We had the good fortune of connecting with Michael Pace and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Michael, how has your work-life balance changed over time?
A guitar teacher once told me “limits yield intensity.” During one of our lessons, he was trying to relay the importance of focus and how limiting one’s attention to a single thing can lead to growth. He went on to explain that once a learning curve levels out, a student can take on another curve and continue to grow. While in music, the learning is never truly done, his lesson was a potent response to a younger musician’s desire to “do it all”. There’s nothing wrong with having this desire. However, if we break these three words down, we realize how spreading oneself thin across many tasks gets intense but it might not be the best use of one’s time.

In another lesson, we talked about balance and what that means. For a musician, it’s another three words: play, practice, perform. Play involves unstructured time where you just try to have fun. It’s pure joy with one’s instrument. Practice is a bit more focused than play and one’s effort is a bit more deliberate. With enough time playing to get inspired and enough time practicing to perfect one’s ability, one might be ready to perform. You’ve gotten inspired by playing, you’ve put in the practice to know what you are doing – now it’s time for the real thing. Or almost the real thing. Perform is like a dress rehearsal for your mind. Putting yourself in the same headspace as the real performance is key to getting even more comfortable. With these three mindsets in tow, work life balance took on a whole new meaning.

Over the years, I’ve found these phrases to be the key to success in striking a good balance in the many facets of my life. Whether it’s music, my career, or cooking, narrowing my focus and setting aside time for these three mindsets has been critical for growth. What better way to prepare a presentation for work than to play around with some ideas? Then, once I have practiced what I need to say and put it into a bunch of slides, I can imagine I’m giving this talk to my coworkers and anticipate how it will be received. When I’m done, I will have given this endeavor the attention it deserves before moving onto the next task. Cooking a new dish is not much different. I’ll play around with a new recipe until I get it right, practice it on my partner or unsuspecting family to perfect it, and then perform it at the backyard barbeque. Were I to prepare another new dish at once, my whole experience would be lessened – both the joy and the learning. Limits yield intensity. Play. Practice. Perform.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I started Americo in early 2013 like a lot of artists – with GarageBand and a bunch of inspiration. After supporting a bunch of unsuccessful bands in college, I decided to create a moniker to write and record my own songs. I chose my middle name since it sort of sounded like a band. Having enough experience behind each instrument, I felt comfortable putting together my own recordings to try and book shows. Even then, I knew going my own way would be more difficult and a ton of work, but that the juice would be worth the squeeze.

Over the years, there have been a lot of lessons. The first one that comes to mind is that no one is waiting to give you opportunities – you have to go and find them yourself. Whether it’s booking a show, recording your own stuff, or finding the right bandmates, opportunities rarely manifest themselves. If you want something done your best bet is to try and find folks who can help you and to reach out to them for advice. Use their advice to break down your goals into smaller tasks. While booking a show might seem daunting at first, it’s really as simple as confirming a date with the venue, finding bands to join you, preparing enough material for your allotted time, etc. Faking it until you make it works fine for some, but there is nothing wrong with asking for help when you don’t know better. A big part of asking for help involves some amount of vulnerability.

This leads well into my next take away: success in music requires a positive response to rejection. As a naturally introverted person, I do not get a ton of energy from interacting with strangers, but without them, my band would not be where it is today. For every show we’ve played, I have had to turn into a salesman for my group explaining all the reasons why they “can’t go wrong booking us!” And for every acceptance, there were exponentially more rejections. Furthermore, each rejection should reinforce your love for your craft and remind you of all the reasons why it’s worth it to you to continue putting yourself out there.

Four albums and many shows later, I can confidently say it was worth it to go my own way. With all that being said, here’s a bit more about Americo:

Americo is a nostalgic rock trio with a penchant for guitar wizardry. Since selling out its first show at Lost Lake in early 2021, Americo has continued to wow audiences with its catalog of genre-bending, original material and captivating guitar riffs. Fans come back time and time again for the fun, unique sets the band puts together each night – whether it’s a samba with a bullfighting trumpet, a head banging grunge rocker, or an electrifying guitar solo, anyone who goes to an Americo show is guaranteed to have a damn good time. With their upcoming fourth EP set to release at the end of the year, Americo is excited to share two new songs from their upcoming fourth EP, General Consensus and Blue and Green – available on all streaming platforms now.

Be sure to follow them on Instagram @americomusic for all the latest shows/releases!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Stowaway Kitchen – incredible brunch/lunch menu with the most amazing donuts and baked goods section you’ll find in town. Good for foodies of all dietary restrictions Retrograde – favorite speakeasy inside my favorite ice cream joint

Himchuli – best Indian restaurant
Shish Kabob – best Mediterranean
Dive bar – Lion’s Lair

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I dedicate this shoutout to Robert Mayper. Since reaching out to Future Gardens last year, Robert has offered me his time and sage advice time and time again.

His experience and thoughtfulness has truly helped out band, Americo, in navigating how to get more opportunities, make a larger impact with our social media, and reaching further heights in the Denver music scene. Robert’s belief in what we do is a wonderful reminder of how important friends and community are to an artist. He’s the embodiment of kindness and support and is a wonderful soundboard for all of our crazy ideas. Thanks Robert!

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/americomusic/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/americopace/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/americomusic

Image Credits
Monica Murray.

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutColorado is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.