L.M. A pleasure to have you in viriAOR Michael. thank you very much.
M.K. Thank you! The pleasure is all mine!
First of all congratulations for that great album that is “Live Your Life”, Tell us a little about your musical beginnings Where did that taste for the AOR come from?
I started playing drums when I was 8 years old in 1980.
In 1985 four of my friends and I started our first real band called Way Up. We were offered a record deal around 1991 but only recorded two songs before we decided to split in 1992.
After that I joined several bands and in 1995 I was asked to join a Danish band called The Donkeys. From that day I was able to make a living as a drummer.
I joined Kandis in 2004 and left the band in 2012. During those eight years we released 6 studio albums which combined sold more than 1 million copies in Denmark.
Since 1995 I have played almost 200 gigs a year as a drummer besides recording my own music and in 2012 I decided to dedicate my time to my own recordings and though I still play drums for other acts my focus remains on my own music.
From the moment you made the decision to become a solist, what has been the greatest challenge that has been presented to you?
Since my early days, I’ve been singing and writing songs. It’s not only the singing that fascinates me but also the creative process and writing the songs.
After so many years behind the drums I came to a point where I wanted to sing my own songs so I stepped away from the drums and up to the front of the stage – something that is very different from being a drummer. Nowhere to hide so now I am the frontman…and I actually found it a little bit difficult in the beginning.
You know, the space behind the drum kit was my comfort zone. Suddenly the only place to hide was behind my guitar and my microphone. But I got used to it and I really love to interact with the audience.
How was the experience of sharing a studio with musicians like Steve Lukather and Michael Landau?
It was a bless! You know, they are my heroes so the fact that they said yes to record with me just made it all even better.
I was not able to go to L.A. at the time so we sent the session files to both of them.
After a few days I received their parts. It was a very special feeling for us when we added their parts to the songs and began mixing. Another great day 🙂
Well this brings us to another question: What musician (s) would you like to invite to work on your next album?
Haha! I think I will keep that answer to myself for now. But I can tell you that we have already recorded six new songs for my next album and there will be songs featuring some of the same Cats that are featured on Live Your Life + more.
Have you been completely satisfied with the result of “Live your life”? , Would you modify any detail?
Yes, I’m satisfied with the result. Arranging and producing music is all about making choices and choosing the right ideas. I think every new day would bring me new ideas, so if we recorded the same songs in a year from now some parts would probably be different simply because of other ideas on that specific day.
We have spent a long time arranging these songs and there’s quite a few versions of most of them. For me, I think we chose the right ones.
Today many fans of the AOR / West Coast, accuse groups and record labels specialized in this style that they have run out of ideas, that all albums sound the same and only worry about selling … What do you think about it?
They might be right. I think some artists have a bigger attention to the commercial part of songwriting than others. And I think it’s absolutely fair. I mean, still it’s pretty expensive to record a full album and it takes a long time. So to think business into the songwriting and producing processes is a natural thing for most songwriters and not least producers and labels.
In other cases fans are accusing their favorite acts of experimenting too much.
I really believe that most artists try to give their fans what they think they would like to hear. Without fans there will be no one to play for and no music.
In the case of Live Your Life I never focused on the commercial part or reviews during the writing and producing process.
I didn’t want to make a concept album but write songs that came to me and produce them according to how I felt on the day of recording the actual song(s).
The only song on Live Your Life that is written as a concept song is Never Take Us Alive.
Before Kasper (my producer) and I took off to London to do the sessions with the Duran Duran guitarist, Dom Brown, we I decided to write a new song that should be classic 80’s Duran ish. Funky and catchy. So we wrote Never Take Us Alive for the London sessions.
What album has been transcendental in your life? And finally, tell us what is your favorite song of Live Your Live?
A lot of albums and artists has influenced me. If I should pick only a few it could be: Blue Desert (Marc Jordan), Airplay (Airplay), Fahrenheit (Toto), All Things Must Pass (George Harrison), Rio (Duran Duran). But there’s so many great artists and albums. It’s really hard to choose just a few.
My favorite song on Live Your Life? It changes almost every day. Today it’s Paradise Lost.
If you wish adding something, this is the moment…
I would like to thank all the fans of AOR / WestCoast music for their support to the genre. Without you we would’nt make music!
Thanks a lot to take your time in to answer us. Always is a pleasure to have a chance to know a little more about you.
Thank you for getting in touch!
Luis Miguel Prada