By Megan Nicole
Angelic harmonies, lost in a fast world, youth on side, trembling story yet to be told.
To be known, forgotten, or up and coming. Which is worse?
The story of Michael Noyce is such like the evolution of a modern day musician.
Here today, gone tomorrow.
Hence the rise to the band of yesterday, Bon Iver.
Just as Nils Lofgren is to Bruce Springsteen or Michael Balzary is to Anthony Kiedis. Michael Noyce is to Justin Vernon.
“Crossed with a feeling // Could not be the only one left wondering: Where had this musician gone?”
Fresh Independence caught up with Mike Noyce. 20 Questions + a stay tuned with good things to come…
1. Home is where your story begins, can you tell us about yours?
I’m living in Madison, WI and loving it. It’s a beautiful town and I’m happy to be here.
2. How did Music find you?
I didn’t grow up in a family that listened to a lot of music, but my siblings and I each played a stringed instrument growing up. But I’d say music actually found me as a scrawny pubescent, when I picked up the guitar. It was entirely different as I chose to do it on my own (vs. the extrinsic motivation of having a parent ask you to play an instrument and practice it)
3. Who were your Musical influences growing up?
Initially a lot of Third Eye Blind, Smashing Pumpkins, and Weezer. Then a few local bands like Amateur Love and Deyarmond Edison. I got exposed to a lot of different music via Justin Vernon— I’ve always felt really grateful for that.
4. To the unfamiliar: How would you describe your musical style?
I did a lot of folk tunes growing up, but now I’m mostly interested in pop music. I think indie music can be afraid to say shit in a direct way, and I guess right now I’m reacting to that by trying to make some lyrically direct music that might make people uncomfortable. But it’s hard to find a balance, and it also makes me uncomfortable sometimes. I guess I’m still a noob when it comes to this songwriting thing.
5. When working with Bon Iver, what was your favorite song to perform and vibe behind it?
We did a cover of the Outfield song “your love”. I loved playing that- it’s just a great song. I’ve also always loved playing Bethrest, Bloodbank,and Calgary. I like those songs- they’ve got a real special pop thing going on, and they’re just a fucking release when you play them in the middle of a set, because they aren’t afraid to be big.
6. What do you take from your days with Bon Iver?
I really took a long time to get my shit together and learn how to not be entirely freaked out or anxiety ridden with all the touring and performing. I feel like the guys were always really understanding of that despite how ridiculous and childish I could be. It’s like a family out there, and I definitely feel like I was raised by those dudes a little bit. Basically it’s about the people you’re with when you’re touring- and we had good people. That’s what I’ll remember most, although there were undoubtedly some insane performances.
7. What are you up to now? School, Music, etc.
I took a semester of classes and worked at a farm over the summer, where I kept bees and moved cattle and then played music by myself in the evenings. Now I’m hoping to take the next six months to finish up an old collaboration called, “Satana” and then start touring some solo songs.
8. What is something fans would be surprised to learn about you?
I dig gardening and cooking and hiking. I like projects. There have been times where I’ve struggled with my relationship to music, and sometimes having something else to put your energy towards can be a lifesaver, if you can manage it.
9. Shout-out to your current favorite Band or Artist?
10. Michael Noyce is hosting a dinner party.
What Album is playing?
Dido, life for rent
What is on the Menu?
Some kinda bangin’ braise. Right now maybe a rabbit wrapped in bacon. But it’s gonna be behind by an hour and you’re gonna have to wait around.
Four influential [past or present] people are invited, who is on the Guest List?
11. What does the perfect lazy Sunday look like to you?
Cooking food and having some friends over, playing some guitar, maybe all that being out in the country.
12. Where are you writing this in this moment?
Madison Sourdough, one of the best brunch spots in my town.
13. Where is a stand-out place that you have travelled?
Capileira, Spain. It wasn’t for music, but our tour manager has worked his whole life to build a small home there, and hosted me. I’ll never forget that town.
14. What is your opinion on the changes within the Music Industry in the last five years?
I’ve only been in the music industry for the past five or six years. Honestly, everything seems pretty similar to me. I do think that people have lost touch with performing a little and the reasons why it’s important to be able to make more than just a recording. Making music isn’t just about making something new or better, but about being in touch with the people around you and yourself.
15. What is a quote or piece of advice that will always stay with you?
Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly at first.
16. What could the world use more of?
Gardens, dinners, bikes, therapy.
17. I will always…
Try to recognize the beauty around me.
18. I will never…
kill somebody? Say never?
19. Do you prefer to work behind the scenes or be on stage?
A bit of both, but I am shy.
20. What can fans look forward to from Michael Noyce in the New Year?
Hopefully some music with Satana come summertime.