Monday, September 01, 2014

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Interview: Mike Kershaw


Today's interview brings forth our latest Band Of The Month artist Mike Kershaw.

Having previously recorded under the name 'Relocate To Heathrow' Mike Kershaw decided in 2011 to record all future projects under hiw own name. The last few years have seen great leaps musically to him and he thought that the new songs deserved a new identity.

Below you can read about Mike's career and about his new album Ice Age (2014).

Interview by Diego Camargo


Progshine – Mike, let’s begin telling everyone about your beginnings. How did you start with music and when you decided to start to record your solo project?

Mike Kershaw - I have always loved music and played with lyric writing since I was at school but In 2007 after 22 years working for the same company I found myself out of work and looking for something to engage my mind. It was the perfect opportunity to try turning some of the lyrics into songs and I took it. By 2009, between project work and short term contracts, I had written & produced three albums which (as I was still looking to my find my feet musically) I released under the name Relocate to Heathrow.
In 2010 I made a drastic life change, swapping finance management for caring for my young son & concentrating on music.  At this point I decided to record under my own name.

Progshine – And talking about you, I think many people have this curiosity. Are you related with Nike Kershaw?

Mike Kershaw - Not in the slightest….But I have the utmost respect for him and he can come and collaborate on a Kershaw album anytime he wants lol

Progshine – Mike, so far you have 3 albums and 1 EP out. How do you see all 3 albums and the difference between them?

Mike Kershaw - That’s a difficult question. Each album certainly has its own identity which is something I work hard to achieve during the song writing process. The differences between them are the songs and the stories they tell. Both This Long Night and Ice Age have themes which bind most, but not all the songs together, without them being concept albums. I also think that each album is better than its predecessor. More complete and more interesting… but then I would say that.


Progshine – How you write your songs and how’s the recording process?

Mike Kershaw - I usually start with 2 or 3 pre written lyrics and decide if the album will have a theme. Once I have recorded the first two tracks the direction of the album starts to take shape. After this some tracks start with lyrics and some start at the piano. Once 4 or 5 tracks are recorded I tend to know what kind of songs I need for the rest of the album. I find lyric writing very easy (so far) so that at least helps balance out the challenges of the music.

Progshine – And talking about your new album, Ice Age, how was the process of writing and recording this album in specific? How much time did it take?

Mike Kershaw - It took 8 months in total and followed the recording pattern I described previously. I had one semi completed track called Yesterdays from the previous album which I had deliberately left over and I had also written a separate complete lyric titled Frame and Glass. Both these songs had icy themes reflecting changing times and I decided that the album would be called Ice Age right from the off. However half way through writing the album, Ian Fairholm (Eppy Gibbon Podcast, Eppyfest) mentioned he was doing a Christmas special podcast. This set me thinking and I ended up breaking off and recording a further 3 tracks to release as a seasonal EP called Winter which included an Ice Age track called Snowman which was then dropped from the album. I think Ice Age would have been ready a bit earlier without that diversion, although I’m glad I did it.

Progshine – You use the internet to distribute your music and to get new fans. Websites like Bandcamp and others are important for you? And how is it to be the artist, the manager and your own label?

Mike Kershaw - It’s very hard sometimes but you learn to get better at it. I am quite a reserved person and find the marketing side of things very taxing but I have had so much encouragement from so many people especially in the last 18 months that it’s getting easier all the time.


Progshine – Mike, you're present in the digital world on social websites such as Facebook and Twitter? How much this new technological world is important to spread your music? And how  do you handle reviews and such?

Mike Kershaw - It’s crucial, nobody would have ever heard my music without it. It’s also great that so many people help spread the word. I have made a lot of good friends since I started this madness lol
Reviews are very important and it’s very hard to get enough of them. Happily most are positive but I view negative reviews as important. I am far from perfect, I want to improve and constructive criticism is useful.

Progshine – As a reader, I have always liked to know about my favorite artists tastes such as their favorite bands and albums. If you guys could name your favorite albums and artists, which ones would they be? Maybe give me a Top10 for both!

Mike Kershaw It changes all the time but here goes:
Albums
The Wall – Pink Floyd
OK Computer – Radiohead
The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway – Genesis
And Then There Were Three – Genesis
2112 – Rush
Transcendental Blues – Steve Earle
Imaginos – Blue Oyster Cult
Liege And Lief – Fairport Convention
Mock turtle – Richard Thompson
Hounds Of Love – Kate Bush

Artists:
Genesis
Blue Oyster Cult
Yes
Rush
Steve Earle
Richard Thompson
Pink Floyd
Decemberists
Leonard Cohen
Peter Gabriel
And many many more...

Progshine – In all of my interviews the final space was devoted to messages from the bands and artists to their fans. So the space is all yours!

Mike Kershaw - The last 18 months have been truly amazing. The support I have had from DJ’s and my friends and followers on Facebook and Twitter has been beyond what I could have ever imagined when I started down this road. For me though the future is always the next release so I’m working on a new EP for release in December and once thats done work will commence on the next album which will also feature other musicians for the first time on an album of mine. Its going to be interesting.
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See more 
Mike Kershaw on Progshine:
News, Articles & Podcasts

Buy it:

Reason To Believe
This Long Night
Ice Age
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