By Nicholas Jason Lopez
A Note Two Self – the musical project of native Virginian Mike Richards – recently dropped his new single “Love Drunk,” which revolves around feelings of being caught up in the moment while in unconditional love.
With a love for music that originally began as a means of escape to what he found boring in school, the namesake serves as a reminder for him to never settle for less and let the tunes speak for themselves.
The Music Bugle had the chance to speak with him about “Love Drunk” and more.
Music Bugle – What inspired your artist name specifically?
A Note Two Self – A few things. It was my best friend’s AIM screen name in high school and we were a two-piece back then. It was also a reminder that once I dove into this, I would be all in and that I wasn’t going to settle for less. Music was to become my life and my livelihood and so far, I’ve stuck to it.
Music Bugle – What was it like making your new single “Love Drunk”?
A Note Two Self – It was an artistic journey for sure. It began when I thought up the premise playing piano one night, sat down and wrote the remaining song lyrics in front of a loop pedal with guitar in hand and laid down a demo as a “blank canvas” to some local legends in Northern Virginia in electric guitarist/keyboardist Buddy Spier, drummer/percussionist Ben Tufts, bassist Eric Scott and mixer/producer John Brooks. We knocked an entire EP out in about two weeks time and the result including “Love Drunk” was more than I could have thought possible.
Music Bugle – What makes you the most proud about where you come from?
A Note Two Self – The history might be the first thing. Old Town Alexandria is chockfull of it and history is clearly at the forefront of this town that has plenty to do aside from some of the ghost tours. History was what allowed me to busk on the streets of this town before I was able to play bars and allowed me to cut my teeth in a safe environment.
Music Bugle – Who are you listening to right now, music-wise?
A Note Two Self – A lot of Jason Isbel, John Mayer, a little Tyler Childers, always Stevie Wonder and to mix things up, a little Tribe and Childish Gambino.
Music Bugle – How have you been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?
A Note Two Self – I was struggling there for a few months with gigs being cancelled. Music is my number one source of income and I burned through a good portion of my savings. I’m playing five-to-seven nights a week again since Phase one, but I’m also losing quite a lot of money with places only having a portion of their sales due to 50 percent capacity.
Music Bugle – Where do you go when you feel the need to escape?
A Note Two Self – Most times, just my apartment. It’s nice to shack up and take time to myself writing, or making different types of dishes to try.
Music Bugle – What do you hope for in 2021?
A Note Two Self – Growth, for my original music to take the forefront of my career and to keep writing. Looking to getting more into a “singer-songwriter” vibe to tell some great stories with music and to hopefully be able to tour the country again, playing those places I haven’t had the pleasure to over the last year.
Music Bugle – What’s something you wish happened more in today’s music industry?
A Note Two Self – I wish the artistry would take a little more precedent and that the storytellers were more prevalent and encouraged to create the music they love rather than the watered-down tracks that seem to be taking the helm lately. I do love a good catchy track as much as the next guy, but a solid story is gold to me. I think that would also help solve another thing, which is the single fixation rather than buying albums and listening to them like books, but that’s a whole other situation.
Music Bugle – Which of your songs were the hardest to write?
A Note Two Self – Of all the songs I’ve written, “1000 Days” was the biggest challenge. It was vocally interesting to sing and write the melody to, but the story behind the song was tough for me personally to write about and to fit years worth of something I lived into a five-minute song.
Music Bugle – What has been your biggest challenge lately?
A Note Two Self – Lately, it’s been keeping motivated to write. I’ve been playing cover gigs to pay the bills about five-to-seven nights a week since Phase one and while it keeps the lights on and food on the table, I do often miss playing my own music with more than just myself and an acoustic sometimes. It’s nice to change things up every now and again.
*Photo Credit – Marshall Stukes*