “do over”, even if it didn’t change your current situation?

The human experience is more than a singular moment or situation – who we become is dependent on a million little things. You never know how even a misstep or “mistake” plays into the overall picture of who you will become. I believe we learn more from our failures than we do our successes. They make us stronger and help us grow. Why concern yourself with a “do over” when you can DO right now?

12. If you could magically go back in time and be a part of the recording sessions for any one record in history, which would you choose – and what does that record mean to you?

It probably changes from day to day, but for now I’ll say I’d love to be a fly on the wall during any of Motown Records Funk Brothers recording sessions from 1959 to 1972. The Funk Brothers were studio musicians, including legendary bassist, James Jamerson, who produced more hits than The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys and Elvis Presley combined. Yeah – to be in that room would be something special to witness.






Category: Interviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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