Michael Bradford was born and raised on Detroit’s East Side, an area that was once a working-class neighborhood, but quickly deteriorated into decay after the city’s tumultuous riots in 1967.
Although known for rock albums, Michael tends to take an old-school acoustic approach to recording, relying on microphone placement and room acoustics rather than outboard gear and effects. Working with the artist, Michael prefers a pre-production period where the songs can be written, played and critiqued before entering the studio to record. This requires the full involvement of the artist, and exposes any problems with the material before committing it to being recorded.
In Sound on Sound magazine, Michael summed up his philosophy this way: “For me it’s really crucial to understand what the artist is basically trying to say through the record,” Bradford explains. “That is, assuming the artist is actually trying to communicate some sort of deeper message, as opposed to just singing the song. Both kinds of record are valid — some are purely entertainment, whereas others have this whole level of communication going on, and if you are lucky enough to be part of one of those records, I think it’s really important to listen to what the artist is trying to say. You can be of maximum use by just helping him or her to bring that out and get their point across.”