Interview with MICHAEL DALE

Michael Dale knows his music. As a young kid he played every instrument he could get a hold of, drums, piano, clarinet, guitar, bass, harmonica, mandolin… and let’s not forget the ‘shaker’. “I came from a big, musical family, so I could never really get away from it”. After forming a band with his friend Tom in high school, Michael started to experiment with writing. “Between the two of us we just gradually started playing around with covers that we’d developed, until we realised that we could just write our own stuff. I would usually create a melody or the music, and Tom would write the lyrics”.

When arriving at the University of York, Michael hoped this would be the perfect opportunity to explore his passion for music further. “I had this dream, that I would arrive here at uni and meet people with the same musical tastes as me and we would automatically get on and start the perfect band. Realistically the chances of that happening were always slim. I started out by playing drums for this band, and then started to get more and more involved with Band Soc. There is a strong music network here but you have to be pretty determined to find it and to get yourself completely involved”. Michael eventually settled for the guitar. “I have always admired artists like Damien Rice, who can captivate an entire audience with just a guitar and a voice”.

As for other artists who influence Michael, “really anything from Radiohead to Death Cab. It seems like today good singer-songwriters are really hard to find, personally I hate songs that seem to revolve around the concept of ‘oh, a girl just broke up with me, now I am going to try and get over her by singing about it’”.

Michael Dale

Musically, Michael’s songs vary but are always based around the acoustic, melodic mould. Lyrically, Michael has experimented with anything and everything: “for me lyrics are the hook and catch of a song, so I really include anything that means something to me. I recently wrote a song that included Keats’ poetry”. Grand concepts and influences also stem from other literary works, such as The Great Gatsby and Satre, “love all that existentialism stuff”! Mainly, Michael’s aim when writing is to produce more than just another break up song.
There is something incredibly humble and unassuming about Michael Dale. After spending the first ten minutes of the interview assuring him that yes, his shirt did match his jeans, his pure love of playing and writing music was immediately evident. “I have played at open mic nights to no more than about five people. Sometimes those five include my housemates. But I love it, every second of it. Nothing beats the feeling of putting something out there creatively, and music means a lot to me, so any audience is a big deal”.

As for where he sees himself in five years time: “doing something with music. That’s a definite. Working in some rubbish job, unsatisfied for the rest of my life is just not an option for me. I love composing. Recently I have been playing around with choral music, absolutely love the stuff! So you can see the doors are wide for me, really anything to do with music and I’d be happy”.

Although the dream is all consuming, Michael describes music as just an everyday passion. “It was never something I had to work hard at to understand, and in that way I don’t think it will ever become another boring day job for me”. However, even he admits there would be something incredible about sitting down and recording an album. “I think if one day I could complete an album, that would be pretty much my greatest achievement. There is something so admirable about the dedication and vulnerability used in the writing process. It could be the most commercially unsuccessful project ever, however that feeling of writing that many songs that mean so much personally would just be amazing”.

Michael is a third year History student at the University of York. He knows his music, and he’s good at it to. His hopes are that music becomes an even bigger presence at the university than it has been, and he’s leading the way for that: a down to earth, lovely guy who wants to make music.

Follow Michael on SoundCloud at www.soundcloud.com/michael_dale.

3 thoughts on “Interview with MICHAEL DALE

  1. I’ve heard some of this guys stuff, really is a sick musician and it is rare to find someone who plays so many instruments yet the phrase ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ doesn’t apply. Certainly seems humble as suggested and oozed charm. Seemed like a safe brer.

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