Mikee Goodman is known to many as one of half of the vocal duo that frontman British metal band SikTh in the early 00’s, but he is also one of the most unique and diverse vocalists in any genre of music working today, as well as being a well versed poet too. ThisIsNotAScene we had the pleasure of chatting with Mikee at Bloodstock Open Air Festival 2012 to discuss Primal Rock Rebellion which is the project he recently worked on with Adrian Smith from Iron Maiden, other projects he is occupying himself with and if there is any truth to the rumours of a SikTh reunion on the horizon.
So Primal Rock Rebellion, how did that one come about?
I knew Adrian (Smith), through a mutual friend, his son had a birthday party and we (SikTh) got asked to play it, the next day he called me up and said I’ve got some ideas, do you want to jam and from then on we started writing an album gradually, we obviously had to see if it was sounding good, and it was sounding really fresh at the start and it continued to so it went on from that.
You both come from very different musical backgrounds. How did that affect the writing, was there any outside influences or was it just the combination of you two in a room writing?
We were just together, and we thought we would see how it goes. It’s not usually the way I do things, I usually just try to conjure things, that’s how I do my lyric writing and my poetry, if it can come to you, Adrian is the same as well, it’s a lot more magical it just comes naturally, I’ve never believed in trying to imitate anyone or any other bands, I’ve always believed in creating something new, if its new and its fresh then go with it and then see where it goes.
One of the things I did notice about it, is that the music is a bit more straightforward and structured compared to some of the other things you’ve been involved in. Did you feel like there were moments where you had to reign yourself in vocally at all or did you just follow what was written?
I think I wrote to the music, not many people heard Painted Smiles which was very different, then I did Sad Season which no one heard, but you play to the music, you do what the music tells you to, and I channeled that, it went from there, it’s not as crazy and off the as other stuff, but its a lot more melodic, I used way more of my actual voice and I furthered myself as a vocalist and a lyricist as well, the lyrics are another further step on. Because it took 6 years to write, I got all of those experiences and really honed them in and thought about them.
As you say it took 6 years to get together and come out due to your differing schedules, was there a point where you thought it might never see the light of day.
No, it just kept on getting delayed, but when you do a record deal, you never know what’s going to happen and it does take a while with these things, but I always thought it was coming out. I just didn’t know how many people were going to listen to it and what type of buzz it was going to create, I’m still hoping for more people to hear it and for it to create more of a buzz.
I do think more people need to give it a go; it’s one of the best albums I’ve heard in a very long time. But I find that with yourself you seem to attach yourself to musical projects that reward the listener. With this album in particular I find that every time I hear it there are new things to be found on it. Is that something that you do consciously as a music fan and a musician to make music that is rewarding to make and hear?
Yeah, of course. You want to be rewarded. If you put enough care into it, and the intricacies of it all. I can still listen to that album, and it is very hard as a musician when you make an album, you listen to it so much as you’re making it, but I can still put it on and still enjoy listening to it, it still gives me a buzz, and like you say you do feel different on every listen, there are certain places you wouldn’t expect me or Adrian to go if you’ve heard us before.
There are a lot of big melodies on there. There are moments that sound like Alice in Chains or Faith No More, you can really tell you guys put a lot of effort into it.
We put our hearts into it, absolutely full on. We put everything we could into it when we were recording it, we went over every detail, there’s so much care taken over it, we didn’t have a deadline so we got to really got to town on it, like you say you’re review of it was completely amazing and I really appreciate that and I hope more people catch onto it.
Will it ever become a touring band at all, could we see Primal Rock Rebellion out playing shows.
I would hope to do some live shows, it can’t become a full time live touring band, because Adrian is in Iron Maiden which is a full time touring band, if it was ever going to do anything I’d expect maybe to do a few shows, which I really really hope to, nothing is planned at the moment but i really miss playing live shows.
I think provided you get the right musicians behind you, I can see it being something that translates very well to the live arena, because you can see it opened up and having you guys play those songs as opposed to just having to imagine it on the record.
I agree, we actually once had a quick tour planned and it all kind of went wrong, it was promoted in the wrong way and we decided not to do it, but we had a really cool band behind us then, just for one Dan Foord from SikTh was on drums, and he session drummed for us on the album, when we were jamming it was sounding so heavy and energetic and exciting so it was cool.
Obviously you guys still share chemistry from your time together in SikTh.
To be honest, having Dan behind you on drums is so reassuring, he’s not going to fuck up, it’s just not in his nature. He is like a machine, once I saw him at a presentation for one of these music shows, and there’s a camera beside him and one above him, and he was playing a SikTh tune and he was doing all this mad stuff that I’d never even heard before because when you’re in front of him playing you don’t hear all that and I said to him ‘What’s the point in doing all that, no one hears it’ [Laughs] but anyway, I’d love to do a Primal Rock Rebellion live thing.
You’re taking a break from Primal Rock Rebellion now whilst Adrian is on tour, so what other things are going on in your world right now.
I’ve been to Tokyo for 8 weeks this year, there and back. I’m doing something really exciting right now, but I can’t talk about, I’m so buzzing and excited about it because I’ve heard it and it’s bringing something new about me, also I’m doing lots of other stuff as well for next year.
Now, I have to ask this because I can’t chat to you and not bring this up. What’s going on with SikTh right now? We all saw the Facebook post from you guys, what’s the deal.
The truth is, I don’t know. Everybody saw the Facebook, but lots of different things happen in music and happen for a lot of different people, when people want to do something, it’s not always that they can do something, their schedules might change and stuff like that. At the moment until there are solid plans for SikTh don’t expect anything. I’m just going to concentrate on all my new stuff I’m doing and see what happens.
Any closing comments you wish to add.
I’ve got a new website mikeewgoodman.com, if you want to hear my stuff head over there, but what I really want is for everyone to give Primal Rock Rebellion a chance, so primalrockrebellion.com, go buy the album and give it a listen. Peace out.