Mike Edge is a Los Angeles based singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer. He has worked with notable artists such as Dr. Dre, Roy Davis Jr., and legendary producer Andy Johns. Drawing on inspiration from John Lennon, George Harrison, David Bowie, Al green, Air, and Lou Reed—his introductory, self-titled EP was written, recorded, produced and mixed by Edge in his studio, while mainly utilizing recording equipment he built himself. While nearly all instruments are played by Edge, he did enlist the help of a few guests, such as Cassidy Turbin (Beck) on drums. With a nostalgic nod toward his influences, Edge brings to the conversation a fresh, present-day point-of-view that is at once sentimental, laid back, and very much his own.
Read our interview below on Mike's favorite gear, preferred recording techniques, influential bands, and what he's listening to now. Check out The Mike Edge EP coming out May 12th via Edge’s own label, Long Weekend. Follow Mike Edge on Instagram, @mike.edge, to get updates on his upcoming record and shows.
Did you have any formal study with how you learned to play music?
I didn't. I taught myself.
Who were your main early influences?
Nirvana and grunge bands.
What was your first instrument?
A cheap Tele was my first guitar. My main guitar now is a ‘57 Danelectro u2. I also like to play a Fender Duo and anything with P90 pickups. My main amp is a tube amp I built. Sounds a bit like a Vox with an El84 tube. But I also use custom amps my buddy Tim Gogue builds, his amps are killer. Before that, I was using a Magnatone and a Fender Deluxe. Fender champs are also great for recording.
What is your favorite recording setup like?
I love old Electrovoice dynamic mics, I use them a lot on my record. I have a large condensor mic I built that is based on a Telefunken 251. I also like Coles ribbon and Neumann u47 mics. For compression, I use Vari mu compressors and an 1176. The main mic pre I've been using is a tube pre I built. Favorite console is a Sphere or Quad Eight. For slap, I use either an Ampex 351, an Otari 2 track, or a Space Echo. Reverb, I like all of the Akg or Quad Eight springs. But, sometimes, I'll just run things through my guitar pedals.
Do you have an opinion regarding analog vs. digital recording? What is your stance on it?
I used to be a tape purist. I use Ampex machines, the 440s. I like the sound of tape better. But, I think digital is getting better and better. Having to maintain tape machines is a pain in the ass and tape is getting really expensive. There are also great editing things you can do digitally that you can't do with tape.
What is your favorite studio?
My favorite studio is sunset sound, I love the rooms and the consoles. I usually record in my own studio, though.
Which players should aspiring musicians study and learn from?
What are you currently working on / any new releases in the works?
I have a self titled EP coming out on May 12th. It's the first release on my label, Long Weekend. The second release is a sampler of various artists I've produced that will be releasing on the label. I have an original song on the sampler, too.
What is in your record player today?
Paul McCartney Ram.
Official video for, "Been So Long," the first single off Edge's forthcoming, self-titled EP.
The Five Minutes With series is brought to you by Stephanie Nicole Smith, a visual artist and make up artist in Los Angeles, CA. You can find her work at stephanienicolesmith.com and follow her @stephanienicolesmith.
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