Mike Schleibaum’s biography, net worth, fact, career, awards and life story

IntroAmerican musician
Is Musician 
From United States of America 
Type Music 
Birth 7 June 1977, Fairfax
Age:43 years

Michael J. Schleibaum (born June 7, 1977) is an accomplished guitarist, musician, composer, and producer. He, along with lead vocalist John Henry, founded and currently plays in the melodic death metal band Darkest Hour. He also works with bands as a studio producer, composes music for TV and film.


Schleibaum was born in Fairfax, Virginia grew up in and around the Washington, DC suburbs. Son to an ex-nun turned insurance claims adjuster and land developer, he started playing guitar at age 14. While a student at Robinson Secondary School in Fairfax, Virginia Schleibaum discovered punk and metal music and in his senior year founded Darkest Hour with lead singer John Henry. Schleibaum then attended George Mason University (Fairfax, VA), while continuing to tour and write with Darkest Hour. In 1999 Darkest Hour signed and was dropped from MIA records before their first full-length album, Mark of the Judas, was officially released. In 2000, while still in college, Darkest Hour signed to Chicago’s Victory Records, and released So Sedated So Secure soon afterwards. After graduating in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work, Schleibaum started pursuing Darkest Hour full-time. Darkest Hour has since gone on to record and release 6 full-length records, 2 EPs, and tour in over 32 countries and 5 continents.

Schleibaum has had the opportunity to work with legendary metal producers: Fredrick Nordstrom (Studio Friedmen, Gothenburg Sweden), Devin Townsend (Greenhouse Studios, Vancouver, BC), and Brian McTernan (Salad Days Studios, Baltimore, MD).

With the help of his good friend and producer, Brian McTernan, Schleibaum began producing and recording records in 2006. Many of the studio albums he has worked on were recorded at McTernan’s Salad Days studios. In December 2007 Schleibaum produced his first major record for Dead To Fall, called Are You Serious? (Victory Records). He then worked with From Autumn to Ashes on their final record Holding a Wolf By the Ears (Vagrant Records). Schleibaum has also worked with artists: Destroy the Runner (Solid State), With Honor (Victory Records), These Green Eyes (Blackledge Music), Strike Anywhere (Bridge Nine), Thieves & Villains (Victory Records), and Domino Team (unsigned). Schleibaum also produced two of his personal projects Man and Wasp (featuring Frodus guitarist Shelby Cinca) and Washington DC’s Beasts of No Nation. In 2006 Schleibaum began composing music for TV documentaries, and continues to do so for several DC based companies, including: The Smithsonian Channels 2 hour WWII special “Wings of Honor” and “Iwo Jima” Specials, MSNBC’s “Charles Manson and His Followers,” National Geographic’s “Behind the Photo,” as well as the 13 part series “Real Interrogations” and “The Real NCIS” currently airing on Investigation Discovery.

In 2008 Schleibaum launched Drawing from his 15 years of life as a musician and unique social work background Schleibaum set out to provide self-help and advice for aspiring musicians and professional musicians alike. The site includes letters, interviews, gear reviews, and a band classifieds section.

Starting August 2011 he will be the new columnist for Pulp Magazine. A Philippine-based rock and heavy metal magazine together with Paolo Gregletto of Trivium.


Current bands

  • Darkest Hour
  • Beasts of No Nation
  • Man and Wasp

Former bands

  • My Best Mistake
  • Battery
  • WD-40
  • Indivision
  • Astoria
  • The Bradshaw Express


  • Darkest Hour: The Misanthrope (Death Truck Records / AF Records) CD EP /
  • Darkest Hour: The Prophecy Fulfilled (Art Monk Construction / AF Records) CD EP /
  • Darkest Hour: Darkest Hour/Ground Zero (East Coast Empire Records) Split 7 Inch /
  • Darkest Hour: Where Hero’s Go To Die (Join the Team Player) 5 Inch Record /
  • Darkest Hour: Mark of the Judas (Join the Team Player, MIA, Art Monk Construction, Southern Loard) CD, LP /
  • Darkest Hour: So Sedated So Secure (Victory Records) CD LP /
  • Darkest Hour: Hidden Hands of a Sadist Nation (Victory Records) CD LP /
  • Darkest Hour: Undoing Ruin (Victory Records) CD LP /
  • Darkest Hour: Deliver Us (Victory Records) CD LP /
  • Darkest Hour: The Eternal Return (Victory Records) CD LP /
  • Darkest Hour: The Human Romance (Victory Records) CD LP /
  • My Best Mistake: Demo (Self Released) CD /
  • Man And Wasp: EP (Self Released) CD /
  • Beasts of No Nation: TBA /
  • Dead To Fall’s, Are You Serious? (Victory Records) CD Produced /
  • From Autumn to Ashes: Holding a Wolf By the Ears (Vagrant Records) CD Co-Writer /
  • Destroy the Runner (Solid State) CD Engineer /
  • With Honor (Victory Records) CD Engineer /
  • These Green Eyes (Blackledge Music) CD Engineer /
  • Strike Anywhere (Bridge Nine) /
  • Thieves and Villains (Victory Records) CD Engineer /
  • Domino Team (unsigned) Produced /

Personal life

He resides in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Sari and two cats Eddie and Alex Van Halen. In April 2011, it was reported on Darkest Hour’s official Facebook page that his wife had given birth to their first daughter.


Guitars: Washburn N4 Nuno Bettencourt Signature Model

Pedalboard: Line 6 DL4 Delay Modeler, Dunlop Zakk Wylde Wah, MXR EVH Phase 90, Boss TU-2 Tuner, Digitech Whammy, Ibanez TS9 Tube Screamer, EVH 5150III Amp Switcher

Rack: Furman RP-BL Power Conditioner, Sennheiser Wireless Evolution G2, ISP Decimator Pro Rack G (Rocktron Hush for Backup), Alesis Quadraverb Multi-Effects Unit

Amps: 2 EVH 5150III (One for Dry signal, One for Wet Signal), 2 EVH 4×12 Cabinets w/ Celestion EVH G12 Speakers

Accessories: Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 Plus, Seymour Duncan Dimebucker Pickups, SIT Strings (10–52), Intune Picks (2.0mm)