Michael Inzunza first picked up the guitar at the age of 15.
Since then he’s used music as a way of battling his past, coping with decisions and expressing love. And you can thank The Cure for that.
“Robert Smith of The Cure is the reason I first picked up the guitar,” he said. “After learning other people’s songs at a young age I realized maybe I could take a crack at this and I just immediately started writing music and writing lyrics.”
As a freshman in high school, Inzunza first heard his music on the radio with his first band The Rivals.
“It was pretty emotional,” he said. “In this generation there’s thousands of bands but in the late ’80s or early ’90s there wasn’t a lot of support for local music and to have the opportunity for a disc jockey to take a chance on a 15-year-old and his band is a big deal.”
He was also part of another band called the Brandy Alexanders who also shared some spark of success. Their music was featured on MTV’s “The Real World” and “Road Rules” in the late ’90s. ESPN used their music as background during their programs and they were also nominated for pop band of the year in 1999 by the San Diego Music Awards.
While the bands had some time under the spotlight, Inzunza admits he had his struggles fitting into the lifestyle.
“When you’re in the industry, there are a lot of drugs around,” he said. “There’s a lot of bad influences and negativity around. I really got tired of it. I grew up in an environment where I saw drugs in the areas I grew up in and I pride myself to have never done drugs before. Playing gigs, touring, I saw drugs everywhere. I never was into it.”
Inzunza said he misses playing in a band. He dismantled his last performing band Mercy Vox in 2008 after his first daughter was born.
“I think I’m happier now than I’ve ever been in my life,” said Inzunza. “I went to seven schools before I attended high school and I never lived in a single residence for more than two years. Now that I’m happily married with two children, I think the stability of where I am now has provided that happiness and that happiness is resulting in songwriting.”
Inzunza found himself writing music more than ever before. Inzunza draws inspiration for his songwriting from biblical tales like Jonah and the whale, growing up with a divorced family and finding stability. It’s been a lifelong process to compose his first solo album.
“It’s almost been like a 20-year process of how those songs have evolved and how it’s changed my life,” he said. “Now I’m putting out music just for the fun of it and I’m not taking it serious at all. I’m taking it very light hearted but for some reason [the music] is now taking me serious.”
Inzunza—whose brother Nick was the mayor of National City and oldest brother Ralph a San Diego councilman— recently spent time recording a few more music videos outside of California, as a follow up to his popular “Bellflower.”