Review Fix chats with Mike Z Livingston who discusses his new album, “Let’s F’n Ride,” as well as detailing his origin in music and goals for the future.
Review Fix: How did you get involved in music?
Mike Z Livingston: As a child of the 70’s and 80’s I had a lot of great Heavy music to inspire me growing up. Sabbath, UFO, Van Halen, Metallica, Motorhead, Agnostic Front, Suicidal Tendencies and more. I started playing electric guitar at 12 years old and by 17 I was writing and recording songs learning to play every instrument and forming my own home studio and band. I started with drums and multi-tracked overdubbing up to 16 tracks using two tape decks and a mixer well before 4-track recorders were introduced. Next I put together bands and started to organize and play shows in high school doing originals and cover songs.
Review Fix: What’s your creative process like?
Livingston: It starts with Pre-Production in my home studio. I start with writing and recording some guitar riffs in Pro Tools with a click track. Next I program a full drum track and add bass guitar. Then I’ll take a rough mix of the instrument tracks and listen over and over until I hear some lyrics and a guitar solo that work. I’ll record the vocals, add a solo and make a rough mix. This rough mix is used to teach the live drummer the track and next everything is taken to the Commercial Recording Studio.
Review Fix: What inspires you?
Livingston: Life experiences and people. A feeling or idea that manifests itself from a situation, event or person that has an impact on my life. Also world events that affect me in a way that inspires to want to write about them and speak my mind.
Review Fix: What does music mean to you?
Livingston: Music to me means magic, spirituality, creativity, joy, power, fun, emotion, excitement, love and freedom of expression.
Review Fix: How would you describe your sound to someone who has never heard you?
Livingston: Hard Rock/Heavy Metal with influences of Hardcore.
Review Fix: How are your live shows different from your studio work?
Livingston: The live show will capture the heaviness of the recording but will take you to a more spontaneous and high energy feeling that the excitement of the concert experience offers. That in-person human interaction and emotion that makes all the difference so really its the live crowd that differentiates it from the studio feel.
Review Fix: What inspired your latest single?
Livingston: I wrote the song about the freedom of riding motorcycles based on all the amazing journeys I’ve taken with my friends, brothers and sisters over the years. The song was especially inspired by a good friend and riding brother of mine Frank A. Barabas Jr. who was killed by a drunk driver while on his motorcycle after one of our rides in July 2019. The video for the song is especially dedicated to Frank as well with a tribute to him at the end.
Review Fix: What are your goals for the rest of 2020?
Livingston: My goals for 2020 are to promote my single and release my Music Video for it which will be coming out in May. I will also be finishing writing and recording more songs while I put the live band together for shows by Summer/Fall.
Review Fix: What’s next?
Livingston: Writing more songs until I have enough for a full length release in 2021 and perfecting the live show.
Review Fix: Anything else you’d like to add?
Livingston: Please avoid distracted and drunk driving and be courteous to Motorcyclists everywhere keeping them safe on the roads. On the recording I performed all the vocals, lead and rhythm guitars and bass. The Drums were performed by Christian F. Lawrence who also plays and tours with Dead By Wednesday and David Ellefson of Megadeth.