Interview: Michael Des Barres
Fri, 26 Jun 2015 11:56:58
Michael Des Barres Videos
Celebrated songwriter, actor, and rocker returns with stunning new album The Key To The Universe, offers us a few life lessons...
Michael Des Barres has left his indelible imprint on multiple art forms. As an actor, you might remember the British songwriter, singer, and musician from roles in everything from Pink Cadillac and Midnight Cabaret to MacGyver. The man has got multiple albums under his belt and remains connected to rock 'n' roll royalty across the board. His new full-length, The Key To The Universe [FOD Records] is a blast of old school energy with a decidedly fresh spark. His voice sounds utterly hypnotic while the music, produced by Robert Rose [Julian Lennon, Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols], emanates a true ferocity. It's as undeniable as it is unique. We sat down for a fascinating interview with Des Barres about The Key To The Universe, what inspires him, and so much more.
The Key To The Universe feels fresh, but it can fit into almost any era...
Michael Des Barres: What a beautiful thing to say, because that was exactly the target. We wanted to create something that had some of the traditional rock 'n' roll flavor. but it is all about what you can do right now. I just want to be here right now and play it live. The songs came very easily, and when they do that is the authenticity of it. If you labor over it, songs will not come as easily.
The songs threaded together naturally. What's the thread for you?
I think the authenticity of the music is the thread. I didn't want to write a thematic record, because the record is a color palette. A rainbow isn't a rainbow unless there are a lot of colors. The thread is the authenticity. There is a very majestic vibe and a power. I wanted the album to tell a story.
Are you still pen and paper, when it comes to writing?
I write it on somebody's back [laughs]. Wherever and whenever—I'm a pen and paper guy. Once I get a title and then get a groove, I write the narrative. The thing is with this band is it's all pretty collaborative and we write together. I think I am more in touch with what I want to say versus reaching for the words.
What do you think helps you get in touch?
I find it easy because of experience, and also I feel so lucky. Although I am very lucky, I have worked really hard and because I am in a good space in my head and can access my true self. It is all about authenticity and truth. I just want to express myself and write music and play for people.
Watch the video for "Can't Get You Off My Mind" by Michael Des Barres: