Mike Massé Q&A

Mike Massé is a classic rock cover musician known around the world for his musical talents with passionate reviews by his audience and artists alike.  TotoRushSarah McLachlanAsia, and Toad the Wet Sprocket have all expressed their love of his cover songs and sound in general.

 

 

Here’s an interview with the man himself with Dylanna Fisher of Switching Styles.

How did you get started in music?

I learned we had a piano in my house when I was a kid. My older sisters were all taking lessons. I was too young, but I was more interested in the piano than they were. I used to sit at it and pick out songs by ear, and my mom quickly realized that I was probably the one who should be taking lessons. My sisters all kind of grew out of it and never really pursued it, but we still have the piano in my house. It was my mom’s. I think it used to belong to her mom. It was in the family. I started taking piano lessons when I was a kid.

Then when I was a little bit older, I got my first electric guitar probably when I was around, I don’t know, 10 or 12 or something. It was just like a cheap thing from like the Sear’s catalogue or something. I got a cheap amp, and used to figure out power chords, how to strum along to some of the songs I liked. It didn’t really click for me ‘til I was more like in high school, actually junior high, I should say. We moved from Florida to Boulder, Colorado when I was like in eighth grade. When I moved to Colorado, I met two of my lifelong best friends. I auditioned for their band actually, and one of them was a bass player and the other was a guitarist, my friends Scott and Ken. They both make appearances on my YouTube channel actually.

Scott and Ken and I were in a band together with a friend of ours named Larry who played guitar. I was actually the keyboard player in the band. That was in junior high, and my dad bought me my first synthesizer. It was a Yamaha DX7. It was on backorder when it came out, but it was like the best synthesizer of all time. We had it on pre-order and the store actually let me borrow theirs. I bought one, and they didn’t have one for me. We played, and our first gig was a ninth-grade going away party. We picked a bunch of songs. It was like in the gym, the acoustics were horrible, but we did stuff like Rush and U2 and just all kinds of crazy stuff. A couple of the guys had been in choir, but I had never really sung in my life, and all of us divvied up songs. For some reason, I ended up with the hardest ones and I sang them all. I sang them all in falsetto and sounded pretty horrible, but it was kind of my first gig. From there, we were a band through high school and started writing some originals and such.

Eventually, I got my first acoustic guitar when I was in high school. I was in another band and I borrowed that guitarist’s 12-string and that was actually my first acoustic. I borrowed his 12-string for a while, and then that inspired me to get my own 6-string. Then I taught myself how to play it a lot from just listening to the Beatles’ songs. I had a couple of Beatles’ songbooks and taught myself things like “Blackbird” and “Yesterday” to learn how to single pick. I strummed the other ones, Still learning Beatles songs on piano. Then in high school, I went on to be in some choirs. I was still in the band, and, played guitar a little more and started coming up with some of my own arrangements of things.

When I got to college, I started collecting songs I had learned and arranged, and I auditioned at my first restaurant, got that gig and then that blossomed into me meeting Sterling Cottam in college in choir. We had a little acoustic duo where I kind of taught him a couple songs that I had learned. Then we learned some more together, and we used to sing as a duo. I met a bass player in college, Jeff Hall, and then it became a trio. Then met a drummer and it became a full band called Twice Daily, and it was just basically a cover band. It was kind of like acoustic because for a while we didn’t have a lead guitarist or an electric guitarist. We just kind of did acoustic stuff, but we were still a full band. We found a friend from Canada, named Jared Spice, who was a music major and joined us on lead guitar and that was the last one. We got some gigs on campus and played at the Spring Fling, and in front of a few thousand people that were just there, playing the stuff that was popular at the time and now its classic rock. I still do a lot of the same songs that we learned in college because it’s still the stuff I love, and what grabs you over time. I tried to document as many of those as I could for my YouTube channel. A lot of them are sort of unchanged since the way I originally learned them in college including the same style. She’s coming to my gig in New York on Friday with Sterling and Jeff and Scott Fleisher. A lot of my old friends are going to be there for a few shows and stuff. I mean, it’s cool that I’m still playing with the friends I made in college.

