Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Michael Jessen Interview

1.For those that have never heard of you before, can you tell us about yourself and your musical project?
I have played in a lot of bands and with different artist for 15 years, and all of that time I’ve always been writing music that I’ve tried out with different players/singers.
2 years ago my old band broke up when the lead singer chose to quit...
I decided it was time to pursue and try out my own material, the way I wanted it to be played/sung, and everything the way I wanted.
So I contacted one of my all time favourite singers, Göran Edman, and he agreed to sing on my album.
I started out with 4 songs in 2013 and those 4 songs landed me a recording deal with German label Massacre Records.We then went back to the studio and recorded the rest of the album….

2.Recently you have released a solo album, how would you describe the musical sound that is presented on the recording?
I think the album is a great modern take on Classic melodic rock music. A couple of the songs even have a stint of a “singer/songwriter” feel to them.
They’re all songs I could sit down and play on an acoustic guitar with Göran Edman singing right next to me.
 If you take a pot and put Chris Daughtry, Van Halen, Queen, Slash, Nikki Sixx and some of those guys in there, it will all blend into something quite similar to my album.
I grew up listening a lot to Queen and other European hardrock acts of the late 80’s like Def Leppard and Europe.

3.What are some of the lyrical topics and subjects you explore with your music?
I think they’re pretty classic rock themes like life, love, dreams. I love to write songs and lyrics. My guitar can only sound like a guitar, but writing the lyrics it’s possible to express so many different feelings, not only with the voice, but also with words. Writing lyrics is something that I take a great deal of time to do.

4.This is your solo project but you have worked with a full band before, how would you compare the two?
I like playing in bands. It’s a great feeling and the music I write is music for bands. It’s not just 8min guitar solos and stuff like that.
 BUT the great thing about finally doing this solo album, is that I am the master, the ring leader, the dictator… The way the songs sounds in my head, is the way they sound on the record. I tell the drummer how to play, I tell the bass player which guitar parts to dub and when to shut up.
So even though my songs are written to be performed by a band, it’s a great feeling that they sound exactly the way I want them to.

5.What are some of the best shows that you have played over the years and also how would you describe your stage performance?
My favourite shows have been a couple of festivals in Denmark. People at festivals are in such a great mood, ready to have a great musical experience, and there’s always great vibes at festivals...

6.Do you have any touring or show plans for the new album?
The album have only been released for 11 days, so no touring plans yet, but I really hope to land some festival gigs in the summer of 2015. I dream of playing some of the major European or even American Festivals. I think my music is VERY well suited for rock festivals.

7.On the new album you had a couple of guests, can you tell us a little bit more about them and their contributions to the album?
 The major guest on my album is lead singer Göran Edman. He has played the biggest venues in the world with Swedish guitar legend Yngwie Malmsteen around 1988-1994. He has always been one of my favourite singers, so it was a major thing in my life when he agreed to sing on my album.
 The next big guest on the album is guitar player John Norum who is best known for playing with Europe and recording The Final Countdown. He has also played with Dokken and done many solo albums. He is a great guy and an amazing guitar player. I handed him a copy of the first 4 tracks that landed me the recording deal. He spoke very well of the songs and Görans singing, and he liked the idea of playing on the album.
The piano on the song Prisoner is played by one of my old high-school classmates Morten Dybro. I’ve worked with him on several occasions when I needed some great piano playing. He is one of the most talented musicians I know. He plays in a backing band for solo artists, so he very easy adapts to different styles and genres.

8.On a worldwide level how has the feedback been to your music by fans of metal and rock?
The album has been incredible well received. I’ve received some amazing reviews from Italy, Belgium and Holland, and my mailbox has received fan mail from both Brazil and Jerusalem.
 Getting such a warm response from both fans and critics has gone beyond my expectations.

9.Where do you see yourself heading into musically during the future?
I would love to do some touring this summer, and the record the next album in the autumn/winter og 2015.
Like on this album, I would like to do 1 or 2 collaborations on the album. I have some names in my dreams, so let’s see if they come true :)
 I like playing on other people’s records too, just to broaden my musical horizon, and I hope to be playing or writing with a couple of other guys in the future too...

10.What are some of the bands or musical styles that have had an influence on your music and also what are you listening to nowadays/
I listen a lot to bands like Sixx AM, Chris Daughtry and Europe. Good quality guitar driven rock’n’roll that never goes out of style.

11.What are some of your non musical interests?
I’m a trained Air Traffic Controller and is interested in aviation, computers and anything electric/technical.

12.Before we wrap up this interview, do you have any final words or thoughts?
I think every single European musical artist have a dream of making it in America, and so do I. I have a big dream of going on a tour with some of the great American artists and bands…
So I hope You, who are reading this, will like/link/share all my social media pages and music videos, and play my songs to all your friends, email the local radio station asking if they would put one of my songs on the air… -thanks for all your support! /Michael

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