Michael Burman is a multi-platinum songwriter, producer, and instrumentalist, as well as a member of the Recording Academy. He began working in the music industry in Florida alongside legendary music producer Jim Jonsin. Michael has worked with a diverse group of top selling musical artists across all genres from A$AP Rocky to Carrie Underwood. He is known for breaking boundaries with his unique guitar driven sound
Interview by Tim brown
When and why did you start playing?
I started learning how to play music a bit later than usual. I got my first guitar in college, and at the time became really obsessed with it. My little cousin’s an incredible drummer, so that gave me motivation to learn songs on the guitar so I could play with him. We ended up having a cover band and would play all these classic rock songs we all loved. My favorite band of all time is Led Zeppelin so we played a ton of their songs, as well as Pink Floyd, Hendrix, and all that stuff, which was a lot of fun.
Which musicians do you admire? Why?
My biggest influence that got me playing music was Jimmy Page. He’s definitely the reason I ever wanted to play guitar. He’s the greatest of all time. That being said I admire and am influenced by musicians across every genre. I get to produce and write music for artists across the spectrum so I draw from those inspirations which is a lot of fun.
Can you briefly describe your music making process?
It varies, but usually it starts with a riff or melody that I like over some chords, and if it sounds good with just the basic elements I’ll keep adding from there. I also keep a ton of voice memos of ideas that’ll pop into my head at random moments.
How do you know when you’ve written a great song?
If it sounds great with just a single instrument and a vocal, like an acoustic guitar or piano, then you’ve got a great song. Everything else just adds from there production wise- but you have to have that foundation. You can produce the same song in a bunch of different styles or genres, if it’s a great song, it’ll sound great regardless.
What’s your go to guitar?
I would have to say my go to guitar is my PRS Custom 24 that I’ve had for many years. That thing is a workhorse, it’s so comfortable to play and I get most of the tones I could ever need out of it. That’s my desert Island electric guitar for sure.
What do you use for your guitar sounds?
One of my go to pieces of equipment that I use a ton for my tones is the AXE-FX III digital processor. That thing is incredible, I can dial in any tone I could ever need from it, for any genre. It’s really amazing. I started on the AXE FX Ultra years ago and was sold.
Any unique instruments or sounds you’ve been using recently?
Probably the coolest instrument I have is a guitarviol, which is pretty much a fusion of a guitar and a viola. So you fret just like you would a guitar, but the strings are curved so you bow them like you would a viola. It sounds crazy. Even just when you pluck it or play chords, very orchestral. I actually used it way back on the chorus section in the production of A$AP Rocky’s song L$D for the string sound.
Has your music evolved since you first started writing music?
Oh definitely. Whenever I’m exposed to a new artist or sound that I haven’t heard before that moves me, I try to absorb what I like about it into my vocabulary. Same goes with production techniques that I may discover throughout recording sessions.
Who are some new artists you’re working with?
One of the most talented new artists I’ve been working with is Sueco The Child. He’s such an incredible musician and we both really draw creatively from our love of rock music which has been a super fun environment to create in. I’m really excited for what’s to come.
Instagram – @michaelburman
email – firstname.lastname@example.org