1. Metal Coffee is going to attempt to create an interview that ask questions the others will not ask. First tell us your name, your band name and a social media link we can find your band. Secondly tell us why you joined or started a band and tell us what YOU think you sound like NOT what people say you sound like.
Mick Michaels: My name is Mick Michaels. I am with the band Corners of Sanctuary. You can check out the band on Facebook at www.facebook.com/CornersofSanctuary.
I‘ve always been drawn to music…the emotional connection was something that I could not deny, even at a young age. There was a level of empowerment that came from the music. I grew up listening to many different styles, Motown, Pop, Doo-Wop, the Beatles, Rock, Metal…and feel they all influenced the kind of songwriter I have grown into. The essence of songwriting transcends any one given genre, and having such a diversified palette of styles gives an artist a limitless reference of resources to drawn upon.
I started Corners of Sanctuary as way to play the type of Metal I grew up listening to...the stuff I really enjoy. We play what we feel and what sounds right to us. There is great truth and real freedom in that sort of approach to any art form…this way; we can never be what we are not.
To me, I think there are a lot of similarities to Judas Priest and Accept, especially with the rhythm sections of this band. And even if there isn’t, it is a good example to go by as we continue to write.
2. What part of being in a band did you not expect? And knowing now what you know what would you have changed before joining or starting a band?
Mick Michaels: Being around the block several times already, there isn’t much that surprises me…occasionally something here or there, but a lot of it is just old hat now…but doesn’t make it any easier, though. :)
Nowadays, artists and bands need to be jacks of all trades, even the trades that have nothing to do directly with writing and playing music so to speak. Back in the day, none of us were engineers or producers in the true sense of the words…we just played music the way we wanted. But when you come to think about it, bands acted as their own internal producers while writing and arranging songs as well as a make-shift engineer when recording basement demo tapes on a double deck boom box.
A lot has changed but a lot is still the same. At the end of the day it’s still up to the band itself to make the grade and go the extra mile to get where it wants to go and be. I guess when I come to think of it, bands have always been pretty self sufficient…their own managers, own promoters and marketers, their own bookers, their own designers, etc…just a matter of perception and mindset. If you think or feel you’re entitled to something, most likely you probably aren’t…entitlement comes with hard work…and if you’re working hard, you don’t have time to worry about entitlement ‘cause you’re already achieving it.
If I was to go back in time and change something, I would have disciplined myself better to have practiced more.
3. How long did it take you to figure out that talent has much less to do with things and money had much more to do with things?
Mick Michaels: I don’t agree with that statement completely. Though, there is some truth in that money can sometimes get things done, but really that is the case with anything and the nature of the world we have created for ourselves. But money can’t do it alone. I still feel that at the end of the day, talent is the real glue that keeps things together, especially when you are a music artist. Without talent, what really do you have…are you even considered an artist then?
Consider for a moment all the bands that worked their way up from the bottom…those bands paid for what they achieved through their talents, combined with blood, sweat and tears. Those same bands are still holding fast today… unlike a lot the bands that had money thrown at them…and after the glitter died down, so did they. In the end what do they have? Today, things are way different. Success is a personal choice and relative to what it is you want. The freedom just to do your music is success. If you’re doing it for the money, you’re in the wrong business my friend…go be a doctor, a lawyer or an undertaker….you’ll have better results.
4. That being said how many bands out there do you think made it on talent and how many made it on money?
Mick Michael: Again, consider all the bands back in the day that worked up from the bottom. After a while money runs outs…but talent can be forever.
It really isn’t my place to judge other bands on their careers. I think luck plays more of a role in success than money…and what is luck? Luck is when preparation meets opportunity…money may have nothing to do with it.
5. Do you still believe in good song writing knowing it doesn't really matter?
Mick Michael: Do you listen to songs you don’t like…does anyone? Good songwriting is the cornerstone of music, without it, it’s just noise. I absolutely believe in good songwriting and to me it means everything.
6. Honestly, how does it make you feel knowing there are bands with women who show their t**ts and get big tours and bands with women who don’t and are playing the bars?
Mick Michaels: There are bands with male singers who can’t sing getting big tours and bands with male singers who are amazing and still playing in their basements. There are bands with two guitar players getting shows and bands with only one guitar player who plays like three guys and they can’t get a Saturday night show in their hometown. It really is apples and oranges.
Gene Simmons said that “it’s called show business, so show them your business.” So if that is what people want to do, then so be it…more power to them. Everyone has a choice and everyone has the right to succeed.
7. Why do you think we, including you, are so scared to say our political beliefs? And why are people afraid to say if they don’t like an artist? Is it ok to have different opinions / beliefs and still be united as people?
