"I just want to write honestly, songs based on personal experiences with the occasional clever lyrical twist!" If a line from a song makes you laugh, cry, cringe or smile, then I've accomplished what I set out to do."
Growing up in Toronto provided Michael with loads of inspiration and musical role models. A slew of Canadian musicians provided his early inspiration (Rik Emmett of Triumph, Alex Lifeson of Rush, jazz guitarists Ed Bickert and Lenny Breau to name a few) as well as songwriters (Leonard Cohen, Neil Young, Bryan Adams, The Guess Who) and imbued Michael with the desire to be a well rounded musician.
Studying with composer Robert Benedict at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto as well as flamenco with David Phillips (Paula Moreno Spanish Dance Company) and jazz with Brian Katz (University of Toronto) provided Michael a solid musical foundation as a guitarist. A brief stint at Berklee College of Music in Boston exposed Michael to different styles and players from around the world.
Three years working at Warner Chappell Music Publishing Canada provided valuable exposure to the A & R side of the industry and provided the incentive to leave and gain valuable live experience. Musical adventures have included stints with Toronto R and B group the Hipkings as well as touring experience with Top 40 rock acts The Mudcats and the Michael Roland Band.
After seeing a Neil Finn (Crowded House) show at Toronto's Harbourfront Centre, Michael was inspired to step out front of the mic and focus more on developing his vocal skills and songwriting abilities. Voice training with Orville Heyn (Humber College) allowed him to hone his skills and to move from band member to band leader. In recent years, Michael has spent time playing with drummer Tony Nesbitt Larking (PowerThroughTime) and bassist Simon Luscewicz of The Most Serene Republic (Arts and Crafts).
After moving to Tokyo in 2006, Michael established a friendship and dynamic musical partnership with guitarist Kei Takasugi. With the help of bassist Kiyo Tahara, drummer Kazuki Shimano and engineer Seiki Kitano, they recorded and released 2009s 'Songs of Love and Destruction EP. This was followed by numerous live shows in and around the Tokyo area, including performances at Japan Music Week and a slot at the Kichijoji Music Festival. Michael's song 'The Way You Kiss Me' was also subsequently featured in an in-store cosmetics promotion throughout Japan. Stateside, the band was featured in an article in LA's Music Connection Magazine and Michael was later selected as one of Music Connection's Top 100 Unsigned Live Artists of 2011.
This past September 2012, Michael, Kei Takasugi (guitar), and engineer Seiki Kitano finally headed to Hollywood to to Bernie Grundman's (Michael Jackson, Prince) Studio to master the new album, 'Truth and Desire' with Engineer Chris Bellman (Alanis, Elton John, Tom Petty, Joe Walsh, etc). Stay tuned for more information regarding the upcoming release date for 'Truth and Desire' and future live shows.