There are so many different sub genres of metal that it is literally too hard to keep up with them all. UNIVERSAL MIND PROJECT might not start a new one but they sure as hell are interesting enough to wanting to find out a bit more. Anders Ekdahl ©2016

Could you please introduce yourself to those of us in the dark?
-Thanks for the interview Battlehelm, my name is Michael, and I am the guitar player and composer for Universal Mind Project.

I often wonder how people discover that they can do what they do. How did you discover that you can sing and play instruments?
Michael: I started playing guitar at the age of 16, and I took lessons for four years at the music school. I had the chance to try other instruments with my friends when we used to have a power metal band. I tried a bit of drums, and keyboards. Not my strongest but till now I use them for composing tools. About singing, well I don’t consider myself a singer per se, but I do growls occasionally in some tracks, and it happened by accident while I was making “The Jaguar Priest” album! I had some ideas that I wanted to share in a demo that included growls, I decided to give it a try, and when I heard the results, I thought that I could improve and do them for real in the album, and is they way “The Bargain Of Lost Souls” song turn out with me on growls, I discovered this feature in the making, and I do growls for other tracks in the album as well.

When did it become a revelation that you can do this and maybe get paid for having fun?
Michael: Early 2012 is when I started this project, with just the intention to release an EP. But immediately after finishing our first song, that is the tittle track of the album, is when it was clear that all was set to start this for the big picture. Get paid for having fun?! you should be our manager!

When you spend an amount of your life on a band does it ever feel like you have wasted time, that you have fought one too many windmills?
Michael: Not at all, all that happens is an experience from where you can learn, of course you need to be sharp as well and be wise when is important to move forward. Example: If you are in a band just for having fun and that’s your goal, that’s ok! but if you want to play with other musicians in other scenarios and possibilities (without removing the fun part), you need to make a decision of moving on and pursue what is you are looking for, so… there’s not really a waste of time, just experiences and is up to you to keep the eyes open for opportunities to grow.

No matter how small or big you were as a band you will leave a legacy behind you. How do you want people to treat this legacy?
Michael: Is not a question that I thought about before, but if I can pick one, would be a positive message to younger musicians to encourage them that everything is possible with determination.

Is digital taking away the mystery of waiting for a new album now that you can upload as soon as you have written a song?
Michael: I think a bit yes, but also at the same time it provides the opportunity to show up a little bit of your work, and if you get positive feedback, then it becomes a good tool to create and interact with people about your work.

How important is image in separating you from all the million different styles of metal there is out there?
Michael: Is very important, since we have our own concept, ideas, tastes etc… is imperative to be original within the whole spectrum of genres out there, and at the same time it must come naturally, the way you feel comfortable with, we don’t go crazy about this.

Do you deal in different topics lyrically or do you keep to one, just using different variations?
Michael: The album’s lyric content I ll say is diverse, we wrote about philosophy, spirituality, ancient cultures, like Mayan, a little bit of politics and also personal insights experiences, all this written under the influence of poetic and philosophic structures.

Do you consider yourself a live artist or do you like to spend most of the time secluded in a studio?
Michael: I love both! is a different energy. In the studio you are in your comfort zone, but live you got this feeling of being where you need to be!.

How much of a touring band are you guys? What memories do you take with you?
Michael: Universal Mind Project as a band haven’t really toured yet, we expect to start with some shows after the album release, and I am sure we will collect great memories together. We understand ourselves well, we enjoy playing together and share the same vision, and we are looking forward to hit the stages!

What does the future hold?
Michael: We will be working on promoting the album, start to work in the near future tours and write new material when the time comes!

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