That is sort of a long answer to a short question.

No, it’s all good. That’s perfect.

You made a lot of friends through music, and quite a few of them are still kind of present in your life. How do you think that is important, for you personally and for your music career?

It was always important for me for it to be a joyful experience to play music. I wouldn’t be comfortable doing it with people that I didn’t enjoy being around or working with. It’s interesting because I recently put together a band. I’m not just looking for future bandmates; I’m looking for future friends hopefully, and like, the personalities kind of have to gel. Sometimes it can be intense, and you need to be around people who are pretty mellow, who can ride through things without making it all about them or freaking out.

I’m going to focus on Jeff Hall for a second. When I found Jeff, I was really lucky because he was really laid back and super talented, and he plays many instruments. He doesn’t just play bass, but he also plays keyboards really well, and he can play some drums. Everything you see about him in the videos in terms of how laid back he is, is just a fraction of how laid back he would be. He’s Mr. No Drama and it has always been good to work with him. I don’t remember a single time in my life in which we’ve ever raised our voices at each other. I don’t have that with a lot of people, but I have that with him. That made it easy, and he was always kind of willing to go along with whatever crazy ideas I had or songs to cover. I’ve actually ended up exposing him to a lot of music. I kind of made him a Grateful Dead fan. He had never really heard the Dead and I kind of got him into that and even the Beatles to a certain extent. I broadened his familiarity with the Beatles catalogue. My friends Scott and Ken since junior high, and we get along great too.

Sterling and I get along really well too, and our voices blend well. We could fool people into thinking, if we looked anything alike, that we’re brothers by just the way we sound. He does a really good job of complementing anything that I attempt to do. He’s such a hard worker about it too. I really appreciate that about him. It’s fun to kind of do gigs with him where he travels with me as a bass player now, and sometimes he plays guitar too. The big thing that we’ve done together is Simon and Garfunkel, that’s kind of our staple. It’s always fun to explore new things with him.

 

I consider all of these guys my friends. When I made the leap to doing music full-time, they were also very generous with their time, in terms of making it economically possible for them to join me and not demanding huge paydays for gigs where they knew that I was. I was trying to get this small business off the ground, as a solo musician when I quit the day job. It’s been great doing that with them and travelling with them. For them, it’s kind of a nice little break. They have day jobs. Once in a while, they get to go for a weekend or maybe longer and just play Rockstar for a little while and play in front of crowds of people who know who they are and who adore them. I think that’s probably really cool for them. I love that part of the job too. For them, it’s just something that’s a nice break from their routine.

 

 

When you go and do concerts, how does it make you feel?

Let me start by saying this, I get really nice messages from people, from time to time, about how, how my music helped them or even how I inspired them to pick up the guitar again. I think that really gave a lot of people inspiration that, they could do the same, or like, “What’s stopping you?” I think because especially at the Pie, we’re playing at this super humble place, and we look like, we’re sometimes, we’re wearing shorts, or we’re wearing t-shirts and, at times, neither of us were in great shape. There was very little to look at in our early videos, but that wasn’t the point, and I think that showed people that, “Don’t let stupid things like your appearance stop you. If you, if you have a sound to make, make it.”

I had told people before, I’m like, “I sing because I love it. The fact that other people enjoy hearing it, that’s my side benefit, but that’s not why I do it. I just sing, I just do it. And I think that helps. I know that it has helped people because they’ve told me. There’s the other side of it. We sang at this little fairy tale, romantic comedy ending scene wedding in the countryside in the UK which was beautiful. Beautiful setting, beautiful people, everything. It looked like a movie. We sang at this wedding a couple of years ago in the UK, because on their first date they both listened to “Africa” together.

