Thursday, June 25, 2009

Newspaper Article - MICHAEL WAINWRIGHT - St. Catharines Standard - 06-25-09

as per the St. Catharines Standard Web Site

On stage with his idols

Many aspiring artists pouring their hearts out in sparsely attended venues dream of the day when thousands of fans will be hanging on their every move.

For St. Catharines singer/songwriter Michael Wainwright, that day is fast approaching.

This summer, he will join his former childhood idols on the road as he provides the opening act and backup vocals during the Tears For Fears summer tour.

"It's crazy to think that I got to meet the guys and even now I get to open up for them and sing my own music," said Wainwright. "And now I'm going to be singing with them, I'm going to be on this huge stage singing their songs that I knew as a kid, it's crazy."

Tears for Fears' original members, Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, will perform seven shows between July 10 and 20 in the western United States.

Music has always been an integral part of Wainwright's life, from the time he spent performing at the kitchen table with his brother and father, to all the high school classes he missed in order to record demo tapes.

During that time, he had a profuse love for the Beatles, which eventually influenced his interest in Tears For Fears.

"All I listened to was Beatles, and then I was in a music store in St. Catharines and I was probably 12 or 13 and I'm drooling over recording equipment. I heard Sewing The Seeds Of Love and I was like, Sewing The Seeds Of Love? This is like the Beatles, this is like I Am The Walrus."

The luck of sharing a producer with Tears For Fears is how Wainwright came into contact with the band.

"Roland sang background vocals in two of my songs. I think we sound a lot a like, he's got a high voice, he's got the same sort of tone," said Wainwright. "But it's still kind of cool to know that he was there and that he actually learned the words and sang my songs, it's crazy and watching that happen it's just sort of like how the ----does this happen?

"It's a thrill to be able to sing harmonies with those guys and I think they have amazing voices," Wainwright but the reason I'm going out there is to be in front of a bigger audience, because they're big venues and being on a big stage with the lights and everything, it's the dream to be able to sing your own songs and do that."

Wainwright hopes that being a part of this larger gig will help him to expand his fan base, since he hasn't found an abundance of support in Niagara. Although he does acknowledge that there is a large music scene in St. Catharines, the artistic appreciation only seems to stretch so far.

"If you're a cover band and your buddies come out and you're playing music that girls can dance to, that's great, but that's not what I do," explains Wainwright. "I'm singing the sensitive, singer/songwriter, sensitive-sweater kind of songs, and there's no kind of cool atmosphere around here where you can do that."

Despite a lack of overwhelming support from Niagara, Wainwright has seen success as a winner of the 2008 Niagara Music Award for Best Male Vocalist. He also played a packed performance at Stella's during In The Soil and has toured the southwestern United States and played repeatedly in both California and New York.

For his opening act on the tour, Wainwright will be playing music from his self-titled album, which was produced at Shabby Road Studios, a record company based in California.

Like most songwriters, his favourite song is the one he most recently wrote. However, he still has a favourite from the disc. "On here, there's a great song, No. 4, its a duet, Gaby (Moreno)'s a songwriter herself and she's an amazing singer. So I sing the first verse and she sings the second and then we sing together, its really great," he said.

Moreno will perform with Wainwright at the San Diego stop of the tour.