INTERVIEW: Mike Barnett

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

I’VE BEEN KEEPING BUSY WITH WRITING SONGS AND PLAYING SEMI-LOCAL GIGS.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Love Is Doing Alright”?

I THINK *LOVE IS DOING ALRIGHT* IS KIND OF A CIRCULAR SONG THAT RESOLVES ITSELF INTO A NATURAL CONCLUSION. ALL SONGS NEED A START,  MIDDLE AND FINISH. THAT’S WHAT I STRIVE FOR.

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

I WAS JUST THINKING ABOUT HOW WE ARE REALLY ALL ALONE IN THIS WORLD, UNLESS WE ARE LUCKY ENOUGH TO FIND THE ONE.

Any plans to release a video for the single?

THE VIDEO IS IN THE WORKS.

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

SCATTERED DEBRIS IS TAKEN FROM A BOOK I READ THAT TALKED ABOUT THE DIFFERENT MOMENTS IN YOUR LIFE THAT SOME WOULD THINK ARE INSIGNIFICANT.

What was it like to work with Salim Nourallah and how did that relationship develop?

SALIM NOURALLAH IS A MASTER OF PRODUCING AND RECORDING. HE CAN GET THE ABSOLUTE BEST FROM YOU AND ENHANCES THE PROCESS PERFECTLY. I’M A BIG OLD 97’S FAN AND I JUST THOUGHT IT WOULD BE GREAT TO WORK WITH SOMEONE WHO HAS SUCH A RICH HISTORY WITH THAT BAND.

How much did he get to influence the album?

FROM THE GREAT DRUM SOUND TO GETTING SOME AWESOME MUSICIANS TOGETHER FOR ME, HE WAS TOTALLY INVALUABLE. THE INFLUENCE WAS ENORMOUS.

What role does Missouri play in your music?

MISSOURI IS ME AND I AM MISSOURI. I’VE LIVED HERE ALMOST ALL OF MY LIFE AND MY HOMETOWN IS ON THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER.

What aspect of your own personal life did you get to explore on this record?

I WROTE ABOUT THINGS THAT WERE IMPORTANT TO ME. FROM SAD LOSS TO UNBELIEVABLE JOY.

Was it easy to open yourself and become somewhat vulnerable?

THE MOST DIFFICULT THING ABOUT MAKING RECORDS IS TO TRY TO BE YOURSELF AND NOT HOLD BACK. IT IS VERY AWKWARD TO SAY THINGS THAT YOU USUALLY ONLY THINK.

How did you get to balance the darkness with the much uplifting message?

IF YOU’RE GOING TO LIVE, YOU HAVE TO FACE THE FACT THAT NOT EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE GREAT ALL THE TIME. IF YOU LOSE SOMEONE CLOSE, THERE IS DARKNESS THAT CAN BE OVERWHELMING, BUT IN THE END, THERE IS HOPE. WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO?

Where else did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

INSPIRATION COMES WHEN YOU LEAST EXPECT IT. I CAN’T JUST SIT DOWN AND WRITE A SONG. BUT IF I HAVE SOMETHING TO GO ON, IT WILL FLOW QUITE EASILY.

Any plans to hit the road?

WILL TOUR WHEN IT IS FEASIBLE, TOURING IS A REAL POSSIBILITY.

What else is happening next in Mike Barnett’s world?

*SCATTERED DEBRIS* WILL HAVE A RECORD RELEASE PARTY FEB 22 AT THE DOWNTOWN BISTRO IN KENNETT MISSOURI. I PLAY THERE ONCE A MONTH AND HAVE UPCOMING GIGS AT THE WINE RACK IN POPLAR BLUFF, MO. ALSO I AM IN THE HOUSE BAND FOR A MONTHLY GIG AT LITTLE PIZZA HEAVEN, IN CARUTHERSVILLE, MO. IF SOMETHING COOL HAPPENS, I’M READY.

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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