Who’s Mike Roi?
A guy who has dedicated his whole life to making music and the dream of entertaining audiences through my passion. I grew up in Jupiter, South Florida then as an young adult moved north to immerse myself first in the music scene of Philadelphia for a while, and then in NYC for many years. I’ve now traded big city living for a quieter residence in Easton, PA but continue to write music and perform locally as well in Philly and NY. I have been singing in bands since the age of 16 and have tried to stay true to kind of soulful music I grew up with ever since. After releasing records out of Florida with my band Brother Grimm (TALES, Cabana Colony), then with my band Roi out of Philadelphia (Intergalactic Rodeo), I formed Roi and the Secret People during my time in NYC. I love the freedom that songwriting gives me, while I stick to my roots I don’t have to be stuck in one genre at any given time.
How you got started in the music scene?
I started out in my teens in the swampy hot weather of South Florida playing in a neighborhood band. I used to sneak out of my bedroom window at night to perform at local house parties before forming a more substantial lineup. That led to my first band in high school, which under parental chaperones at that point, played in the late night clubs of Ft. Lauderdale. Later after high school, with a few lineup changes, I was playing the South Florida scene with my first more professional band called Brother Grimm.
What are your music influences?
My iPod holds everything from Bowie, Nick Cave, Iron Maiden, D.R.I., the Beatles, the Verve, to Waylon and Willie and more. I have a pretty eclectic taste in music and draw my influences from many famous, and sometimes even not so famous, talents.
How was it to worked with Fred Kevorkian?
What a great experience, Fred is a super nice guy. The room he masters in is like a mad scientists lab – organized and clean but with all kinds of equipment I’ve never seen before. It was cool to see all the records on the wall of the recordings he has worked on from some amazing artists in the past.
Phoenix. How was the recording and writing process? What makes this record different to your past record? How you came out with the title?
My last CD called Dog St., by Roi and the Secret People, was very classic rock sounding, which was what I was going for at the time with those songs. This time I wanted to go somewhere different.Something which explored another side of my musical influences.
What has been the funniest moment you have been or took part while touring?
A long time ago – while living and gigging in Philly – I was invited to play a big masquerade Halloween show with my eclectic heavy alternative rock band at the time. We were all onstage and we realized our drummer was missing. It was before cell phones were something the average guy carried in their pocket and we had no idea where he was. Minutes kept ticking by and we had to start the show so we had our friend, who was a reggae drummer, fill in for the whole set. So there was my band all masqueraded out jamming with a reggae dude on the drums. It was wild! We later found out our regular drummer was in a minor fender bender….how did we live without cell phones?!
Are there any more plans for the future we should be aware of?Well I’ve recently put together a group of amazing musicians in Easton, PA. After some really arduous rehearsals and me cracking the imaginary whip to get all the tunes just how I want them to sound, they are going to be playing and touring with me in this next year for the new CD. The guitarist, Randy Melick, and I are working on the newest video to promote the song O’Love.
Where can we find you in Internetland?
Do you feel you are moving on the right direction?
I’ve never been so sure…