MICHAEL VAN LONDON. YOU MAY NOT KNOW THE NAME YET, BUT CHANCES ARE YOU’VE HEARD HIS MUSIC. CURRENTLY THE SINGER/SONGWRITER’S SONG “SOUND OF AN AMP” CAN BE HEARD IN THE TRAILER FOR “STRUCK BY LIGHTNING.” A FILM DIRECTED BY BRIAN DANNELLY (“SAVED!”, “UNITED STATES OF TARA”, “PUSHING DAISIES”) AND WRITTEN BY (AS WELL AS STARRING”) “GLEE” ALUMNI CHRIS COLFER. THE SONG WILL ALSO BE A PART OF HIS SOON TO BE RELEASED ALBUM “AMERICAN BLOOD & GUTS.” YOU CAN ALSO FIND THIS MICHIGAN TRANSPLANT PLAYING LOCALLY IN LOS ANGELES WITH HIS ROCK N’ ROLL BAND THE BLACK BEVERLY HEELS.
WE RECENTLY INTERVIEWED VAN LONDON ON INTRAFFIKRADIO, AN INTERVIEW WHICH YOU CAN CHECK OUT A RE-BROADCAST ON MONDAY MARCH 05 AT 11 AM ON INTRAFFIKRADIO.COM
Q. When did you decide that music was what you wanted to do?
A: I think music sort of chose me, my first word was “tape” i used to walk around as a toddler and say “tape, tape, tape” until they would play KISS
Q. At what age did you pick up your first instrument and what was it? How many instruments do you play? Which is your favorite?
A:I got a drum set when i was like 9 or 10. I was always a singer so eventually guitar found me and it has been an ongoing love story ever since.
Q. Growing up in Michigan, how did you encounter music (i.e. radio? tv? siblings? friends?)? What kind of music was around you during your youth?
A:I grew up on rock ‘n’ roll. We used to have these cool nights at my house when we would all sing and play air guitar (before it was considered air guitar) and just jam all night. I never thought about it, but i bet they were drunk– I just thought it was what people did.
Q. What made you want to move to L.A.? Have you lived in other parts of the country other than L.A. and where you grew up?
A: I moved to LA in 2005. I’ve lived all over the place and every city I’ve lived in (Paris, Boston, NYC) all gave me much to write about. Traveling is important for songwriters.
Q. What were some of the artists that impacted you early on (or specific songs/sounds)? Which of those artists grew with you (that you listened to in your youth and still listen to?
A:I grew up on Patsy Cline, Ace Frehley and the Bangles. I still listen to all of them. I also love Aimee Mann and Juliana Hatfield.
Q. As a singer/songwriter/musician what do you feel is the most important part of a song?
A: Well i think there are a few things to listen for, one being the melody, then the lyrics, the beat, and then the riffs.
Q. What do you hope those who listen to your music will walk away with or be left with?
A: A feeling. No matter what that feeling is. To feel is to be alive, so if i can provide that a little I’m succeeding as a musician.
Q. You’re music will be featured in the film “Struck by Lightning” which features an all-star cast (including Dermot Mulroney, Christina Hendricks, Allison Janney, and Chris Colfer) and is directed by Brian Dannelly. After learning more about the film, were you excited about this opportunity?
A:I was flipping. I’ve been waiting a really long time to showcase my songwriting in something major.
Q. Did you have any favorite movie soundtracks growing up or as an adult?
A: Oh god yes. “Clueless” soundtrack, “Empire Records,” “Lost Boys,” god what else. A few of them that I can’t really think of at the moment. That’s why this is such a cool opportunity for me. I’m the guy on the soundtrack now, i can’t believe it.
Q, With as competitive and saturated as the music market can be, what do you feel will (or can) set artists apart from all of the others?
A: That’s a tricky question. I think just continue to be who you are, even if its not considered “cool” you have to stay true to yourself in order to write something relevant and real.
HERE IS THE TRAILER FOR “STRUCK BY LIGHTNING”