We were very lucky enough to catch up with the superb Vancouver based artist Pennan Brae, for an interview following the release of his infectious indie rock single ‘Synergy’. Check out our interview below!
Tell us about yourself?
My name is Pennan Brae & I’m a musician & screenwriter from Vancouver, Canada.
What is your songwriting process?
I enjoy sitting down with my guitar & chopping away while playing to a beat. Sometimes, I fall upon a riff I like; in that case, I pursue it & see where it goes. Other times I enjoy sitting at the piano & playing away. Sometimes nothing comes worth pursuing in the form of a song, but the experience is always enjoyable. I usually write the lyrics after the music is done. But sometimes I hear a melody & some lyrics to go along with it. Those are really fun moments.
Tell us about your latest release?
It’s called ‘2 Below 0’ & it’s a 12-song album influenced by Chuck Berry, The Rolling Stones & AC/DC. The album serves as a soundtrack for the ‘2 Below 0’ film I wrote.
What message do you think your music conveys to your fans?
‘2 Below 0’ is a rebellious album with lots of guitars & a driving beat. I was in an irreverent mood when I wrote it. I hope people can have some fun & strut along to it, and if they’re shy, they can do it in their bedroom! My earlier albums incorporate a lot of strings, the piano & mandolin, so they have a different & softer flavour. ‘2 Below 0’ on the other hand, is raucous & exhibits more rock & roll sensibilities of the 1970s & 80s.
Who are your musical influences?
I love American blues music of the 1930s-60s; it’s where it all began. Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker & BB King, to name a few. Then the British Invasion with The Beatles & Stones. I love American classics, such as Bob Dylan & John Mellencamp. But most of all, I love The Stones & Keith Richards in particular.
Who are your non-musical influences?
Non-musical influences are my parents & close family & friends.
What’s the best gig that you have ever played?
My first gig! I was 16 & my legs were trembling & knees knocking. I played piano while my friend played drums. We performed Bruce Hornby’s ‘That’s Just The Way It Is’ in a nice hall to an audience of 1,000. It was an exhilarating & terrifying experience.
What do you think are the biggest obstacles for bands/artists today?
A big obstacle is poor streaming royalty rates for bands. It costs a lot of money to record an album; how royalty rates have diminished from physical purchases to digital downloads to streaming is staggering. Streaming, of course, opens up worldwide distribution for bands & this is wonderful. If streaming royalty rates could be higher, it would help to the musical community & allow them to invest in their next work.
What advice would you give to other bands/artists starting out?
Practise your craft daily. Keep going through the up times & down. Maintain your work ethic throughout.
What are your hopes for the next two years?
I’d like to share my music with a wider audience & keep growing. I’d love to release two albums over that time & create more lyric music videos. I released my first music lyric video for ‘Synergy’ off ‘2 Below 0’ & really enjoy that medium. I’d also love to create two music videos & pursue an independent film.
FVMusicBlog May 2020
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