Just before Christmas, I got wind of the fact that Mike was lining up a Well Done You project for release this year. Soon after this revelation, I found out that that there were a number of Perendiz tracks ready for release too. The eagle eared amongst you would have noticed the first evidence of this flurry, Part Wolf, that we profiled on the blog last week, and I thought that we should probably catch up with the man himself before the floodgates really opened. So, Sputnikmagazine, it’s my pleasure to introduce Mike Lawetto…
So, Mike, Introduce yourself.
My name is Mike Lawetto, and I sing, play, mix, and produce. And my first project to be released is Well Done You. WDY has been in my head since 2015 – two years of tinkering, thinking and trying to dream it right. It’s not a band, it’s a collaboration – I write and produce and bring in the right people for each song. It’s an exciting process and gives me the freedom to explore whatever the song needs.
Tell us about the single ‘Part Wolf’
Part Wolf is one of the oldest tracks from the upcoming album, it is an introduction to how the rest of the record will sound to listeners. The track itself is complete mayhem. It’s relentless, never let’s up, and that’s what I wanted people’s first experience of WDY to be. It’s funny how Part Wolf came about. Initially, musically speaking, I was aiming for more a Weezer vibe (Blue Album, Pinkerton) than what actually was created. It took me awhile to realise that Part Wolf was more me than what I thought I wanted it to be. Once I was confident in the new direction, it was game on and the whole album started to take shape because of it. Also on a tech note, Part Wolf was my first outing with Marshall amps (which I now adore). I explored the track with different guitars rather then sticking with just my Strat so all in all it was a freeing experience as a writer and producer. Also wanna give a special shout out to Kelani for drumming on that track way back in a sweaty hot room in summer 2015.
What does success look like for you in your art?
There are two ways I look at success:
The first one is getting the record done right. Regarding WDY I’ve been demoing seriously since summer 2016 and now have 38 songs under my belt. I’ve nearly got the album done, I’m tracking the last bit of drums in a week which is exciting. With Perendiz it’s getting everything ready as well. I’ve got two singles ready to go, so I’m currently looking at how I will release them. So my first real success is getting everything written, recorded, produced and mixed to the right level across the board. It was very important to me to take my time to learn how to finish a record by myself. For many years I was on other people’s time to get my records done because I didn’t possess the skills and though I am grateful for the time they put into my stuff it was very frustrating waiting. Finishing any form of art is a hard thing to do but it’s something I’ve purposely been working on over the last year.
Secondly, I want people to enjoy the music. It will be a major success hearing that people love what I’m doing.
You have several different musical projects bubbling away at a time and seem to operate under a number of personas (welldoneyou, PERENDIZ, Captain Pinball, etc). How does this work?
As my day job I’m Mike Lawetto, a freelance producer, songwriter and mix engineer. When I’m not doing that, I split my time between Well Done You – my rock side and Perendiz – my pop side. I don’t feel on a Tuesday how I did on a Sunday. Some days I rock, some days I pop. For me, music is at its greatest when it’s screwed around with, messed expectations, a noisy evolution – that’s what makes it beautiful. And that’s how Well Done You and Perendiz came about. Captain Pinball was just a crazy one-off, a track that I wrote with a team for a record label, it was mega-fun, but definitely more of a one-off project. I love pop music, we just unfortunately live in a time where a lot of pop music isn’t about exploring anymore rather regurgitating what’s worked in the past. Perendiz is all about trying to put the exploration back into Pop music and hoping people think it’s good. You’ll never hear Perendiz do the same genre – a few songs from the same ball park, sound wise, but ultimately I’m gonna keep moving. You’ve got to stay fresh, exciting and innovative. Oh and also I get bored quickly.
It’s the same with Well Done You. I’m a rocker at heart, my first true love, yet I’ve just been bored by the majority of rock music for years. I’m lucky if there’s more then two new good rock albums a year now I like. I’ve made a conscious effort to keep my colours wide and open. As a producer I’ll never say no until I’ve tried it a few times. That’s how I approach everything I do musically, which is why this year you will get a wide and genre-less bag of music from Mike Lawetto.
So, what exactly have you got in store for us in 2017?
Perendiz will releases a few singles (potentially an e.p) and a lot of collaborations. I’ll be releasing and producing with other artists such as Jamison, Alix Original, Dan Crook and a few others that are nearly confirmed. Well Done You will be releasing quite a few singles, an EP, album and a Christmas single. It’s gonna be busy year and I’m super excited.