Mike Gibbons is an internationally raised, Californian singer and songwriter. Although he considers himself a San Francisco Bay Area local and garners a substantial local following, including airplay and promotion from major local rock station KFOG FM, Gibbons is often on the move. His upcoming 2011 release, Marigolds: The Bangkok Sessions, was recorded in Thailand, where Gibbons had spent five years in the 1980's as a child and returned in the fall of 2009 with his wife to spend one year living, writing, and recording in the region.
Marigolds, the product of this year abroad, marks a distinct departure for Gibbons in terms of his sonic atmosphere. To produce this collection, Gibbons pursued a different method than his previous two releases. After spending several weeks creating home demos, the new tracks that emerged carried a sparse, acoustic, yet very distinctive sound to them. Gibbons then teamed up with former Columbia signed artist, Thai movie star, and music producer Jay Montonn Jira.
Together the two of them spent 17 days from late April to early June, re-tracking all of the songs at Montonn's Bangkok-based recording studio. Meanwhile, the city was going through the most intense civil unrest they had experienced in decades. Red-shirt clad protestors had gathered in the thousands and had camped out in the middle of the city and been protesting for months on end, thus effectively shutting down the city center. The conflict escalated to a boiling point and the military finally cracked down on the protesters, who then dispersed throughout the city in May of 2010. Gibbons noted: "My local jogging route became an urban warzone. I listened to more grenades explode and gunshots fire than I would ever care to hear."
For the most part, however, while the socio-political situation certainly inspired several songs, much of Marigolds revolves around being a newlywed and the adjustments that accompany domesticity. Throughout, the cohesive, universal theme that emerges is one of revolution...be it personal or political.
After being mixed and mastered (communication via Skype video!) by Charlie Wilson of Sonic Zen Records in Berkeley, California, Gibbons returned to the San Francisco Bay Area in September of 2010 and is preparing for an early 2011 release of the new album.