We’re a part of people’s like life stories, and they sent us this picture not long ago of their son. They’re like, “We wanted to name him Toto, but we didn’t.” You hear these stories. I’m a part of people’s lives and I don’t even realize it half the time. I try to do a little meet and greets after every show where I go around and take pictures with folks or sign things or whatever and shake their hands. There’s always like a little parade of those devotees who stick around and, and they get to talk to me in person. It’s heartwarming. I wish I had more time to talk to them individually. I had a guy come up to me in Australia who said that I saved his life. Because he was thinking about ending it, and he found my channel, and something changed him. It’s amazing!

That is really amazing. This is why I do what I do because I like hearing all these heartwarming stories.

For sure. Sorry, I’m just trying to plug something in to charge it. Doing pop-up shows for me is kind of a pain because I have to promote them. They don’t promote themselves. Usually, I choose cities where I think I fill a venue of my choice. The challenge is always getting the word out and just making people aware that it’s happening, and that’s something that we’re still dealing with. It’s just trying to get the word out for gigs. It’s worth it because that is the only time that I’m really greeted by full crowds of people who are there for me, and they love it. I give them my all every time, and I try to give them the show that I think that they would want. Sometimes I give them the show that they don’t realize that they want. I throw some surprises in there.

The nice thing about doing classic rock is that it might be a new song to me but it’s not to them. They still know it. It’s like, oh they’ve never heard me do that before but, “Oh cool, he threw something new in there.” It’s like I love sprinkling the setlists with surprises and it is fun for me to keep it fresh. I’ll throw in a few for my channel that is maybe not quite the popular ones, but some people love them, and then maybe a couple that I want to do. There’s nothing like a public gig to get that kind of reaction. When I do corporate events, sometimes the person who booked me is a fan, but it doesn’t mean that everyone in the room is. I try to win them over, but it’s just a different vibe.

I’m not there necessarily to be the centre of attention. I’m just kind of like, the ambient mood, but I still give it my all, but it’s just a different reaction.

What is the process that you go through for creating a cover?

I hear it on the radio, or I hear it somewhere, and I’m like, “Oh, maybe I should try that. I think I could do that.” Or somebody will suggest it, and that was the case with “Hello”, a fan suggested it. I get suggestions all of the time, and I have to confess that about 80% of them I have never heard. The fact that I haven’t heard of it means it’s really, really unlikely that I’m going to cover it. There is music that I grew up with that I love that I want to get through, that I don’t spend time processing like, “Oh here’s a new song, do I want to cover that?” The other thing is basically anything if it’s in the 21st century, it is probably too new for me. There’s maybe a couple of exceptions from the early 2000’s that are songs that I like, that I would consider covering. For the most part, give me a classic and by my definition. If somebody suggests a classic rock song that I already know and that I like, they’re on the right path of me actually selecting it. And with “Hello”, that was always a song that I loved. Admittedly, it’s a little bit cheesy with the orchestration and everything. Maybe an acoustic would sound even better in some ways to some people. There would be some people who didn’t really appreciate Lionel’s original version would like the acoustic version and be like, “Oh that sounds like it could be anybody.” but at the same time, the people who love Lionel Richie’s version, I want them to love my version too. It basically has to please both audiences basically.

 

 

The first thing I did was sat down with my guitar with the song. I’m like, “Is this something that I can play? Are there chords on the guitar that can do what he’s doing on the piano? And the simple way that I can play this and not have to be stressed out like about the guitar part is too hard.” It took me about five minutes to figure out, “I can do this, and this is kind of cool.” From there, it was just learning the song and practising it and bringing in my other bandmates, asking Bryce to learn the bass part and send me a recording of that. Then Brock came over, and he recorded the guitar part, and then we went and filmed it.

It’s kind of funny. “Hello” is the first video that I recorded, since I’ve been in Colorado at least. I never recorded a song there, I recorded them at home, it just looks like we’re recording in the studio but it’s just a set. It’s just a video set but it has a cool vibe, and it feels. If anybody reads the liner notes, I reveal that we didn’t record it here. I literally say that, but I know I’m going to get comments that say, “Wow, I’m glad you went to a studio. It sounds much better!”, just by the visual suggestion, they’re going to think. But anyway, I should wait for that comment, but it wouldn’t surprise me.

