Today, I talk with Michael Thomas from the band, Abandoning Sunday. Michael tells us how he acquired his first guitar, a shocking little habit that seems to follow him when playing live, and the challenges of writing one's own music.
Ryan Sprague (RS)
Michael Thomas (MT)
RS: Where are you from, Michael?
MT: I am from DeLand Florida and I still live in the area.
RS: What did you study in college?
MT: I went to Daytona State College and received my Associate of Arts degree. Then I attended their school of emergency services and received my national EMT certification. I’m also currently taking online classes at Ashworth College to get certified as an Veterinary Assistant.
RS: What instrument(s) do you play?
MT: My main instrument is guitar but I also play a little bit of a couple of other random instruments like piano, mandolin, bass, and I’m learning to not be terrible at drums.
(Michael Thomas of Abandoning Sunday)
RS: When did you start playing? Do you sing as well?
MT: I started playing guitar when I was 15 when I got a guitar for Christmas from my grandparents. I do sing as well. I sing for the band as well as a couple of other projects that I’m involved in.
RS: Do you write all your own music?
MT: I do. I write the lyrics and the basic instrumentation. I have some friends that are a ton better at music than I am and sometimes I’ll work parts over with them to see what we can come up with when it comes to extra stuff like lead guitar or drums or other extras.
RS: What is your process of writing?
MT: When I start working on a new song, I try to just lock myself in a room and play it over and over until it’s finished. A lot of times a song will sound completely different from the point of first writing it to the point where I get in the studio and actually record it. I pretty much always start on the acoustic though and try to hash everything out and then go from there.
(Michael Thomas and Abandoning Sunday at a live show)
RS: Do you collaborate with any other musicians?
MT: Most of the time I do most of the writing on my own but as of late I’ve started throwing around ideas with different friends of mine. I have a bunch of friends that are a ton better than I am and it’s nice to just toss around ideas and songs with them and see what happens from there.
RS: What goes in to writing a song for you? Do you start with lyrics? Or the composition?
MT: Actually, almost every song is different. Sometimes it’s the words that come first and other times it’s the guitar that comes first. It usually just ends up with a very small piece and then it just sort of grows from there. The words are always the hardest part for me though. Regardless of how it started, the words usually end up getting finished last.
RS: What inspires you to write and/or play?
MT: I try to draw lyrics from almost every experience. Most of the time I end up writing about struggle or difficult things that have happened. It’s sort of my way of dealing with things. And what inspires me to play is hearing other people say that a songs I’ve written has helped them or meant something to them in some way. That’s what really means the most to me.
(In the recording studio with Abandoning Sunday)
RS: Are you partial to any specific genres?
MT: Actually, I will listen to pretty much anything except most rap. I just can’t handle it. But the majority of music on my iPod is rock music. I love a good 4 piece rock band any day.
RS: Have you recorded any albums?
MT: I have. Everything is available on iTunes and Amazon. I recorded and released an acoustic EP with my friend Trey Turner in an awesome acoustic project called The Icarus Account and released it in 2010. Then in 2011 I recorded and released 2 singles with my friend Steven Howell at his home studio. He’s an amazing producer and it’s always an honor to get to work with him. I also recorded a full length full band record with Steven Howell at both his home studio as well as doing some work at North Avenue Studios in Orange City Florida and released it in January of 2012.
You can watch the official music video for "Patience" by Abandoning Sunday below.
You can also learn more about Michael and the band by