Leaving A Legacy For Future Generations
It’s the year 2027 and a young child has stumbled upon an old iPod in his grandmother’s attic. On the antiquated device, the child finds the Lo-Fi music and sound-scapes of a band called Neutral Drop. The tracks have been preserved forever in digital format, but they contain a style and sound he’s never quite experienced before. This music is different. The music is unedited, unpolished and it is “perfect imperfection.” It’s in this moment in time that the child’s musical life changes forever. It seems a true musical legacy has been left behind for another generation to discover! The young musician has suddenly discovered what music was, and it was meant to be – a real and raw artistic experience. Creating this sort of legacy is the goal of Mike Wilson and Neutral Drop. In fact, this “futuristic” look at a young child discovering musical treasure is very much the way Mike Wilson discovered music himself. As you will see, it was with a similar event like this that the very seeds of Neutral Drop were planted.
Windy City Beginnings: The Big Bang
Neutral Drop creator Mike Wilson was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois - “The Windy City.” On these winds came serendipity and chance musical encounters. Just as the child in our story above, it would be around age eight when Mike would happen upon old Beatles albums and discover another band’s legacy. It was discovering the sounds and styles on dusty old vinyl albums packed away in storage that sent Mike Wilson down the path toward a musical future. To this day, these “Windy City Beginnings” are the “Big Bang” that has led this talented songwriter and guitarist to create Neutral Drop!
Before Neutral Drop
Many things had to occur before Neutral Drop could be born. Mike had to develop as a musician, as a songwriter, and gain experience playing in bands. It was at the age of sixteen that Mike picked up the guitar as his instrument of choice. Without any formal training, he quickly became better not only at playing guitar, but also in his songwriting skills. It was in his teen years that Mike began working at record stores where he could feed his wide interest in musical masters of the past and his love of record collecting. Mike’s musical heroes were not just artists; he became interested in the techniques and history of recording itself! Wilson became enthralled with talents Les Paul and his work in multi-track recording, phasing, and delay effects. Also Mike studied the history and methods of recording processes starting with Edison himself.
After developing as a musician and as a songwriter, Mike still needed to get the experience of performing and playing with a band. This would happen in 1997 when Mike joined Haegers Bend. Haegers Bend had recently been started by his brother Paul and the band was already very successful in Chicago. Haegers Bend was a perfect fit for Mike and his guitar skills. However, as Mike continued to write music, it soon became apparent that some of his material wouldn’t fit into the Haegers Bend sound. This led to an epiphany for Mike and another project was born in 2000 – Neutral Drop.
The Birth of Neutral Drop
If there was a project that is all Mike Wilson, from start to finish, Neutral Drop is that project. Neutral Drop is a Lo-Fi project that began seven years ago after a series of late night recordings. Mike had written a large collection of songs that didn’t fit into the sounds and style of Haegers Bend. Mike realized that there should be life given to these songs, and what transpired was the first self-titled Neutral Drop album. After the success of that release, Mike followed with a second release, Falling. Both CDs were mainly instrumental and contained the eclectic mixture of Lo-Fi recordings of rock, folk, industrial, sound-scapes that define Neutral Drop’s sound. The albums yielded what Wilson’s goal was in the beginning; to create a moody, authentic and raw Lo-Fi experience. The latest release from Neutral Drop is Lost Love and Broken Dreams. It’s within this latest release that Wilson has added more lyrical content and vocals. This, the third CD since the birth of Neutral Drop, is perhaps the best example of the creative and artistic genius of Wilson. Exploring his own past, he captured his experiences within the Goth scene he had been into at the time - generating covers from such artists as The Cure and Joy Division. Neutral Drop and Lost Love and Broken Dreams define Mike Wilson and it is Wilson from the top down as he played, produced and composed the entire album.
What’s Next For Mike Wilson?
While Wilson continues to actively perform and work with Haegers Bend … there are more exciting things planned for this artist, husband and father. While he is the heart and soul of Neutral Drop at the present, he seeks band members that fit into the project’s style. Not only do both of his current musical projects continue to grow and have a bright future, but he pushes the limits of his own creativity, ingenuity and artistic expression everyday. He has avidly begun to express interest in filmmaking. It’s a good bet that you will soon see film projects from Wilson. It’s not easy to overdub the past and phrase the future, but Mike Wilson and Neutral Drop will continue to do just that, and leave a legacy for future generations.
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