Mike Lewis’s “mikelewismusic” was the most downloaded MP3 from SDReader.com during the month of June. Below is an interview with the musician.
You’ve got an interesting, wistful sound at work on this track. What instruments and effects are you using?
The equipment was simple: a Gibson Hummingbird acoustic guitar, a Shure SM-57 mike, and a TASCAM DP-01FX digital recorder. There are two guitar tracks: the first is the basic acoustic guitar track that was simply miked. The second track was the same acoustic guitar direct to the TASCAM using one of the effects built right into the recording device. My original intent was to create an acoustic-based song with no effects, but after toying around with the various effects, I found one I liked. This resulted in the additional wistful, fiddle-like guitar track.
From what I gather, the theme of the song is about trying to make it as a musician. What made you pick this topic?
“mikelewismusic” is about my lifelong musical journey. The song isn’t really about trying to make it as a musician; rather, it’s more about how my journey led me to where I am now. Until recently, I had been a supporting player in various bands, but songwriting has always been my main interest. There were many people and bands — called out by name in the song — that I was fortunate enough to have shared many valuable experiences with over the years. These experiences led me to the place I really wanted to be, and that was performing my own original songs. The last line sums it up: “Now I’m standing here alone/ I find myself here on my own/ look around this empty stage/ now’s the time to turn the page.”
“mikelewismusic” has a definite country/folk tinge to it. What and who have been your influences?
I have a wide assortment of influences — as a kid my father would play country music nonstop: Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Hank Snow, Faron Young, all the old classic country tunes. As I got older I discovered rock and folk music and became influenced by the Who/Pete Townshend, the Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, and Woody Guthrie, amongst many other artists. While this song was written in a country/folk style, I guess you could say I’m really a rocker at heart with a good foundation in country and folk music.