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INTERVIEW: Mike Robinson

Photos By Justin Camerer

Hi Mike, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

I’ve been great, it’s been very busy and that’s always good news in my world. I’ve been on tour with Railroad Earth and Jacob Jolliff band while working on releasing this EP, so definitely a crazy month but all great rewarding stuff!

Can you talk to us more about the song “Faithless”?

Faithless is about the use of religion to justify hatred. I think that religion Is a very beautiful thing that helps a lot of people through the hard times in their lives. However they all have the power to be used to justify hatred and evil. Some people just have very aggressive interpretations of some very old writings.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

As I was trying to get the song put together, the protests in Charlottesville happened. It definitely effected what I was writing, but I was thinking about the roll religion has in hate groups for a long time. I was never really raised with religion but I know a lot of beautiful people who find a lot of hope and meaning from it. I guess there will always be good and bad people involved in most things in the world.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

Yeah, I’m working on a video for “Can’t Come Home.” It’s directed by Brian Hose, a great film maker based in Berlin Germany and one of my closest friends. I think Brian did a wonderful job capturing the wandering vibe of the song. We haven’t announced the release date but it should be available very soon.

The single comes off your new album Clevidence – what’s the story behind the title?

My full name is Michael Clevidence Robinson. Clevidence is my moms maiden name. I think its just my way of making a self titled project but just using the coolest of my three names. Its also a tribute to my mom and her parents.

How was the recording and writing process?

began writing more seriously after a traumatic personal experience. It was sort of a left turn in life for me that shifted my thinking inward. I began journaling every morning which I still do most days. Usually the journal leads from a random free-write to loose ideas with a vague song form. Once I have something fleshed out enough I’ll move to the guitar and try to find a melody and key that best compliments the vibe of the lyric. The final piece usually happens in a re-write after making a demo of the original and seeing what more of a band context tells me about the song. A lot of times the rewrite will involve a collaborator to keep me out of my own head too much.

How did the touring life get to influence your music?

Life on the road has definitely influenced my songwriting. The feeling I get when I travel is very inspiring for better or worse. I can be totally immersed in a place I’ve never been or struck down by the loneliness that comes from being away from home and the people you love for the majority of your life. Sometimes the latter can be the most potent muse. When I was younger it was super inspirational to be traveling with my family. It got me used to chasing new experiences early on in life and that has always pushed me to pursue the unknown.

What role does Brooklyn play in your music?

Brooklyn is one of the most vibrant places I’ve ever been. It’s a land of constant stimulation which can be very good for songwriting but can also stunt my creativity. I find that If I’m not very strict with my day to day schedule It’s impossible to get anything written. That being said I’m constantly inspired by all of the amazing writers that call Brooklyn home and I have been fortunate to co-write, co-bill and even play in bands some of my favorite musicians and songwriters. 

What’s the next step look like in your musical journey? 

I’m already working on another record and just got done producing an EP for a great new artist in Denver named Grace Clark. I’m looking forward to more recording and production work in 2019 in addition to hitting the road with a few projects including my own band supporting the release of my new EP “Clevidence”.

To learn more about Mike Robinson visit: http://www.mikerobinsonguitar.com/

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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