Of Mind and Echoes: The Auditory Artistry of Michael Fordays
Of Mind and Echoes: The Auditory Artistry of Michael Fordays
Micheal Fordays is a veteran touring musician from the Los Angeles area now breaking out with his own absolutely dynamic music. Amongst his extensive credits are his co-founding the ultra experimental Mind Over Four and his residency within the ranks of KMFDM as guitarist. Known as Micheal Jensen, the artist earned the nickname “Fordays” because of a work ethic and nonstop drive to create, record and play music. And thus the solo creation of the one and only Michael Fordays!
And now available to the world at large is the latest Michael Fordays solo endeavor entitled The Mind And Echoes, jam packed with alternative rock anthems that music fans will want to revisit time and again. On the new album Micheal sings, as well as plays guitar and bass. Also added into the mix is Dave Klein of Agent Orange infamy, performing drums, percussion and organ.
Highwire Daze recently caught up Michael Fordays to discover the auditory artistry of The Mind and Echoes, as well as discuss an absolutely brilliant career in music. Read on…
What do you think of our local Los Angeles music scene?
I’ve played in and around LA since I was a kid in high school. The tiny clubs and the famous iconic venues. Such a rich history here. I think because there is always so much going on here regarding entertainment in general it’s tougher to make a mark, while in other parts of the country (and world) people seemed more open and appreciative. I am a native of Los Angeles however, and this is where I hung up posters, set up my amp and rocked out with the bands I’ve played with, always a starting point to begin a journey and a home to return to.
Is there any overall story or concept behind the album title The Mind And Echoes?
The title reflects a return to my original musical inspirations and love for electric guitar music as I perceive it and enjoy playing it. After recording and touring as a guitarist for years, I reset my intentions as a songwriter and guitarist, rethinking where I was going and who I was. I picked up an acoustic guitar and wrote songs with the intention of performing as a solo independent artist, free of the restrictions of a band. Since the music has always originated from my heart, it was still close to my earlier expressions and at some point, I was inspired to just do what attracted me to music as a kid. I went back to my world of distortion and feedback which attracted me in the first place. The years spent rethinking and experimenting just added to what I could draw from as a songwriter. “The Mind” is who I’ve always been musically and the “Echoes” are the sum total of experiences, both musically and from life in general.
Select two songs from The Mind And Echoes and what inspired the lyrics?
I have been in love with writing lyrics as a form of expressing my feelings as well as poetry and prose and have been a lyricist even longer than I’ve played guitar. On “Broken Wings” I tried to express the feeling of overcoming obstacles and picking yourself up and moving on even if you feel broken and left behind, enduring and growing from it. On “High Point Now” I was saying “the past has left you standing alone”, but I will use where I am, where I’ve been and what I know to underscore who and what I am now. To be myself in a powerful way.
How did Dave Klein, formerly of Agent Orange and quite a few other credits, become involved with the making of The Mind And Echoes?
I had been recording with a group of musicians at a studio in Hollywood for a few years and needed a change. I had been following Dave’s studio on social media and just decided one day to call him up. We had a meeting and we got along pretty well. I was blown away by his skills as an engineer and he was off the charts as a drummer. I recorded “Faces, Voices and Souls” with him and loved the results, and we enjoyed working together. So we just kept going and made “The Mind and Echoes”. We both wanted to keep moving forward and enhancing the songs.
Who did the cover art for The Mind And Echoes and how much influence did you have on it?
I designed it and I made it happen. It’s a new look at the cover of “Balls and Blind Faith” which I had released exactly 10 years ago. I thought it would be cool to give a little nod to where I’ve been on this solo journey.
When you look back on your days in Mind Over Four (as Mike Jensen), what do you think of that time and band now in retrospect?
I’m very proud of what we achieved against so many odds. We moved away from traditional forms and made in my opinion, our own style of music. We toured nonstop and wrote constantly. We had a great work ethic, rehearsing 6 days a week. Back then after we’d finish a tour we would come home and immediately start work on a new set of songs and prep for the next tour. Of course, we didn’t make much money so everything was self-financed and motivated by the art itself.
What was the experience like touring with KMFDM and do you still keep in touch with any of the band members?
Touring with KMFDM was a great experience. I was suddenly removed from the struggle of trying to survive from album to album, doing everything ourselves, driving a van, loading our own gear, to touring in a bus, having a tech and playing sold out shows. All I had to do was show up, play the show and be there when the bus departed. I was a touring guitarist though and didn’t contribute to the writing process. So I would be standing there as the crowd cheered loudly and think “I didn’t do this, this isn’t me.” I was with them for a few years and appeared in the video for “Juke Joint Jezebel” and their documentary “Beat by Beat”. They were very supportive and kind to me, but in the end I needed to create, so I had to move forward.
What could one expect from a Michael Fordays show?
My live performances strive for thick, potent, song to song energy. Expressing the nature of my songs with an “at this moment urgency” with tight tone driven dynamics.
If you could open for any band either now or from the past, who would it and be and why?
I like opening for bands that inspire, that push you to rise to your highest potential. I would have loved to open for or perform in one of the guitar-oriented tours like the Clapton guitar festival, just to showcase my own style of playing.
Are you currently involved with any other bands or projects?
No, but I would love to collaborate with other musicians and some great band.
What’s up next for you?
I’m back in the studio in July and I’m planning on a new set of songs for a 2024 release.
Any final words of wisdom?
Yes, if you’re an artist, create without restriction and dig deep into yourself to find your personal meaning and contribute what can only be written by you in this life.
(Interview by Ken Morton)
Michael Fordays on Bandcamp