Michael Stanley just released And Then. Expect the quality he has been offering since 1969!
You have been making albums for a very long time and wrote a lot songs. Does inspiration still comes easy?
Inspiration…this far down the line I still find that it’s easy to come up with music that inspires me but after having written around 500 songs the big question these days is what to write about…what have I not addressed that I want to or how can I conjure up a new take when revisiting an old topic.
A song like “All Together Now” from the new album “And then” ranks among your best songs, I think. What do you think? Or is ranking your own songs not important to you?
“All Together Now”…thanks for the kind words. It’s one of my favorites on the album but the funny thing is that it’s a song I wrote about 30 years ago that somehow slipped through the cracks. I found an old demo tape and thought I’d see what could be done with it…and the band rose to the occasion! And no, I don’t rank my tunes…it doesn’t matter which ones I like, the audience will make the choices.
The music industry has changed a lot over the years. From your first album till now. What’s the biggest change?
It would take a book to list the changes in the music business since I made my first album back in 1969…hell, the recording consoles still had rotary dials…faders were few years away. The internet has leveled the playing field on one level but has also made it almost impossible to work your way through all the dreck to find the good stuff. But the biggest thing is that I think there are several generations of listeners who expect their music to be free…they’ll pay a plumber or an electrician but expect musicians and songwriters to ply their craft for free…and that only leads to musicians and songwriters who are looking for new jobs. Unfortunately I don’t think music means as much to listeners today as it use to.
Strange times, don’t you think? What is the best way for to promote your new album?
I’m afraid, I’m still a little “old school” with internet promotion. My late wife (a former VP at Capitol Records) ran our label and took care of all that but after she passed away I now find I not only have to come up with new product but also try and market it and that is not my strong suit. I guess I’m just hoping that the cream will rise to the top…but confidence isn’t high.
I think you recently added your music to Spotify. If true, what made you decide to do this? Where I live, The Netherlands, it looks like everybody uses streaming services (or buys vinyl) and more and more people are willing to pay for this.
We have a guy who deals with all the streaming options and I’m afraid I’m at his mercy.
Your voice gives your songs an extra warmth. When and how did you found out you could do this?
The voice? Well, it just is what it is…forty-five years of cigarettes and the road have left their mark. I certainly don’t have the vocal range hat I had in my younger days but i think I’m a far better singer than I use to be…in fact I’d love to re-sing a lot of the old stuff…that would be interesting (at least for me).
Did you ever tour Europe? Is it very difficult to do nowadays?
Tour Europe? I’m afraid not…but I’d love to at some point. We’ll see what the future brings.
What’s up for the next couple of months?
The next couple of months will be filled with gigs around the Midwest and finishing up a new album which we’ll start mixing the beginning of July…you gotta keep moving ’cause someone might be gaining on ya!
Please check out Michael’s website
Buy the new album here.
Here is a classic from the old days.