Mike Campbell - 10 Questions Music Interviews
Mike Campbell is a creative, dedicated, and meticulous music producer with over 15 years under his belt. His production studio sits in the quiet village of Lake Ann which is just outside Traverse City Michigan. Most of his experience comes from arranging, mixing, and producing his own one-man-band project ‘The Implants.’ The Implants have received positive album reviews from AIE Magazine, Skope Magazine, Origivation Magazine, and PensEyeView.com. The Implants are on GoDIY Records roster and have had movie placements. Campbell's latest spot was an ominous groove for the opening/closing credits and trailer for the indie film ‘Thaw of the Dead.' Recently Mike decided to sit at the producer’s seat full time as he is very passionate about mixing/remixing other talented artists' music as well as creating his own. In 2018, Mike had remixes commercially released by DownTempo/Chill Records and SDL Records.
Was there something (an experience) or someone in your life that was the "catalyst" for you to start writing music? Tell us about it.
In high school my friends and I would get together on weekends to 'try' to jam. Always a 4-5 hour hang out with only 10 minutes of solid creativity. I guess I started writing music seriously about the same time I started blowing them off. I'm much more productive by myself. So, what began as a high school pseudo rock band was quickly stripped down to a one-piece electro-rock band (The Implants), and then eventually mutated into an electronic music producer (I'm-in Productions)
Let's get this out of the way. What is the CRAZIEST thing that has ever happened to you in your music career?
Well this is going to be a boring answer. I mean if I was the front man to an 80's hair band, I'd probably have plenty of crazy times. But no, I'm like the Cleveland Brown of music producers. Wow, this is lame. I got nothin'! I could make something up. I did just watch 'The Dirt'. Oh, I got one. This one time...at band camp....
What has been the high point of your music path?
Some noteworthy accomplishments might be landing movie placements, radio play, and a few official remixes released, but I truly feel the high point is yet to come. I see my path as a steady uphill climb. I want to always be reaching for the high points.
Check out Mike's work in the intro of Thaw of the Dead.
So, how do you approach songwriting or what is your creative process like?
Naked. Always naked. I'm kidding. I let it come to me. The more I struggle to get the 'right sound' or the sound that's in my head, the less organic it becomes.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing Indie Artists today? Or, if you could ask the music industry to change one thing, what would it be?
I can only see it from my eyes. Basement producers (like myself) are pumping out some great music. The challenge is getting people to hear it and spreading the word. Anyone can get their song on itunes, and it makes you feel pretty good I guess. But what's the point if nobody knows you're even out there to be found? If I could ask, nay tell, the music industry to change one thing....bring casual Fridays back. I've got a Hawaiian shirt that kills.
If you could share the stage with one other artist or band, who would it be and why?
Right now...James Murphy (LCD Soundsystem). James is a lot like me. Or rather I am a lot like him. Electronic producer. Phenomenal remixer. The difference is he has a travelling band and obviously none of the anxieties that I possess. I met him you know? He did a DJ set in my hometown (Traverse City, MI) for a Pandora party. Very intimate, only like 50 people. I ditched by step brothers wedding reception to go. I even got a selfie with James. Just sayin'.
What are your rehearsals generally like? Or, how do you prepare for a live show?
I religiously eat 4 grilled cheese sandwiches before any rehearsal or a live gig. Again, kidding. Man, I am on fire today! Seriously, I don't play live. I'm a lone wolf. It's hard to play a gig by yourself. Actually , that's why I decided to produce/mix/remix vs. being a 'one man band'. So hard to play live gigs, so hard to promote without playing gigs, etc.
Pick one song that was your greatest challenge to write. Tell us about it!
[Big sigh]...the untitled piece I've been working on for the last year or so. In 2018 my wife had a battle with cancer and won. I watched her sit in our driveway on many sunny summer days (not being able to work or play) to take stock of her life, try to make sense of things, and prepare for... the worst. She is now in remission. I'm trying to write something that is as beautiful as she is while still telling the story. Not easy. Excuse me while I grab a tissue.
What's coming up in the future?
I recently had a couple of official remixes commercially released. Hopefully a lot more of that. I'm working on some music for Tv/Film, and I will always create and release my own music. However, I am getting away from the 'artist' side and jumping over to the mixer/remixer/producer side. Grass seems greener over there. And the sun is shining.
Tell us where fans can access your music?