Abandoning Sunday is the creation of musician, songwriter, and producer Michael Thomas. He started the project in 2008 with the goal of bringing straightforward, honest lyrics that “people can relate to at any point in their lives. If we’ve done that, then we’ve made it. ” Recently Abandoning Sunday released the single “Patience,” along with a music video from the new 8 song album “Reflect Part 2.” It’s acoustic sound, unlike anything he’s done before. Thomas was originally from DeLand, Florida, but currently resides in Washington State. Recently Michael took the time to answer some questions for TNWU:
What is the biggest inspiration behind Abandoning Sunday?
Well as far as inspiration for lyrics and such, I write mostly from experiences and my feelings about them. Pretty much everything I write is about something I’ve gone through or someone close to me has gone through and how I felt about it and also just my interactions with other people, either positively or negatively.
How did you get started in the music industry?
I started playing shows at local coffee shops and stuff opening for friends back in high school. I had access to a sound system that they all wanted to borrow for their shows and I would let them use it and run it for them and they would let me play 2 or 3 songs at the beginning. I did that for a few years and then recorded a somewhat terrible acoustic Ep with a friend and then slowly started writing more and performing more and recording more and just kind of tried to run with it from there.
Along with Abandoning Sunday, what other projects are you working on?
Abandoning Sunday is the main project and takes most of my time. But I’ve also started writing for a new solo record which is kind of funny since Abandoning Sunday is sort of a solo project. I’m shooting to release the solo album sometime later this year. It’s shaping up to be a lot different than the music that I normally do which is pretty exciting. I also have an ambient instrumental project called Auburndale Sound that I just released a sophomore album for in January. And a lot of my time recently has been spent doing more producing for other local artists and trying to work on growing as a producer.
How many instruments do you play?
The guitar is my main instrument but I’ve also been trying to practice piano a lot more lately. I also sort of “play” a bunch of random instruments like banjo and mandolin. My life goal is to one day learn to not suck at the drums.
Would you consider Abandoning Sunday Christian music?
Eeeeehh. I mean not really. I am a Christian and that can show through lyrics but I wouldn’t really call the music that I write “Christian music”. I mostly just try to write about life and it’s happenings. I feel like the best songs kind of happen on their own when I let them be whatever they end up being and don’t try to force any of it. Sometimes they end up talking about faith and stuff and sometimes they don’t. Just depends on the song.
What is the message you want listeners to take away from Abandoning Sunday?
Mainly that life can be hard and people can be jerks but hard things eventually bring growth and leave you better for it. I think I’ve experienced a lot of growth through hard experience in my own life. And I want people to know that they are not alone in whatever they are going through.
What other artists have you worked with, and is there anyone you would really like to work with that you haven’t worked with yet?
Well, to work with Dave Grohl would be beyond a dream come true. Because who wouldn’t want that? I’ve worked a lot with a producer in Florida named Steven Howell on most of the full band stuff as well as my friend Andrew Brooks who is a great musician and has played on the majority of the full band tracks. I know the guys in The Icarus Account and they’re pretty awesome. They were actually some of the guys I would open for back when I was in high school. Beyond that, most of the people I’ve played or worked with you’ve probably never heard of but I’ve always made an effort to surround myself with musicians, writers, and producers that are better than I am.
What are your touring plans?
I don’t have anything officially booked at the moment. But I’m currently planning some time traveling in Europe in the fall and am starting to schedule a little touring while I’m there. I just started planning and actually this is the first that I’ve said anything publicly about it. I’m hoping to have more details for everyone on that soon. I’m also looking to do some small touring on the west coast sometime early next year. It’s been awhile since I’ve really done any touring and I’m excited to get back to it.
How many songs would you say you have written?
Goodness. Maybe like 100 or so? But a lot of them kind of stink. I’d say only about 1 in 5 actually get finished and released. The rest are probably pretty bad and will hopefully never see the light of day.
Do you have any favorites? If so, which ones, and why?
I think one of my favorite song I’ve ever written is called Guarded. I think it’s one of the best songs lyrically that I’ve ever written and I really love the way that the instrumentation came together at the end of the song. Another favorite is a track called Reality Check. It’s not one of the more popular tracks but it’s one of the more honest songs about a difficult time in my life and is really personal to me. I feel like the full band version of that song is the first time that I finally achieved the sound that I’ve been aiming for since I first started writing music.
What’s next for you/Abandoning Sunday?
Well, I’ve got some records that I need to finish up producing for some friends. Then I’m going to start working on a new full band record with a bunch of new songs as well as finished up an acoustic album I’ve been working on. And also keep slowly working on a solo album. All of which I’m trying to finish up and release before the end of the year. That’s the hope anyways.