A little melancholy, a mesmerizing softness and a lot of synthy goodness, brought to you by, Mikey Videotape in his newest release, “The Strangest Dream”. The newest, airy single by Mikey Videotape will be the perfect vibe to mellow out your playlist!
I had a chance to interview Mikey Videotape, to get the know the band and to learn some insight on their new release in an unadulterated interview. Make sure to check out Mikey Videotape, their music and always #spreadtheloveformusic by sharing the music you love!
Tell us a little about the band, where are you from? How did you meet?
Mikey Videotape is actually my solo project, and I’m based in Aotearoa, New Zealand. I’ve primarily worked with my prog band, Outside In for a long time, except for a few one-off collaborations. Seeking a more liberating creative experience, I decided to start a solo project on the side. The freedom from genre rules and band dynamics sparked a surge of creativity, resulting in a collection of new songs under the name Mikey Videotape. Interestingly, this time away from my co-writer in Outside In also allowed me to write an album for Outside In in just a few weeks, compared to the years of struggling we had before. I was able to rediscover my self-confidence in my own song writing.
What kind of music would you describe your sound as? Who are some of your musical influences?
At heart, I’m a prog guy who enjoys infusing odd time signatures and key changes into poppier songs. Collaborating with a talented producer named Dave from King Killer Studio in Brooklyn has helped shape the Mikey Videotape aesthetic. While I draw influence from progressive rock bands like Radiohead, A Perfect Circle, and Porcupine Tree, I’m particularly inspired by the solo projects of those bands, such as The Smile, Atoms for Peace, Puscifer, and Steven Wilson. If I had to label my sound, I’d call it prog-pop, although it’s a term not widely used.
Let’s talk about the newest single “The Strangest Dream.” Tell us what the song is about and what inspired it?
“The Strangest Dream” is a song that delves into a recurring vivid dream I’ve had, filled with symbolic references to the number three. In this dream, the boundaries of reality become blurred, and I encounter a series of strange occurrences. Three cats find themselves stuck in three trees, while three goldfish desperately flap around in a puddle, struggling to survive. These recurring motifs of the number three hold a profound significance throughout the dream and the song. The song itself captures the essence of this surreal experience, blending pop-infused melodies, electronic elements, and unexpected twists. Through the music, I aim to convey the inexplicable and ethereal nature of dreams, inviting listeners to immerse themselves in a world where reality and symbolism intertwine.
For the music video of “The Strangest Dream,” we fully embraced the dream-like vibes and took inspiration from the recurring dream itself. In the video, I portrayed multiple versions of myself, symbolising the different dimensions I encountered in the dream. We had an incredible time creating the video, and we decided to infuse it with a strong 80s influence, perfectly matching the nostalgic aesthetic of the song. Drawing inspiration from the popular series “Stranger Things,” we captured the essence of the 80s, amplifying the retro vibes that already resonated in the music. The result was a visually stunning and captivating music video that transported viewers to a world where dreams and nostalgia converge. I’m so proud of what we achieved with an incredibly humble budget – check it out here:
How does the collaboration process work as far as writing/composing music?
Lately, I’ve been predominantly writing inside the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). I chase ideas around and roughly program them in Logic until I capture the essence of the song. I arrange it to a certain point and then record the final vocals, which I send to Dave. Dave, being a genius in sound design, replaces some synths with analog ones, takes the arrangement to the next level, adds any additional instruments, and sends it back to me. I’m always blown away by his first draft of the song, and from there, there are usually minimal changes. I try to let Dave work his magic with his incredible sound design skills and his knack for creating exciting mixes.
How does it feel when you put all your hard work to the test and perform live? Do you have any remarkable performance stories?
Initially, when I started working on the electronic songs as Mikey Videotape, I hadn’t considered performing them live. It was more of an additional outlet while things with the band were slow. However, just before my single was released, I was offered a show at a beautiful theatre, and I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to promote my debut release. I quickly enlisted three band mates from Outside In, and together we learned the material. We created backing tracks to incorporate the sound design and synth layers from the songs into the live set. It turned out to be a fantastic first gig for Mikey Videotape, with an enthusiastic audience. I even brought my young son along for his very first live concert, which made the experience even more epic!
Let’s shake it up a little. Tell us some intriguing facts about the band that virtually no one would know.
I’ve actually been using the name Mikey Videotape on my Instagram since I first started the account. It was inspired by my obsession with the song “Videotape” when Radiohead released “In Rainbows.” So, when it came to naming my solo project, it was already half decided.
For the music video of my first single, “The Strangest Dream,” I had the pleasure of working with my younger brother, Ashton, who directed it. Collaborating with my younger brother is a joy. We have a carefree and creative working dynamic where no idea goes unexplored, and we constantly make each other laugh. It’s the best working relationship I’ve ever had, although it’s a miracle we ever get anything done with all our antics. In the video, I had my dad and brother play extras, but their faces are not visible because we made them wear masks.
What do you have planned for the rest of 2023?
As for the rest of 2023, I’m thrilled to announce that I have another single called “Algorithm Wasted” ready for release soon. Every time I’ve shared a small preview of it acoustically or to a select few, people have been really excited about its direction. Some have even mentioned they like it even more than “The Strangest Dream”! It’s wonderful to see a positive response to my first release, and I’m eagerly looking forward to sharing the second single. Our plan is to shoot a music video for “Algorithm, Wasted” in the next few weeks, so we can release the song with a visual treat. Beyond that, I have a couple more MV singles in the pipeline, and I’m also excited to start developing an album’s worth of material with my band Outside In. It’s going to be an exciting and productive journey!
If your fans and followers want to join me on this journey please give me a follow. I love engaging with my community. We’ve really built a pretty special community of musicians and music fans on tiktok in particular in the last year. Its been wild! Don’t be a stranger on the internet and don’t forget to stream my new single The Strangest Dream by Mikey Videotape.
By: Not the Girl Next Door Show/Angela Mockbee
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Written by: Road Dog