BUBBLE GUM ORCHESTRA
Bubble Gum Orchestra II
(BGO Recordings)

 

In his follow up album to the late 2011 / early 2012 CD release of Out Of This World, singer-songwriter Michael Laine Hildebrandt returns at the end of 2012 with Bubble Gum Orchestra II, the second album from his band Bubble Gum Orchestra. Although somewhat younger than his mentors from the original classic rock crowd of the late 1960's to the mid to late 1970s, Hildebrandt maintains a healthy 21st Century reverence for the classic bands from that era including The Beatles , Electric Light Orchestra, The Buggles, ABBA and loads of other top 40 favorites and he gets to live out his sonic fantasies once again with BGOII. An inventive sonic multi-tasker, Hildebrandt's upbeat musical demeanor is quite contagious on tracks like “Today Is Beautiful”, “Oh Can We Save It” and “Loving One Another”. Sure you can hear traces of upbeat Steve Miller meets The Buggles meets Jeff Lynne musical vibes but there’s also a cool futuristic thing in play on the 2012 BGO CD. The CD packaging of BGOII is eye-popping and the enclosed lyrics booklet shines a light on just how well Hildebrandt combines words and music. Power pop fans and prog-pop fans, don't miss Bubble Gum Orchestra. www.BubbleGumOrchestra.com

mwe3.com presents an interview with
Michael Laine Hildebrandt



mwe3: It was just last year ago that the first Bubble Gum Orchestra album came out and now BGOII. What was the plan behind the making of this late 2012 BGOII follow up album and when was the music written and where and when were the tracks cut?

MLH: I started writing songs for BGOII over a three month period after the release of our first album, Out Of This World which came out world wide in late September of 2011. I was feeling really creative and "Distant Song" came first. All the tracks were recorded in Blue Violin Studios here in Dallas, Texas. The plan behind BGO II is to reach as many people as we can to share our love of music.

mwe3: There’s a few tracks that would work as singles including “Carrie In My Dreams” which is great. What is the first single off the new CD? Is there a theme or concept for the new BGOII CD?

MLH: The upbeat and worldly "Loving One Another" is currently in preproduction for video being made by the very talented Aaron Fairooz of Fairooz Imaging here in Dallas so I would have to say that "Loving One Another" is officially our first single. Also, talks are underway for an upcoming video for "Carrie In My Dreams". Is there a concept or theme? I like outer space, time travel, aliens, stratospheres and orchestras...so I guess there are several themes happening on BGO II's art work.

mwe3: The art work of BGOII is amazing. Who designed the CD packaging? It should win some kind of grammy or something! And that pic of you on the inside of the tray card where you look like Captain Marvel. (lol) Is there a visual theme based around your music? Of course the ELO comparison is inevitable, especially since today’s younger artists seem keen on carrying forward the classic rock traditions.

MLH: I came up with the initial concept design for the album. My graphic designer and brother Douglas Hildebrandt brought everything to life via his computer and he also came up with many of the awesome visual effects we were going for. I agree with you, Douglas should win some sort of award or at least a trophy or something. (lol) The visual theme I wanted and achieved was to have an alien find a beautiful happy world and have BGO and all their friends living there. The "Alien" theme continues through out the CD artwork and then you see the picture of myself, with my hands morphing into a green Alien. I left the overall interpretation up to the viewer. The Captain Marvel reference is very close. Douglas came up with the 1950's Universal movie's style, outer space look for my personal photo. I am thrilled with the results.

mwe3: Who else worked with you on the new BGOII CD, discussing including what your brother brought to the table and other musicians and or anyone in the production? I know you had Paul McCartney’s trumpet player on a track. How did you meet Steve Howard?

