Mike Ayley, greatest often called 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 through 604 Data 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 type of beginnings, endings, and uncertainties that lay between them when something can occur in a fashion 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 type 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 inventive 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 recreation and push the envelope with every successive document; issues that opened his thoughts to limitless musical potentialities.
In the end, Golden Hour: First Issues First is a celebration of the type of every day victories we too usually take as a right that’s compellingly trustworthy and instantly relatable, musically, and lyrically.
Music Life Journal not too long ago 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 every week. First off, the place did the title come from?
Mikeh: The Golden Hour, so it’s fascinating 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 fascinating to have an album titled that as a result of it’s lovely, nevertheless it’s the top of the day. And for me, the top of the day is a time of reconciliation. While you begin the day, you’ve obtained your record of issues to do and your hopes and potentialities and belongings you’re enthusiastic about and goals and all of this potential. On the finish of the day, you’re type of left with an accounting, virtually, of what you achieved and what you didn’t accomplish. You type of have to simply accept the failures or the misses with the successes and the accomplishments. Due to that, it’s a combination of feelings. It’s probably not simply, “oh, right now was good” or “right now was unhealthy”. It was, “Effectively, there was this and this and this,” I discover that that’s 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 commonly simply since you’re not unhappy, you are feeling good. Or due to no matter nevertheless it’s by no means so simple as this or this. And I believed the combination of feelings is just like the best way that the day ends with the solar happening. It’s lovely however there’s all the time this underlying stuff.
MLM: Have you ever heard something for the reason that launch? Have you ever heard any suggestions or do you not take note of that kind of factor?
Mikeh: Yeah, I concentrate. Thus far so good. I don’t know. I’m principally simply attempting to simply be comfortable. By the point we launched Kaleidoscope, which is the final music, when it got here out I’m like, “you realize what? No matter occurs, I’m comfortable as a result of I’m proud of the work”. After all, I’d love as many individuals to hook up with this as potential 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 someone who would construct an album or the Marianas Trench albums. They’re kind 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 up to now, I most likely may have accomplished one thing then, however I didn’t actually know what was going to occur. I didn’t know there’d be such a protracted hole between Ever After and Astoria and if I did, I most likely would’ve accomplished one thing there too, or a minimum of checked out it. I began writing that point however I didn’t know easy methods to use the recording software program or something. However whenever you’re sitting dwelling alone or with all this time in your palms from all of 2020, after 4 or 5 months, I’m like, I feel I’m going to begin 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, “ what guys, I’m going to do a facet album only for enjoyable”.
So, that’s once I understand, I don’t need to waste time doing nothing. My spouse (Emily) and I did a Christmas music. 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, “Effectively, 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 wonderful 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 yr and a half in the past, after which 6 months of doing it by myself.
MLM: While you began doing this due to the pandemic did you’ve gotten something written earlier than that or was all of it contemporary?
Mikeh: It’s humorous as a result of I’ve had different concepts however once 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 somewhat little bit of that music. I used to be going to redo the entire music 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 outdated, outdated concept. And the entire concept was on the guitar anyway, however I used to be like, that’s a cool melody, after which kind of constructed round that. Effectively, didn’t actually construct round that, nevertheless it truly helped actually create and outline that exact music.
MLM: Golden Hour has 5 songs, did you’ve gotten 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 few month earlier than the discharge, starting September sixteenth, you began releasing YouTube movies for every music. Was that your concept or was it the document firm’s concept to try this? Why did you determine to launch all the pieces earlier than the official launch?
Mikeh: I didn’t know the way it will go or easy methods to do it and once I was talking with the label that was a instructed timeline. They have been going to launch one each week. I stated, “Effectively, can we simply give the primary one a few weeks to breathe after which go from there”? And I don’t know, up to now, with the Marianas it has by no means gone that method. We’ve all the time put out a single, then you definitely wait some time, after which perhaps one other single then the album. But it surely’s completely different with an EP. It’s completely different now as a result of it’s so streaming heavy and no person’s actually ready for a CD to come back out like they have 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 potential. It’s a brand new technique to me as nicely.
