Michael ‘Fish’ Herring: The Musician Who Learns by Listening

For Michael “Fish” Herring, a veteran guitarist with 25 years of touring experience, playing with industry luminaries like Dru Hill, Christina Aguilera, Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake, and Prince is just a fraction of his diverse and illustrious career.

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Welcome to The Conduit, a podcast featuring candid conversations with professional musicians who give listeners the unvarnished truth about being an artist in the music business today. In today’s episode, host and LA-based DJ, producer, and musician Dan Ubick (aka Constantine “Connie” Price) sits down with Michael “Fish” Herring to discuss the musician’s philosophy on creativity, collaboration, and learning. “I try to listen and learn [from] people first,” he says. “That makes it easier to thrive in a situation, whatever the situation is.”

Michael grew up listening to a wide variety of music, including progressive rock, jazz, classical, and musical titans like Grover Washington Jr., who hails from Michael’s hometown of Philadelphia.

While he still tours with Christina Aguilera and other illustrious artists, Michael spends most of his time producing, recording, and developing new talent.

He also composes and arranges music for TV and film from his studio and home in Burbank, California. “Every time I meet a new person, a new musician, somebody creative, I’m [inspired],” he says of his career. “I think everybody has got to keep that mindset and help each other out and inspire each other.”

In today’s episode, Michael reflects on the influence his family and schooling had on him while growing up and shares some hilarious and inspiring anecdotes from his journey through the music industry.

From starting the band Psychedelic Mushroom at just nine years old to catching a joint thrown by Rick James as an adult, Michael has seen it all: “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,” he muses. “Rick can do whatever he wants!”

Tuning in, you’ll find out about Fish’s “listen and learn” approach (“listen to every note that every player is playing because that affects you”) and how he continues to push himself creatively by allowing recording artists to guide him. “The future of music is always uncertain,” he quips. “It’s constantly changing with technology. It’s constantly changing as an art form. It’s constantly changing as a job. Who knows where the next gig is going to come from, [but there are] always gigs.”

For world-class professional advice from musician, songwriter, guitarist, composer, producer, author, inventor, screenwriter, and all-around music industry veteran Michael “Fish” Herring, tune into today’s episode of The Conduit.