Focus: The John Michie Collective | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Who are you?
I am John Michie the sole member of “The John Michie Collective” and I live in a small town just outside of Newcastle Upon Tyne.

What is it you do?
I am a songwriter who plays a few instruments, guitar, piano, drums, and sings. I do all of these badly but it all seems to come together well. A bit like how Noel Gallagher pulls it off. My art mainly explores guitar-based psychedelia. I also mix and master my own music like most musicians that aren’t on a major label.

How long have you been doing it?
I have been writing songs since I was 15 when I first bought a guitar. I have however spent my whole life trying to get into a sensible career whether working in offices, teaching or politics. That all changed when I was stuck teaching in a secondary school in Norfolk six different subjects with no life and no free time. When my mental health was at breaking point I jacked it in and decided to do what I wanted and live where I wanted to live. Life is too short. It’s taken two years of learning, failure and hard work to get things sounding good.

What inspires you?
Anything that is a bit odd inspires me. I was born in 1985 but have always been the kid who has not followed the mainstream. Maybe the weirdo. I have always had a great attachment with the 1960s and have always had unfashionably long hair. I loved the weird programs like the Avengers or the Prisoner when everyone my age didn’t know about them. I was able to name the Beatles back catalogue aged 10… It’s those influences which I am channelling.

Tell us about your music.
In my songwriting, I am predominantly siphoning psych stalwarts including Pink Floyd, The Beatles, The Velvet Underground, with a touch of Lalo Schifrin and 1970s Fleetwood Mac. However, I try to present a uniquely avant-garde expression of the modern pop structure where I can and often will throw the kitchen sink at it. I am also heavily influenced by Grimes and adore her album Visions. It is in fact her that gave me the recording bug learning how she did everything herself in a bedroom. I am basically copying her process.

What have you got coming up in the future?
My debut album “High Vibrations” is out on 12 February 2021 so it’s just releasing singles and promotion until then. I have a collaboration coming out where I’m playing guitar for a guy in Toronto. Covid unfortunately has meant that everything else is on ice. After Covid it’s travel, party and a few hangovers before album number two.

Where can people find out more about you?
I’m forever on twitter on the handle @johnmichiemusic but not in a Trump way. Come and join me and all the awesome musicians the fast food record labels are ignoring. There are alot of us! If not my website is a good place to start.

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