Exposed Vocals: So tell us your story. Where did you grow up and what made you decide to become an artist?
Michael LeClerc: I grew up in Chatham, Ontario, Canada. A small blue collar town. We were surrounded by farm land. I knew at the age of seven that music was my calling. I believe everyone knows inside what they truly should be doing but most of us don’t follow our dreams. That wasn’t the case for me. Music was a big thing in my family as a child and we had a lot of players and singers always around. There wasn’t much to do in my little and with Canadian winters that made us spend a lot of time inside and we used the time playing music. Lots of music. So those days helped me grow and “get my mud” as they say in the old blues genre. Since then I have been moving forward growing as a musician and trying to get better everyday.
Exposed Vocals: Is this your real name or a stage name and where does it come from?
Michael LeClerc: Yes this is my real name. I’m sure the my last name has roots from France but from what I know it’s French Canadian.
Exposed Vocals: What do you think about online music sharing? Do you ever give your music away for free and if so why?
Michael LeClerc: It’s the future for music. A great way to get your music heard by many people. I give out my first EP on my website for free. My new EP I leave it up to the fans to pay what they want. When I sell my EP at a show I give some merchandise with it and I lead the person to my website so they download one of my EP’s for free. In the business world they call this good marketing.
Exposed Vocals: Since everyone was a start-up once, can you give any smaller local bands or artists looking to get gigs and airplay some tips?
Michael LeClerc: Well if your looking for gigs then I suggest starting in your local area. It’s easier to get friends and family out to gigs when you start local. When your ready to expand then you can look at many online sites that give a list of venues in many other places across the country and the world for that matter. I used google a lot to find places that hosted live music. Then I would find out who the contact is and send then an email with all my details. It’s a process but you have to work at it if want the gigs. As for airplay, you can always go to your local Radio Station and see if they do a local listen time slot and submit your demo to them. Lots of local Radio helped me along the way. As long as your sound quality is professional.
Exposed Vocals: Do you ever make mistakes during performances and how do you handle that?
Michael LeClerc: Yes all the time! I just laugh it off. Sometimes your sick and can’t sing very well or maybe your just tired. Were all human. It happens. Be professional and keep it going. That’s what I was told early on. When something happens on stage you keep the show going.
Exposed Vocals: Do you tour? Anything interesting happen on tour that you think our readers would enjoy hearing about?
Michael LeClerc: Yes I have been tour. A couple of times on a small tour performing solo. One was along the west coast of the US and Canada. I don’t have anything funny I can recall but I do remember my van getting broken into and they stoled about thousand dollars worth of my gear. I didn’t have the money to replace it and a fan of mine heard the news and gave me the money to replace the gear so I could continue my tour. On top of that he didn’t want the money back and he bought 25 CDs so he could take them home to give out to friends. I will always remember Dale.
Exposed Vocals: Where do you usually gather songwriting inspiration, what is your usual songwriting process?
Michael LeClerc: My inspiration comes from any avenue. It could be from something I see walking down the street to maybe a riff that one of band members is playing and working off that. I’m really good at ad-libbing. I always start with music. Usually something I’m playing on the guitar. The lyrics come later. I guess I let the music tell me what to say. I would say I’m a melody maker for sure.
Exposed Vocals: Do you have an artist website and what online platforms do you use to share your music?
Michael LeClerc: I do have an artist website. www.michaelleclercmusic.com. You can find my music on iTunes, Spotify, Amazon pretty much anywhere online. I also use Sound Cloud sometimes but I focus mainly on keeping my website up to date and leading fans there eventually.
Exposed Vocals: What are some really embarrassing songs that we might find on your mp3 player?
Michael LeClerc: I look it over. I can’t find one. Really! I guess I’m not embarrassed about my collection.
Exposed Vocals: If you were given half a million dollars and a year off, what would you do? How would you spend it?
Michael LeClerc: There are many things that come to mind. I guess I would invest some of it. Save some of it. Give some to my family. I would take a trip to some of the most ancient sites on our planet. Like the Great Pyramid, Machu Picchu and other parts of the world. I always liked geography and recently became more interested in world history. That sounds good.
Exposed Vocals: How do you find ways to promote your music? What works best for you?
Michael LeClerc: I use social media like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Playing many live shows helps. I also use any local entertainment paper that has a music calendar. Also I get local Radio stations to spin on Local Listen Spotlight that they host.
Exposed Vocals: If you could perform anywhere and with any artists (Dead or Alive) where and who would it be with? Why?
Michael LeClerc: Wow there are so many. I would love to perform with Dave Matthews because he has been one of my favorite musicians for a long time. I would love to sing with Adele. She’s awesome and I know we could do something great together. Neil Young is also an Artist that would be honour to perform with.
Exposed Vocals: So, what’s next? Any new upcoming projects that you want to talk about?
Michael LeClerc: Right now I’m just getting out there playing and promoting my new EP. Working with my management team on some new ideas for radio promotion and social media for the EP.
Exposed Vocals: If you weren’t making music, what would you be doing?
Michael LeClerc: I would of mixed it up being a Personal Trainer and working as a Wine Sommelier.
Exposed Vocals: Do you remember buying your first album? Who was it? What was going through your head?
Michael LeClerc: Yes I do and it was Michael Jackson “Thriller”. I was thinking “Awesome I got Thriller!” Even though it had been out for a few years but it was the first I remember buying.
Exposed Vocals: How do you juggle the rest of your responsibilities while trying to stay ahead in your music life?
Michael LeClerc: I have kept my life pretty simple and focused on my career. So I haven’t acquired any other major responsibilities besides basic needs. So this helps maintain focus.
Exposed Vocals: What should fans look forward to in 2015?
Michael LeClerc: My new EP in September will be out and I plan on playing lots of shows.
Exposed Vocals: Is there anything you would like to add?
Michael LeClerc: I just want to thank Exposed Vocals for this interview. I appreciate all the help from everyone who has come into my life and supported me and my music. My fan base is growing every year and I’m grateful to have an amazing management team who has helped me excel over the past few months.
Exposed Vocals Thank you for taking the time to do this interview and the very best of luck in your career