Michael Lanthier, Musician, Entertainer and Veteran of military service has been involved in music for over 30 years. From his humble beginnings when he picked out his first Stratocaster in a Pawn Shop to his present-day self, surviving PTSD and finding a new sense of self in his recovery, has now taken his talent into the launch of a new album, exclusively available through blastmusic247.com entitled simply “01”.
“01” is a 10-track festival of sound and visionary creativity, an though he reveals this collection as an “EP”, this is an album of instrumental bliss and has consciousness of its own, with a special ambiance and a wealth of special awareness in audio.
Upon listening to his music, we at IndiePulse felt there was something uniquely different about Michael’s tracks, they take the listener through various states of emotion, and even though his work is Instrumental, it proves that music is a universal language, and Michael is telling us the story of his life through his compositions.
His upcoming work is masterful, and we have had the very pleasant experience of being able to interview Michael Lanthier for IndiePulse Magazine.
IPM: Michael. please tell us about yourself and your past that inspired you to music.
Music was always an escape of sorts for me, almost a portal to another time or place. Growing up in a very abusive household, music had a way of either making me feel something I wanted to or, giving me an outlet for the way I felt but, couldn’t articulate or had no one to tell. I found freedom from pain and suffering getting lost on the fretboard of my guitar. Playing was the only time in my early life, that I truly existed in the moment.
IPM: How would you describe your music?
That’s a lot tougher question than I imagined it would be, (Michael Laughs). I say that because, I really couldn’t tell you what genre it is. I have tracks that are very clearly rock or blues inspired but, others I’ve produced have what is essentially a hip-hop track and my guitar riffing lead over it. Overall, I write and record what I’m feeling in that moment but, I’d say it’s all guitar-centric, if that counts as a genre.
IPM: In your description your music, would you say it is the style you started with, or did it develop over time?
I definitely have released tracks that sound like nothing I would have seen myself making even at the beginning of this year when I started releasing music. I think being limited in resources and space has actually pushed me to find and try things I never would have in a traditional setting. I’m a multi-instrumentalist but, I simply don’t have the space or money for a full drum kit and more analog style recording equipment so, it’s just my guitar and studio software. What this has done though, is allowed me to get far more experimental with my sounds. If you put my music on shuffle, you might hear something reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix and then the next track has the hardest 808 bass drop you’ve ever heard.
IPM: How much music have you released over the years and is your discography available?
I think to-date I’ve dropped 27 singles and of course my debut album “01” it’s been a busy year for me. It’s all available anywhere music is streamed, however, I usually upload to blastmusic247 early. Those guys have been supportive of me from the beginning of this journey I’m on.
IPM: What or whom inspired your musical style?
From day one, Jimi Hendrix has been my biggest inspiration. I could rattle off a list of extremely technical and theoretically sound guitarists, Brian Carrol, Eric Johnson, and so on but, Jimi to me, represents freedom in music. The most technical playing I’ve ever heard, while still extremely important in music, doesn’t compare to the feeling I’ve had in my soul from single notes I’ve heard from a player like Jimi. To be clear, I’m not trying to sound like him, I just want to make someone else feel the things his music has made me feel.
IPM: of your inspirations, whom would you say made you want to be a musician and perform?
Jimi Hendrix’s music taught me that you don’t always have to be in time, on tempo or, even the right key and you can still move people with what you create. I think that’s why he’s my biggest influence. I don’t want rules, I want freedom, that’s what music is to me, a feeling not a thought. Eric Johnson is probably next on the list, although he does have a few tracks with vocals, the majority of his catalogue is instrumental. This taught me how much you can say without opening your mouth. He also crossed many genres, ambient rock, country, blues, progressive which is another thing I love about his music.
IPM: When you think about the music scene, where do you see yourself in it?
I don’t think about it. I’m not trying to sound arrogant or stoic. I’ve got too many miles under my feet to worry about where I am relative to anyone or anything else. I’m just going to keep putting 100% of myself into what I do and I suppose, I’ll end up where I’m meant to be.
IPM: Tell me about what you feel is your greatest moment, either in the studio or on stage?
I’d say any time I play and find myself realizing time has passed and I’m not aware of it qualifies for me. I know that isn’t a very cool story, but, it’s the truth. Every time this happens it’s a great moment for me, like finding a moment so perfect it doesn’t even require conscience thought. A moment that isn’t made, it just exists regardless of all external factors.
IPM: Any interesting stories from any shows or performances that stand out to you?
I served in the US army for 10 years and on my second deployment, two of my friends and myself put a bit of a make-shift band together. A couple of acoustic guitars and some terrible singing. By the end of the deployment, we’d put on small performances on the FOB (Forward Operating Base). One night I was belting out the chorus to Simple Man by Lynyrd Skynyrd and out of the corner of my eye, I saw our Brigade Commander standing with his arms crossed, watching us play. We stopped and turned to him, he looked right at me and said “you guys’ sound pretty good but, I’m trying to sleep so, I’m going to need you to shut the f#%k up.” We took it as a compliment.
IPM: Your Music is instrumental; do you work mostly alone or do you have other musicians that assist in your creativity
I’m a one man show although, having played in bands throughout my teen years, I’m open to the Idea of collaboration.
IPM: How does it feel when you perform for a live audience?
I’m always nervous for the first dozen or so measures of the first song. I usually feel pretty good after it but, my favorite feeling playing live is when that moment happens, kind of like I described earlier, when the crowd and you get lost in a place where nothing matters but the here and now.
IPM: Do you plan to perform live, to be a touring or “Professional” musician?
I’ve never looked at performing or recording music from a business perspective, maybe I should. Either way, that being the case, I try not to look at where I’m going with music and just let what happens happen. When I listen to my music, I can hear the evolution but, I never looked for something and I think that’s why I always found it. I sincerely believe that my best songs are ones that just happened organically, like an emotion, not a thought.
IPM: What would you say is some of your greatest work you have done?
“Pain in ‘99” is an important song for me. I wrote parts of it over 20 years ago, 16, alone, broken from the physical and sexual abuses I endured the decade before. It’s the only song I still remember from that time so, I figured there must be a reason for that and decided to record it. I’ve been asked many times about the lack of vocals in my music but, I’d urge anyone to listen to this and tell me you can’t hear what I’m saying with my guitar.
IPM: How do you see the present music scene, “good or bad”, how do you see things going for musicians?
I really don’t pay much attention but, no matter where it’s going or ends up, at the end of the day, there will always be people looking for something to hear that they can feel. Something that they can relate to, something to help them feel something they’re striving for and in general, I think that if you’re genuine and authentic, willing to put in the work, your music is going to find those people and vice-versa.
IPM: In closing, what would you like our readers to know about you?
I’ve been playing guitar for thirty years but, this new journey I’m on over the course of the last year has saved my life, literally. In November of 2020 I was admitted to a psychiatric hospital for attempting suicide, my third such stay over the past 14 years. I was drinking every single day and living in every moment of my past, countless battlefield traumas and unresolved pain from my childhood. I started recording music when I was released simply to fill time with something productive, part of my new found sobriety. Today music is simply my life, my meaning, my purpose. I can say that I gave 100% of myself to every track. I’ve learned everything on my own, recording, mixing, mastering, video editing, these were all things I knew nothing about less than a year ago. I just want people to know that, with the good and the bad, I’ve done the very best I could at that moment on that day and will continue to with every song I release.
IPM: Where can readers find your music?
My catalogue is available at blastmusic247, on bandcamp and every other major streaming service.
The Music of Michael Lanthier can be found online at:
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