Mike Federali
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Mike Federali

Norfolk, Virginia, United States

Norfolk, Virginia, United States
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"On The Grind"

Beach Musician Mike Federali plays guitar, sings, produces and writes songs. Whew!

A song a day
Federali writes a songs every day as part of his project "Three Six Five". Four local filmmakers are currently making a documentary of this marathon-like stunt. - Link

"Mike Federali: A One Man Music Army"

Mike Federali: A one-man music army
"Every song starts about a boy and a girl, that's the most universal theme in music."
Sara "k@t" Marsh, Special to Metromix

Mike Federali is easily compared to The Beatles, The Foo Fighters, or even the Pixies, but this disciplined maestro is paving his own path in the local music scene. His avant-garde songwriting techniques and optimistic opinions on creating a strong foundation for musicians/music, is a rejuvenating break from the garden variety musician stereotype. We got the skinny on his songwriting inspirations, his goals for his music, and what he thinks could help resurrect the local music scene.

What is your music background? Did you play instruments growing up?

I don't come from a musical family, I'm kind of an anomoly in that respect. Music was this thing I just latched onto on my own. I tried lessons, but that just wasn't for me. I started teaching myself whatever I could and music became my private thing. I was always reading, always listening, and always sitting in my room with a guitar.

What is threesixfive? How did you come up with the idea?

Three Six Five is a songwriting project where I write a song a day, everyday, for a year. One day, I just decided I wanted to push myself. The same way a runner chooses to be in a marathon I just told myself it was something I was ready for. So I started writing everyday and It's been a very rewarding project and it pushes me to be a better musician and songwriter.

What other activities / things do you enjoy doing when not playing music?

Three Six Five really doesn't leave time for anything else. I'm constantly writing and working on music. But when I do take breaks, it's usually to watch some shows I've Tivo'ed. I'll watch just about anything if it has no commercials such as Law and Order, CSI, and Robot Chicken.

Who are your favorite musicians? Any local musicians or artists that you would suggest to check out?

The Beatles, Pixies, Prince, The Clash, Otis Redding, Bob Dylan, The Temptations, Tom Waits, Wilco, and The Flaming Lips. That list could go on forever! Locally, I like Counterfeit Molly, Celebrity Gunfight, Coalescent, Shed 54, Elliott Malvas, MNE, The Influence, and JoAnna Lynne. A little further out of the area I would suggest Sarah White, The Good Graces and Lamont Skylark. All these bands are doing really great things and deserve a little more of the spotlight.

How did the band start?

I'm actually a solo act. The name Mike Federali Band came about when someone was posting my name on a concert listing. I think it was originally Mike Federali with Band but "with" got lost in the shuffle. I tend to gather friends and members from other bands to support me on different shows. It's a revolving door that has included Chidori Owsley, Chris and Michael Kendrick, and Ben Meyer.

How would you describe your music to people?

I don't know that I really do that actually. I just point them in the direction of my website, Myspace or invite them to a show. Explaining my music to people where we are constantly mixing genres, sometimes perform a song as an acoustic ballad, or a punk anthem (depending on the lineup), doesn't always sink in with people. It's better they decide that kind of thing for themselves.

Are you happy with the direction the band is going right now? What is the current goal of the band?

I'm very pleased with all that has happened this year. I've Written a song a day, opened for The Stills, The Polyphonic Spree and The Violent Femmes. I'm in no position to complain. Right now the goal is to prepare as many songs as possible and get Gil Norton to produce the next record. Also, look into the right labels for a small deal, just to get it out on shelves. I'm not someone that thinks a big label name will make or break any success I have, but I know it can't hurt to have label experience backing me either.

How do you balance your music with your other parts of life (job, family)?

Well, I've got no job other than music right now and I've never been much of a family guy but I try like anyone else to meet up for lunches, dinners and the like.

Growing up, did you want to be a rockstar or did you consider other careers?

I saw being a rockstar as the means of getting my songs out there. Being on the cover of a magazine doesn't interest me as much as having someone knowing the words to a song I wrote or singing a melody of mine. When you are up on stage and strangers are reciting your words back, you know you are having an impact on them. That's a rare thing and shocking to behold.

What is the greatest compliment anyone has ever paid to you regarding your art work? What about the greatest insult? How should an artist respond to such compliments and insults? Is it easier to talk about the compliment or the insult?

I'll stay with the same answer before. The greatest compliment would be someone singing along. It means I reached them and that is - Metromix


The Great American Novel 2004
Vanished Cage single 2004
Wheels single 2004

Lace Up single 2007



I grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico and moved to the states sometime in the early 80s. As a kid I found a mix tape with songs from The Beatles' White Album on one side and most of Abbey Road on the other. It had no name on it and I treated it like gold. From that moment I remember writing little songs the way you do when you are a kid, but unlike most other kids I knew, I didn't stop.

In high school grunge hit like a tidalwave and suddenly, just like with the punk movement, everyone wanted to be a musician. I bounced around from various garage bands but never taking a stage until I started my own band just as I got out of the Army. I taught my good friend Adam bass and we hit little venues as a two piece with about a million different names. Good times.

I met Kevin in a European History class in college. He had a Ben Harper t-shirt on and this to me meant he was cool. Cooler still was the fact that he played congas (the tall ones not bongos) and was interested in seeing us play. He came out to a performance and after a few shows on congas bought a drumkit and we started performing as The Houses, The Whiskey Flowers and then The Heavy Sleepers. I always had a fondness for "The" in a band name.

We recorded most an album that never saw the light of day at a studio we eventually took to court. Time passed and we recorded an 8 song ep with Mark Padgett of Mae. To this day some believe they got their name from our song of the same name. I don't know how true that is, but an interesting coincidence.

More time passed and we played in our mini-scene with bands like Anti-Violet, Rusty James loved the Motorcycle Boy, Counterfeit Molly and Luckytown. Good times.

Eventually it came time to record something bigger and better and this led us to the famed Sound of Music Studios in Richmond Va owned by Cracker frontman David Lowery. We recorded with Brian Paulson, a great producer who shared our "live feel" ideals. Brian had worked with Wilco, The Jayhawks, Superchunk and was the perfect person to get behind the board for what became Federali: The Great American Novel.

The album was dubbed "a great introduction by an even greater band" and received glowing reviews from critics.

The band eventually parted ways, but I kept writing songs. Lots of them. In 2007 I took on a song a day project and played shows with The Violent Femmes, Matt White, The Stills and The Polphonic Spree.