An Interview With Microplanet

Q: Can you walk us through the creative process behind your debut album “Submerge”?

A: I recorded everything at home in my bedroom using just a AXeFX and Roland VDrums. I normally would build off of a chord progression that I liked, then add bass and drums, and then flesh it out more with lead guitar. After that, I would 

write lyrics based off the imagery I imagined by feeling the music. After initial vocal takes, I’d layer vocal harmonies and call and response parts to bring more dimension to the melodies as well as the emotion of the lyrics.

Q: What inspired the title “Submerge” for your album, and how does it encapsulate the themes and messages within?

A: Submerge is intended to be the first out of a series of albums that I interpret as “planets”, each with their own elemental theme. I view Submerge as the water planet album. The title itself represents submerging myself into my creative process, as well as cleansing myself from all of my past struggles, negative experiences, and feelings.

Q: How do you feel your past experiences and exposures have influenced the sound and lyrical content of “Submerge”?

A: Submerge was a very cathartic experience for me. The album is largely about letting go of the difficult times I was going through. It was a very liberating experience for me because I never got to experiment as much with previous projects made. I felt free to explore different styles and genres, and expand my songwriting ideas that other bands would have wanted to stray away from.

Q: How would you describe the musical style of Microplane?

A: I would describe my music to new listeners as alternative rock. I’m definitely influenced by subgenres such as Shoegaze, Grunge and Emo, but theres also subtle touches of Ambient music, Post-Rock, Art Rock and Hip Hop in there too. I think you catch a wider audience with a bigger net by having influences outside of your main genre and it can really help attract fans of all backgrounds.

Q: How did your musical background, from playing piano to being inspired by punk and alternative rock bands, shape the sound of this album?

A: I started playing piano at a very young age, so it has always had an influence on my songwriting and how I transpose ideas to other instruments. I love the idea of multiple melodies happening simultaneously. Countermelodies are so vital to my music and I liken writing guitar parts similar to playing different parts on both hands on a piano. Punk and alternative rock really influenced the distortion and dynamics of the album. The noisier side of alternative rock inspired me to experiment 

tone and sound design by stacking guitar pedals or exploring feedback noises within the composition.

Q: Can you talk about the musical influences that you drew upon while creating the songs for “Submerge”?

A: I knew I wanted to make a shoegaze influenced album when writing Submerge, so the biggest influence there was My Bloody Valentine. I love how they could create such a massive wall of sound with their recordings, and these really unique ambient parts that still managed to fit within pop songwriting. Duster is also a huge influence especially for writing slower material and also using the freedom of recording at home.

Q: What do you hope listeners will take away from “Submerge” after listening to it?

A: That life is not worth worrying about things outside of your control and to not let toxic energies and ideas prevent you from becoming the best person you can be. There’s always a place to escape to. I hope people find my music as a safe space to reflect positively and know that you are worth it and not alone.

Q: How do you feel “Submerge” differentiates itself from other albums in the same genre?

A: Submerge is a very introspective album with a positive resolution of hope, and I think that seperates it drastically from other alternative rock, which is mostly self depricating. The emotions on the album are intense but there’s a hidden beauty in it. If you can find it in the music, you can find it in yourself and I think a lot of music today isn’t really about building yourself up and actually more about staying in a dark place.

Q: Could you share a memorable moment or experience during the creation of “Submerge” that had a significant impact on you as an artist?

A: When I was recording the first two singles, Painsucker and Auto Drift, I remember putting those out and getting a warm response on both singles. It helped me realize I was moving toward something unique but approachable and that maybe I was finding my audience. Seeing people comment on my songs that I had never met and watching the views gradually climb up was a very special moment and really motivated me to push harder and complete my goal of making a full album.

Q: How do you balance personal growth and self-discovery with creating music that resonates with a broader audience?

A: The music is always the thing that comes first. If you write songs that don’t catch somebody’s ear, they most likely won’t pay attention to what it’s about. As a listener, I always find it compelling when I like the song just for the performance and then read the lyrics later and realize the song is something deeper. It adds more to the emotional context of the song. 

Q: What’s the story behind choosing the 11 tracks for “Submerge”?

A: Painsucker and Auto Drift were originally just released as singles and they both recieved a lot of attention. So when I stepped in the studio to record more material, it all kind of flowed out at once. I find albums are more cohesive when all of the material is written as well as recorded together, rather than a bunch of random material thrown together. It feels more complete. I also made sure that all of the songs had symbolism of water in the lyrics, and that challenged me to think of different imagery that would fit in the context of a water themed album.

Q: How has your transition from being a supporting musician to a solo, singer-songwriter impacted your approach to creating music?

A: It has made me evolve tremendously as an artist. I took a lot from my experiences in other bands to help me compose this album. I was more consciencious of what roles each instrument played and how to make the whole group sound very tight. I was more focused on where certain parts would sync together and it didn’t feel like I was just jamming with myself or improvising everything like I had on previous solo projects. 

Q: What’s next for Microplanet after “Submerge”? Can we expect any collaborations, tours, or new releases in the near future?

A: I just finished up the second leg of my tour across the Midwest and East Coast promoting the album. I have more shows lined up in San Diego and SoCal. My future goals are to land a distribution deal, perform a music festival, and start working on new material towards a new releaese. You can follow me on Instagram for more news and updates!

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