With the release of First Days of Summer, power-pop veteran (sparkle*jets u.k., Yorktown Lads) Michael Simmons delivers his first album of original music released under his name in 20 years. With his demanding day-job in education, there are only a few days each year where the pressure is off. It’s these first days of summer when, just maybe, some songs might pop out. The first three came in late June 2015, and two more in late June 2016. As June of 2017 rolled around, he was so enamored of the idea of putting out new music that seven more songs came in the space of a week, and suddenly he had an album!
or at Kool Kat
What was the biggest fun during the making of the last album?
Most of the time I was the only one there, but it was fun adding the parts I can’t do like the horns. But the most fun part is making something out of nothing and hearing it for the first time.
She tells you she will decide on a 5-song-mixtape if there is going to be a second date. Which 5 would you put on?
I’d start with “Do Your Best to Care” and then be bold and say “Let’s Fall in Love” and “Bucket List”. Beyond that, I dunno… ‘Fuzzy Green Hat’ perhaps? Maybe the title track to round things out.
The meaning of ‘success’ has changed over the years. When will the new record be a success?
Never. But it exists, and that’s enough.
Can you still recall the moment music became important to you? What happened?
My earliest memories are of playing records. I probably had records before I could walk. It’s all I’ve ever really cared about and that hasn’t changed.
Which is the song you wish you had written every time you hear it? And why?
“Cruel to be Kind” by Nick Lowe. Such a great but simple song and a killer vocal.
If you could tour the world with 2 other bands, who would you ask to join?
Sloan. And I wouldn’t mind being in ELO either.
If the budget was unlimited, how would you record the next record?
Abbey Road studio 2 with Dave Gregory on guitar, Darian Sahanaja on keyboards, McCartney on bass, Giles Martin in the booth with Jeff Lynne listening in, and the other peeps I normally play with taking turns. I would try not to play a note.
Every family birthday, same story. Again, you have to explain what kind of band you are in. What’s the story this time for aunt Jenny and uncle Clive?
Shut up and drink your Boddingtons, Clive you git.
What would change if Disney would call and tell you they are going to use your song in their next movie?
I’d get a bigger house.
What’s up for the rest of the year?
Work, mostly. But who knows, a song might come out during the first days of summer. It’s been known to happen.