Interview with guitarist Michael Thomas
Interview with Michael Thomas guitarist of Brand New Machine
Name: Michael Thomas
Birth date: August 19
Place of birth: New York
Favorite album of all time? I have eclectic taste so depends on what day it is and what mood I'm in.
A guitar: Gibson Les Paul
What is the first CD or LP you ever bought? Guns n Roses...I think.
Favorite musician: I like musicians who have there own sound... Joe Perry, Slash, Billy Duffy. When you hear their playing you immediately know who it is.
Favorite band or group: All the greats like AC/DC, Aerosmith, KISS along with a lot of modern stuff like AX7, Bullet for my Valentine, Asking Alexandria.
As you describe yourself ? I'm 100% heart, soul, and rock n roll. I'm a lifer, this is what I do. Welcome to the madness...
Michael,what are your most recently completed projects?
There's a lot of stuff, it's one long line of projects with a number of artists that I work with. Last year I wrapped up a long world tour with Steven Adler of Guns n Roses. I wrote the music and lyrics to his last single "Alive" that accompanied his autobiography. After that I was asked to write and record an album with a modern rock group from Texas called Anchored. We recorded the album at the world famous NRG studios in Los Angeles (very close to my house) with producer Jay Baumgardner who has worked with Linkin Park, Papa Roach, No Doubt, Korn, Bush and a ton of other amazing bands! It was a dream come true and an incredible experience. We also did a collaboration with Snoop Dogg on that album, a rock/rap song, and shot a video with him. It was a lot of fun! When the album was completed we toured the U.S., Korea, and Japan. Once I returned home I made a quick trip to Europe to play some shows with an up and coming pop singer. Shortly after I got a call for the group I'm currently working with, Brand New Machine. I was asked to come aboard for some shows in India the band had with Guns n Roses. That was a blast and when we got back to the States they asked me to record their upcoming album. We wrote a few new tunes and hit the studio with producer Ryan Greene who has worked with Alice Cooper, Cheap Trick, Megadeth and many others. The result is our new album "The Devil Made Me Do It" and it kicks some serious ass! Now we are out on tour in support of the first single "Girls Like You"... And that's a rough sketch of the past year and a half of my life.
How did you get involved in music in the first place? How did you know it was the career for you?
I knew since the age of 5 years old that I wanted to play music. I was obsessed with "Kiss"! I had everything they put out, from records to toys. That grew into the love I have for the guitar, songwriting, and producing.
Almost everyone has a song that is special, you would like to reveal what is your song special and why?
"Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd. No matter where I am in the world that song always seems to fit.
When did you first start playing guitar, and which artists were your biggest influences?
I first started seriously playing the guitar at age 12. I had a teacher who made the lessons really fun. After a couple years and tackling the basics I started training my ear by listening to songs and figuring out the notes and chord patterns on my own. I learned every album from start to finish that I could get my hands on. I have more of an untraditional approach to guitar, for me it's more about art and expression, about evoking feeling and emotion out of the notes than just learning scales. Strangely, a lot of my influences were guys that I would grow up to tour and record with. Pretty cool.
What has been the most exciting moment of your career thus far and also during the current tour?
There have been a lot. I've played with a number of bands from Beautiful Creatures to Faster Pussycat to members of Guns n Roses, Adler's Appetite, and LA Guns. It's such a long list! Making new music is always exciting and bringing that music to the fans on tour is incredible. Currently we are out doing a lot of radio festivals with bands like Drowning Pool, HIM, and Volbeat. We're having a blast!
Let’s talk about the new album of "Brand New Machine".
Our new album is a straight up raw "no apologies" have a "good time" rock record. We took it in a direction that seems to be absent from the current rock n roll format. So much stuff sounds the same these days and the last thing we are gonna do is go chasing trends. It's an honest and real record that has resonated with the younger audience because it sounds new and fresh to them whereas it's made an impression with the older audiences because there is a familiar feel that takes them back to the music they love. I'm very proud of what we accomplished.
What are your next projects?
I have a few. I've been doing some artists development with our record label and we have some great stuff on deck. And in what little free time I have left I am going to be co-writing and producing some new songs with Lizzy Devine from Vains of Jenna. We've known each other for years and there was always talk of us writing in the past but the schedules didn't permit. Now we are gonna deliver. I look forward to getting down to work with Lizzy.
To end the interview, a phrase you want to leave ....
Always follow your heart, even when people tell you you're wrong. Those people will come and go. Life is all about forward motion. Stand strong on your accomplishments and have goals. Work hard, believe, and don't be afraid to take chances! I speak from experience.