Interview with Canadian singer-songwriter Mike JB Sky
By Alexxis Steele
What happens when you combine the good looks of Keith Urban, vocal prowess of 80’s Hair Metal God’s like Def Leppard plus 90’s alt rock bands, with thick guitars, melodic crazy guitar solos and tight pocket progressive drums all rolled into one band?
What you get is one awesome band!
Hold onto your seats, girls, because you are going to love Mike JB Sky!
Get ready to witness the next big superstar ready to take on the musical world!!
Mike JB Sky was recently signed by Radar Love Records, owned by 5 time Juno award winner, Grammy nominated producer, Michael Hanson, founder and original drummer for Glass Tiger.
Mike graciously put time aside from his busy schedule to speak with me about his new band and what he is doing.
Alexxis: Hello Mike! You are from Montreal, Canada, the place where a lot of good music has come from, Is that where you were born and raised?
Mike: I actually was raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, but I also lived in Montreal and Calgary.
Alexxis: How old were you when you first got interested in music?
Mike: I was very interested in music at a young age. In grade 2, I was asked to do an airband performance for summer camp. They dressed me up like Gene Simmons from Kiss. We were performing " I Was Made For Loving You". Looking into the crowd and hearing the loud music, I was immediately hooked to the stage.
Alexxis: Do you come from a musical family?
Mike: I come from a very musical family, on my mom's side. My mother still performs as a singer to this day, and I couldn't be prouder!
Alexxis: Who were your earliest musical influences?
Mike: Earliest musical influences, were the Beatles, Ozzy Osbourne, The Who, Kiss, Slaughter, and Motley Crue.
Alexxis What was your first instrument,and are you self-taught or did you take lessons? Do you play other instruments as well?
Mike: My 1st instrument out of school was the drums. I am a self taught musician, and play multiple instruments with guitar being my favorite by far!!
Alexxis: When did you get your start performing professionally?
Mike: I started performing professionally at the age of 17.
Alexxis: You had the privilege of playing onstage with many top musicians from around the country , including the late great Jeff Healey.. How did you land that gig, and tell me about your time playing with him.
Mike: I met Jeff through a female acquaintance. Jeff had invited me to come back and play at his bar Healey's in Toronto. I wasn't familiar with his music being a total rock musician at the time. So Jeff challenged me to improvise with him live on stage. He did his best to showcase me and introduce me to some amazing people.
Alexxis: When did you switch instruments and start playing guitar? What influenced your decision to switch?
Mike: I was a drummer in high school, and always wanted to learn the guitar. I watched the guitarist in my high school band very closely at all times. I had many creative ideas, lyrics that I wanted to create myself. What made me switch from the drums? I was in the studio recording with my original act when the band took a break, I had picked up the guitar and started to sing, not realizing that the engineer and producer could hear me. He pulled me aside and told me that I should become a front man. He said I had strong lungs and a very unique voice. At that time, I did not have the confidence to switch. Worked really hard for a couple years, the rest is history. I am truly glad that I made the switch. Life began for me in a new way!
Alexxis: what brand of equipment and gear do you like using when you perform?
Mike: I have had a variety of guitars. I prefer to play Charvel and Epiphones. Marshall Amps or Line 6 or Black Star. I also use an effect unit with a variety of pedals as well.
Alexxis: When did you start your first all original act Black Dawn?
Mike: My first original band, we had started playing headliner shows from the get go at the age of 20.
Alexxis: Who is in your current band lineup?
Mike: Lead Vocals/Lead and Rhythm guitar- Mike JB Sky AKA Mike James-Bobrowsky
Bass guitar - Keith Gale
Lead and Rhythm guitar- Anton Zedd. AKA Ricky Szolnoky
Drums - Jason Hutchings
I started the project Mike JB Sky in 2015
Alexxis: Who does the songwriting for the band? Is it a full band collaboration or do you handle all of it?
Mike: At this point I have been doing all the songwriting in my career thus far. I have recently switched two band members that are extremely talented and educated musicians. So I look forward in collaborating with them, staying true to the sound and energy of Mike JB Sky.
Alexxis: What is the name of your new cd?
How many tracks? What is the theme behind the cd?
Mike: My new cd is called Girls Night Out. It's a five song EP. The theme behind the cd is influenced by Sex, women, fast cars and enjoying life to the fullest at all costs!
Alexxis: Do you have any videos to go along with your music?
Mike: Our first big budget video is called “Against The Grain”.
Alexxis: Do you plan on touring in support of this cd?
Mike: Yes, we plan on hitting Europe this year if all goes well, and
hope to be a touring arena band for many years to come
Alexxis: What are your long range plans for the future?
Mike: We would like to write for major motion pictures, tv series or Netflix, and our goal is to release a full album every 2 yrs.
Alexxis: Where can fans find you and purchase your music?
Mike: Our cd is available through ITunes, Spotify, HMV Digital.
Follow Mike on Twitter! @mikejbsky