Michelle Moore








What is music to you? What does it give you?

Music is a lot of things to me. It's not "everything" - for example, I wouldn't choose to miss my kid's high school graduation in order to play a concert or work on a recording. But throughout my life music has been a constant companion. I could sing before I could talk. I wrote my first piece of music when I was about 3 and half years old and I attributed it to an imaginary friend because I was supposed to be practicing piano. John Denver wrote a song called This Old Guitar, and part of the first verse says about this old guitar, "introduced me to some friends of mine, and brightened up some days, helped me make it through some lonely nights; what a friend to have on a cold and lonely night." Whatever the instrument (it's been guitar since about age 7), making music has been a way for me to express myself when I otherwise have not known how. During those angsty teenage years, music was the outlet that kept me out of trouble. Now it's my therapy. It also can make me crazy as I turn some of it into a means to earn a living, but I am careful to reserve part of myself and my music for my own selfish use, to keep me sane and connected to those deeper, more personal feelings that I often choose not to show to the world.

What is your music dream?

To be a fully subsidized Bard. No, really. I'm serious.

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

Eliminating ignorance.

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

It's sort of a tie between "ooooooooooooooooooooklahoma where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain," and maybe Tchaikovsky's Piano Concerto 1 in Bb Minor, Opus 23. My mom played LPs of musicals and a Disney record called The Great Composers for my naptime when I was very little. Also, the first song I ever learned on guitar by ear off the radio was Sugar, Sugar by the Archies.

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

I like to listen to a wide variety of music - some of my favorites include Enya; James Taylor (pre-80s); Sara MacLachlan; Led Zepplin; Blood Sweat & Tears; U2; Portishead; God Lives Underwater; Joni Mitchell; The Mamas and the Papas; Andreas Vollenweider; Bela Fleck; Paul Simon; and a boatload of "traditional music" from all over the world.

What inspires you to make music?

Mostly feelings, but also often sounds, or the absences of sounds... one of my favorite ways to create new music is from listening to almost nothing and hearing "tunes" in that...

What is the message you want to send with your music?

I am usually trying to evoke some sort of emotion. It could be one of my own that I'm trying to share, or it could simply be manipulative - like when you write a spooky bit of music that makes you feel like what you're looking at is kind of creepy when in reality, you're only seeing a film shot of a forest at night - the soundtrack is what's creeping you out. I just want to evoke a feeling in the listener.

How do you feel when you perform in front of an audience?

It depends... in a band context, I don't even think twice about it. I play with a handful of people whose ability I can trust, so as long as I know my own stuff, and they know their own stuff, we generally kick collective butt! As a soloist however, that's a much different thing because I am at both my best and my worst sitting by myself on a stool with a mic and a guitar. Listeners will either love me or hate me - kind of like guacamole. :) I will either make you cry or make you yell. During these kinds of performances, I am right on the edge of all those feelings that inspire the music, and that's a much more scary ledge to be walking along than when you're playing with a band.

How do you see the musicians’ reality nowadays? What could be improved?

I think technology has simultaneously made musicians' lives harder and easier - it's easier for us to make music, but it's also "easier" to mix it, master it, distribute it - so now many of us expect ourselves to do it ALL on our own and sometimes that's just not sensible. But the real downside is that the industry is now so full of jackasses who make their money off naive, new artists with their classes and their how-to books, and their half-hearted promotion, and that's a part of the industry that is also much easier to engage in on a wider scale. I try to help out educating new musicians on how the various aspects of the music industry ought to work, and admonishing them to get second, third, and fourth opinions on anything that costs money before they buy into it, but my own experience is limited to my sphere of practice. I also wish that there was some way to educate managers of local venues (those which use bands) on how to attract audiences who will attend their venue (club, restaurant, bar) regardless of whether or not my band "brings" its own audience. One of my favorite analogies is comparing the band to the chef. Restaurant owners don't ask a potential chef how many people he expects to be able to bring in to eat at the restaurant every night that he cooks? Why do restaurant owners expect a band to have an instant audience on tap to drag in with them? This concept is ridiculous, but it's everywhere in the US.

What do you think of Drooble?

I think Drooble has the potential to fill a gap in the lives of many musicians. But I also know from years of moderating BBS systems and forums (like on Acid Planet) that there is no shortage of idiots waiting to wreck a good thing. I think the dev team has a long uphill battle as they hammer out guidelines for behavior, and wrangle the ways in which their platform can be abused because people will figure those things out. But overall, I think the goal of Drooble is worthwhile, and I hope those of us who use it the way it's meant to be used outnumber the trolls!

What frustrates you most as a musician?

I am perhaps most frustrated by the impression that somehow being an artist isn't worth anything in the "real world." Whether you are talking about parents who tell their kids to "get a real job" or talking about flim producers who think they can get music for free because the composer needs to pad their portfolio - without artists there wouldn't be any content on any medium for anyone to consume - no film, no tv, no video games, no music, no comic books, no novels - folks oughta think about that for a minute before they complain that they can't find a musician who will play their party for $25. On the other hand, I also wish those musicians out there who take way too many free jobs and undercut the market for all of us could have better experiences, and gain confidence, and learn how to say "sorry, buddy, 4 hours of my time is worth more to me than $25!"

Do you support your local scene as a fan? How?

My husband and I both support the local music scene when we can. We attend shows, we volunteer to play with other bands for fundraisers, we've even offered to loan our equipment to other performers who've had PA systems die unexpectedly or had their gear stolen. I share and promote artists I know, or artist I like, through my own social media connections. I subscribe to their YouTube Channels and play their content, and sometimes buy CDs although I generally don't purchase physical Cds anymore - I get MP3s or cue up a Spotify or YouTube play list. When I joined Drooble, I looked up all the artists from Texas and followed them. I guess maybe that's more of a Texas thing than a musician thing. ;)

What qualities should a musician nowadays have in order to get their music heard by a larger audience?

I think one significant part of the answer to this question is that the musician needs to learn what all is involved in the business side of music and at the same time, learn and know their own limits. Very few people can do it ALL - compose, write, arrange, produce, record, mix, master, distribute, promote AND perform. Considering that every single one of those things could be a full-time job for one person, expecting yourself to be able to do everything on your own is a really tall order. Promotion alone is a multi-faceted full-time job that requires artwork, connections, business savvy, social media expertise, online ad creation and management, knowledge of how online streaming platforms operate... and that is just for ONE OUT OF TEN JOBS that have to be done in order to make a bid for success in the music industry. Sure, the barrier to entry is almost gone, but as a result, a LOT more work is required to ensure your music ends up in the right places at the right times. Sometimes you just have to hire someone to help you out. Be willing to seek and/or accept help. Choose wisely.

Share some awesome artists that we’ve never heard of.

The Mumbles - https://www.facebook.com/groups/405982430575/ Ten Hands - https://www.facebook.com/tenhands/ Annie Benjamin - https://www.facebook.com/annie.benjamin.9 The Breast Cancer Can Stick It Band - https://www.facebook.com/thebreastcancercanstickitband/ Jaynestown - https://www.facebook.com/JaynestownBandArlingtonTX/ Winter Panic - https://www.facebook.com/winterpanicmusic/ Eden Automatic - https://www.facebook.com/edenautomatic/ Marquis of Vaudeville - https://www.facebook.com/marquisofvaudeville/