Mike Hayden
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Mike Hayden

Band Pop Acoustic


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The best kept secret in music


"Letters From June Review"

After listening to Mike Hayden's, "Letters From June", I became a convert. As a person who normally doesn't listen to many acoustic-only cds, I found myself becoming really fond of his music. "Letters From June" is something that I would consider perfect as "bedtime music". Music that has beautiful melodies and lyrics, and can soothe and relax. Songs like, "To All Those", is one of my personal favorites that I heard of his music. Like all of his songs on the EP, it has a nice beat to it with ear-catching melodies. In Mike Hayden's music, it is obvious that emotion was weaved into his music. From lyrics that appear to be an outcry for help, to lyrics that show more of a hopeful emotion, all songs grabbed me in different ways. I believe that Mike Hayden has a lot of potential to go far. With his cd, "Letters From June", I think he can catch the attention of many people, through his rising talent and passion for music. I recommend "Letters From June" to anyone out there, and if he is ever on tour in a town near you, I also recommend one of his live shows. Mike Hayden has a lot of potential and I think could do really well in the near future.
- Rebel Rawk Zine 11/22/04

"Former punk rocker Mike Hayden finds emotion, intimacy in solo acoustic act"

Boulder singer-songwriter Mike Hayden says a music teacher once told him he'd be a great musician if someone would just break his heart and bring out some true emotion.
Then came the summer of 2003, when he went through a tough breakup a week after losing his 15-month-old German shepherd to an unexpected infection. It's a "clichd musician story," the self-deprecating CU senior concedes, but the experience helped him write songs with newfound conviction.
"I needed somebody, so I started writing again," he says. "And it was different. It was more meaningful to me, and it was much better music."
In high school in Colorado Springs, Hayden played guitar and sang in the local punk band Evidence of Nothing. Now a percussion major seeking a music-education degree, he also played drums for several bands in Boulder.
But Hayden says he wanted to try something different, which he's found in the past year with an acoustic guitar and a solo act that combines his punk-rock roots with catchy hooks and heartfelt lyrics that aren't afraid to open up and lay it all on the line.
His CD player is still loaded with bands like Thrice, My Chemical Romance and Taking Back Sunday, alongside modern acoustic troubadours like Ari Hest, with whom Hayden recently played a show. He says he's a sucker for good harmonies, and he doesn't mind being filed under "emo" despite the difficulty of pinning down a genre that one magazine defined with broad vagueness as "emotional music for emotional people."
"And that's true, but all music has emotion that goes into it, because otherwise nobody would listen to it," Hayden says. "When you're listening to music, it has to move you in some way, whether it's a cool guitar riff or a vocal line."
Hayden played early gigs and recorded his March 2004 debut EP, "Letters from June," with a backing band. He's now in the market for a new bassist and guitarist but says he's content playing solo until the right people come along.
"It's a more intimate setting," he says. "And definitely a little more scary. There's nobody else up there with you, so you have to try to convey everything yourself."
Hayden is working on a 10-song sophomore release and plans to begin laying down basic tracks by the end of the month. He expects the yet-to-be-titled disc to be out by spring.
"I'm hoping to get my music out to people through a super-awesome recording," he says. "I just want to play for as many people as want to listen."
- Dirt Magazine

"Decoy Music Interview"

A interview conducted by Truman Burden in 2005 with Mike Hayden.

You were recently featured on the front page of purevolume how did this come about?

Purevolume has this thing called purepromo, and you have to be a pureplus member. I purchased that and I had done it once about a year ago. You have to order it like right at 12:01 because those things go fast. I was trying to get it and I had to be right at the computer at 12:01 to get it. It’s just a good way of getting the music out there and I always get a lot of online orders when I do it.

Now I understand your newest EP was recorded a while ago and it was suppose to be a full length. Can you tell me what delayed and shortened the release?

In short the production team I was working with and I had several disagreements. It was going to be a pre-release and it was going to be shopped to labels. I really wanted to go on tour because I was getting a good response from different areas. Then I came back and stuff just wasn’t working, I’m not working with them anymore, but it’s cool because I’m writing new music that’s more electrified.

I noticed in the liner notes of the album you helped produce the album and you designed the album art as well. A lot of artists usually rely on other people to do those jobs, why did you decide to kind of go on your own with those things?

With the production it seems like it’s that way with a lot of bands. People have told me I have a control issue. I had some people go on tour with me and I had to have the merch table set-up a certain way. Funny story with the album art, I had to get it done in one day because it had to be sent off. I had the guy that helps me do the website look it over and okay it. Joe Tursch, the producer, who I worked with every day on the album was great and knew what I wanted as far as production. I wanted to write non cliché music, not like an offshoot of Ryan Cabrera, and I think it does sound different at least to me. I know it would sound different especially if it was a full length. I wouldn’t want to release it as a full length now because I have a great EP, but the full length would have had some piano based tracks.

With the EP being delayed for a long time, have you already written new music? When can we expect to hear it? And what differs from the tracks on Moments…?

