Dayton Ohio’s Mike Bankhead is an artist’s artist in every sense of the word. While most know him as a bass player and songwriter, Bankhead has unlimited reach and talent. All of this is wrapped up in a man whose raw passion for the art bleeds through everything Mike Bankhead does. Humble enough the Ohio artist has experience writing music for full band compositions, guitar rock, and multilingual accompaniments. “That said, rock music with solid hooks, distorted guitar, some dissonance and vocal harmonies is my sweet spot when I’m listening to music and I really like making songs that have those sounds,” Bankhead explains. With 2022 beginning, Mike Bankhead has no intention of slowing down as he has multiple projects and creative endeavors in the works. Now’s the time to catch up on Bankhead’s work.
“Had my mother never instilled a love of love reading and of words in me, I might never have become a songwriter,” Mike Bankhead says. The Ohio artist was reading at a high level before entering kindergarten and this translated directly into Bankhead becoming the eclectic and versatile artist we listen to today. With his father partaking in drumming and both parents playing an assortment of music as he was coming up, it was no wonder that Mike had a natural interest in creating music. High school came around and Mike Bankhead found himself becoming friends with people who were involved in music. Bankhead experimented with all parts of the process and different instruments. “Eventually I got to the point when I decided I should also learn how to play.” Mike says, “So I went to Sam Ash with a couple of friends and walked out with a bass.”
Mike Bankhead brings that Midwestern sound and combines this with an honest lyricism to fit any mood. Touching on topics like love, heartbreak, social issues, the list is endless, and what makes Mike unique is his soulful and passionate delivery. It’s clear through the music that the Ohio artist has a natural talent, love and appreciation for the art he’s creating in all facets. It’s not about clout or fame, Bankhead plays multiple instruments because he enjoys the music, his lyrics tug at your heartstrings because Bankhead’s performance and artistry are linked to his soul. All of this comes to light when Bankhead provides us with a full body of work to showcase his talents. Enter Echo in the Crevices, Mike Bankhead’s debut album and the end result of years and years of songwriting for the talent. “All told, it was a two year journey to get to that album release,” Mike explains, “I have grown as a songwriter and musician since then.”
The passion of Mike Bankhead bleeds in everything he creates and how he exudes himself as an artist. This continued with the release of Bankhead’s sophomore album Anxious Inventions & Fictions. Just listening to the process of the album’s creation and the treatment Mike Bankhead gave this body of work, one can feel the dedication he has to his craft. Even during the process of making Anxious Inventions & Fictions Bankhead was recording other new music on the side, resulting in 2019's release, Defacing the Moon. “Inner monologue, dark thoughts, depression and observations about life…" those are the themes that tie the songs together from Anxious Inventions & Fictions, Mike Bankhead explains. With four years of releases under his belt, Mike Bankhead has the versatility to get deep into the listener’s emotions but also show appreciation and love for life. Now as we head into 2022, Mike Bankhead has multiple singles and projects planned, but he’s also looking to dive into other kinds of content including a podcast. As always though, Bankhead is constantly writing and collaborating with other artists and we’ll see the fruits of this in 2022.
- Michael Stover