💿 Hi, it’s a pleasure for us to have on Hardrockheavymetal MICHAEL KRATZ! Welcome!! Thank you! The pleasure is all mine!
💿 Can you tell us somethin’about early days of your career? When is it all begun and which artists have influenced you? I started playing drums when I was 8 years old in 1980. In 1985 four of my friends and myself started our first real band called Way Up. We played together until 1992. After that I joined several bands and in 1995 I was asked to join a Danish band called The Donkeys.
From that day on I was able to make a living as a drummer. I joined Kandis in 2004 and left the band in 2012. During those eight years, we released 6 studio albums which combined sold more than 1 million copies in Denmark. Since 1995 I have played almost 200 gigs a year as a drummer besides recording my own music. Since 2012 I have dedicated my time to my own recordings and though I still play drums for other acts my focus remains on my own music. Growing up in the 80’s I was stunned by most of the music of that period. Especially the AOR/WestCoast and Pop/Rock scene. It’s hard to choose just a few but obviously, Toto had a huge impact on me during the 80’s, and still has.
Another great inspiration for me is Duran Duran. They write catchy choruses like no one else. I also love the grunge movement that started with Nirvana in the 90’s so it’s a mix of different genres and artists. 💿 For a few days is out your new platter called LIVE YOUR LIFE! Can you tell us somethin’about this album and its composition process? Personally, we were very impressed! Thank you! I’m really happy that you like it! "Live Your Life" is a very honest album meaning that I never focused on the commercial part, reviews. I didn’t want to make a concept album but write songs that came to me and produce them according to how I felt on the day when I recorded the actual song(s). The recordings for the album started back in 2015 when we recorded "This Town Is Lost Without You".
At that time, I had finished writing 4 songs for Live Your Life.
Because of my busy tour schedule, we didn’t record any more songs until late 2016.
The majority of the songs were recorded in 2017. When I decided the track list for the album I came to think of two songs I wrote when I was a teen.
That was "Paradise Lost" and "Dying Young" and so I recorded both of those songs as they seemed to fit this album perfectly.
So, you can say that it took me about 30 years to get this album completed! 💿 "LIVE YOUR LIFE" is enhanced by presence of several artists as STEVE LUKATHER and many more! Can you tell us somethin’about it?
I met David Garfield in Copenhagen a few years ago and I asked him to join me on a couple of tracks and he said yes. For “This Town Is Lost Without You” I had this idea of having Steve Lukather to play the solo along with David.
So, when David got back to L.A. he asked him if he was available at the time and he was.
Then David called me and told me they would do the sessions the week after. Lukather has always been one of my biggest inspirations so I was really happy that he had time for the session and that he would do it. It was also the first time Garfield and Lukather met since they broke up Los Lobotomys. Michael Landau was also in L.A. at that time and available and as I recall it, David and Landau were booked to record something else together.
Again David called me and told me that Landau was available and would play on “We All Live In This Nation”. They did an amazing job! When we recorded “What Did I ..?” I thought it was a bit like Duran Duran’s major hit Ordinary World, so it was obvious to me that I had to ask the Duran Duran guitarist Dom Brown to play on it. I called him and he was like “sure man, no problem”.
He is a very nice guy and a very skilled guitarist. Before we took off to London to do the sessions with him, Kasper (my producer) and I decided to write a new song that should be even more Duran-ish.
More funky and catchy. We wrote Never Take Us Alive and had Dom to play on both songs.
💿 "LIVE YOUR LIFE" is out via ART OF MELODY MUSIC/BURNING MINDS GROUP. Can you tell us somethin’about the relationships with them?
I was introduced to AOM by the Chief Editor of bluedesert.dk, Kenneth Bremer.
He was asked to write the liner notes for Mindfeels new album.
He called me and told me about AOM, that I had never heard about before. I soon realized that AOM could be the right label for me and my music, so I wrote them and introduced myself and the music. Only a few days later we agreed to collaborate and started making release plans. After so many years in the business it’s amazing for me to work with the guys from AOM.
Their enthusiasm and love for the music is outstanding and they work their ass off to bring awareness to their artists and releases. Something that is very rare these days. I’m very thankful for being a part of the Art Of Melody/Burning Minds Group family. 💿 The real “news” in music industry is the return of vinyl; What’s your feeling about this classic format and the current music business?
I love the returning of the vinyl! I was very keen to release Live Your Life as Vinyl and it might become available in limited editions later this year. I think the other part of your question is very hard to answer both in writing and at the same time trying to keep my answer as short as possible. But here we go…
As an artist it’s easy to dislike the changes in the music business going from physical record stores selling a lot of CD’s to the streaming services. It’s very difficult to make a living from selling music today. On the other hand it’s been so much easier to get your music out to a great number of listeners. Labels and artists has to transform – and they are – even though it has taken quite some time. It’s the listeners and the buyers of music that decides where and how they want to listen and use the music and we, the creators and distributors, must go with them if we want to reach them. We can’t stop the technological development.
It's a matter of taking advantage of all the new opportunities. So my overall feelings about the music business today is that even if it has been a big transformation for those of us who has been a part of it for many years, I still love it and I love the new opportunities the changes are creating. 💿 Can you tell us somethin’about your next projects (live and studio)? We’ve already started the recordings for my next album which should be ready mid 2019. Also I’ve been asked to write songs for another artist. These songs should be ready to release late 2018. At the same time we’re finishing the post-productions of a double live album we recorded in 2017 which will be released as CD in October. Finally I will release an EP with Tony Liotta (Germany) and Enrico Santacattarina (Italy) later this year. It’s a side-project that I’m doing just for the fun of it. And not to forget, I will of course bring Live Your Life on tour as soon as possible and hoping to play around Europe starting summer 2018. 💿 Thanks for your time..see you soon on Hardrockheavymetal!
Thank YOU! And thanks to everyone for reading.
(Pics from MK official FB)
(Thanks Burning Minds Group)