Michael V. Cowan describes himself as a rambler. a dad. a cohort. a bad influence. a failure. a good influence. a story. a shield. a poet. a pianist. a lover of all things music.
…and he is indeed, all that and more…
Having stumbled across his blog Southern Musings, I was taken by his ability to tell a story. His words are real, human and gives off that personable feeling of southern warmth and heart. I invited Michael to join my site (Social Muze) for artists, eager to have him contribute and share his work with my members. I was surprised one day to read something he had posted about an EP available for free download! Of course, I could not pass up anything that said music and free in the sentence! But what was more surprising was to learn that this free music was created by him!
I was thrilled when Michael agreed to make time for me, away from his private life and creative processes to share more on his music, family and life in the south. Here is what we spoke about…
*First, tell me a little about yourself, where are you from?
I am from Jefferson, GA. A rural town just outside of Athens GA. I live on a farm with my wife of 15 years, Suzanne and our daughter Lillian. I work in Athens as an IT consultant and I perform with a local band, Radiolucent. I have written poetry since I was about 13 and I have played music in some form since I was 6. Music is my love. Poetry is my Love Affair.
*What’s the name of your band? What’s the origin of that name?
This band is called Scarlet Snow. My wife and I formed it several years ago and it has undergone many changes. The name is a reference to a passage in the Old Testament, “Come let us reason together, though your sins be like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” We are not a Christian band, although, many of the band members are.
*What genre of music do you consider your work to be? Who are your major influences?
We would consider this alternative or progressive rock. Our major influences are too many to mention. But, for the sake of the interview – coldplay, Death Cab for Cutie, Copeland, The National, and many, many others.
*When did you form your band? What inspired you to make music together?
My wife and I met in the Music Dept at our school, Georgia Southern University. We were making music together long before our first kiss. It is just in our blood, and when you hear her sing – you can understand why music is what she was born to do.
*Where have you performed? What are your favorite and least favorite venues? Do you have any upcoming shows?
As a band, Scarlet Snow no longer performs. My wife would love too, however I am just too busy with my other projects. She does some solo shows from time to time. We love medium sized venues. We have played all over the southeast, from Kentucky to Georgia and back again.
*Who writes your songs? What are the main themes or topics for most of your songs?
I write many of our songs and most of the music. We have a guitar play, Ian Canalis, who also writes several tunes as well. We try to make every album a mix of all three writers. The major theme on this album is grief. It was written after the death of our second daughter Kellan – who lived for four days. We tried to convey the journey through grief that a person takes before they arrive at that all important stage of acceptance. This album has been a great help to us, and to others who have lost loved ones.
I am so sorry about your daughter, the loss of a child must be one of the worst sufferings one could possibly endure. Being a mother, I could not imagine that kind of pain, and there are no words to console, I’m sure.
*You write poetry as well, tell me about your muse… does being from the south play a role in your writing?
Yes of course. The South is my lifeblood and it affects everything I say and think. I have been in the South my entire life and I will most likely never leave. I love the richness, the history, the tradition of the South. I even love her scars. My blog is http://southernmusings.wordpress.com. My main muse is Earth. I love the outside. I love what she does to me. A wise man once said, A poet looks at the world the way a man looks at a woman. This ‘lust’ for the beauty of what God made for us is what drives most of my writing. And there are often sexual or intimate anaolgies that I draw from when describing this fascinating planet. I have travelled all over the world, and never seen a place that I didn’t think was beautiful….even sexy.
*I agree… nature brings the best and most beautiful inspiration! Especially when we are so blessed to live in the south!
*What’s your ultimate direction for your band and/or your writing? Are you seeking fame and fortune?
No. In fact, no one outside of my wife knows that I write most of what I do. I like to stay in the background (which makes this interview quite ironic for me). I write as a way to just enjoy the beauty, pain, love, sadness that surrounds us. It’s my way of expressing emotions that would otherwise, be a little hard to convey.
*How can fans-to-be gain access to your music? Do you have a website with sample songs or a demo CD?
Our Cd is a free download. You can purchase it on iTunes should you be so inclined, but we wrote it to share – not to profit from. http://www.volumonster.com is the site hosting the download. Just enter the code: theneedle and off you go. You can put in a fake email address, but either way, we do not email fans. So you won’t get any spam from the download. Feel free to download and share it as much as possible.
In January we are starting a new album – which will also be a free download. It’s called, “Dead Girl Walking” and I can assure you that it will kick ass. 😉
Thanks so much! I am thrilled that you gave me the opportunity to speak with you and share with the world the inner workings of Michael V. Cowan!
I encourage everyone to take advantage of this free download!