Getting To Know... Michael Barrow & The Tourists

Following on from a string of rich and captivating releases over the last few months, emerging US outfit Michael Barrow & The Tourists are back once again with their vibrant new single 'Y.O.U.'.

Lifted from their new album 'Clover', which is out now, 'Y.O.U.' sees them channel the bold and driven direction of acts like The War On Drugs. With its warm and sensual direction mixed with some truly powerful hooks, these guys look set to become one of the most talked about names of the moment.

So with the new single out and about, we sat down with frontman Michael Barrow to find out more about his background and what has inspired him most over the years.


What was the first instrument you fell in love with?

I started taking piano lessons when I was 7. I liked it okay, but I think I really started developing a love for music when I started playing in the percussion section in middle school/high school band. I LOVE playing timpani. It's been years since I've been able to play them. Hopefully I'll get another chance sometime!

What kind of music did you love when you were younger?

When I was a kid I mostly listened to Radio Disney and Weird Al.

What was the first album you remember owning?

The first album I bought with my own money was Aaron's Party (Come Get It) by Aaron Carter. It still slaps.

What is the one song you wished you could have written yourself?

"Gravity" by John Mayer. It's so good it makes me mad.

Do you have any habits or rituals you go through when trying to write new music?

Not really. Mostly I just need to wait for something sad to happen to me! There are periods in my life when I'm feeling really inspired and am able to crank out a bunch of songs, and others when that well of inspiration is totally dry. I still haven't quite figured out how to keep it a constant source. It sort of ebbs and flows on its own.

Who are your favourite artists you have found yourself listening to at the moment?

I've always been a huge John Mayer fan, and always will be. I've also found myself listening to a lot of Theo Katzman, The Oh Hellos, The Shins, and Young The Giant.

If you could open a show for anyone in the world, who would it be?

John Mayer FOR SURE.

What do you find is the most rewarding part about being a musician?

One thing that I really love about being a musician is meeting other musicians. There's something really special about traveling to a new place where you don't know anybody, and bonding with a total stranger over your shared experiences. We've made some pretty incredible friends on the road.

And what is the most frustrating part?

For me, it's the unpredictability of the industry. There's no formula to become a successful musician. There's so much talent out there that goes completely unnoticed and unrewarded. It can be easy to get burnt out when you've put years of work into something, and it hasn't reached anybody.

What is the best piece of advice you have received as a musician?

I think the best advice I've received, and something I try to live by, is to always remember why I do music. Everyone has a different reason. For me, it's to have fun, make art, and have something to look back on that I'm proud of. If I ever get to a moment when I'm not achieving those goals, it's time to take a step back and reevaluate. It's easy to get caught up in the drama and the numbers, but that's not what I'm here for.


Michael Barrow & The Tourists' new single 'Y.O.U.' is available to stream now. Check it out in the player below.