In an age where not just pop music but the overall media landscape is obsessed with darkness, seemingly, Bubble Gum Orchestra stands apart. The indie pop/rock outfit, essentially an umbrella name for musician Michael Laine Hildebrandt, unabashedly takes cues from the 1960s and 1970s, with a nod to the Electric Light Orchestra being given. The arrival of the second release, BGO II, offered an opportunity for Hildebrandt to talk about a new song off the release.
I constantly feel so blessed to have whatever “this thing” is in my spirit and soul and to be able to get my thoughts from my mind into the form of a song. To then be able to perform, record, engineer and produce it all plus create the album art conception etc, etc, really is humbling.
When it comes time to start writing a new Bubble Gum Orchestra album I don’t generally have any set or fixed process in which I follow. Some people will write and stock pile twenty songs or more and then start picking through them. Not me, I sit down in Blue Violin Studios usually in front of my trusty, vintage Korg synth/ vocoder and get inspired. Sometimes I write and compose while out on a peaceful long run, it just depends on how I am feeling that particular day. If I am intending to have ten, eleven or twelve songs on an upcoming album, then that is all I write. I always trust my “gut feeling” and then go with it. What comes first, the words or music? This is a question that is asked often. I would have to say that 60% of the time it’s the music first, and the other 40% of the time it’s the words and melodies that come first. It all just starts flooding my world and engulfing my being and that’s how a new BGO album is born.
I compose for myself first and don’t concern myself with 99% of what other artists are doing or what’s happens to be the current trends . I am aware of what is going on out there in the music world and I really like some of it but some of it, not so much. That being said, not getting too caught up in the current music scene really allows me to easily stay focused on BGO. I am an independent artist in every sense of the word and I love the fact that I stand or fall on my own with BGO. I am able to stay true to myself and be held accountable for everything that comes with the mighty Bubble Gum Orchestra entity. It’s very freeing and fulfilling to not have to report to anyone but “me”. I will write a song, then get into the studio and start recording all the instruments over a week or two period until I am finished and satisfied. I am constantly mixing all through out this process and usually get the song 95 % mixed by the time I am ready to start vocals and backing vocals. I always wait and perform all of the vocals last after I have recorded all the music. This process feels comfortable and natural and proves to work well for me. There is no book to go by, I write my own destiny.
On the day I wrote “Loving One Another,” I happened to sitting in front of the piano and thinking to myself, “Why isn’t there more love in this world”? “Why so much hate and negativity”? I mean really, “It’s not supposed to be like this, is it?” I wanted to write a universal song promoting love, peace and harmony and try to help make some sort of difference in this ever so seemingly cynical world. I believe universally that loving and helping one another is a good thing and the world really needs more of it. It is an uplifting, positive, feel good song that pleas with humanity to just do the right thing in life and be nicer to your fellow man or woman. I wish more people would listen to this obvious concept and apply it to their everyday lives. In our new video for “Loving One Another,” the spirit and essence of the song was captured magnificently by Aaron Fairooz of Fairooz Imaging and his wonderful artistic vision. The video has a very heartfelt story through out and actually brought tears to my eyes when I first viewed it. All the actors involved were awesome at their craft and the final product is being received very well all over the world. I personally hope that everyone who watches this video will smile and spread the word and message of love. We have adopted a new slogan here in BGO land… Bubble Gum Orchestra= Positive music for Positive people.
For more information about Bubble Gum Orchestra, visit the website here.