antiMusic: You seem to have been very productive during the pandemic, which according to AltPress.com was a time when you fine-tuned your sound. Can you cite a couple of instances of this?
Mike: I wrote the record Searching for More to make a serious statement about my songwriting abilities. All the music I had written before wasn't as mature lyrically. I have only begun to find my rhythm with what works best with my voice and sound. I feel like you have to really show your vulnerable side to connect with the listener, like in my songs "A Lost Boy" and "Envious Colors." I also stayed close to my pop punk roots with fun relevant stories like with "Disconnect" and "Endless Nights."
antiMusic: FigureItOut is sometimes a group and sometimes just you as a solo artist, as it has been for a while now. What would you say that for you are the major pluses and minuses of working as a solo?
Mike: The major plus is creative freedom and nobody to tell you what you should or shouldn't do. A minus is that you have to do everything yourself and really put your brand on your back. I think I've spent enough time trying to do it myself where I'm ready to have a new team with me moving forward now that shows and everything are opening up again. I relate to sports a lot and I'm a top free agent in the alternative music world.
antiMusic: Tell us about your decision to cover some blink-182 songs. Did the very positive reaction to the cuts surprise you?
Mike: I was very confident they would have a positive reaction after the first cover in 2018 did so well. I'm a gatekeeping "blink freak!" I've seen and heard some cringe-worthy covers over time and I knew my voice would do them justice. I have some colleagues who feel the same way about the band and I would never have recorded these songs if I didn't have their stamp of approval.
antiMusic: Where are you at with the recording of a new album? Are any of your Arizona-based pals involved in the writing or recording, or will they be?
Mike: I've just started writing a new record this summer after moving to Venice Beach, California. The direction will be more punk and I have a concept I'm working on for it. I have a few artists and producers on my wish list. For example, I wrote a song with the current guitar player of The Used, Joey Bradford, and I hope to continue to network with more artists who feel the same way about what I'm trying to do next.
antiMusic: You're probably anxious to get back to touring. Any dates firmed up yet, and do you have a sense of who'll be in your touring band?
Mike: I have a couple guys back in Phoenix and around L.A. who have told me they would love to play live shows with me. There's nothing concrete on the books but a couple of one-offs in Phoenix and Southern California are on my mind. My focus right now is on songwriting but hopefully the next album can take me to the next level for touring.
antiMusic: Have you got it figured out yet?
Mike: Ironically I still don't know if I have but I think I'm starting to.
Stream the Searching for More album here.
Follow FigureItOut here.
Hear FigureItOut's acoustic cover of blink-182's "Adam's Song" below:
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