The tracks I’m writing now lean more towards a weird rock/pop/punk. Like maybe the older midtown and acceptance it kind of takes on an older Ryan Adams feeling. It will be more electric but I am writing some acoustic stuff so there will be some singer/songwriter stuff, like Dashboard without the screaming vocals…don’t get me wrong I love his lyrics and when the song from the Spiderman soundtrack comes on the radio I’m always like how did he think of that, because I would never have. It will definitely be more rock and I’ll have a full band it won’t be Mike Hayden plus one. I was thinking about doing some demo track in March but now I’m thinking about going on the road, so I’ll probably record in September so maybe sometime next year there will be a new record. I’m re-pressing the EP because it’s almost sold out and plus I’m not through playing those songs yet.

I noticed that on the album you have quite a few musicians playing instruments. When you play live do you usually play with a full band or solo? If solo how do you generate the energy a full band gives off?

The people that recorded with the exception of Nick, the bass player, he’s a super nice guy and when it came time to record the producer thought we needed a bass melody hook so he brought in Adam Springer and now he plays full band with me. Nick is working on his own stuff and we’re still great friends. I treat the band like studio musicians and I pay them a good price. I liked playing solo for a while I played with loops and backing tracks but it makes me feel like kind of a joke. I just like to get up close, more singing like I’m in your bedroom, sometimes I bring my piano, but for the big gigs I usually try to get a band because the singer/songwriter thing can only go on for so long with people.

You have released a couple albums as an unsigned artist and you are starting to generate a buzz. Have you been approached by any labels and do you think you may be signed soon?

I’ve talked to a few labels. My music I’ve found is hard to generate a buzz because there are so many singer songwriters. Something with bands is always one guy can sing better or one guy can play guitar better. I’m not ready for that just yet. I will say I would like to sign to a bigger indie label where you can get to talk to the owner and not just the assistant to the secretary. I talked to a major but I haven’t heard anything back for six months so they may be interested but probably not. I probably won’t sign anything for another year.

When you started writing these songs as a solo artist did you ever expect that what you were doing would catch on this big?

No I just wanted to play some shows. I never thought I’d leave school, get signed to a production deal, and go on tour. My dream in high school was to play the Bluebird Theatre and I’ve headlined it twice. So I have achieved that goal, my goal now is to get through school and generate an income. In a year my goal might be to go on an international tour. It’s crazy because in high school we never even had a CD and now you have to have a demo to send to the venue. We had a computer recording but that was a different day you couldn’t go out and get pro-tools.

This is a section I always try to do it is called Random Questions here are yours:

On your myspace people always comment that you look like Patrick from Fall Out Boy, has that helped you with the ladies?

I don’t know how this came about. I love the picture and the hat in the picture. I could never find a hat because my head is so big, and I guess they are made for the tinier guys, but I found this one and it’s great. So an artist wanted to take some pictures and I was like sure my hair is longer. For some reason the pictures turned out to look exactly like Patrick from Fall Out Boy. I get e-mails from people asking if I’m Patrick and this is his solo project when it clearly says Mike Hayden. So don’t ask me if I’m from Fall Out Boy. I was in Seattle and I had just gotten off the plane and people were saying I was Patrick from Fall Out Boy. It’s one of those things I’m never going to live down. I’ve actually had people not believe that I’m not Patrick, I’m like check their tour schedule and you’ll see he’s probably in Europe.

What is one musical inspiration people wouldn’t guess you would have?

I would say Thrice and Avenged Sevenfold I’ve been into them for years. I’ve really been into Trivium they’ve got melody and kicking guitar lines. Growing up I listened to a lot of Billy Joel. My first CD, I’m embarrassed to say, was a George Michael album and I rocked it.

Seeing that you were a teenager in the mid 90’s who do you prefer Third Eye Blind or Matchbox 20? And Why?

Definitely Third Eye Blind one because they are good. I love Third Eye Blind, when I was 15 I went to a music academy and the radio station there played “Semi Charmed Kind Of Life” like 80 times. Matchbox 20 seemed kind of girly I needed something tougher and I guess Third Eye Blind had the lyrics. Plus Rob Thomas’s solo album stunk.

What is your number one Christmas gift this year?

There’s two things I want a Telecaster and I so want an XBOX360, or I’d like Christmas to be delayed until Playstation 3 comes out, but that’s not going to happen.

What is your number one favorite album released in 2005 and why?

Acceptance-Phantoms, that’s my steady constant. I’ve been listening to the new Ryan Adams album lately.

What is one thing you want to achieve in your career you haven’t yet?

I’d like to get an older crowd. Most of my fan base is under 21, which is cool, but I’d like to get an older fan base as well. My ultimate goal this year is to play the Gothic Theatre, it’s the coolest venue I’ve seen, I don’t even have to headline it just play with someone there.

Well man I guess that wraps it up, I would like to thank you for answering the questions. Do you have any closing comments?

