Friday, October 1, 2010

LIVE In-depth Interview with BRËN: "Worth the Weight"

Introducing the one man machine only known as [BRËN]. BREN is a rock artist that compares to the likes of Alice in Chains, Dream Theatre, 3 Doors Down, Shine Down, ill Nino, Finger Eleven, and Papa Roach.

On January 1st, [BRËN] released his debut CD, "Anywhere but Here...", but was unable to have a CD release tour, because BREN is originally a one man band. Not only does BRËN vocalize every song, he performs lead guitar, bass, drums, and keyboard.

It wasn't until Fall of 2010, that BREN was able to conjure up an ensomble of new bandmates that could exemplify the essence of [BRËN].

Classified in a category entirely of his own, [BRËN]’s style of music fits nicely within the musical realm of Alternative Rock, Progressive Rock, and Modern Rock. One may compare [BRËN] to the likes of Alice in Chains, 3 Doors Down, Shine Down, ill Nino, even Finger Eleven, and Papa Roach.

[BRËN] brings back that soulful sound of rock that has been slowly disappearing from mainstream radio. It is a real treat to sit back listen to his music.

Songs like "Only Human", "Worth the Weight", and "Epic" are the antidote to the monotonous garbage played on today's radio and the prescription for the endless insanity which is the Los Angeles freeway system.

With [BRËN] plugged into the stereo and the volume turned all the way up, the windows down, listeners can actually look forward to the long drives on the torturous highways.

Originally from Bakersfield, California, [BRËN] moved to Los Angeles to expand his options as an artist. He attended the Vocal Institute of Technology and the Recording Artist Program at the Muscian’s Institute in Hollywood and had the opportunity to work under some of the big names in the business.

During his time at the institutes, [BRËN] performed with several bands including the metal band, Rattlehead, Little Brother, and he also drummed for Karen Konnoff.

