How did you get started?
We started working together in 2013 when we happened to be working at the same studio complex. We decided to write a shoe commercial together and the rest is history. We decided to focus on music for visual media and licensing after we each experienced our own modest pervious successes: Calvin, while still living in New Zealand composing for commercials, and Mike, after seeing some placements on MTV due to a small indie record deal.
Please list your top credits.
Chicago Fire (NBC) Superstore (NBC) Shameless (Showtime) The Bachelor (ABC) Gordon Ramsay’s 24 Hours to Hell and Back (Fox) American Ninja Warrior (NBC) The Voice (NBC) The Price Is Right (CBS)
What types of genres do you work in most?
Indie music and all the sub-genres therein are our primary focus, but we also do world music and anything that has a more organic foundation.
What is your favorite track for ALIBI?
To take a page from the book of Tom Brady, the next one. We feel we have some strong songs coming out on the next couple of projects we are working on.
Who are your biggest musical inspirations?
Billy Joel, Paul Simon, Jackson Browne, Brandon Flowers, The Beatles, Coldplay, Osker, Less Than Jake, Reel Big Fish, Catch 22 and a touch of Soul and Funk.
What makes your work unique?
We pride ourselves on the pursuit of great songwriting no matter the specific parameters of a particular project. We’ve developed a symbiosis over the years and our complementary talents just seem to fit.
Tell us one surprising thing people wouldn’t know about you.
Strangely enough, we were born at the same moment in time: Mike in Boston, MA and Calvin in Wellington, New Zealand.
Your funniest/strangest music experience
Mike - Having gone to high school in Fort Collins, CO, we were lucky enough to have The Blasting Room Studios in town. My band and I recorded some albums there. Once, while Rise Against was in town recording, my friend and bandmate Johnny wanted to bring them vegan brownies. I went with him. The lead singer comes out and says, “thanks man.” He proceeds to pull out a walkie talkie and say, “we’ve got brownies... over.” I was blown away by the awesomeness of the walkie talkie and said, “we need to get some of those!” Johnny later passed away far too young. To use an approximate Hunter S. Thompson quote, “There goes one of God’s own prototypes, one never even considered for mass production.” Johnny was the first guy to teach me about putting songs together. He was a brilliant light and I miss him still.
Calvin - In about 2002, I was in high school and playing with one of my first bands. We were playing bar gigs in and around Wellington, New Zealand, and I was the only member woefully underaged. One night after finishing a set, I proceeded to a bar, ordered a drink and sat next to a man. We chatted about our favorite classic rock bands. Then he placed his hat on the bar. He was a police officer.
Why do you like working with ALIBI?
It’s been really nice to develop a mutual trust over the years between composer and publisher. It allows us the creative freedom to really try and write strong songs. It feels like we really do have each other’s interests at heart.
Any words of advice to share with composer hopefuls?
Persistence is quite possibly the most valuable attribute. It takes time, and criticism is never a personal affront.