Behind The Scenes Interview with Michael J. Epstein

Let me have the honor of introducing you to a very talented upcoming artist all the way from Long Island, Michael J. Epstein. Be sure to check out his next concert October 1rst

ZanaD:What is the name of your band?

Michael: I am the primary songwriter, play ukulele, and sing for The Michael J. Epstein Memorial Library (MJEML). I play a modified, split-signal bass that sounds kind of a like a mix between a guitar, a bass, and an organ for Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling (DNFMOMD). I also play ukulele in Neutral Uke Hotel and play guitar and sing for The Motion Sick, recently taking an indefinite hiatus.

ZanaD:Where are you from?

Michael: I’m originally from Long Island, NY, but I’ve been living in Boston for almost as long as I lived on Long Island.

ZanaD:What type of music do you play?

Michael:Each of the bands I play with is pretty different from the others. The MJEML is a 9-member, acoustic, indie group with a focus on songwriting, gang vocals, and a sing-a-long campfire feel.

In contrast, DNFMOMD is a post-punk no-wave noisy rock duo with songs based on the allegorical spy-fi TV show The Prisoner.

ZanaD:What is the best advice you have for people wanting to get their music out there?

Michael:If you’re making music for any reason other than that you have no choice but to make music, then you should quit. Ultimately, chances are that you’ll work very hard to create things that mean a lot to you and very little to most people. If you’re very lucky, you will find an audience of people interesting in sharing in your experience. It’s important that you are prepared to respect and engage those people. Never take them for granted and never take having the opportunity to play in front of an audience for granted.

ZanaD:What got you into doing music?How old were you when you started playing/singing? How long have you been writing music for?

Michael:From a young age, music spoke to me in a way that nothing else could; I felt comforted and challenged by songs I heard on the radio, at the skating rink, and in TV and movies. I didn’t really even consider the possibility that I could play music until one of my friends told me he was taking guitar lessons. I asked for a guitar for my 15th birthday and started writing songs the day I got it.

ZanaD:Where would your dream place be to perform at?

Michael:The International Space Station, Mars, or the Moon.

ZanaD:Describe your music in three words

Michael: Droll, Labyrinthine, Piquant

ZanaD:Are you close with the people in your band?

Michael:I play in both bands with my wife, so that’s probably pretty close.

ZanaD:What inspires you to do music?

Michael:It’s the creative art I have the least inability to partake in. I can’t really paint, I can’t really write, and I can’t really dance, so music is my only choice. Also, it is the form of communication that reached me most, so I want to be able to reach people the same way.

ZanaD:Whats the song you need to listen to when your feeling down?

Michael:”In Liverpool” by Suzanne Vega.

ZanaD:Whats your favorite band?

Michael:I don’t think I could pick a favorite. My least favorite artist is probably Dave Matthews, but I also think Owl City is really terrible.

ZanaD:Whats your favorite song?

Michael: I don’t know if I can pick favorite songs, but the two most perfect songs for me are “Street Spirit (Fade Out)” by Radiohead and “Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space (Elvis Sample Version)” by Spiritualized

ZanaD:When is your next album coming out?

Michael: The MJEML is recording our debut full-length now. We hope to have it done by the end of the year. DNFMOMD is also going into the studio in December to record a follow-up to our debut EP. We are in the middle of a 17-song project where we record one song for each episode of the TV show The Prisoner.

ZanaD:When is your next concert?

Michael:10/1, 11/12 MJEML

10/6 DNFMOMD

ZanaD:Where do you see your band in 5 years from now?

Michael:I just hope we’re having fun writing new songs and playing in front of people. There is a long, long list of things I’d love to do. I find that each time I cross something off that list, there isn’t really a great sense of satisfaction anyway, so I’ve stopped being concerned with specific goals and just concentrated on trying lots of things and seeing which ones pan out. I’ve been very lucky to get coverage in major national magazines, have songs in TV shows and video games, and to open for bands that I’ve been a fan of for 20+ years. It really all goes well beyond what I’ve ever expected anyway, so everything accomplished is just surrealistic icing.

ZanaD:What is your dream?

Michael:To enjoy life and to leave something behind that affects people in some positive way.

ZanaD:What is your favorite food?

Michael:Anything spicy and vegan.

ZanaD:If you could be in any place right now where would it be?

Michael:Hawai’i. Perfect weather.

ZanaD:If you were stuck on an island what three items would you bring?

Michael:I don’t think I need anything. Sounds like a nice place, this island.

Zanad:If you were trapped in a room what three people would you want to be with?

Michael:Sophia Cacciola, Tina Fey, and Diana Rigg.

ZanaD:Whats your biggest turnoff?

Michael: Ignorance, bigotry, and refusal to engage in logical discourse.


ZanaD:Where do you want to live when your older?

Michael:Hawai’i again!

ZanaD:What’s your favorite tv show?

Michael:The Prisoner, Twin Peaks, and I’ve been recently enjoying “30 Rock” hence my interest in being in a room with Tina Fey, who I am amused by.

Links:

Do Not Forsake

Youtube

The Motion Sick

Second Youtube

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