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I Spy With Mikhael Paskalev


If you haven’t heard of him already, well I don’t really know where you’ve been living the past few months… but Mikhael Paskalev is a pretty rad musician from Norway.

His funky track ‘I Spy’ made it into Triple J’s Hottest 100 of 2013 and if you haven’t seen the music video for it yet, like me tell you, it’s a must see! If you want to see a full grown man dance around in his undies and socks circa Tom Cruise 1983 then watch below! We caught up with Mikhael at Kerbside for a chat and this is what he had to say:

Welcome to Australia! Is this your first time here?

Thank you. No I’ve never been to Australia, so far we’ve spent four days in Perth just hanging out and then we arrived is Brisbane yesterday and jumped straight into rehearsals so we haven’t really done a lot.

Is it what you expected?

Yeah, when I came to Perth I thought it was like a mixture of LA and the UK, that was cool. I’m just happy to get out of the winter depression in Norway and see some sun again!

We love you here in Oz, your track I Spy was voted into our Hottest 100 of 2013. How’d you feel about that?

Yeah for me that was absolutely crazy because I wrote all those songs with no expectations at all and suddenly I’m getting flown over to Australia to do some gigs. It makes me feel pretty cool.

Tell me about your relationship with music, were you interested in playing from an early age?

I started listening to music when I was very young. I remember listening to music when I was like four and when good music came on I would notice something was very cool about it. I started watching more MTV than I did the normal children’s channel, I learnt guitar when I was 12, my dad’s a musician, my grandad’s a musician… Although they never pushed me towards it, it always felt quite natural.

How would you describe your music to someone who hadn’t heard it?

Old school rock n’ roll and there’s definitely some pop. But the thing I am most happy about is that we haven’t compromised on anything, if we wanted to do something a certain way then we would.

I love the album title ‘What’s Life Without Losers’ how’d you come up with that?

Well it’s the name of one of the tracks on the album. That song I wrote when I met my girlfriend and I didn’t really want to meet her. I don’t know if you understand what I mean but I was going through like a selfish stage where I wanted to just do music and… whatnot and then she came along and she was just too cool to not hang out with.

Would you say there is a theme to the album?

I think about 70% of the songs on there are about girls – I like girls, and the rest are probably about good guys like friends. I draw a lot of inspiration from movies, my music is not very biographical its just me getting some kind of a notion of things and over dramatizing.

What is your creative process when it comes to writing your music?

Its very different every time, I think after spending a good couple of years trying to figure out how to write songs I realised that to me is the key, not being stuck in a formula but instead just trying it from different angles every time.

I love your music video for ‘I Spy’, how did you come up with that?

Um I just wanted to do something a bit restless and energetic. That scene just came to mind. I’m not particularly a big Tom Cruise fan at all but I do think that scene is pretty cool.

What are your thoughts on the Australian music scene?

I think it’s really good. Like you have the past, like INXS who were pretty great, but I like The Preatures and Tame Impala also. I grew up listening to Silverchair and watching Home and Away.

So what else have you got going on in 2014?

Well the albums getting released in a couple of days, and then these upcoming gigs… to be honest I don’t know much more because I don’t pay attention but hopefully I’ll come back.

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