KIM MITCHELL - "It's Funny How The World Is Now, But No One Ever Mentions The Entertainment Business And How Much We Are Hurting"
June 30, 2020, 13 days ago
Multi-platinum, JUNO Award winning rock icon and Canadian Songwriters Hall Of Fame inductee, Kim Mitchell, recently signed with El Mocambo Records, and released his new single, “Wishes”, to be featured on his forthcoming new album, The Big Fantasize, the first full-length recording since 2007’s Ain’t Life Amazing.
In a new interview with Bill King for FYI Music News, Mitchell talks about his new record deal, COVID-19, and more. A couple of excerpts follow:
Bill King: "Wishes" is the single. Is there a storyline to it?
Kim Mitchell: "About ten years ago, I can't say if I was in a medical office or what. I hardly ever read poetry or pick up books but I'll pick up a magazine in a doctor's office and leaf through it. It was one of those moments and, for some reason, there was a book of poetry lying there. Somewhere in the middle, there was this poem, Wishes. I think it was probably done in the '40s because it's public domain. As I read it, I loved it and wanted to write a song to it. Ten years ago, I got the verses – sort of an adaptation, not word for word. I never finished. I kept looking at it and thinking this isn't a song yet. It didn't have a bridge or chorus. It took me to about six months ago to finish the song. I'd come at it here and there – nope that didn't work. I should finish the song because it has the same vibe as the album. I'm home one day and get to the end of one of the verses and stopped playing and kept on singing, and it just happened.
"It goes with my attitude about songwriting. I never give up on a song. I felt like I was the song's roadie. I didn't come up with the parts, the song was telling me - I don't like that, I don't like that then – "Yeah, that's it, that's it."
Bill King: Touring is stressful.
Kim Mitchell: "People don't realize how much stress accompanies the whole gig. It's funny how the world is now and talking about how to get the economy going. Restaurant this and that, but no one ever mentions the entertainment business. And how much we are hurting. Personally, I'm not – I'm going to be OK, I hope. From crew guys to sidemen living a hand to mouth existence – people don't even acknowledge that. They steal our music, and we can't get back to work.
"I love being a musician, and with this record, I look at it like the rest of my records, it's about the journey in the making. There's a lot of moments of euphoria, satisfaction – moments you quit the business – all different kinds of emotions go into making a record. Once mixed and mastered, and I go great, I feel like I should take it out back and shoot it. My job is over. There's nothing I can do to it now. I can't make people like it. I can't make them buy it. I can't stop them from saying, "Wow, this is great." The next guy, "this is absolute garbage." I took the journey, I love it, and now I'm going to shoot it in the back yard. Bam!"
Read more at FYI Music News
“Of all the 150 or so songs I’ve written in my career, ‘Wishes’ took the longest to finish,” Mitchell shares. “It took patience. Lots of trial and error, and for years. I’d leave it for months, come back and work on it, leave it again, and then come back. Then, one peaceful morning looking out my front window, the refrain just happened for me while I was vibing on my acoustic guitar. I wasn’t even searching, but there it was! Sometimes you don’t search for a part, you wait for it to arrive.”
A similar sentiment could be considered for The Big Fantasize, Mitchell’s forthcoming full-length release and the vehicle of sorts for “Wishes". “It was like that classic old car that’s been in the garage for a while,” Mitchell muses about the album. “You know, the one you’re going to strip down and restore ‘cause you know there’s something special there, but you just never seem to get around to it.”
Marking his 13th studio offering - including the five as the leader of Max Webster - and first in just as many years since 2007’s Ain’t Life Amazing, The Big Fantasize is the result of sleeves rolled up alongside co-producer and close friend Greg Wells (Keith Urban, Adele, Taylor Swift, Twenty One Pilots).
Turns out, there was something pretty sweet hiding under the hood...
Where its predecessor was a fiery and fierce rock album, anchored by big riffs and bigger swagger, The Big Fantasize is a more dynamic and musically expansive effort that perfectly encapsulates Mitchell’s prowess as a pure and compelling songwriter.
His countless signature anthems permanent fixtures of Canadiana 101, the three-time JUNO Award winner has sold over 1.5 Million recordings and toured endlessly over the course of his storied career - which also included a fan-favourite 11 year tenure hosting The Kim Mitchell Show on Toronto’s Q107.
“‘Grant me these before I die and I’ll ask no more of life,’” he says aloud, citing a lyric from “Wishes". “That line can make my eyes misty some days…
“Normally your title is ‘composer’ when working on a new song,” Mitchell considers. “For ‘Wishes,’ my title seemed to be song’s roadie, or perhaps its personal assistant. I hope I served it well.”
"Wishes" is available now. Check out a lyric video for the single below: