Michael Forsyth is a Scottish singer/songwriter from Huntly, Aberdeenshire. Described as having music you fade into, melodic vocal with acoustic rhythm indie tracks. Lyrics that people will identify with in their own experiences of love and life. Greatly influenced by Bob Dylan, Noel Gallagher and Richard Ashcroft.
Thank you for being the first up in my series of interviews for In Your Ears Radio website!
First up, tell us about you?
I’m Michael 34 years old married to a beautiful mad woman called Kat. We have two boys, Cody and Dylan who are our world. I work 5 minutes from my house as a Cask Hall Operative for Duncan Taylor which is a family owned business producing quality Scotch whisky, gin and rum. In my spare time I enjoy writing and recording music which I occasionally release to the world.
Can you remember when and how you got into music?
My Dad played guitar and always had music playing which was a big influence on me, but I never really wanted to play guitar until I saw Noel Gallagher in 1997 on the Oasis ‘Do you know what I mean’ video.
I’ve seen the photos on twitter of you as a youngster in a band, tell me about those times
We were called Earth and we were mainly a cover band. We used to practice at the singers dad’s garage as he had built us a proper rehearsal room which we used every chance we got. We were 14 years old when we started out gigging in the pubs of North East Scotland every weekend sometimes a Friday, Saturday and even Sunday night. Travelling to the gigs we always had a laugh and a carry on in our minibus. We turned up played the gig and on the return journey home we always nipped into a petrol station for whatever food was available. I played with the band until I was 19, some of the best times of my life. Great experience!
Now you’re doing solo music, how do you compare the two experiences?
Being in a band is great fun, but I don’t think I could go back to playing in a cover band. You need to be really dedicated to it as there are so many amazing cover bands out there so you gotta be really good to get the bookings. I think I’d struggle finding the time.
With the solo stuff I can kinda do it as and when I please and if I need help with a gig that isnt just an acoustic set I have 2 great friends Mark and Scott who help me out.
We also have a side project that we have just begun which is sounding epic.
Tell me about your song writing process, how does that normally happen?
A idea can randomly come into my head and I record the melody on my phone for later or I’m sat down with a guitar which I try to do at least once or twice a week and sometimes it just kinda happens. The more you try to write the more chance you have of one day writing something amazing. Normally I record a demo version which I send to whatever studio I’m going to use. I then turn up on the studio day, put down a click track add a guitar and vocal and build in the other parts, drums strings bass keyboard etc from there.
Out Here In The Dark features the very angelic voice of your son, Cody – how did that come about?
Cody had been with me at the studio session. The song was finished and playing back but as it was playing back across the monitors Cody started singing a harmony to my vocal. We took the decision there and then to cut the track at a certain point and we put him In the vocal booth pressed record and on his first take in a studio he added what you hear.
Your next track She Can Fly, written for your sister Kimberley has just dropped on twitter which is incredibly beautiful – tell us more about the track and the charities the proceeds will be going to?
Kimberley is an amazing person with a heart of gold, when she told me she had cancer I just wanted to take it away. The song is basically about how I will be there for her no matter what but also that I know how strong she is.
‘They can throw the road of life from underneath your feet sometimes but what they forgot was this girl she can fly’
It’s basically a f*** you cancer, hit me with what you’ve got, but I will survive.
I have previously been part of a group that raised £20k for macmillan cancer support through holding music events. Kimberley is planning on doing this also and raising money. Any stream or sale of She Can Fly shall go straight to the charities of her choice.
What kind of music do you usually listen to?
I’m into lots of different genres, country, blues, rock, metal, indie. I’m trying my best to listen mainly to unsigned bands or solo artists this year. I’m well into a band at the moment called Moonlight Parade and I’m also loving a musician called Sunzoom.
Imagine you’re putting on a gig, you need to pick 3 artists from the independent scene – who would you pick and why?
Moonlight Parade.. Simply outstanding the world should hear themSunzoom… The vibes created in the songs are mad
The Capollos.. in your face rock n roll
The old cliché question, you’re having a drink in a bar who would you invite to join you and why?
If I could resurrect the dead David Bowie. A musical genius and I’m sure he’d have lots of inspirational words of wisdom.
Nick McCabe from The Verve, I think his guitar playing is incredible and I’d like to ask him for some tips for my side project Kaleidoscope Sky.
What’s next for you?
More writing and recording and hopefully put out some more music
You can find Michael on Twitter @mforsythmusic for more information on him and also links to his music. I’m looking forward to hearing more from Michael and also his new project Kaleidoscope Sky in future. Also shout out to the whole Forsyth clan, you know who you are!!!