1. Let’s start from the beginning, when and where did it all start?
Age 12 New York, I started playing guitar mainly self taught. It took me a few months to get good enough to play in bands. My stepping stone was a progessive metal band, I played lead guitar and shortly after I discovered my voice when my mother caught me singing in my room to a Louie Prima record. (my parents collection). I was curious! and embarrassed at the same time. Once I got enough approval of my singing abilities, I started a post hardcore band called Samsara that became fairly successful for a short while. We then broke up, regrouped and started a powerpop band called TREAD and wrote some amazing songs, had labels, radio everyone loooking at us, then we broke up. After all the shortcomings, I got smart and stopped relying on other people and became a self sustaining solo artist. I put out 6 albums since 2003 and a 7th is on the horizon. I’ve been touring all over the UK and the US and it’s greatly rewarding.
2. If you had to describe Mike Borgia’s sound in one sentence, what would you say?
Ambiguous, deeply heartfelt, brurtally honest uncatagorical rock?
3. Name 3 artists that have inspired you as an artist.
Chris Whitley, Ted Leo , Slayer (no kidding)
4. What do you see in the future for music, with all of the outlets available for exposure, along with the current Internet craze?
The Future looks promising, being that artists can more easily put themselves out there. Digital downloads are the new craze; highly convenient to add to your collection without sacrificing room in your house and easy to share with friends. The biggest problem I see currently is, it allows for too many bands to form which degredates quality and diminishes those with true talent and artistic vision. The accessability the web offers causes dillusion, giving those without talent the wrong impression and in turn makes gaining new fans even harder sometimes. To direct?
5. What can we expect to see from Mike Borgia in the next year? Any big plans?
expect to see plenty. I am releasing my 7th album on DEC 15th entitled “Philistines & Alcoholics” a few tracks are available for sale right here at indistr.com, exclusively. 10 day US tour for Cancer starting FEB 6th Followed by another UK tour in April and random dates in between. For the time being I’m working on songs for a songwriting contest I started, where fans submit their lyrics to my forum on www.trig.com/group/yoursong. If I like what they write, I create a song around the lyrics and give them Co-songwriting credit and their own download store at indistr.com. Here is an example www.indistr.com/zachiroth. It is my way of showing fans appreciation and considering them more than just a buyer.
6. What have you been listening to lately?
These Eyes Are Cameras from Manchester UK. Jonah Matranga, Bowerbirds
7. Your thoughts on independent music and if it’s possible to be successful through these means of distribution?
To be independent is highly empowering, at least for me because you are in full control. No deadlines, no creative differences between you and the label and the money stays with you. It is definitely possible to be successful and I know because I’m doing it. This business has its ups and downs and success is measured differently by each idividual or group. No matter what the goal, if you set it and reach it, that is success. It’s not always about how much money you earn, its what you are able to do as an artist to be happy. To be yourself I think is the first step. Lead not follow, because being derivative of what’s popular never lasts.
8. If we can’t find you playing a gig or practicing music, where might we expect to find you?
I am virtually everywhere on the web. If someone can’t find me its because they forgot to turn on their computer first. www.indistr.com/mikeborgia obviously!
9. How many shows do you play a year? What’s the atmosphere typically like?
100+ at least. The atmosphere depends on the city, venue and day of the week. Generally I find it very welcoming and go home after a gig fullfilled and happy, no matter if there are 5 people or 10,000. A friend once said “you get what you give” and he couldn’t be more right.
10. Lastly, your thoughts on INDISTR.COM?
A vital part of my musical life. If you are an independent artist of any size you have to house your music here. I love it because you have better control over your content and get paid right away. The bonus is to music fans as well because downloads are cheap, and registration is really fast and pain free. No waiting for that e-mail confirmation. It even has html codes for each song that when clicked takes you right to the store front.