• Anthony Elder

SpaceHead Talks Dropping Out of College To Pursue A Dream In Music

Nearly three years ago, Mike Messerli, who releases music under the moniker, SpaceHead, decided college wasn’t actually doing anything to further his future. It held him back more than anything.

Design by Abby Coe

Now, SpaceHead releases music monthly. Music he produces and records himself in the home studio he spent the last three years improving.

He sat down with kentcore to discuss his feelings and a recounting of the journey.

ANTHONY: First things first, tell me about your interest in music and the history of your interest in music. Where it all started and how long you’ve wanted to be a professional musician.

MIKE: I mean it's one of those things that I feel like as long as I can remember I've kind of always been into. I don't really remember what specifically got me into it. I remember my brother always listening to music that I would really f*** with. Then my brother ended up getting a drum set for Christmas one year and I kind of just started playing on it and I think ever since then. Plus I like listening to the artists that really have a message that they put forward -- just trying to better the world in the ways that they can. It really just kind of spoke to me and ever since then I was just kind of drawn to having a message of do what you love and you know makes people think differently. Or just change their perspective on something or make them feel better about something. Just anything in that sort of vein.

ANTHONY: Do you know how old you were when you first started actually playing music?

MIKE: I think I was about 12 when I started actually playing drums. No actually even younger. I Must have been like 9.

ANTHONY: So what was your experience like with college later on?

MIKE: I mean college was kind of just like high school continued as far as the classes go. Like I never cared about the classes. I just wanted to kind of skate by and make something of it and that's what I did throughout high school -- I just kind of skated by and did the bare minimum amount of work. But, you can't really do that with college. You actually have to apply yourself and have something to work towards and I really had nothing to work towards. I do good in classes that are creative like English classes and stuff, but other than that I really had no interest and just kind of hated going, and doing it just all felt so fake to me like I wasn’t even working towards anything.

ANTHONY: What was the reason you chose to go to college in the first place?

MIKE: Cause I thought that's what I was supposed to do. I feel like a lot of people kind of feel like they have the expectation of once you're out of high school you're supposed to know what you're going to do and that was kind of the next logical step. I guess for me it was to go to college. But yeah, ended up not working out.

ANTHONY: What was it like when you first started considering dropping out?

MIKE: It was weird. It was like a thought that I had and I was just kind of closed off to it. I was like ‘No, there's no way I can do that.’ And then the more I was going, like I wasn't getting the greatest grades and I was spending money on it, and the more I did that I was like ‘Man I'm not even working towards anything. Like, this is a waste of my time, it's a waste of money, I could be putting this sort of effort towards something else.’

ANTHONY: When you made the decision to drop out how did that initially affect your life as far as people around you? Telling people you were dropping out? Telling your parents you were dropping out?

MIKE: Yeah, well I mean surprisingly my parents were pretty supportive of it. Especially my mom could clearly see that I wasn't into what I was doing; and then a few people definitely didn't act totally supportive but you know, it is what it is. I kind of face that quite a bit, but also at the same time there's a big sense of relief. Like a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders; like I can finally breathe again and think, you know?

ANTHONY: Now that there's been some time since you actually dropped out to do this how are you feeling about it? Has your mentality changed at all now that there's been some time?

MIKE: I know I definitely wish I did more with the time that I gave myself but I'm starting to do that more now which is, you know, good. It's all part of learning but I'm still glad I dropped out. I definitely don't think that I've ever really saw that [college] as something I was going to do or that would be beneficial to me in any way.

ANTHONY: So what's the next move for you? What are you doing now?

MIKE: So right now just recording music. Kind of just putting myself out there. Trying to collaborate; do whatever I can to get involved as much as I can; try to open doors and see what doors open for me.

ANTHONY: Have you released anything recently?

MIKE: I dropped some music last February. It was a little EP called “Seeking Sacred Knowledge, Also Food.” I was working on it for a long time and I finally finally got it out there and now I'm more in the music style that I think I'm going to be sticking to. But, I have some more stuff on the way for sure.

ANTHONY: Was “Seeking Sacred Knowledge …” the first thing you have released?

MIKE: Personally, yes it was the first. It was a three-song EP -- the first thing under my name -- and for what it is I'm definitely happy with it.

ANTHONY: Is there any difference to the way you're approaching music now as opposed to when you were still in college and music wasn't your absolute focus?

MIKE: I mean I definitely have a lot more intention to it now. Like my attention isn't split between college and maybe this on the side. Like I don't feel like I have to try to juggle both. I can really focus on one thing.

ANTHONY: Has it changed what music means to you now that it's your full focus?

MIKE: Yeah for sure. Cuz I mean, it's kind of like, in order to approach something like this I feel like you really have to live and breathe it. So like, even music I didn't appreciate before I'm now beginning to really appreciate. And kind of looking at the scope of the music industry and how to get into it and like the business sense of it is definitely different to me. What the music means to me as well. Like I can finally put all of my being into something rather than have it not get all the attention it deserves.

ANTHONY: Where are you pulling that meaning from -- that inspiration as far as when it comes to writing?

MIKE: I'm kind of all over the place. “Seeking Sacred Knowledge … “is a lot about grief and coping with that, and moving on and dealing with it. Then my newer stuff is kind of about what we’re talking about. Letting go and being free and doing what you want and, you know, following what you feel and not worrying about what other people are going to think or say about it.

ANTHONY: Were you worried about what other people were going to think and say when you were dropping out of college for this?

MIKE: Oh yeah absolutely. I was definitely worried about what my family would think and then I definitely have some friends that I was worried about what they would think. But, ultimately got all worked out. The people who are still around, you know, stuck with me so they are who matter now.

ANTHONY: Hell yeah, dude. What do people need to know about you right now? What do people need to know about SpaceHead?

MIKE: People just need to know that I won't stop until I get there, and you shouldn’t stop either. You should take the world by the horns, and f*** it.

SpaceHead can be found on all streaming platforms.

Follow SpaceHead on Instagram @space_headd.

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