Name: Mike Smallbone
Early influences: The Jam, The Clash, The Stranglers, U2, Big Country, The Smiths, Bryan Adams, Stiff Little Fingers.
Favourite Artists: Too many to mention, although a few noted below, and really most bands or artists.
Ranging from A-Z:
ACDC, China Drum, Eddie & the Hot Rods, Foo Fighters, Goo Goo Dolls, Green Day, Ian Dury & the Blockheads, It Bites, Magnum, Sex Pistols, Simple Minds, Thin Lizzy, Tom Robinson Band and loads of 80’s & 90’s Dance Floor Fillers…!
I’ve been into music most of my life, and like most other kids in “those days”, tapped the Top 40 most Sunday’s with a small microphone linked to a tape recorder stuffed in front of a speaker in a radio no larger than a rich tea biscuit! Oh what joy…!
I used to play drums with my mum’s knitting needles on my Dad’s armchair, until the arm started to change shape and in the end didn’t match the other one…! Dad wasn’t impressed but by then it was too late!
I guess I wrote my first song when I was about 14 but it was utter crap and didn’t make any sense, nothing’s changed really…!
Desperately trying not to falter in the early stages, I was determined to try and learn Guitar, and for it not to end up in the wardrobe after 2 weeks which meant, perseverance, had to be the way to go, even if my fingers seemed to be getting shorter every week…!
I used to practise at every opportunity and eventually got to a point when I knew I had to tackle the dreaded “bar chords” if was to get any better. This may not sound like a challenge but the thought of having to bridge all strings with none sounding dead (is where I believe quite a few “give up”) was a daunting task. A mate of mine gave me 2 lessons which basically taught me again to persevere and after a good few months it finally happened, I could play a good selection of bar chords, and various derivatives with some confidence. I’ve never learnt to read music and probably never will, I’m much more of a “practical type” of person rather than a “theory type”. I have no knowledge of scales or anything detailed as it’s just not my thing.
I guess I “play by ear” and hopefully know when chords sound good together and certainly if something is out of tune.
Following this, I started to write many songs, some of which were totally “bin fodder” and some, in my view, were “not bad” and this carried on for a couple of years until I thought now is the time to find a band.
I played for 25 years or so in numerous bands and had a fantastic time along the way. Nowadays, time is something I’m unfortunately short of so my efforts at this time are being spent on making the first album available, which it now is, getting the website finished, which it is although I guess it will always keep moving, and lastly to get working on the second album “Bout Time 2” which I’ve started.
Music has, and always will have, a special place in my heart – the music of my heroes and the music I’ve written has played a huge part in my life and is now something I want to share with anyone that is crazy enough to want to listen, or even purchase!
If so, Enjoy…!
Things have changed dramatically since I was growing up, when I played in a band in my younger years, I, probably like most kids, wanted to be a “Rock Star” (how many songs have been written about that…!) and the process was, and still is to a large degree, play the circuit and then head to a recording studio to record a “Record”. Nothing wrong with that, we did this and recorded a “tape” and then a CD containing 5 songs. Whoopee do…!
Today, with music and recording technology breaking new ground almost daily, this opens up the opportunity for “the man, or woman, in the street” to get involved. By this I mean writing and recording a song, simple, complex or somewhere in the middle, and publishing it on one’s website and / or through iTunes as just one example.
Nothing new in this I know as actually, “people” have been recording their own music for years, the view I have on this though is to actually give it a “label” and this is where my stance on Bedroom Rock is shaped.
My personal version of “Bedroom Rock” is to simply write and record my own music without massive outlay, have fun, develop new skills, play all or as many of the parts as possible and pop out a finished product at the end. If this website inspires someone to pick up a Guitar, Keyboard, Bass or whatever, put “pen to paper” and then “get recording” then Happy Days.
My songs span many years of my life and gives me a chance to express numerous feelings though my music, my objective is to record these and hopefully make them “worth a listen” and are ultimately something I’m proud to call my own.