Million Dollar Quartet, John Michael Presney
Tell us a little about your new EP, "The Nighttime and the Dawn."
I started writing new things influenced by constant travel and living out of hotel rooms and dealing with that lifestyle. All of a sudden these new sets of songs started emerging. We booked a recording studio in Salt Lake City. It didn't quite get finished there. Then (we) went into a studio in LA; a couple of guys from the show and I did. Turned out that the studio we ended up at was called The Cave. It was Cecil B DeMille's old house in Beverly Hills. Billy Bob Thorton owns the studio. We got hooked up with a great engineer and producer who is now a very dear friend, J.D. Andrew. We finished up there and it just kept evolving and evolving and becoming a bigger and bigger thing. Now it's finally out and we're going to be doing shows with it and promoting it and seeing where it goes. We're going to go back hopefully next summer and expand upon it and do a full length with mostly the same band. Then start touring hard with it. We (did) a show in D.C. with a couple of other guys in the show that have bands. Most of the guys in the show have bands.
I find it great that the performers in MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET are musicians as well as actors. There is so much talent.
It's a live band. Everything you hear is exactly what you're seeing onstage. There's no hidden musicians. There's no trickery. It is a few guys up there with instruments. If that's lacking, the whole thing falls apart. Audiences are smart and know if you're not really playing. They know if you're faking it. These are iconic songs. If that lick isn't right or if that style's not right it sticks out. That show is about the music. We're paying reverence and hopefully educating about these luminaries. If it's not perfect, the whole thing doesn't work. They have to go after high level, high quality musicians and not that the rest of it's secondary. You also have to be an actor. You have to look right for it. Again, we all know what these guys look like so there is a lot that goes into casting the show.
If you hadn't become a singer, what would you have done?
I don't know. I've never been one for back-up plans. I don't think I ever had one. When I was younger it was great. My family said, "You can go to school for music or theatre." But I wanted to find another major too. But from the time I was about 15 or 16, I didn't want to because so frequently if you have a back-up plan, it's so easy to fall back on it. These are all hard careers, hard professions. I thought for myself swinging without a net would be more beneficial for me. Hopefully it continues to work out that way.
Do you have any advice for anyone who is pursuing a career in singing?
Make the hard decisions. If you have two paths and one of them seems easier and maybe the sure bet and the other one is scary or is intimidating; usually that's the side with the bigger pay-off. I don't think you get anywhere by playing it safe.
To find out more about John Michael Presney, you can check out his website at: http://johnmichaelpresney.com/ You can go to iTunes and get a copy of his new EP also.
PHOTO CREDIT: Rosie Cohe
Kathy Strain spent most of her life outside of Philadelphia and has enjoyed Broadway shows for most of her life. Kathy moved to San Antonio, Texas in 2001 with her husband Ken and 3 children. She holds a degree in Public Relations from the University of Texas at San Antonio and runs her own Public Relations company. She loves to contribute pieces on the arts to several outlets and enjoys writing about talent and sharing it with the world. |