I’m really bad at these. I guess just say no to mini back packs. Oh yeah and one more thing I’m doing this thing now called Free Colin, go to my myspace page and send me an e-mail. Colin is this guy that’s being held, unlawfully, in the Denver City Jail and we’re trying to make awareness for him. Denver police are under heat right now because they aren’t treating people good, so this is a way to bring awareness to what they are doing.

- www.decoymusic.com

"Groove for a Cause"

By Christina Szoke for dirt | Thursday September 22, 2005

The University of Colorado's Program Council is putting on a Hurricane Katrina benefit concert in Old Main on Saturday as part of its Main Groove concert and events series.

The show, which will be free and open to the public, is designed to raise money for CU Hurricane Relief, an organization set up by the CU Student Union to support the American Red Cross, the United Way and the Salvation Army. The group also is working to raise awareness of the impending public health crisis in the Gulf Coast region.

The show's all-acoustic line-up includes Doug Wood, the Brood, Mike Hayden and the Waiting Room.

Hayden, a Boulder native who will return to CU as a music-education major in January, says he plans to donate 25 CDs to sell at the show, and will give 100 percent of the proceeds to the relief effort.

Wood, a Denver-born guitarist who now resides in Cleveland, plans to donate some CDs as well, and is bringing in compilation CDs to sell for donations.

"Several of the artists have offered to give CDs to the first 10 or so people who donate more than $10," said Rande Kamolz of Program Council.

"I hope that we can raise a good chunk of money - hopefully hundreds (of dollars)," Wood says.

It's difficult to gage how much money Program Council will raise from the show, Kamolz says.

"So often we do advertising and all that and then we end up with 20 people," says Kamolz, estimating that anywhere from 20 to 50 people will attend.

Kamolz says the Main Groove series was organized by the Program Council - a self-supporting, student-run organization - to bring concerts and other events to CU's Old Main Chapel. The first Main Groove show, in spring 2004, featured Braddigan from Dispatch.

Upcoming Main Groove events at Old Main include a comedy show organized by dirt's Dave Burdick on Sept. 30 and a Halloween show or movie.

Kamolz says the shows he puts on at Old Main are "mostly acoustic because of the nature of the venue."

"Old Main is a good place to play," says Mueller, singer for the Brood. "It's such a cool old theater."

Hayden says he was excited about the Old Main venue.

Hurricane Katrina Relief Concert

Featuring Doug Wood, Mike Hayden, the Brood and Waiting Room

8 p.m. Saturday

Old Main Chapel, University of Colorado campus

Free; donations accepted for CU Hurricane Relief

(303) 492-7704 or www.programcouncil.com
"There's not a lot of music coming through Boulder because there's just the Fox and Club 156," says Hayden, who describes his music as "Ryan Cabrera with more of a rock edge."

He says he often tours with a band, but on Saturday will be playing solo.

"It's super intimate," Hayden says. "It's basically me in my bedroom playing songs."

Wood, who recently released his second CD "Solace," calls his music "progressive acoustic guitar" and cites folk, Celtic, jazz, and hardcore as influences.

Waiting Room - a five-piece acoustic band comprised mostly of CU students - recently released its first album, "What Really Matters."

Mueller, who describes his band as acoustic rock with a Counting Crows influence, encourages people to come out for the show.

"It's for a better than good cause," he says.

- Dirt Magazine


Moments....-March 2005
Letters from June-May 2004
Pieces of You(2005)-Moments
Full Length:
Moments to Memories-due out June 2005


Feeling a bit camera shy


23 year-old Mike Hayden is not just you average guy with a guitar.
Hayden offers a unique twist on the typical view of the singer/songwriter. Over the last year, Mike has gone from a virtual unknown, to being a leader in the Colorado Acoustic/Pop Rock market.

At the age of 21, singer/songwriter Mike Hayden was studying percussion and education at the University of Colorado when he turned his focus on writing his own music again. Hayden, who had been in bands before playing drums, guitars, bass, and piano since the age of 12 wanted something different from the harder music he was more accustomed to listening to. He picked up a borrowed acoustic guitar from his brother and out came his new style of acoustic music.

Since then, Hayden has played nearly every venue in Colorado sharing the stage with such artists as Anna Nalick, Copeland, the New Amsterdam’s, Ari Hest, Melee, Evan Anthem, Aubrey Collins, This Day and Age, Limbeck, Down to Earth Approach, Communique, and many others!

In 2005, Hayden’s music has gained nearly 70,000 plays and over 6,000 downloads on online sites such as Purevolume.com, and Myspace.com. Hayden is currently playing in Colorado, and planning future national tours in support of his new EP, “Moments”.
Both of Hayden’s EP’s are sold nationally online at Tower records, CDBaby, Best Buy and at various local music and book stores in Colorado, Kansas, South Dakota, Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Minnesota, Nebraska, Utah, Missouri, and California.
With Hayden’s reputation for writing such heartfelt music, He is not to be an act missed.

“ When he( Mike Hayden) is onstage Mike just commands the attention of the room”, “ Mike just has a presence about him that you can’t help but fall in love with him”

“This industry needs more artist like Mike Hayden. His songwriting is amazing. He just engages you when he plays, it’s like he is singing just to you.”