That whole process, that was probably a few weeks. I’ve got a list on my phone, a playlist on my iTunes called ‘A List to Learn’. That is the list that I always listen to when I’m in my car. It’s just all the songs that I want to record next or that I want to do with my band or that I want to do live or whatever, or all of the above. I’m constantly like burning new songs into my brain just by repetition. That is a part when you talk about my process. That is a huge part of my process is listening. I listen over and over and over again, and every little phrase that is in the vocals, not necessarily all the lyrics, sometimes that takes a little longer to stick but every little vocal phrase, how he sings or how she sings. I want to know what they did before I make any changes. I feel like I have to earn that. I think if you change something because you didn’t know what they did, that’s lazy. That’s not changing it, that’s you substituting something else. I always want to know how they did it and what they did. Then if I make a choice to change it then it has to be a choice that I’ve earned.

That is kind of my thought process. But I usually don’t have too many reasons to change things.

Because I’m choosing songs that I think are great, they’re relatively perfect and that’s why they don’t need to be changed. I get many people who tell me like, “Thank you for treating it respectively or like, thank you for like not ruining this song.” If the world lost power permanently, and we lost all recorded music, I could still be a resource for people to like, “Hey remember this song?” It would still sound the same. You could send me out into outer space, and I could be a record of music in space. No, I’m just kidding. But no, I’m sort of archiving this for a new generation in some ways because I have a lot of fans who are younger than ever heard the original.

All the gigs you’ve done, do you have a favourite?

I love them all, but I don’t want to like to make anybody feel bad because I don’t mention them in these cities.

The first time I played in London was pretty unforgettable. We sold it out and we played the biggest crowd I’ve had for one of my public gigs. We had like 500 people come and it was sold out, and it was our first gig in Europe. It was me and Jeff, and people came from all over Europe because they had never had a chance to see me before. We had people coming from Austria and all the corners of Europe would come to London, it was amazing. They sang along and it was great. It still kind of gives me chills, the beginning phase when you hear the crowd respond when you come out, it’s really cool. They were singing along to this and that.

The other city where I’ve gotten a similar reaction is Detroit. There are some nice guys that have a podcast called the Detroit Cast that sort of picked up and supported me early on. They talk about me on the show. First show and they turned a lot of their listeners into fans. Every time I come down to Detroit, it is sold out and there is a group of people waiting on the outside who couldn’t get in. Detroit has also been an unexpected blind spot for me in terms of the crowds.

I go to the Netherlands and have a disproportionate fan base in the Netherlands. When my son was sick with cancer, a video site based in the Netherlands posted my cover of “La Da Dee” that I put out as a fundraiser. My cover of Africa had been featured on their site like a month before and it had gone kind of viral in the Netherlands. I had all these new fans in the Netherlands who were very supportive of my son and his illness and our efforts to help him. But when I go to the Netherlands, they are a little more reserved in terms, if you will. Respectful, if you want to put a positive spin on it. During the music where they’re quiet but then, then they erupt after the song is over. It’s just great. It’s a great feeling. It’s been fun to travel the world.

I don’t know what it is about classic rock, but especially maybe just the covers, but it just attracts just the nicest people. They’re all mellow and kind and giving I’ve had very few instances of any trouble or anything like that. I rarely need any kind of security or anything. People all get along and they’re all there for the same reason, and it’s just like they all sing along and have a good time.

Originally being a public defender and becoming a full-time musician, how was that transition?