MLH: I was honored to have had two guest musicians and personal friends alone with my brother Douglas to come into Blue Violin Studios and lay down some awesome tracks on BGO II. The legendary trumpet player, Steve Howard, former of Paul McCartney and Wings from 1975-1980, came in and recorded in February of 2012 and played on the song, "Blowin' Away". Steve actually played on the very same trumpet that he played on tour for all the Wings over America and Wings over Europe tours in the 70's. This is also the horn he played at Abbey Road Studios for the studio recordings of those classic Wings songs: "Silly Love Songs", "Let 'Em In" and "Coming Up". Steve told me that recording with BGO reminded him of being at Abbey Road Studios with Paul and working out the trumpet parts and then recording them. I met Steve 11 years ago and he lives very close to me here in Texas and I see him on a regular basis. I was also honored to have singer, songwriter and piano extraordanaire Les Farrington of Sugarbomb fame to come in and play the piano solos on the opening track, "Today Is Beautiful". Also to note, Les and I have collaborated and recorded the classic song, "Girl" made famous by Davy Jones and will be releasing it on BGO's official website as a free download hopefully by Davy's birthday in December of this year to honor him. My brother Douglas Hildebrandt brought a lot to BGO II. He came in and played rhythm guitar on every song that required guitars on them. His playing is awesome and I could not do it with out him!

mwe3: As far as gear goes was there any new addition to the guitar approach on the new CD? What guitars did you turn to mostly on the BGOII album and are you still working with Warwick basses? Would you say BGOII is more guitar centric or keyboard based?

MLH: I did get some new gear for BGO II. I found some old vintage Tom Sholtz, of Boston fame, guitar effects and incorporated those classic tones into some songs on this new album. I have always loved the vintage "Boston" sound and wanted to get that into some of our orchestrated pop songs. "Carrie In My Dreams" has it along with "A Trillion To One" plus a couple more. I wanted to go a little heavier with some songs but not take it too far and get away from the "pop" feel I love so dearly. That being said, I believe that there is definitely a more "guitar" oriented and upbeat feel on BGO II. We used my trusty Fender USA Stratocaster along with an Ovation 12 string acoustic guitar along with our Ovation 6 string acoustic guitar. I love the sound of those guitars and they never let me down. Let's talk about Warwick bass guitars... I have been playing them all of my adult life and I am very blessed to be endorsed by them. There is no other bass that sounds as good as a Warwick! I would be playing them regardless if I was endorsed by them or not. I recorded all the songs with my neck through four string EMG loaded "Thumb" bass and that growl is unmatched. I was fortunate to be in New York City recently and went to the Warwick USA Custom Shop in the East Village. Meeting my US artist rep Christopher Kunitz was awesome and their shop is amazing.

mwe3: Is there a story about how you first became interested in pop music and becoming a recording artist? My mom was always singing and she would always buy some great broadway play soundtrack Lp back in the 1960s. Who in your life brought music to life for you? Were there some key memories about your early musical exposure? What musical era did you grow up in and what musical era would you have wanted to grow up in?

MLH: It's funny, our Mom, Carole Ann Thompy always says she has no idea where my brother and I got our music abilities from! We never took any lessons, can't read music and we are definitely not "hooked up" like most people which maybe explains some sort of artistic side to our music approach. The world may never know I guess. I grew up listening to my sister Patty's Beatles albums which explains a lot to where my musical influences started. Thank you Paul, John, George, Ringo and Patty! Hearing the Beatles at such a young age really defined me as a lifelong fan of them and their style of music. That being said, the Beatles era of the 60's and all the pop music during the 70's are the era's that I truly love the most. I am fortunate that I grew up when I did , I wouldn't change a thing.

mwe3: Seems like you’re laying the groundwork for the future of BGO with these first two albums and ideally what kind of musical future would you envision or hope for the planet, the music world and your fans in the next few years?

MLH: I love the whole process of writing, recording and ultimately getting a final product to share with the fans of BGO. It's what I do. I was given the "gift" of creating music so that is the path I will continue to follow. I have already been writing and recording for the next BGO album due out sometime in late 2013...I hope. A new song titled "Evil, Evil Girl" will set the tone for BGO III aka, "The Discovery".

Thanks to Michael Laine Hildebrandt @ www.BubbleGumOrchestra.com

 

 
   
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