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

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Mike Ayley, finest often known as the bassist for multi-platinum-selling Vancouver pop-rock band Marianas Trench stepped into the highlight underneath the moniker MIKEH (pronounced MIKE, EH) along with his debut solo mission, an EP titled Golden Hour: First Issues First launched on October 18 through 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 sort 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, typically chill-inducing vocals.

Aptly titled, the five-song EP is impressed by emotional grey areas Ayley typically discovered himself pondering throughout his favourite instances 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 sort 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 skill to up their sport and push the envelope with every successive document; issues that opened his thoughts to infinite musical potentialities.

In the end, Golden Hour: First Issues First is a celebration of the sort of each day victories we too typically 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, nearly per week. First off, the place did the title come from?

Mikeh: The Golden Hour, so it’s fascinating to me. I believe the sundown is gorgeous. I really like the lighting. I really like all these things about it. There’s additionally dawn, I suppose they’re each Golden Hour. However to me, I assumed it was fascinating to have an album titled that as a result of it’s lovely, nevertheless it’s the tip of the day. And for me, the tip of the day is a time of reconciliation. If you begin the day, you’ve bought your checklist of issues to do and your hopes and potentialities and stuff you’re enthusiastic about and goals and all of this potential. On the finish of the day, you’re sort of left with an accounting, nearly, of what you achieved and what you didn’t accomplish. You sort of have to simply 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, at this time was good” or “at this time was unhealthy”. It was, “Properly, there was this and this and this,” I discover that that’s a very good comparability to how life is and feelings. Most instances you’re not simply, “I’m glad” or “I’m unhappy”. It’s like, I’m glad 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 nevertheless it’s by no means so simple as this or this. And I assumed the combination of feelings is much like the way in which that the day ends with the solar taking place. It’s lovely however there’s at all times 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 form of factor?

Mikeh: Yeah, I concentrate. Up to now so good. I don’t know. I’m largely simply making an attempt to simply be glad. By the point we launched Kaleidoscope, which is the final track, when it got here out I’m like, “you already know what? No matter occurs, I’m glad as a result of I’m proud of the work”. After all, I’d love as many individuals to connect 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 believe 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 might need been time however that is the one time within the historical past the place I knew there was time. A few instances up to now, 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 a protracted hole between Ever After and Astoria and if I did, I most likely would’ve achieved one thing there too, or at the very least checked out it. I began writing that point however I didn’t know how one can use the recording software program or something. However whenever you’re sitting residence alone or with all this time in your palms from all of 2020, after 4 or 5 months, I’m like, I believe I’m going to start out figuring this out. I assumed this pandemic factor was going to be a few months, then we’d be again to enterprise as traditional. 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 wish to waste time doing nothing. My spouse (Emily) and I did a Christmas track.  After which, I began simply placing down a few of my very own concepts as a result of it made me glad 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 wish to do with these songs”? And I used to be like, “Properly, I suppose I simply wish 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: If you began doing this due to the pandemic did you have got 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 after I tried to document them they by no means actually panned out. The one factor, really, is that this one concept that’s older than Marianas Trench, and I took a little bit little bit of that track. I used to be going to redo the entire track 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 concept. And the entire concept 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, nevertheless it really helped actually create and outline that specific track.

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 subsequent 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 track. Was that your concept or was it the document firm’s concept to do this? Why did you determine to launch every thing earlier than the official launch?

Mikeh: I didn’t understand how it will go or how one can 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 mentioned, “Properly, 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 manner. We’ve at all times put out a single, then you definately wait some time, after which perhaps 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 person’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 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 track, “and take me residence, residence” and the final refrain drops. I used to be out for a stroll interested by 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 despair and frustration, and being caught after which that second is the breakthrough and hope and all these things. Think about simply smashing by a wall, how cool that may really feel when you might do 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 had been making an attempt to determine a manner to do 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 wished to do that and this as a result of by then I had a full idea. I wished to be on this huge, infinite grey form of wasteland, interested by being in a mine, an underground mine with simply grey, grey, grey mud in every single place sort of vibe.

After which, this large wall that I simply can’t get by. However on the opposite aspect, I do know it, is paradise. This lush, tropical, lovely place. The lady is there. Hope is there. Optimism is there. Every little thing 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 ceaselessly. We tried to consider 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 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 little bit totally different as a substitute 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 observe 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 really, the producer helped write some stuff in there too, guitar components, and all these items that I believe actually elevated it much more. I really like what it’s about. Possibly it’s probably the most hopeful track in there as a result of Strolling Hill is a little bit bit about being depressed. And Up Up Up is a little bit bit about making an attempt to let go of the previous and transfer ahead and never get caught within the realm of reminiscences.

Breathe Out is about writing a track for my son for that first worst day of his life the place he’s like, “I don’t know if I wish to stay. Is it actually price it”? And my concern is that I’m not there. So I wish to have this track that may be there for him. Like, “I’m with you. You are able to do this. Simply make it by one other day.” Dwell In The Previous Tonight is about receiving horrible information or life-changing information that you just simply want you didn’t reply the cellphone. And I might simply delay this sense for just a few extra hours and wait until tomorrow as a result of it simply modified every thing. However Kaleidoscope is concerning 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 strive.” However saying goodbye on the finish of the day appeared terrible. All that being mentioned, it labored out. We made it work, so it’s a contented ending too. I believe that’s one of many causes I prefer it. And I really 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 exhibits 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 fitting opening spot (got here up) I suppose I’d look into it. It’s lots of work to do a stay present and it’s lots of time to be away, so it must be a very good 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 nicely. 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 may be fairly cool!

MLM: It might 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 lots 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 exhibits 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 exhibits in Australia and performed exhibits 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 exhibits within the spring, Josh did a little bit solo tour, in Might, I believe it was. However proper into then, we had already began engaged on the subsequent Marianas album. So, nonetheless, there’s one within the works, it’s early phases however there’s most likely one full track and a few begun concepts. The idea is there. The idea is de facto 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 track with my spouse). My spouse and I put out Christmas songs the final couple of years and she or he’s like, “I’ve bought an concept for this 12 months’s Christmas track,” and I’m like, “We don’t have very a lot time.” So, I bought residence from Newfoundland and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (we had been writing) this entire new track. Conserving busy even when the Christmas season rolls upon us, I mentioned nothing occurs. However I’m going to place out a track with my spouse and this one is superior. It’s the very best one of many ones we’ve achieved. It’s with throwbacks and a pop-punk factor. It was actually enjoyable. So, retaining busy even when the snow begins to fall, I’m not going to cease.

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