15 year old Michael Davies first became involved with soundLINCS in 2008 at the age of 8 and has since had a long running passion for music which came full cycle when he came into the soundLINCS office for Work Experience from Banovallum School in July 2015. Here he talks to our Marketing and Communications Officer Sam about his journey with music and soundLINCS.
What musical experience did you have before you got involved with soundLINCS?
I had about a year’s worth of guitar lessons. I had stopped these before soundLINCS because my tutor was a drummer at the time, so I didn’t learn that much and had become bored and stopped playing guitar until I got involved with soundLINCS.
What projects did you take part in with soundLINCS?
It was a once a week session at our local village hall where we worked on a cover of Seven Nation Army by White Stripes and then performed it at the end of the term in front of our parents. The session was really cool and it got me back into guitar and music in general (The project was sound52 – part of Lincolnshire’s Youth Music Action Zone – YMAZ).
I also took part in Revolution with my friend Joe and my brother and his band. I took part in a guitar workshop there. I heard about the project through my brother because his band were playing there so I went along. I really enjoyed Revolution, especially because it was the same Music Facilitator as I had worked with previously so it was good to have that link. The scale of the event really sticks with me, because there were a lot more people playing and attending than I had expected and that is really memorable to me.
What attracted me to soundLINCS events was that I’d never really performed or played music to anyone at the time and I really just wanted to explore what that was like.
What difference did you feel there was between working with a teacher and working with a soundLINCS Music Facilitator?
At the time, because we didn’t have any specialist music teachers in school, it was good to have someone with actual musical knowledge and expertise rather than just our class teachers. It was a lot more practical as well which suited me a lot better than school which was mainly theory based.
Do you feel that work with soundLINCS had an impact on where you are today?
Yeah definitely because if I hadn’t done that initial workshop at the village hall it’s fairly probable that I wouldn’t be playing guitar to this day.
If you were to take part in another project like this, what would you want to take part in?
An opportunity to meet new people with similar interests and start a band with them within the workshops. If we were put together based on our genre and then wrote music together that would be great I think. Very similar to the Rock School project you’ve ran.
What is your current musical activity?
I play guitar, drums and a little bit of bass. I’m also in a band called Heart of Ink who I’m currently writing with.
If you were soundLINCS CEO for a month, what would you do?
I would create activities more towards different genres of music rather than age groups or specific sets of people. If you do something it often tends to be based around pop music but I think rock or heavy metal people my age would be really keen to get involved in that kind of thing. So I would expand the genres you offer.
I’d always have liked to have more practical opportunities growing up, as school was always very theory based.
Looking back, are there any moments that really sparked your musical interest?
When I first saw Jim Root from Slipknot play guitar it blew my mind, I had no idea what he was doing. It’s mainly him who got me into guitar. A few months ago I met the guitar player Rob Chapman and that was really cool and inspiring.
At which points in your life do you feel you’ve had the widest opportunities to make music?
There was definitely less opportunity in primary school. In secondary there is now a lot more opportunity because we can use the practice rooms at lunchtime and it is just covers a much wider base.
Why did you choose to come to soundLINCS for work experience?
I really wanted to do something music based and this was the best opportunity for that. I’ve really enjoyed it here and it’s been a big insight into the working environment and what happens between the workshops!
Where are you hoping to go in the future with your music?
I’m currently writing with my band so will hopefully be able to start performing soon with them. I’m also planning to apply to the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford when I leave school. I just hope that whatever I end up doing I can live off making music, whether that be as a session musician or a teacher.
soundLINCS would like to thank Michael for the interview and for all his help during his work experience with us. We wish him all the best for his future music career!
Do you have a soundLINCS story or journey you want to share? Let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org, via our social media or call us on 01522 510073.
Revolution was held in June 2008 and was a celebration of soundLINCS’ 10th anniversary. It brought together musicians of all abilities, ages and genres for a mass performance in the picturesque grounds of Lincoln Castle. For more information and media from the event visit the project page here.