Vampire Diaries star Michael Malarkey is out with a solo album! Get excited. He’s currently down south in Atlanta, and we caught up with him to see what was up with his new foray into the music world. Of his new music he says ‘I’ve just released my single Feed the Flames, from the EP that comes out on October 12th’ which he describes as ‘predominantly acoustic, with a very folky, finger picking kind of style’. Thematically, he says that it’s about ‘reinventing love as you go along’ and understanding all aspects of being in a relationship, including the dark bits. He says ‘I think a lot of people shy away from the dark side of their nature, but I think you need to embrace the dark side as well as the light side of your nature in order to keep a good balance. That’s somewhat philosophically what the EP’s about.‘
Michael has been writing music for a decade, and has composed close to a hundred songs, which have led him to this point where music is more than a hobby. We asked him what inspired him to write, to which he replied ‘it’s how I feel about things. Inspiration is something that continually comes and changes depending on where you’re at in life.’ Michael says that he doesn’t want to sell out with his music, which he describes as having been ‘like a kind of journaling for me’, and he loves the low fi feel of his earlier basement demos, where you could hear ‘people clanking pots and pans in the background’. Although we can expect the production of his newer music to be much tighter, he says it was a challenge for this EP to keep the intimacy from his early days intact, which in fact he feels is the responsibility of any artist in the spotlight. ‘What’s important is the work’ he says. When we asked him if we could expect any fancy collaborations, he said he had some friends come into the studio and play instruments on the EP with him, although definitely no high profile collabs … ‘I haven’t had Ariana Grande down to the studio or anything.’
Of performing live, he says he’d ‘rather play in a dirty old pub’ than a stadium. ‘That’s what I value about playing live. Keeping it real.’ One the subject of him being a double threat, we asked him to choose between acting and music, and he said that acting is his main passion although ‘music was always just ingrained in me … acting is always my main priority. This is what I need to be doing with my life.’
Wait for it… This is a tough one. We asked him to describe who he is and what he does in one word. ‘I would say artistic but then I’d come across as a d*ckhead. Confused. No wait. Don’t put that. That’s not cool.’ He says that he really enjoys just being around new people and experiencing new things. Delving a little deeper, we got something of his life philosophy. ‘I don’t necessarily believe that everything happens for a reason, I feel like we make the reasons as we go along. We look back and we see’.
We really enjoyed chatting to Michael, he was a very interesting guy and we’re excited to hear his music. If you’re in Atlanta, he’s playing the Buckhead Theater on October 11 and if you’re in NYC he’s also playing Webster Hall, the Merlin Room on November 15th. Don’t forget to get out and see him!
Lastly, we asked Michael for his favorite five songs right now, but he treated us to five whole albums:
Blood Orange: Cupid Deluxe
The War on Drugs: Lost In The Dream
Converge: All We Love We Leave Behind
Nick Cave: Push the Sky Away
Wilde Beasts: Present Tense (Special Edition)