It was something that we kind of considered. My wife and I considered overtime where we kind of viewed it as a possibility. What ended up happening was basically in 2014 when my Africa cover had a little viral spurt because it got featured on some Facebook post by a DJ and suddenly like a bunch of people found me that hadn’t found me yet. When that happened, I got some interest from an actual manager from Nashville who was sort of semi-retired but had taken an interest in me. And he ended up helping me put together some musicians. I made a CD in Nashville, recorded it through a [friend’s] studio and that was super fun. It was a CD of covers but with a full band, like with a few musicians. It was really cool but that guy, Richard showed me that the industry is a good fit for me at this point. Maybe there is enough interest and maybe I can make this work.

My YouTube channel was taking off to the point where I was getting enough gig offers that I felt like it was something I could sustain. Probably, if I put full-time into it, I could hopefully reach a place where I could turn an income. That was sort of the plan. At the same time, we were interested in moving. We had been through this cancer scare with my youngest son, Noah, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour at 11 months old. He wasn’t supposed to make it. We had a year-long cancer battle with him. We were actually concerned about staying in Utah for a couple of reasons. One was the air quality, just really a lot of bad air days when they just, they’re in a valley and, they have these inversions where the pollution will just hover there for days until a snowstorm comes and blows it out.

They have like medical waste plants that are, throwing crap into the air and a big copper mine. All kinds of pollutants and that in itself was a concern. What made it worse was the fact that there didn’t seem to be any interest by the state government to get these things under control. They were just not in favour of the kinds of regulations that would have been required to maintain the air quality that we wanted to live in. We decided to move, and eventually, we ended up in Colorado. Our first option seemed to be Seattle. A couple of years earlier, we talked about moving to Seattle because my brother lived there. After the cancer scare, we wanted to live near family.

We tried to pick somewhere where I had a sibling, basically. My brother was in Seattle. My sister was in Denver. My mom was in Dallas. My dad’s in Florida. I have another sister in Vegas, between those locations.it was either between Seattle or Denver that we were interested in.

I was applying for jobs. I actually became a member of the Washington State Bar and then I was looking for lawyer jobs because I was going to become a lawyer there. Then my brother took a job in LA, and he moved, I was like, “Oh, I guess we’re not going to Seattle!”

We ended up ending that search for employment in Seattle when he moved, and then we were like, “Ok we’ll see about Denver again.” That’s where I wanted to go, but my wife was initially not crazy about it but then she fell in love with it. We ended up moving here and it corresponded with the uptick in the activity on my YouTube channel, we took that opportunity to just kind of quit the day job. I kept my law since I applied in Colorado and did reciprocity that I didn’t have to take the Bar again or anything like that. I got sworn in as an attorney in Colorado. But I immediately went to inactive status hoping that I would never have to be a lawyer again. But I can still tell people that I’m a lawyer. I’m just not active.

Anyways, another long story, but that was sort of what made me make the leap was thinking that there was enough interest where it was financially viable. It was something that I thought would be better maybe in some ways at least, less stressful.

Obviously being in business for yourself is stressful and being self-employed can be stressful for financial reasons, and the actual day to day of, getting to release and work on more music. I’ve put out two videos a month every month except for the past one, but every month since I moved here.

A lawyer and a musician are very different jobs. How do they compare?

I actually know a lot of lawyers who are musicians. I don’t know what the correlation would be, but they tend to attract the same people sometimes. A lot of people are probably like me, where it was sort of, I became a lawyer for practical reasons. But I also felt like it was something that I could handle. I have always had a sort of innate sense of justice, or maybe injustice. I don’t know how you want to say it, but where if I see something that just doesn’t seem fair to me or right, it just drives me crazy, and sometimes I speak up even when I shouldn’t. I always had this inherent skill of advocacy and I became a public defender because I really wanted to do criminal law. And to me, I didn’t even really care which side of it was on. Being a public defender appealed to me way more than being a private defence attorney, because you don’t treat your clients and because you’re on a salary. You have a different relationship with the system, I guess you could say.