Q: My first question has to be what is behind the name [BRËN]? Why the complicated name?
[BRËN]: It's actually my name and I'm crafting a brand.
Q: For people who have never heard of you, are you basically a one man band? Who performs the music with you?
[BRËN]: Yes, I am a one-man-band. I perform every instrument in the studio but live I use other musicians.
Q: I was watching your video of “Epic”. I noticed that you also played every part. Did you really play every instrument for the video?
[BRËN]: Yes. I really played every instrument for the video. I also played every instrument on my album "Anywhere But Here..." It's kind of my shtick--a bit like a progressive rock version of Prince, I guess.
Q: Did you also do your own production or did you have help with that?
I did a lot of my own engineering, but the mixing and mastering was where I out-sourced labor. I tracked guitars, bass, and keyboards at my home studio, Looking Glass House. Drums, vocals, acoustic guitars, and Irish Whistle were all tracked at a couple other locations depending on what I was going for production-wise. It was a great experience and a real blessing to have had a hand in every phase of my album's production. I wrote and played every note. I did a lot of engineering. I did some mixing. I even got to do a small bit of mastering. I got to turn the knobs when Sangwook Nam, the mastering engineer I worked with at The Mastering Lab (Grammy-winning facility) needed an extra pair of hands. I even did my own artwork. The whole album took about a year to make from start to finish.
Q: Do you play anything else besides guitar and drums?
[BRËN]: I do play other instruments besides guitar and drums. I also play bass, keys, Irish whistle, bagpipes, and I sing.
Q: Who influenced you to get into music?
[BRËN]:My brother plays drums and my sister sings. I think that they were quite an influence on me wanting to make music. They both played in rock bands when they were younger so that was another influence on what kind of music I wanted to play, I'm sure.
Q: I know your sound fits in nicely along the likes of Tool, Breaking Benjamin, Toxic, and Trapt, but who is your main musicial influence?
[BRËN]: LOL! Oddly enough, I'm not really into Trapt or Toxic. I am most inspired by Dream Theater, Opeth, Porcupine Tree, In Flames, and Nightwish. I do a more commercial version of what a lot of these guys do but I certainly have my own identity. [BRËN] can be influenced by others without sounding like a knock-off of others...something that a lot of indies are unable to accomplish.
Q: Less than 10 years ago, we heard rock music on every major music station on the radio, now not so much. Do you feel like rock music has taken a backseat to today’s mainstream pop like Lady GaGa and Beyoncé?
[BRËN]: Pop and hip-hop are largely point-and-click music. You could make a hit song and never touch a real instrument. That approach to song manufacturing is usually more convenient and cost effective than devoting the time, energy, and effort toward crafting great, organic classics.
Q: I know your primary concern is to create and play music, but what do you think is causing this trend?
[BRËN]: The flagrant dismissal of and lack of respect for the skill that it takes to be a talented musician/songwriter.
Q: What motivates you to write your lyrics?
[BRËN]: Folly and tragedy. The desire to for a better world and self improvement are also inspirations for my songs.
Q: Many musicians have a different way of creating their songs. Which process comes first for you? The music or the lyrics?
[BRËN]: I usually do the music first. Lyrics aren't a very good starting place for me to begin working on a song. To me vocals are really just another instrument that I play not the only instrument. When I'm writing songs I'm as much a drummer and keyboard player as I am a singer. I hope that makes some sense.
Q: Are your songs related to each other in some sort of theme?
[BRËN]: That's a great question to ask. Musically, there are some recurring themes on the album. "Falling" and "The Tinman" have recurring musical themes and lyrically come from two completely different angles about the same subject (love). One is a smoldering, dysfunctional passion and the other one is the mournful realization that the love is unrequited. "Anywhere But Here..." is like a 'diet' concept album. Most of the great artists that I love have done a concept album or two.
Q: What is your favorite song from your album and what does it mean to you?
[BRËN]: I would have to say that I'm partial to "Worth The Weight." It was inspired by the Columbine shootings. I wrote it on the 2008 anniversary of that tragic event. I didn't intentionally write a song about Columbine, but I'm really good with dates and names (I was a history major in college) so it was probably subconscious and coincidental. When I hear or play that song I am often reminded of the interview with Marilyn Manson right after and he was asked what he would say to Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. He answered the question by saying that he would listen to what they needed to get off their chests. These guys had no one but each other. Sometimes that sort of isolation (mutual or solitary) is as reactionary as it is self-imposed. They probably weren't striking back at individuals as much as they were striking back at the social order itself. The individuals who were harmed might merely have been the faces of the nightmare to these guys. I could be over-analyzing it, though. The real tragedy is that it had to come to tragedy before either of them were heard or paid attention to. They still shouldn't have done what they did. The lyrics to "Worth The Weight" are a lashing out of a marginalized individual. I was never the popular kid growing up. It was difficult for me to find my place among my peers when I was growing up and so I was often on the periphery of anything. The only times I was at the center of attention were occasions that involved some sort of artistic outlet. This became even more apparent as I grew into adolescence and started playing music. No one really wanted to hang out with me except if I would bring my drums over. Then, I'd start hanging out with my band and build a clique. From there, we'd start writing songs and recording. I've always had a good ear for arranging sounds into coherent and digestible parts that flow well and as soon as I would express the desire to do more than sit there and be a drum machine they would kick me out of the band. Then the cycle would repeat with a new band. That's probably why my closest, most personal space is devoid of other musicians.
The video for "Worth The Weight" is a scaled down and relocated example of a situation like Columbine. I wrote the script for the video, too! It's earned a lot of compliments for having a good story and being very well done. You can view it at

Q: Are you currently working on any new material?
[BRËN]: I am! Right now I'm in Pre-Production for my sophomore album. I'm really stoked about the direction it's taking. If I had to describe it I would say that it is what I do already but more! All kidding aside, it is turning out to be just as hooky but more evolved. I think it's a very natural and desirable thing for a songwriter to grow and mature between their first and second albums. I want the next album to top the first album. If you like "Anywhere But Here..." you are REALLY going to like second one! Until that one comes out you can find "Anywhere But Here..." on iTunes, CD Baby, and DigStation.

Q: How can the public find more information about you on the web?
[BRËN]: That's a great question. Anyone can find my music at:
I also have videos on YouTube and you can find me on iTunes, CD Baby,
and Dig Station.

Thank you very much for having me and I hope to see you all very soon on tour!

For bookings and music placement, contact my Manager/Agent, Margaret Guiraud at:
1901 Avenue of the Stars, Ste.#200
Century City, CA 90067
Office: (310) 461-1550
Fax: (323) 644-5440

An exclusive look of his music is right here on The Great Unknowns Presents.

Find more of [BRËN] at:
Purchase Anywhere but Here at DigStation
Included in this special in studio in-depth interview with BREN, hear a special 4-track music preview from his debut CD, "Anywhere but Here...". Songs include "Epic", "Worth the Weight", "Only Human", and "Better Man"

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