Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Michael Atkins: Musician Interview

Please go read Micheal Atkins' musical bio at

TeeJay: Give us a quick bio.... Mom and dad, siblings, hometown, etc...:
MichealBorn in Liberty, TX, mom played the piano and I quickly followed suit by starting at 6 months old. Dad played the guitar well enough to get me interested in the guitar. I grew up with an older brother and sister who were always listening to everything from Willie Nelson to The Police, and I subsequently raided their record collections when they left home. I started singing when I was a little boy, around 5 or 6, but I didn't really get introduced to serious singing until I joined the school choir in the 6th grade. At that point we lived in McAllen, Tx. My choir director was Mr Emby Tanner, and he pushed me to keep singing and convinced me to join high school choir when I got there. The whole time I was exploring songwriting, and synthesizers. This would've been around the time I was 13. It all culminated in me wanting to make a living playing music. Whatever that would entail. Since that time I've worked as a church music director, I've been music director for several bands, toured as a keyboard player for some major label acts, mostly Christian artists. Today I pay the bills playing piano and singing as an entertainer at Petes Piano Bar in Austin, Tx. That job certainly takes every skill I have to make it successful. My family and I currently reside in New Braunfels, Tx and couldn't be happier living here.

TJ: Tell us about some of the jobs you've done in the past that aren't music related that got you to where you are now.
MA: For a musician every job is to keep you afloat to play music. When I was young my dad owned a small fleet of vintage airplanes for a cargo business. I swept the floor in the maintenance hanger. At another time my wife and I were janitors in a church. But the weirdest job I ever had consisted of taking staples out of papers in old medical files.

TJ: Tell me everything about your first big show that you played.
MA: The first big show I ever played was at the High School auditorium at Memorial High in McAllen, Tx. Well over two thousand students. I had played other shows, but never for that many people. I did a one man band act playing eclectic music. Everything from The Stones and Howard Jones to Jean Michele-Jarre, who I thought was extremely cool at the time. It was crazy, I played intermission music for the other bands. There were at least ten bands that night.

TJ: What one artist do you look up to the most and why?
MA: I'd say the one artist that I keep returning to over and over throughout my life is Peter Gabriel. He seems to always be creating true musical and sonic art, and seems to consistently push boundaries. He inspires me, though I sound nothing like him.

TJ: If you had to choose one song that summed up your life and challenges,> what would it be?
MA: The Late Greats by Wilco.

TJ: In 3 words, describe your freshman album?
MA: Total musical disregard.

TJ: Tell us about any shows coming up.
MA: Pete's Pianos keeps me busy enough that I really can't tour, but I am able to keep writing and recording. At the moment I'm working on music with a great artist in San Antonio named Chris Taylor. I'm also working on a series of EP style records that will be mainly piano and vocals. One will be all original material, one will be covers of my favorite songs. And one will be a reworking of old hymns.

TJ: What is one thing that you want future fans to know about you?
MA: That I try to write songs that come from a place of honesty. If I haven't experienced it in my life it's hard to write about. Others are really good at writing made up stories in song. I'm not.

 Rapid Fire: Favorite: (one word answers)
 Animal : Tiger
 Color :  Blue
 Food : I'm having a love affair with sushi
 Sports team : The Roswell Grays
 Song :  The Long And Winding Road by The Beatles
 Sport :  Hiking
 Artist : Ansel Adams
 Magazine :  Keyboard
 Actor/Actress :  Benedict Cumberbatch/Karen Gillam
 Color :  Blue, is this a trick question?  (Just making sure you are paying attention! LOL!)
 Number :  13
 Astrological Sign :  I'm a cancer. You can't get much better than that.
 Movie :  Star Wars (1977)
 Book :  Psalms
 Drink :  Skinny Vanilla with heavy cream
 Interviewer :  TeeJay of course
 Single or Taken :  Taken

TJ:  Describe your perfect date.
MA: Gourmet lunch at the Huisache Grill in downtown New Braunfels followed by a walk through the town square, and coffee somewhere in there. I'm pretty simple these days.

TJ: Favorite music collab you've done?
MA: Working with producer Matt Erickson on my EP Box of Letters.

TJ: What is the last dream you remember?
MA: I don't remember the details, I just remember my cat kept showing up. Just sitting in the corner. Creepy!

TJ: What is one fact about you that no one else knows, not even your close friends and family?
MA: It may seem trivial, but I once tried to cross a low water crossing in my first car. Nearly got swept away but managed to get out. That cured me of ever doing that again. (Good PSA)

TJ: Where can we find your Album? What is your twitter handle, Facebook,> etc.....
MA: Box Of Letters is on iTunes, I'm also on Reverbnation at, @funkdaddyone on twitter, My fan page on the book of faces is Mike Atkins

TJ: Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer my silly questions!
MA:Thanks for interviewing me!

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