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Meet J. Michael Harter

 

By Felix Casado –

Michael was such a blast to interview. Not only is he hard working musician, but a full time Star Wars Geek! The passion he has for music is incredible and that’s what has made him noticeable in this crazy industry. With his first single “ Holy Cowgirl” climbing up the charts, his second single “Playing with Fire”… well the name said it all because he’s ON FIRE!!

 

EC

Who is J. Michael Harter musically and personally?

 

JM

Personally I think I’m Just weird. I grew up ain a family that we don’t take ourselves seriously enough, and we are always goofing off and that’s what keeps me young and different. As far as my music goes, I’ve always kept it original and never tried to conform to what was going on currently in the music genre. I’ve always been in country music and that’s where my heart and soul is. And I guess I’ve always try to make music I would listen to, rather then chasing what’s popular.

 

EC

Where does your musical influence come from?

 

JM

Well, I grew up listening to different kinds of music, but really my dad had a lot to do with my musical influences. My dad played guitar and he was in bands before I was born. And my grandfather would also be a part of my musical influences, since I saw my father and grandfather play in churches and around camp fires. And I would listen as a kid to old country like George Jones, Hank Williams, Beatles and the Beach boys. And when I got older I started to listening to Garth brooks, George Straight, Clint Black, Alan Jackson and all the early 90’s country that secured my faith with being a country artist.

 

EC

What are your view on “New Country” and “Old Country”?

 

JM

Music is an opinion and I prefer older country and I like some of the new stuff, but like my Grandpa used to say, “Mike… everyone can’t like the same things, but everybody like grandma” LOL. But I’m not crazy about a lot of the new sounds in country music. I feel like some of the honesty in country music has been lost and sometimes I’m listening to the same song over and over again. But, I don’t think it’s a complete loss I feel like its coming back the good old story telling country music.

 

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EC

So besides music, what are your hobbies?

 

JM

I’m a huge outdoorsman, I love being outside. And one of my hobbies is gardening… I have a huge garden. I’m not much of a collector, but I am a huge Star Wars geek. My brother and I are the only ones in my family that like Star Wars. I don’t dress up or anything like that, but I had a lot of the Star Wars action figures.

 

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EC

If you weren’t doing music, what would you be doing?

 

JM

If I wasn’t in music I would love to be a Forest Ranger. This comes back to the love of the outdoors. I am a hunter though, but an advocate on conservation of the wildlife, and I would love to catch a poacher. And teach the youth about preserving the wildlife.

 

EC

So you’re new single “Playing with fire”. What inspired this song?

 

JM

My sister Shannon was watching me in our cabin in Arizona. We had a huge bon fire going and I was poking it with sticks, spraying with lighter fluid and my sister said I should write a song about it since you’re obsessed with fire. And I thought it was a pretty cool title, but I didn’t know what the song would be about. Then my good friend Trey Stevens came over the house one day we where looking for something to write about and the “playing with fire” came.  And we started to write a story for the title, and what ended up coming out of our writing session was three scenarios: the first one was a kid playing with a lighter, the second is the dangers of hitting on a woman that has a huge boyfriend and the third one is lighting this guy’s truck on fire rather then getting beat up.

 

After the interview I had a chance to talk to him about is up coming shows and events and let me tell you he’s BUSY, but seems to always find time to come back to his roots. If you haven’t heard his song, I suggest you go now and download it on ITunes (J. Michael Harter – Playing with fire) or maybe you can catch him at a Star Wars comicon!

 

About Felix Casado

Music is what Felix lives for. He loves to DJ, produce and review music. Felix has also served as a reporter for Clear Channel Communications, working in various venues such as Sirius/XM Radio.