Join us in today's episode as we delve deep into the illustrious and diverse career of music industry veteran, Michael Fish Herring. With over 25 years of touring experience, playing guitar both live and in-studio, alongside respected artists like Christina Aguilera, Stevie Wonder, and Prince, he brings a wealth of knowledge and insights. Fish also shares his "listen and learn" approach which has played an instrumental role in his success. Tune in today!

For Michael “Fish” Herring, a veteran with more than 25 years in the touring world, playing guitar live and in studio with respected artists like Dru Hill, Christina Aguilera, Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake, and Prince is just a fraction of his diverse and illustrious career.

He grew up with a wide range of musical influences, from progressive rock to jazz, classical music, and the makings of musical titans like Grover Washington Jr., who hails from Fish's hometown of Philadelphia. While he still goes out on the road with Christina Aguilera, Fish now spends most of histime producing, recording, and developing new talent, as well as composing and arranging music for filmand TV from his studio and home base in Burbank, California.

In today’s episode, Fish reflects on the influence that his family and schooling had on him growing up and shares some hilarious and inspiring anecdotes from his journey through the music industry, from starting a band called Psychedelic Mushroom at just nine years old to catching lit joints thrown at him by Rick James in the control room and so much more! You’ll also find out more about Fish’s “listen and learn” approach, how he allows artists to guide him, both on stage and in the recording studio, and how he continues to push himself creatively.

For some world class professional advice from musician, songwriter, guitarist, composer, producer, author, inventor, screenwriter, and all around music industry veteran, Michael “Fish” Herring, be sure to tune in today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • The early classical education Fish received from his grandfather, an orchestra violinist.
  • Incredible masterclasses with the likes of Grover Washington Jr. at Settlement Music School.
  • The story behind Psychedelic Mushroom, Fish’s first band as a kid.
  • Lessons on listening that Fish received from jazz bass superstar Stanley Clarke.
  • Lasting relationships that Fish built at the Performing Arts High School in Philly.
  • A look at the musical landscape in Philadelphia in the ‘80s.
  • How Fish became familiar with recording in studio and the creative outlet it afforded him.
  • Pro tips from a music industry veteran: be prepared, arrive on time, listen, and learn.
  • What Fish means when he says, “Act like you know,” even when you don’t know!
  • Fish’s gradual migration to Los Angeles, which is now his home base.
  • How he lets the artist guide him on stage and in studio, regardless of the genre.
  • Amazing anecdotes from his encounters with artists like Teena Marie, Rick James, and Prince.
  • A look at Fish’s work as a composer and producer and what he loves about film scoring.
  • His experience of working on Patsy Lee & The Keepers of the 5 Kingdoms
  • The art of collaborating with new and different people, particularly in film and TV
  • What Fish has learned about the relationship between score and dialogue.
  • Some of the ways that he keeps himself focused, productive, positive, and inspired.
Michael Fish Herring Linkedin Profile

Michael Fish Herring Tweetables:

“Really, when it came down to it, I just wanted to rock! I just wanted to play Beatles songs and Stonesand Hendrix and all of the stuff that I was listening to outside of classical music.” — @ColorblindFish [0:05:18]
“I remember [what Stanley Clarke] said about listening; keeping your ears open and listening to the conversation that’s happening. Listen to everything that’s happening on the stage. Listen to every note that every player is playing because that affects you.” —@ColorblindFish [0:16:30]
“Every incarnation of a [cover] band that I worked with also wrote and recorded music. If we didn’t, I think we all would have gone crazy because we had creative stuff that we had to let out. We were having fun playing other people’s music, but we [also] needed to create.” — @ColorblindFish [0:25:22]
“I try to listen and learn [from] people first. That makes it easier to thrive in a situation, whatever the situation is.’” — @ColorblindFish [0:30:04]
“I have a fond memory of [Rick James] lighting a joint in the control room and the joint catching on fire and him tossing it to me while it was on fire. Rick can do whatever he wants!” — @ColorblindFish [0:42:11]
“The future of music is always uncertain. It’s constantly changing with technology. It’s constantly changing as an art form. It is constantly changing as a job. Who knows where the next gig is going to come from, [but there are] always gigs.” — @ColorblindFish [0:59:25]
“Every time I meet a new person, a new musician, somebody creative, I’m [inspired]. I think everybody has got to keep that mindset and help each other out and inspire each other.” — @ColorblindFish [1:01:20]