By Vince Chiarelli
Who says a rock star can’t be an attorney? Local attorney Michael Schirger used to front the band Red Super Giant, which played around the Midwest and even recorded in the same studio as Nirvana and other great rock bands. But not everyone can make that kind of career shift. It takes someone truly talented.
Red Super Giant’s story starts in the spring of 2001, when Schirger and childhood friend Josh Karlzon formed the band with Andy Scarpaci and Charlie Stein. Schirger, guitar and vocals, would write songs using elements of rock, blues, jazz, county and other genres to create his own unique style. Scarpaci’s bass lines and Stein’s drums would provide a driving rhythm, while Karlzon’s lead guitar solos would blow your mind! All together, Red Super Giant definitely had a “stellar” sound. When I asked Mike how the band formed, he said, “It had no beginning and has no end. It was, and always will be, the greatest rock band you’ve never heard of.” The band members were and are still known for their sense of humor. Too bad I was too young to see the band in their prime, because I’ve heard some crazy stories about their over-the-top stage shows.
After forming the band, Mike decided they should record an album. They journeyed off to the famed Pachyderm Studios, where they recorded their first album, 5 Songs, with nationally-known producer Brent Sigmeth. While Mike says they had no business being there, the album that was produced came out amazing! Even though there are only five songs, they really pack a punch and leave you wanting more. Mike jokes that he has a closet full of CDs, which he claims make great drink coasters. However, the album is great, and if you are interested in hearing it or just having a cool drink coaster, I’m sure if you asked Mike, he would sell you one.
After a few years of playing, Mike decided to go to the University of Iowa to get his law degree. He said that playing during those years taught him a lot about business and people, and that it was a great preparation for other things in his life. In 2006, he opened Schirger Law and started practicing. He says he still draws on his experiences in music in his law practice. And while his emphasis is in business law, he has never lost his passion for music that he says started because of this “silly little band.”
When I asked Mike about his thoughts of the Rockford music scene, he said: “Rockford produces great art and great musicians. There’s something in the water, and I’m lucky to be here surrounded by so many talented people.”
Mike said he relates to musicians fairly well, and that he wants to use his wisdom and experience to help others expand their reach into the market. It is great to see people with so much passion and love for music, and it is people like Michael Schirger that make the local music scene continue to grow and succeed.
If you would like to hear Michael present on Copyrights, Publishing & Music Business, please try to attend the Music Business Seminar at Rockford College this Wednesday, April 3, at 7 p.m. in the Burpee Center Building. It is FREE to attend, but space is limited. So RSVP to email@example.com. Also, for more information about Michael Schirger and his law firm, please visit www.schirger.com.
Please contact Vince Chiarelli if you have any original Rockford music or radio suggestions. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
From the April 3-9, 2013, issue