Mike Ayley, greatest referred to as 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 challenge, 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 way 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 method to vocals as devices in their very own proper, and the band’s potential to up their sport and push the envelope with every successive file; issues that opened his thoughts to infinite musical potentialities.
In the end, Golden Hour: First Issues First is a celebration of the type of every day victories we too usually take without any consideration that’s compellingly sincere 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 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 believed 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 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 completed and what you didn’t accomplish. You type of have to just accept the failures or the misses with the successes and the accomplishments. Due to that, it’s a mix of feelings. It’s probably not simply, “oh, right now was good” or “right now was dangerous”. It was, “Effectively, there was this and this and this,” I discover that that’s a superb comparability to how life is and feelings. Most occasions 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 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 way in which 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 because the launch? Have you ever heard any suggestions or do you not take note of that kind of factor?
Mikeh: Yeah, I listen. Up to now so good. I don’t know. I’m principally simply attempting to only 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 pleased with 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 sincere and simply actual. It’s not like a personality that I picked out to painting like David Bowie or any individual 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 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 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 in all probability may have finished 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 in all probability would’ve finished one thing there too, or no less than checked out it. I began writing that point however I didn’t know the best way to use the recording software program or something. However once you’re sitting house 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 believed this pandemic factor was going to be a few months, then we’d be again to enterprise as typical. Clearly, it wasn’t. So, Josh [Ramsay, singer] was like, “You recognize 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 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 assume”? And so they 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 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 will have something written earlier than that or was all of it recent?
Mikeh: It’s humorous as a result of I’ve had different concepts however once I tried to file 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 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 kind of constructed round that. Effectively, didn’t actually construct round that, nevertheless it truly helped actually create and outline that individual track.
MLM: Golden Hour has 5 songs, did you will have greater than 5 written?
Mikeh: I’ve greater than 5 written.
MLM: Are there plans for a follow-up or full-length?
Mikeh: We’ll 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 couple of month earlier than the discharge, starting September sixteenth, you began releasing YouTube movies for every track. Was that your concept or was it the file firm’s concept to do this? Why did you resolve to launch every little thing earlier than the official launch?
Mikeh: I didn’t understand how it will go or the best way to do it and once I was talking with the label that was a steered timeline. They had 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 means. We’ve all the time put out a single, then you definitely wait some time, after which perhaps one other single then the album. Nevertheless it’s completely different with an EP. It’s completely different now as a result of it’s so streaming heavy and no one’s actually ready for a CD to return 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 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 track, “and take me house, house” and the final refrain drops. I used to be out for a stroll fascinated by it and I used to be like, it looks like a breakthrough. That second the place there’s all this pressure and it’s about melancholy and frustration, and being caught after which that second is the breakthrough and hope and all these things. Think about simply smashing by way of a wall, how cool that might really feel for those who may try this once you’re in these moments. And for that, it ought to be fairly cool within the video. Then I talked to the video man, Roman, from the label. We had been attempting to determine a means 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 value 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, infinite grey kind of wasteland, fascinated by being in a mine, an underground mine with simply grey, grey, grey mud all over the place type of vibe.
After which, this enormous wall that I simply can’t get by way 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. The whole lot 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 perpetually. We tried to consider methods to do it with a video nevertheless it was simply, “how do you seize one thing like that, particularly once you’re not on a Inexperienced Day finances or one thing like that,” you already know what I imply? He began speaking about options. I’m like, “I don’t assume 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 little thing nonetheless”? And he checked into it. And we discovered this firm that’s finished another stuff they usually did. I additionally thought it was cool as a result of it’s a little bit completely different as a substitute of only a efficiency video with everyone taking part in the identical as everyone else. It felt like a barely completely different vibe than a typical video.
MLM: Do you will have 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 will have 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 way in which. 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 elements, 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 attempting 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 need to stay. Is it actually value it”? And my worry is that I’m not there. So I need 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 way of 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 may simply postpone this sense for just a few extra hours and wait until tomorrow as a result of it simply modified every little thing. 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 strive.” 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 cheerful 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 assume 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 whole lot of work to do a stay present and it’s a whole lot of time to be away, so it must be a superb situation. And asking for a very good situation proper off the bat is fairly presumptuous.
MLM: Each Josh Ramsay and Matt Webb have solo tasks 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 might 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 whole lot 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 following Marianas album. So, nonetheless, there’s one within the works, it’s early levels however there’s in all probability one full track and a few begun concepts. The idea is there. The idea is actually 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 house from Newfoundland and Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday (we had been writing) this entire new track. Maintaining busy even when the Christmas season rolls upon us, I stated 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 finished. 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.