Between the Stars & Oblivion
A few words from Michael about his first album release: 'I am really excited about this project for a lot of different reasons. Firstly this album represents the culmination of ten years of songwriting and playing. I have worked on a variety of studio projects throughout the years, but this is the first time I have been able to do an entire album. For me, I guess this marks a milestone in my music career. Not only that, but the themes I explore in my songs hold a lot of meaning and emotion. There are some clear themes throughout the songs that you'll pick up on as you listen. I just turned thirty this year and the last ten years have been truly hectic. I feel as though I've already lived a lifetime. The things I have seen and done, coupled with the craziness of modern living make me sentimental for simpler times. Besides writing songs, I also work in the field of technology. Sometimes it seems life revolves around machines, computers, advertising and television. We are constantly bombarded by images and sound, light and darkness. We need to unplug. The songs on the Stars and Oblivion record really cry out for human connection. They also cry out for a connection to God and the spiritual side of life. We invest nearly all of our time and energy in the physical side of life that the spiritual side is nearly lost under the clutter. The first song, Outer Space really opens up this idea. Sometimes it seems that God is so far away from us, that he's living in outer space somewhere and out of reach. It may not be true, but it doesn't stop us from feeling that way some days. Some of the words are, 'Will you come down from outer space, why do you lock yourself away, all I need is time to unwind, and you return to outer space...' This song was written on a quiet day outside, next to the Peace River in Florida. I wrote the whole thing in ten minutes. Just unplugging from the stimuli that constantly surrounds me was enough to birth this song so quickly. One of my favorite tracks on the record is the second song, Underage. It's probably my favorite because it really comes from the heart. One of the great things about this album was I was able to record it with some great friends. When I was just seventeen years old, I was in a band with a few friends. We broke up the band after a while and went our separate ways. We all worked on different projects during the next ten years, and eventually two of my former band mates built a studio. That is where we recorded this record, at Silvertone Productions in Manchester New Jersey. One of the vivid memories I have from our teenage years is always having to prove ourselves to people. We were looked down on because we were young and wild. We were good kids, but it seems folks always found reason to judge us, whether it be for the length of our hair, (in the eighties, it was actually cool to have long hair), wore an earring or listened to loud music. I grew up in a conservative Christian environment, in school, youth group and church. The adults that were part of my life thought everything that was not approved by them was worldly. This kind of backward thinking did nothing but leave a generation of young people feeling like misfits. Sadly, many of my friends from that era could not deal with the rejection. We found acceptance in with peers who used drugs, drank and lived with no thought of consequence. Even if they weren't moral role models, they accepted us for who we were, and that is exactly what we were looking for. Besides, when you first get into drugs and partying, it's a lot of fun. We were seduced by the idea that life is a party and there's nothing else to worry about. Hope for Andy is a story about a friend of mine who nearly lost his battle with heroin. This story has a happy ending though; many of us have made it through the wreckage, including Andy. There are lots of other great songs on this CD and I hope that it touches people. I don't want to talk too much about them because I don't want to ruin the surprises, and I like people to apply their own meaning to the songs. That way, they become personal to the listener and become something more than just a song. Music has had a profound impact on my life and I know that it carries the same influence for lots of souls. I hope you enjoy it and I hope it means more than just songs. We're looking, we're searching, and we're celebrating. It seems we're dancing Between the Stars and Oblivion.