Being a part of something for so long gives you a sort of security blanket. So much so that when you decide to branch out on your own, it can be a scary venture but you have to see what the world offers and face it head on. That’s exactly what Mike Naran decided to do. He’d played in Sparks the Rescue, The Ready Set, Breathe Carolina and finally decided to step into the spotlight as a solo artist.
You can find out when and how Mike felt when that time came, what his EP, Here, Now which drops April 8, will sound like and more if you keep your eyes locked on the following formations of letters and punctuation.
Kendra: When was the first time you wanted to play music professionally, and what fueled your willingness to make it happen?
Mike Naran: The first time I wanted to play music professionally was at a young age of 10 or so. I would tap constantly on tables and anything I can get my hands to any song on the radio. My neighbor at the time got a drum set and I sat down and just felt like that’s what came naturally. What fueled me to really play for living was what was happening around me. I went to a small middle school with a small class and a lot of upper class kids were in it. All my friends did really well in school and I for sure did not. Every semester was a struggle the only thing I shined in was band. I played percussion for band and did really well at it, and I loved it. Again, I felt like if school wasn’t my niche, music surely was, and my teacher at the time really believed in me. I couldn’t sight read and he would still let me get behind the kit and play in the concerts. Soon after drums I picked up bass and guitar.
Kendra: What was your initial reaction to flying solo and not playing with a group? Any mixed feelings getting started?
Mike: Doing the solo route has always been in the back of my head. I started writing songs around my teenage years. I fronted my first band ever as well. It wasn’t until I started getting involved with bands later that I really started to think more and more about it. Being a songwriter but not the primary writer in the band is frustrating. It’s frustrating because you want to join in on the writer’s songs and do your part but at the same time you don’t want to put too much of you’re on personal emotion in it because you wouldn’t be delivering it yourself. I don’t know if that comes across selfish, but I don’t mean it to. I find it hard to pour your heart out on a song then hand it over to someone else and say, “Hey, can express this for me?” Honestly, committing to the solo route just took a lot of confidence within myself. I’ve always been a pretty shy person but I guess as the years have gone on I’ve learned to let that go and express my words and thoughts through music.
Kendra: Because the Oscars just happened, what movie from the past year (it doesn’t have to be a big one) do you think your upcoming album Here, Now would’ve been perfect for and why?
Mike: If I had to relate my upcoming EP to any movie that came out in 2013 I’d say Frozen. I feel like the songs relate to the relationship built between the sisters.
Kendra: You recently shot the video for your first single, “As It Seems.” If Making the Video was still a thing, would their camera have caught anything weird behind the scenes?
Mike: I’d say the funniest thing it would have caught was us freaking out about getting busted while filming on the roof. As soon as we got on the roof a bunch of helicopters started swarming around us and my buddy Nick informed me that LAPD actually has a film department to catch people like us who don’t have permits to do such things.
Kendra: Can fans expect you on the road this year?
Mike: As for me touring this year as a solo act I’m really hoping so. If not a full US I will definitely be doing shows around New England. You can expect those around late April and May.
Kendra: Is there one place you’ve played in the past that you can’t wait to get back to as a solo artist?
Mike: It would for sure be Soundwave. I had such a great time and I would love to do it again!
Kendra: You actually just got back from Soundwavwe. How was it?
Mike: Soundwave was an incredible experience. I got to watch a bunch of bands I never thought I’d be able to see live. Also met a lot of people I never thought I’d get to as well. Very awesome festival they really take care of you and at the end of the day you’re in Australia. The crowds were fantastic.
Kendra: Influenced by Here, Now…if you had to make a mixtape of the five songs you’re listening to right now what would be on it?
Mike: Alright I’m going to make a playlist but just a heads up this is going to be all over the place!
Biffy Clyro – “Bubbles”
John Mayer – “Paper Doll”
The Neighbourhood – “Afraid”
Lorde – “Biting Down”
City and Colour – “Thirst”