Michael Ellis : "When people tell you to stop humming, never obey"

Published on November 15 2013

Michael Ellis : "When people tell you to stop humming, never obey"


1. Could you tell us a little more about your artist name and your debut as an artist (any fun anecdote about your debut)?

I have been a big fan of Monty Python's Flying Circus for ages and the only episode I haven't been able to figure out (even after at least twenty times watching) is titled "Michael Ellis". It is so crazy and strange that I felt it would be fun to include myself into it some way. That's it. Also I played my first gig at the age of eleven and it was so horrible, I had to change the name anyway.. But seriously, I was playing in a punk rock band several years ago and at some point I realized that my songs had become dangerously pop for the local punk rock scene. That's when I decided to carry on as a solo artist and I have enjoyed the musical freedom that comes with it ever since.

2. For our readers who have never heard your music, explain it in 5 adjectives.

That's five, right?


3. If I borrowed your ipod right now, what artists would I find in the recently played list?

'A', Bad Religion, Big Big Train, Jason Mraz, Spock's Beard

4. You just released your album on Jamendo. What stories and messages are you trying to convey through it ?

The latest real album called "The Miracle" is about many changes in my life and my way of thinking. There are several songs that carry messages and some are narrating moments I remember. I think one of the main motives is the slow-motion observation of an intense, fast happening incident.

My music generally reflects on my life at the time of the recording/writing. So that varies heavily with each album. If you were to ask me about a trend I'd say it definitely gets more positive and, at the same time, also more sarcastic to some extent...


Michael Ellis : "When people tell you to stop humming, never obey"


5. What would be your best advice on how to compose a song and what’s your favorite part of the songwriting process?

My favourite part is the moment you feel yourself entering the flow. As I am writing a lot of music right at the time of the recording, it begins each time I see a song start a life of its own. This happens almost with every production at some point as I never practise any instrumental parts before the recording.. Then the song basically writes itself the moment it is recorded.

My best advice would be not to overthink anything except for the middle part. That can't be given enough thought because it isn't absolutely essential to the song.. Also always keep a recording device next to the shower ! And when people tell you to stop humming, never obey. Once you lose a melody it is hard to recover. Always have something to write on you.

6. What’s your favorite song to belt out in your car/shower/bedroom, at the bar or for karaoke?

'Just Like Paradise' as interpreted by 'A'. In the car. Definetly.


7. You chose to share your music for free under Creative Commons licenses on Jamendo. Why did you make this decision?


This decision I make for two reasons. Firstly the idea of people listening to my music, other than myself, is a really nice thought. Secondly, it is the best way of getting the songs out there. What good is music when nobody can hear it, right? I'd rather be listened to and poor than just plain poor..

8. Do you have a fun anecdote that your fans don’t know about and would be surprised to hear?

Hum, I once covered myself and almost got sued by somebody else for it... a strange world this is..

Written by The Jamendo Team

Published on #Interviews