Mick Michaels: I don’t know if people are really afraid to express their political beliefs, especially in this day and age. Social media has given everyone a voice…there are plenty to keyboard warriors out there with plenty to say. Many people like to talk, but do they really walk the talk they speak? Live by example not solely your words is how I approach things. Do what you say and say what you mean. I know that sounds like some old time “John Wayne” BS, but there is great truth in that.
Differences are what make us unique. Differences are what formed this country. People spend way too much time on trying to find the differences and exploit them. They are there…they exist…get over it. Spend that energy instead trying to find what connects us…people may be surprised.
8. Without a simple question, if you broke a law that could cause you to lose your children would you break it fair or not?
Mick Michaels: I am not completely clear on the question. However, I would never do anything that would jeopardize the lives and welfare of my children in anyway. If you’re asking would I break the law for the safety of my children, being that the repercussions would only fall on me alone, then yes…wouldn’t any loving parent who wants the best for their children? But the comeback would be “then you have caused your children to lose a parent by your actions.” So it’s a catch 22 question…damned if you do and damned if you don’t and the haters are everywhere.
9. Who would you pick to produce your next album and why? Only one catch it has to be a pop star.
Mick Michaels: Producers in general normally work with a multitude of artists. Look at Mutt Lang…helped propel AC/DC and Def Leppard to the top as well as Shania Twain. A good producer understands music.
If we are talking a Pop Star, which I would have no issue whatsoever working with as I’m a fan of Pop music, I think I would enjoy working with Lady Gaga. She is an immense talent that cannot be denied. She seems to work on a more internal level…a spiritual level. This type of approach would without a doubt create more depth to the music and songwriting. Would the music change? Sure would but there would be a lot of substance to it by her influence.
I think I would have also enjoyed working with Rick James as a producer. We all need more Funk in our lives.
10. Who is your worst nightmare as a tour manager?
Mick Michael: Me…I’m the band’s tour manager. I’m a real pain in the ass on the road. Sometimes I can’t even stand myself.
11. If everything you did on tour was on video and you had to sit and watch it with your parents and little sister would you watch it or choose to never tour again?
Mick Michaels: Absolutely…I’m the same person in my everyday life as I am on the road. I have nothing to hide brother. So that being said, it would be a pretty boring video to watch…I hope there’s popcorn though.
12. A lot of people consider Metal as a satanic, drug and alcohol fueled tornado of criminals, in honesty would you feel better playing kids Possessed or Kanye West? And why?
Mick Michaels: Neither, in all honestly…I’m going with Judas Priest, Savatage and Accept as starters…go with the classics. Possessed and Kanye aren’t even on my radar.
Though I am sure for some rockers it’s all excess, but for most of us, you know, the regular people, it isn’t even close. Too many people think touring is like the movie, “The Dirt”… If you’re on the road every dollar you have counts and you need to stretch it as far, and even farther, as it can go. Most of the time every dollar is accounted for when you’re on tour…at least with us. Sure there are personal expenses, but again, a lot of us tend to be mindful of where it goes. It’s a business and should be treated like one. You owe it to the people who come to see you play. Like Dean Wormer said in “Animal House,” “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life son.”
13. Ok, we believe it is ok to have hatred, you hate someone, we all do, who is it and why do you hate them?
Mick Michaels: Hatred is a very strong word and an even stronger emotion…and we all know what Yoda said about what hate leads to.
I have my dislikes…a lot of them, we all do, this is normal. But hatred is an entirely different beast and I think often misused to describe or label certain feelings or impulsive reactions we have or experience.
Real hate is a precursor to action of a violent nature. So to that, hate is most likely not the emotion we are really feeling but more so a discontentment or even a disappointment.
Wasting time and energy with hate gets no one anywhere…especially the one who is doing the hating. Our words create an energy that has ripple effects in the real word.
Like they say… “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”
14. Your wife’s leg is caught underneath your car after a terrible accident after you grab _______ do you call 911 and try and help her. Now answer that question and replace the word wife with your singer………
Mick Michaels: Life is a precious thing and should never be forsaken…it should be treated with respect. Once it’s gone, it’s gone. Saving a life is the highest level of respect that could be shown to anyone. I know I would want someone to do the same for me in the event I was in need. Never take it for granted.
15. Who are the biggest crooks in the music industry?
Mick Michaels: A very loaded question…and one that would open a can of worms; I’m sure, depending on who you talk to.
But if you have to ask, you haven’t been paying attention…LOL
16. Lastly, who are you droppin’ the d with even if you get COVID?
Mick Michaels: I don’t plan to drop anything, anywhere…I’m home safe with my family and no other place I’d rather be. Times like these remind you how important those around you are…and how precious time is. We get so wrapped up in stuff that, in the long run, doesn’t really mean that much, but we have a tendency to give it all this power and influence over us, when in reality, we should be making the most of every moment with the people whom we love. So this time has been well spent in my opinion…it just makes us all appreciate what we have, who we have, where we are at and that we have a choice.