MLM: Whose concept was to do a cartoon for Strolling Hill?
Mike: That was my concept, not initially although. So I had this concept for that video and it actually began with that half within the music, “and take me dwelling, dwelling” and the final refrain drops. I used to be out for a stroll desirous about it and I used to be like, it appears like a breakthrough. That second the place there’s all this rigidity and it’s about despair and frustration, and being caught after which that second is the breakthrough and hope and all these items. Think about simply smashing by means of a wall, how cool that will really feel if you happen to may try this whenever you’re in these moments. And for that, it must be fairly cool within the video. Then I talked to the video man, Roman, from the label. We have been attempting to determine a method 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, limitless grey kind of wasteland, desirous about being in a mine, an underground mine with simply grey, grey, grey mud in all places type of vibe.
After which, this large wall that I simply can’t get by means of. However on the opposite facet, I do know it, is paradise. This lush, tropical, lovely place. The woman is there. Hope is there. Optimism is there. Every thing is there that I can’t get proper now and I want it, however I’m caught and I’ve been working at this wall ceaselessly. We tried to think about methods to do it with a video nevertheless it was simply, “how do you seize one thing like that, particularly whenever you’re not on a Inexperienced Day funds or one thing like that,” you realize 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 all the pieces nonetheless”? And he checked into it. And we discovered this firm that’s accomplished another stuff they usually did. I additionally thought it was cool as a result of it’s somewhat completely different as an alternative of only a efficiency video with all people enjoying the identical as all people else. It felt like a barely completely different vibe than a typical video.
MLM: Do you’ve gotten 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’ve gotten 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 all the time molds a bit every step of the best way. 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 components, and all these items that I feel actually elevated it much more. I like what it’s about. Possibly it’s essentially the most hopeful music in there as a result of Strolling Hill is somewhat bit about being depressed. And Up Up Up is somewhat bit about attempting to let go of the previous and transfer ahead and never get caught within the realm of recollections.
Breathe Out is about writing a music for my son for that first worst day of his life the place he’s like, “I don’t know if I need to dwell. Is it actually price it”? And my worry is that I’m not there. So I need to have this music that may be there for him. Like, “I’m with you. You are able to do this. Simply make it by means of one other day.” Stay In The Previous Tonight is about receiving horrible information or life-changing information that you simply simply want you didn’t reply the cellphone. And I may simply delay this sense for a number of extra hours and wait until tomorrow as a result of it simply modified all the pieces. 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’d take it on the street, but when the correct opening spot (got here up) I suppose I’d look into it. It’s a number of work to do a dwell present and it’s a number of time to be away, so it must be state of affairs. And asking for a very good state of affairs proper off the bat is fairly presumptuous.
MLM: Each Josh Ramsay and Matt Webb have solo initiatives out as nicely. Have you ever guys ever talked about doing a Marianas Trench present and the three of you doing your personal opening units for yourselves?
Mikeh: We haven’t talked about it however that will 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 is usually a number of work in a single night time 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 wonderful 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 top of September, after that Sault Ste. Marie present, we have been fairly beat. Nevertheless, earlier than we began all these reveals within the spring, Josh did somewhat solo tour, in Could, 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 music and a few begun concepts. The idea is there. The idea is absolutely 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 wish 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 music with my spouse). My spouse and I put out Christmas songs the final couple of years and she or he’s like, “I’ve obtained an concept for this yr’s Christmas music,” and I’m like, “We don’t have very a lot time.” So, I obtained dwelling from Newfoundland and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (we have been writing) this entire new music. Retaining busy even when the Christmas season rolls upon us, I stated nothing occurs. However I’m going to place out a music with my spouse and this one is superior. It’s one of the best one of many ones we’ve accomplished. It’s with throwbacks and a pop-punk factor. It was actually enjoyable. So, preserving busy even when the snow begins to fall, I’m not going to cease.