Indie 101: Michael Lee.

Michael Lee (I trust that we don’t need any pronunciation help with this one…) is one cool Californian cat. He grew up in cow-infested Visalia, CA and now lives in badass-infested Chico, CA.  He likes to fall asleep watching movies on his couch, drink Jameson, eat at Pluto’s, all while wearing his Two Ton Boa t-shirt.

I featured "The Jealous Type" in January on Episode 8 of The Merry Andrews Show and now Michael Lee is back with a vengeance and a new album that rocks off my britches in a very…elegant…and romantic way.

Many artists aren’t into discussing what inspires their songs because they like…have a different meaning to everyone or something lame like that. I respect the secrecy, but I’m a nosey little devil and I always ask. I get a major rush out of hearing a song and saying “Oh! This is about…blah blah blah…” Michael was a dream and gave me all the gory details about the songs on his new album Yesterday and Every Day After. Are you ready for this jelly?

First and foremost, Michael said that Yesterday and Every Day After was a lot of fun to record and even more fun to see completed. Aubrey Debauchery (this name should look familiar) contributed to this album by singing on the tracks "Hide" and "I Won’t Keep You Long" and Erin Lizardo sang on "Standard." According to Michael, “the inspiration for Yesterday and Every Day After comes from life experiences, love, friends, family, heartbreak…the standard stuff. It's funny; a friend of mine went to one of my shows for the first time recently and afterward she said, ‘Wow, I never realized you were so sad.’” He went on to say, “I guess, yeah, a lot of my songs are sad. I have a bad habit of writing about the struggles in my life. When I'm happy I go outside and play. When I'm sad I write songs.” Now, to the really juicy stuff…”'Healthy and Happy' [my personal favorite at the moment], 'Hide' and 'Dream in Black and White' are all about the same idea. They're all a sort of an optimistic and satirical look at my romantic ideals…I guess,” said Michael. He continued, “'I Won't Keep You Long' is about Erin and 'A Sad Song' is about me wanting the sad, miserable side of myself to go away.” Michael also told me that there has always been friction between he and his father, and that I will never meet two people who are so alike but so completely different. “I've always thought that deep down we want to love, appreciate and accept each other but we just can't seem to ever be on the same page. I guess 'Break the Mold' is my attempt to tell my dad how I feel about him,” he said. He finished up my favorite part of the interview by revealing “'English' is about a girl who I fell in love with but couldn't break her bad habit of always playing it safe. 'The Lights the Sound' is about, well the first verse is about how I should really appreciate what's right in front of my face and the second verse is about how other people should really appreciate what's right in front of their faces. And, 'Standard' is about a lot of things.”

As far as Michael’s future plans go he said, “I'm going to play and record more music. I've been writing a lot on the piano so that'll be a nice addition for the next album. In the mean time… come to my shows!”

Here is a short clip of me featuring "The Jealous Type." This is a song about Michael not wanting to be the jealous type, finding someone real, being vulnerable, and not holding anything back. Also, the lovely Aubrey Debauchery sings on this track so I would press “play” if I were you.

Michael Lee on Myspace.

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