With the public, I hope, because you’re perceived to be doing the work that nobody else wants to do, in a way. You’re working with the people that society has kind of shunned or forgotten in some ways. You’re getting them at their lowest point, and they need a friendly face. I mean, they need help. And a lot of time, it’s about damage control. You’re trying to make sure that they’re treated fairly by the system, and they don’t get a sentence or punishment that’s disproportionate or that’s not in line with what other people are getting for the same crime.

I felt like I was kind of a referee between the judge and the prosecutor, because suddenly your cases, a lot of your cases are just bad. It’s not about proving them innocent it’s just about damage control. It’s trying to help give them, help them get their life back together. If this was like an anomaly in an otherwise lawful life, and you’re trying to like to help them pack stuff and get them back on their feet or if this is them crashing because they’ve been on the wrong path for a long time. Then there’re other kinds of situations, other kinds of solutions where people are going to treatment, and a lot of times you can’t keep them out of jail. You try to keep them out of prison, but you can’t keep them out of jail. And, by the way, there is a difference between jail and prison, most people don’t realize. It’s not the same thing.

Oh really?

When people use them interchangeably, it drives me crazy. But it is like, jail is for, usually for misdemeanours for a year or less or sometimes for probation violations. Prison is for felonies, and for a year or more, parole violations or you can go back to prison. You can go to prison for probation violations too. But anyway, you’re trying to keep people out of prison, but sometimes that means they’re going to jail instead.

I did that for thirteen years and it was, it was, fun. I felt like I really enjoyed the community service aspect of it where you felt like you were helping people, and these were people that I wouldn’t run into daily. I wouldn’t, we didn’t run in the same circles and I wouldn’t see them on the street, but I would sometimes see them in court. But also, people have to realize that a lot of the time, your client one day could be the victim of your next client the next day, is what I mean.

You see people in different situations. It was a stressful job and I felt like I had kind of had it, my share of it. The longer you’re there, the more intense and serious the crimes and the cases become because you’re a more senior attorney. You’re given more responsibility. I was getting to the part where I was working some of the uglier cases that you could imagine of all crimes.

If it’s ugly, I had it. It was to the point where I was like, “Do I want to become a death penalty certified?”. You have to become certified to handle death penalty cases, and I was like, “Is that really the route I want to go to keep doing this?” It just didn’t feel like it was a good fit for me at the point. I felt like I needed something different. Music was sort of the complete opposite of that. Where it was like me, it became about me, hopefully not only bringing joy to other people and doing it remotely and doing it forever. I’m doing something that lasts forever, way beyond my lifetime. That’s the plan for it to last that long. It felt like it was a different calling and a different mission if you will, but to me, it was equally important and equally rewarding.

When you first started making music and posting to YouTube, did you think that it would become everything that it is now?

I guess it was a hope of mine that it would catch on in a way that there would be a sort of, wider exposure. For me, the reason I thought like, “Why would anyone care about my music?”. My first thought was that I thought that my arrangements would be useful to some other musicians, and that’s definitely been the case. I’ve had lots of musicians say, “Hey I steal from your arrangements or I steal from your setlists,” or borrow or whatever, and that’s awesome. I just love the idea. People send me video clips of them and their buddy doing Africa because they know how because I showed them the way.

The thing about me is, as a musician, as a guitarist, I’m a rhythm guitarist, which is a kind way of saying that I have limited ability as a guitarist. If you point me and say, “Hey Mike, take a solo,” I’d say, “No!”

Because of the limitations, I deal with as a player, my arrangements are within my ability. That’s appealing to a lot of other average guitar players if you will because it is accessible. It’s not like, “Oh, someday I’ll be able to play that.” It’s like, “No, this isn’t that hard.” I try to do things well and I try to do it in a way that it’s not mysterious what I’m doing. It’s obvious, if you’re a guitar player, what I’m doing because it’s like familiar no real secrets. I mean, I have occasionally gone into odd tunings like I did “I don’t care anymore” by Phil Collins. That’s an example where I created this unique tuning that just fit the song, and this higher level. But if you look at the description of the video, I tell you what the tuning is that people can figure it out themselves. I’m not trying to keep any secrets or like it’s not proprietary, it’s just a little trickier.

