ED- The Eerie Digest is about to step into another realm of entertainment by introducing Singer/ Songwriter [BRËN] to our fans. [BRËN], how did you get your start in the field of Music?
[BRËN]- First off, thank you for that awesome introduction! I’m thrilled to chat with you guys. I got my start in music when I was a kid as a stage actor with various roles in community theatre (many of which were musicals). That was sort of an introduction to performing music for me. By the time I got to high school I was looking for additional extra-curricular activities and so I joined the battery(drum-line), Jazz ensemble, and orchestra. I always liked orchestral music growing up (particularly Beethoven, Wagner, and Stravinsky)which probably explains why my listening habits gravitated toward Progressive Rock like Dream Theater, Opeth, and Rush growing up. I started playing drums in garage rock bands when I was 16 and quickly learned that I liked rock music. Nobody really wanted to play technical stuff in my hometown (this was when nu-metal bands like Korn were dominating the airwaves so everyone wanted to play that stuff). I took what gigs I could and landed a gig drumming for one of Curb Records artists called ‘Little Brother. It was a pop-country gig and it didn’t let me cut loose as much as I would have liked but it gave me my first taste of the biz. I finally found a group of guys that were into the same kind of music that I was into and we formed a band. I started experimenting with singing and songwriting around this time and it was an awesome experience. Prior to this I hadn’t really written a lot and only sang background vocals. We recorded an album at country legend Buck Owen’s studio and had Adema’s engineer rocking ProTools for us. It was a lot of fun but we were really young, too, so there were bound to be inter-band creative and personal differences so I packed my bags and moved to Hollywood to attend Musicians Institute. That’s when things really started for me.
[BRËN]- Yes! I did drum for a band that still plays around called ‘Rattlehead.’ Those guitarists are really awesome! We had some great times, too. We used to headline at the Whisky, Key Club, The Knitting Factory(R.I.P.–that was seriously an amazing venue and it’s a shame that it’s not around anymore). They used to do these brilliant events called Club Vodka…PACKED THE HOUSE!!! We also did a few one-offs at house parties and a few impromptu gigs. Mostly, though, we were fixtures on the Strip. The best thing was the experience. We were young and hungry so we were always willing to bring the metal where it was wanted. It was a pretty easy gig, playing-wise, but it wasn’t much of an opportunity to be a songwriter so I left the band, moved to South Lake Tahoe, and started working on a History degree.
ED- During this time you had opened for a number of popular bands. Who were they ?
[BRËN]- Well, over the course of my musical life, I’ve been a part of groups that have opened for some known artists. Some artists that stand out(although not necessarily the biggest names but certainly fun shows)are Doro (singer from Warlock) and Midnight Panic (Adema’s Mark Chavez). Midnight Panic was Adema frontman Mark Chavez’s solo project. Mark’s an acquaintance of mine and his guitarist Pete and I used to be in a band together and have been friends for years. The first real band I was in opened for Jared Leto’s band 30 Seconds to Mars and CKY.
ED- How did these experiences strengthen your musical career?
[BRËN]- They gave me valuable insight and perspective and helped me to see beyond the glitz and keep focused. The activity on the periphery can be very distracting to a green musician. Keep your eye on the target and you’ll score a bulls-eye.
ED- Can you tell us about those dots above the ‘E’ in your name?
[BRËN]- Sure. They serve a two-fold purpose. One, they are a great branding tool. Two, before I started doing music full-time I was working on a History degree with an emphasis on Medieval studies. The character ‘Ë’ though not used in Modern English, is used a lot in Old and Middle English (Geoffrey Chaucer, “Canterbury Tales” era). It’s sort of a unique thing about me. I like to rock but I also like to read.
ED- Tell us about your agent, Margaret Guirard, and your working relationship with her and her agency.
[BRËN]- Well, she’s my agent. She’s also my manager. She handles my bookings, PR, et cetera exclusively. She really works her bum off and goes above and beyond the call of duty–something that a lot of reps don’t do these days. “M” has been a valuable source of info and feedback with my artist development and I’m really blessed to have a manager/agent like her! Most artists would kill for reps like her (and her whole staff).
ED- You made two music videos at this time for some of your music. What were these and how did they fare?
[BRËN]- Yes, we did two videos for my first two singles from my debut album, “Anywhere But Here…” The first single “Epic” was shot in Hollywood and near Joshua Tree National Forest. It’s performance driven. I played all of the instruments on my album and we wanted to show that in the video so a film crew set up and shot footage of me rocking out on all my instruments while I’m singing the song. It looks really awesome! They did a great job with putting it together. The second one (for my second single, “Worth The Weight”) was shot in Kern County (where parts of ‘Thelma and Louise’ and ‘Star Trek’ were shot) and is more story driven. I wrote the song about Columbine while I was at M.I. and wanted the same vibe to translate to the music video so I wrote a script for it. The director and DP helped me to clean up the finer details and then we went into production. We scaled down the setting (originally we were going to shoot the video at the high school I attended but there were some concerns from the administration about the campus turning into a movie set) and repackaged the whole story in a more intimate way. I think it was a smart move…same vibe and spirit of the song but more relatable. The videos have both been very well-received. They were well-produced (Margaret Guiraud made her Production debut producing the two videos), well-shot/edited, and are getting really awesome feedback from people in the industry.
ED- You also played music for the Independent production of ‘Full Throttle’. Tell us all about this .
[BRËN]- It was a red carpet event showcasing the film in Minneapolis at the Fine Line Music Café (where artists like Alanis Morissette, Prince, Sheila E, Henry Rollins, and Sheryl Crow have all played) and I was a guest artist invited to perform.
ED- You also created the theme song for KRAB 106.1 FM in Bakersfield. How exciting was this for you?
[BRËN]- Yes! A radio show called “The Tracking Room” used my single “Worth The Weight” for a theme song! It was pretty cool! They had to say my name every show!
ED- You have also won a number of outstanding awards for you work in the music field. Please reveal these to our readers and what they mean in your industry.
[BRËN]- Well, several of my songs have scored Platinum Auddies ( *the highest category possible* ) on Hit Song Science. Seriously, though, it’s through mediums like this that many of the Industry’s movers and shakers of today are turning in order to pick tomorrows hits. It has demonstrated a margin of success (though nowhere near absolute) in helping to determine which songs should be pushed for artists. The bottom line is this: either way people in the industry are talking about my music and I already have some deals on the table that my management and I are proudly beaming about.
ED- What are you working on now, and tell us about some of the exciting events coming up for you ?
[BRËN]- I’m glad you asked! Thank you. I’ve already started working on my sophomore album (which is as-yet untitled) and an acoustic EP of songs from “Anywhere But Here…” plus a couple of new songs. Also, on 17 October 2010, I’ve got my first private, industry showcase in Los Angeles! I’m really excited about that and the guys in my live performance team are really hot players! Also, I’ve got some more press coming up, too, and an official CD Release show coming up (due to scheduling the final date is still to be determined but it’s going to rock). Things are really starting to take off with a couple of offers on the table to work with credible producers whom I’m excited about working with.
ED- [BRËN], it has been an honor and privilege in being able to have this interview with you for our readers. We wish you much luck and know that you will do well in the future. Please promise that you will visit us again, to keep our fans ‘in-the-know’ about all your upcoming events.
[BRËN]- Thank you for having me. The pleasure has been all mine. It would be a treat to do this again. I’ll be sure to keep you guys and your fans ‘in-the-know’ about all the latest. You can find [BRËN]’s updates on the web at: