At one point it wasn't about the music; it was only about building the fan base, touring, sweating your guts out on stage and never spending a Saturday evening at home. Michael Winger was the lead singer and guitarist for the Athens, Georgia-based band Dayroom and performed in 85 cities, 22 states and 3 countries, averaging 200 shows a year. After six years of relentless touring, critics recognized Winger for his electrifying live performances, intelligent lyrics and striking falsetto. But throughout all this constant travel and work, Winger's first love was the guitar. 'I was so busy being a frontman for the band that I nearly forgot I was a guitar player,' said Winger. 'Picking up an acoustic guitar was such a change for me that I instantly fell in love with the instrument all over again.' When Dayroom split up in February 2000 following a month-long European tour, Winger chose to head out on his own as a solo acoustic artist. He locked himself in his house for almost 3 months to craft new material for his debut solo album, The Modern World. He produced and recorded the entire project, playing every instrument himself and often neglecting sleep. 'I would record for 15 hours a day for two or three weeks at a time, take a few weeks off to play some shows on the road, and then come back and do it again,' said Winger. Teaming up with old friends Danielle Howle and Jump, Little Children, Winger embarked on a small theatre tour of the Southeast. Said Howle, a critically acclaimed singer-songwriter in her own right, 'In coffee houses and clubs, he brought the house down . . . My head is filled with Mike Winger songs all the time now. I was there to see the beginnings of him channeling like some confused and divine medium for the rock, and he'd only been at it a few months.' After this southeastern tour, he played his debut headlining show at Atlanta's renowned Eddie's Attic. He then toured the West Coast, highlighted by a performance at the legendary Fillmore Music Hall in San Francisco. From intimate coffee houses to large venues, Winger's music has an elastic quality that fits comfortably almost anywhere. It has variously been described as inventive, with an artful sense of melody and a pop-inspired core. His vocal stylings have drawn comparisons to David Byrne, Bono or Tom Waits. Winger¹s unique sound and appreciation for colorful lyrics may have been cultivated during his youth. 'When I was growing up, I mostly remember listening to Abbey Road, an assortment of Beethoven symphonies and the Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack,' said Winger. Winger¹s CD, The Modern World, is now complete and will be officially released by Global Head Records this fall. The eleven-song disc will be available through Winger¹s Web site, MichaelWinger.com, as well as a few select online outlets and retail stores in the Southeast. When time permits, Winger also teaches guitar at the National Guitar Workshop in Los Angeles and Connecticut. In his spare time he travels extensively and most recently returned from a three-week trip to India.
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