Michael Seyer Is Holding Nothing Back [Q&A]

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Photo: Jerry Rangel

Earlier this year, Michael Seyer quietly dropped A Good Fool before heading out on tour in support of Men I Trust. The 11-track album moves at its own unbothered pace, pairing some of Seyer's most affective and vulnerable songwriting to date with sonically expansive soundscapes that call to mind a waking dream. 

Tracks like lead single "Little China Boy" and its "opening riff which plays on a stereotypical, oriental melody" speak to Seyer's own personal experience as an Asian American - an experience he is quick to point out is "fluid, dynamic, and comes in all shapes, sizes, and shades." Meanwhile, "Modern Loneliness," and its Americana-inspired saunter sees Seyer exploring the inner workings of his spiraling, all-consuming mind. Wherever Seyer's sound takes him, he holds nothing back. 

At its core, A Good Fool is a project rife with self-exploration, equally unafraid to venture out into far-off sonic territory or brave the emotional onslaught lurking just behind the corner. And where other projects may fall into quicksand, failing to find a certain central sense of cohesion, in placing himself unapologetically at the center of his music, Seyer finds firm footing on which to chart his own way forward.  

We had the chance to speak to Seyer following the release of A Good Fool to gain further insight into returning to live shows, what inspired his most personal project yet, and plenty more.  

Ones to Watch: Who Is Michael Seyer?

Michael Seyer: I never know how to answer these kinds of questions haha. I am Michael Seyer. I’m an artist from Los Angeles.

If you had to describe your sound to someone without using genres, how would you describe it?

Bittersweet has a nice ring to it.

Who or what inspires you?

My mom and dad.

How would you say A Good Fool differs from your past projects?

I hope it is similar in the sense that it’s honest to myself but I hope that it differs in the respect that I’m much more honest than I ever was before.

You announced your latest album, A Good Fool, with the release of "Little China Boy." What was the importance behind leading with this single?

There wasn’t too much importance. I just enjoyed making that song a lot and just went with my gut really.

This is arguably one of your most personal projects to date. How did this collection of songs come into being?

I think quarantine was an intensely formative experience for everyone. And for at least me, having the time to be alone and reflect about my experience/what shapes my identity could’ve only led to a body of songs like this.

Beyond speaking on the Asian American experience on "Little China Boy," what are some of the themes at the core of A Good Fool?

I don’t even want to say that the song speaks on the Asian American experience. That’s too bold. The Asian experience is fluid, dynamic, and comes in all shapes, sizes, and shades. Instead, LCB speaks on my own experiences (as an asian person in America). And in the same candor, I think the project as a whole shares and reflects all the experiences/ideas that shape my own identity: something that I consider to be fluid as well.

What do you hope people take away from A Good Fool?

I want people to take away whatever it is they are looking for.

If you could have any one thing in the world right now, what would it be?

Maybe a new guitar. Mine is getting a little rusty.

How is it been playing live shows again?

It’s weird. I quarantined pretty hard during 2020. Before this tour, I had only gone to like one show and that was something very small and intimate and I knew a handful of people. The shows have been a lot bigger so this is an adjustment for me and I feel socially out of practice. However, I love this space and I love being able to push myself out of my comfort zone. I really missed live shows and I think I’ll play some more after this if I can.

I do miss my bed though haha.

Who are your Ones To Watch?

I’ve been listening to this band called “Bnny.” They’re great.

Michael Seyer's A Good Fool is available everywhere you can stream it. 

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