Fast becoming one of the characters of the local music scene, there is far more to Toby Michaels than meets the eye. Toby is one of the acts showcasing the heavier side of music in the area, along side Seed of Sorrow and Zombie Militia.


Having journeyed around your You Tube collection, how do you go about choosing which songs you are going to play for the Ironworks Showcase?

To be honest it’s a lot about trying to think “How can I confuse more people at this gig? How can I leave them thinking WTF that was weird, but awesome!” Be it from changing how I do a song, to ad libbing, to adding something people haven’t heard before. My set for the Summer showcase is still manifesting into a peculiar beast as we speak. The main thing is remembering to play stuff I enjoy though definitely, not being bound by a genre and manipulating it to suit me.

Last time we spoke to you, you mentioned that “The summer is going to be filled with writing, producing, recording, jamming, gigging” how is it going?

Nothing is every steady when I am doing it, but the writing in particular is making good progress, I will be playing a new song at the Summer showcase and I truly do worry about myself when I consider what I have wrote. If I could describe it with one word, that word would be “eh?”
Recording and producing is top secret just now, but its happening and going well and as for gigging… well lets just say I have some interesting things coming up that a few people wouldn’t be expecting to see… which works for me, otherwise it would just be boring, ha.

What influences in everyday life and musically do you draw into your set?

Musically I am influenced by every little bit of music I hear, yes I have favourite acts, but even things like seeing local bands has a big effect on how I jam the next day. On a day to day, I’d definitely have to say my music comes from my own warped vision on life and events around me. If you scratch the surface of everything around you it can unravel into something mind boggling. Embracing the fact I am not quite right in the head tends to help too

showcase4What effect do you feel the summer showcases are having on the local scene?

First and foremost for musicians it gives us an opportunity to build a community, to make our own scene. An opportunity to show we are here and love what we do… in general, it’s a big opportunity for us all.

I also feel the events gives the local scene a good kick up the arse as those people who say “there is never any local music on” are getting it pushed so thoroughly in their faces, if they cant see it they are obviously blinded by some shiny keys handed to them in a bar as they are discussing the very “lack of local music” as a local band plays 6 feet from their pint.

I don’t dare bite the hand of who feeds me, I merely state the obvious, our local musicians are so talented, and every single showcase I have attended so far has showed this.

Why should people come to this showcase?

With the greatest of respect to the EXCELLENT showcases put together already, and those coming up, I feel this one brings something very different to the table. With the Demonically heavy riffs, brutal Bass guitar, thundering drums and devilish vocals from both Seed of Sorrow and Zombie Militia and the mosh pits that will ensue this truly will be probably the heaviest event you will see in Inverness ALL year. And though I may only have myself and my instruments to call upon, alone on stage, I shall definitely be expecting to have the crowd Buzzing in time for the boys to absolutely Tear it UP!

You seem to have a good grasp on what’s happening in and around the area, is there any bands or acts outside your normal genre that you are particularly impressed with at the moment?

First and foremost EVERY act on the Showcase deserves a look. Personal favourites from the first few showcases, Fallen Riot, Swamp Radio and Iain McLaughlin and the Outsiders. To be honest, almost every act on the scene could be mentioned on here for a variety of reasons. If you spread all the excellent bands on the scene into showcases this could have gone on EVERYDAY for at least a month, 3 bands a night. It’s a credit to a very under-rated scene. Oh and We are Mars and Twin Brothers should both get a mention, sorry I got side tracked there.

Have you got anything to plug?

As always people can find all the latest news and media regarding me, request songs for gigs and videos and generally say hi on my Facebook page( search “Toby Michaels”) or they can check me out on
I am a man of simple tastes, so if you “like” my Facebook artist page I will be very happy.

You will of course get the opportunity to see Toby on the 4th of August at the Ironworks.

Thanks very much to Toby for the article and the support.