An Interview With MIKE MARINO

When you decide it’s time to make a new single, is that more exciting or stressful?

Well I’m always writing & looking at new ideas – I usually don’t try to write a single specifically but approach most of my songs in the same way – The feeling and emotion have to be there for me – stress can never work in the creative process – otherwise it then becomes contrived & not real – I’ll always write my best stuff – which will have a better chance of being a single – when I’m relaxed and enjoying the process.

You write all of your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?

I drawl my inspiration from a combination of what’s going on around me at the time & how I relate to that information based on what I knew going up as a kid on a farm in the 60’s & 70’s – There is usually some  influence from my past in rural America that ties into what I’m saying in my songs – A cornerstone of my message that runs thru a lot of my music is what I call  The Erosion of the American Heartland as told from the perspective of a Shadow Boomer born in the early 60’s.

My favorite part of the process IS the process – writing songs for me is very medicinal – It’s a way to express your thoughts and to work those thoughts out – Sometimes, just the process of sitting down & having to write about a particular subject helps or even forces me to work out my take on it – That’s a good thing – keeps me on my toes!

What are your fondest musical memories? In your house? In your neighborhood or town?

Groin’ up in the 60’s & 70’s and remembering when all those incredible classic albums were coming into the house & being played on my brothers great Fisher Stereo for the first time – All vinyl of course back then – I can honestly say I remember when St. Peppers first came out – I was only 5 years old – & so many other great albums that shaped my musical direction as a kid – Then many years later having the opportunity to play with several great players who were older than me & I looked up to when I was starting out – that’s a great feeling.

How do you balance your music with other obligations in life? How does it get effected if so?

That’s been a balancing act for me now for many years – It helps to be organized in time mgmt. & be able to compartmentalize well – I’ve held day jobs while pursing music for years & luckily I’ve had the good fortune & energy to do both simultaneously – Honestly I’ve probably made my day job suffer more than the music! – I’ve been known to work up set lists & write stuff while at work… J

What is your favorite song to sing live?

Assuming you mean my favorite original song as there are many covers I love doing – Such as Here Comes the Sun  etc.

Among my originals – it depends on my mood but vocally songs like Sarah- Don’t Leave Me off the new album & Out of the Darkness off my last album are fun tracks for me to do.

Do you have any events coming up or recording going on right now aside from the newest record release?

Well lately I’ve been busy in Video editing – we just finished editing a nice Video that was shot when we were recording No Stone Unturned for the new album at Studio 4 – What a great place that was & working with Grammy winner Phil Nicolo – so now I’m planning on cutting another video down in Delaware at 24/7 soon – after that I plan on getting back out a bit and playing some of the venues on the Philadelphia Songwriters Project – should be fun

Also – started some ideas and writing a bit for a future more stripped down Acoustic project…

At what age did you start singing and what inspired you?

Singing started very young – probably drove a few folks crazy but I was singing to Beatles, Beach Boys & anything else Rock n Roll I could growing up – long before picking up a guitar in my late teens I was singing along to my heroes

No question I was initially inspired first by The Beatles – they were everything I wanted to be!! Then it migrated into the other influences later- notably American Rock Bands – California West Coast Sound of the 60’s etc.

How easily do songs tend to come to you?

Ideas are always flowing but full completion of a song can take a long time – Every once in a while I get that song that just flows together in an hour or so – but that’s rare for me – lately I’ve even had to study up on some history to get a better perspective on what I’m writing — So it’s oftentimes work but I consider it a labor of love

If you had a soundtrack to your life what song/songs would have to be on it?

Wow – probably Time Life’s Collection of songs from the 60’s… would be a start – track one – “A Day in the Life”…

For our readers who have never heard your music, explain your sound in 5 words?

Vintage Flavored American Heartland Rock