Mykul Lee has a new album out on May 1st entitled “Fortress”. It has ten songs and a mellow folk feel to it. Fans of Elliot Smith and Jeff Buckley will find something to love in Mykul’s newest work. He has a quiet voice and almost whispers his lyrics along to the music. His lyrics are heartfelt and flow well over piano, guitar and drums. We were fortunate to get an interview with him which you will find below.
Where are you located/from?
Who is involved in your project?
For the most part, it’s just me.. I’ve taught some of my willing friends the songs from my first few records and occasionally, when I play live, they will join me. Otherwise its just me, a guitar and a mic! For the albums I usually do all the pre-production in my home studio and take it to one of the many amazing studios here in Hollywood like Sunset Sound (our personal favorite) to finish everything.
Is Mykul Lee your real name?
Funny you should ask.. I actually inherited the name from my days in the mercenary business from the dreaded pirate Mykul Lee after I slew him. Turns out the mercenary business is actually just a distant cousin to the record industry, just a bit more whimsical and lighthearted.
How does your location influence your creativity?
Well, we live in Hollywood so it’s obviously a pretty interesting spot to be, but I guess it kind of attracts musicians and artists just as much, if not more, than any other place in the world. So there’s no shortage of creativity going around. Having a home studio also makes a huge difference. Being able to wake up and work on music, whether it’s my own or not, is a dream come true.
Can you give us a brief description of your musical past?
I have been playing music in one form or another for longer than I can really remember. I started with piano about 6 or 7 years old, moved to guitar and drums at about 10. After, I kind of had that stuff figured out I guess I moved to songwriting. That’s where I am now and will probably be in one way or another for the rest of my life. I love song writing more than anything. Along the way I’ve spent some time in recording school, music school, art school, been engineering/producing bands as well, but songwriting and playing music with honest musicians is my favorite
Do you write all of your songs?
Are others involved in their creation?
I used to have what we call “demo-itis” which is a severe attachment to the pre-produced songs on whatever album I’d be working on. Now that I’ve made some records and understand the value of nuance in the studio I am always open to having people suggest or even play certain instruments on the records, whatever it takes to create something beautiful that we’re satisfied with. Something we could have only done by chance. For the most part no one else is really involved in the creation/writing of the actual song, just in the studio.
If so, how do you overcome your differences in song writing?
It depends on what you’re writing for. If it’s for my own stuff I would be much less inclined to compromise if I thought I knew better. If it’s for/with someone else than there shouldn’t be differences. Just try to find a way to enjoy writing with other people. Try to find a way to make your ideas make sense with theirs. There will always be more songs to write.
Do you have any advice for those who’s creativity has reached a stale point?
If your creativity has reached a stale point, you need to find some more creative people to hang out with!
What does it make you think when you are compared to Iron and Wine, Elliot Smith and Jeff Buckley?
It’s a complete honor that anyone would make any of those connections.. I have loved Elliot Smith since day one. I was so happy when Iron and Wine finally broke out because there aren’t really very many bands doing the post-Elliot Smith kind of folksy thing. Jeff Buckley fans would probably be pissed that anyone is compared to him and I can completely agree on that one. All phenomenal musicians and singer/songwriters.
Movin into a new studio! Doing a follow up record this summer entitled “SAIL”
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