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Taken from Michael Franti (Mar 18, 2010)

Mid Tour Update: Album Blog by Michael Franti

We just passed the midway point of this nine week Battle Studies Tour with John Mayer. It’s been a fantastic time on the road and an amazing learning experience.

The most exciting part of the tour has been to perform in front of 15,000 new people every night who have never seen our show before. A lot of times there’s an “A-Haa!” moment when people realize the band they’ve been having so much fun rocking to is the one that sings that “I love You Song” they’ve heard on the radio.

Something new for me has been getting out in the crowd and singing with a headset microphone on so that I can play guitar at the same time. I’ve gotta admit I was a bit reluctant at first to wear the ridiculous looking Madonna, Garth Brooks, newscaster headset mic, but now I love the freedom to run around the arena singing and playing.

It’s taken quite a while to get used to getting the thing on and off. I put it on at a point in the show when I’m already sweating and I have a few moments while the band jams to get it fastened on so it won’t slip off. Problem is it slips off every night anyway. It’s something we are working on.

It’s also been fantastic having our videographer Ben Renschen out on the road with us documenting all the silly and serious moments along the way for Franti-V. It’s provided us with a new outlet for our creativity as well as a way for you all to see behind the scenes of our joyous Spearhead family. If you’ve been enjoying what you’ve been watching, send him a note on our Facebook page. If you have any special requests for something you want to see on Franti-V let us know.

In terms of the music itself, we have been playing four or five new songs a night which is a lot for a one hour set: “Sound of Sunshine,” “Hey Hey Hey(No Matter How Life Is Today),” “Shake it,” “I’ll Be Waiting” and “The Thing That Helps Me Get Through.”

It’s been great seeing the response from the crowd and then having the studio rig setup backstage every night so we can make changes to the versions of the songs that are going on the album based on the reaction we see in the crowd. The fans are really having an input into this album.

Speaking of the new album, it is called The Sound Of Sunshine and is a body of songs that are all written to inspire in difficult times like today. I thought to myself, the sun makes me feel so good when I wake up and open the curtain, when I walk on a beach, when I sit in the park with friends and watch it go down at the end of the day. Its gives me optimism and helps me to remember to appreciate every moment I have as it washes the days stress off my shoulders. So as I was writing for this record I thought, what does the sun sound like and how can I record it? All of this came about while I was recouperating from a life threatening ruptured appendix operation, which helped me to re-appreciate (Is that a word? Maybe I just made it one) every breath I take, every person in my life and every moment I have whether it’s sunny or cloudy.

We are just finishing the final touches on two or three songs and then putting the final running order of songs together, before shooting photos and making videos and dropping the first single.

After the Mayer tour we have tons of summer dates starting beginning in April and May and pushing all the way through September. Stay posted to http://michaelfranti.com/ because new dates will start being announced as we wrap up the John Mayer tour.

It’s been a fruitful time for me creatively and I look forward to sharing more of the process with y’all on Franti-V.

Big Love,
Michael Franti


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