That was my initial thought, that it might appeal to fellow musicians who like the arrangements. Then the other side, I thought people might appreciate sort of the energy and emotion I bring to it with my vocals, and my way of trying to, suggest the original singer’s vocal choices and tone without necessarily sounding like I’m doing an impersonation. I don’t want it to sound like I’m imitating somebody necessarily, but I want it to sound like if somebody likes the original song. I’m not going to give them any reasons not to like my version. That’s not always the case obviously some people just don’t get it or don’t like it. For whatever reason, they just don’t get me and that’s fine. I’m never going to reach everybody. I try to stay out of the way of a good song. I try not to change it in any major way where it’s going to detract. I don’t have the kind of ego to think that “Hey here’s this classic song that we know these people love. I’m going to make it better.” What I mean? It’s like, really? No probably the first thing you change, you’ve already destroyed it or not destroyed it but weakened it in some way. I try not to do too many changes, but at the same time, I don’t want to feel like I’m just like robotically reproducing it either.

It’s finding that kind of balance where I feel like I’m bringing something to the song that’s worth bringing. Even if people don’t hear my arrangement or my version as some sort of revelation of something new, at least it’s going to be familiar and comfortable and be like, “Oh that’s a cool acoustic version.” That has always sort of been my philosophy.

From here, where do you see your music career going in the future?

I would like to be able to play more public gigs and not be concerned about having to work hard about getting the word out. I would like to just have a bigger audience that there are more people to draw from.

I would like it to be worldwide. My biggest audience on my YouTube channel is the Philippines by like a mile. It has like outpaced the US and everywhere else and that’s crazy. It’s all because they love my cover of “Leader of the Band” by Dan Fogelberg, and that video is by far the most popular video on my channel right now. Africa was always number one, and now Leader of the Band is like whoa. I might eventually go play in the Philippines if that continues.

I would like to see the audience grow. I would like to see opportunities to have music placed in TV shows or in films where it’s getting kind of a broader exposure and people are going, “Ooh wow, who was that?” And they check it out and find out it was me and I make some new fans.

I have a lot of future fans out there that are just waiting to find me. That is kind of my mission right now, is to help them find me. I get comments on YouTube all of the time just like, “Aw I just found you, where have I been?” And that kind of thing. I know there are still people out there that are finding me all of the time. They are grateful they did, and I am grateful they did too. I’m trying to facilitate that as much as possible. It would be nice to have more economic security, I mean, I’m just like everybody else. I’m doing this for a living, and I have a family to support. It would be nice if I had more resources that I invest and put into production. I could spend more on videos or I could spend more on recording or I could spend more on arrangements. I could get scores done with full orchestras and I could travel with an orchestra and do orchestral shows. I really want to do a Radiohead orchestral show. I think that’s in my future, I just really need the resources to get the scores created and I could pitch it to an orchestra. If I find the right orchestra or if I find a conductor who is a Radiohead fan and they hear me sing Radiohead, they’re going to be like, “Heck, please.”

I think there would be a demand for it right now, I have a local Beatles cover band. We did one show with a local orchestra of all Beatles music and those scores were created by a couple of members of the band. It was all done in-house, and that was great.

That’s really sweet. If there’s like a message you could send to, to say to all of your fans, what would you want to say to them?

I’m always just appreciative that I have a music stand that I’m one of them. I’m just singing the songs I hear in my head, and the fact that other people that have any kind of value or meaning to other people is such a blessing and I’m grateful for that. I’m just grateful for all the time that they’ve spent listening to my music and any efforts they’ve made to share it with their friends. That’s how it spreads. I can’t share it myself; it has to spread through other people. My efforts are just a small percentage of the actual sharing that goes on. Every time that I see that one of my videos or posts gets shared, I’m just grateful.

To learn more about Mike Mase check out his website at MikeMasse.com!

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