We were lucky enough to catch up with Dublin based artist Brew, for an interview. This talented artist has recently released the stunning single ‘New Direction’, in 2020. Check out our interview below!
Hi Brew, tell us about yourself?
I’m from NYC originally, did my musical upbringing in Buffalo then moved to London to chase the rock n roll dream and somehow ended up in Dublin for a weekend that turned into over 20 years, so I guess I’m an Irish product now. I sing, write songs and play rhythm guitar and incidentally still use the same guitar I had since I was 19 – good ol’ Fender Telecaster, probably last of the American made ones!
What is your songwriting process?
I always think guitar riff and melody/chorus though lately seem to come up with the Middle 8 first. I pride myself on writing the skeleton of the song then bring it to the band. My lyrics and music go 50/50.
Tell us about your latest release?
‘New Direction’ is my first ever SOLO single and was produced and engineered by Ray Traynor of The Script/Coronas/Aslan fame! I’ve been itching to do a solo record for a long, long time now or rather my singer/songwriter mates have been encouraging me to do so. We had a big Launch for the single then two weeks later the Corona lockdown happened just as we were starting to get on the promo bandwagon. It is a departure from my usual sound, but the obvious melody is still dominant within the song.
What message do you think your music conveys to your fans?
I like to think we offer hope as opposed to drudging up negativity. Music should uplift you not make you more depressed. I had an emotional investment in the music I grew up with that made me happy to be alive, and I want to replicate that feeling for listeners.
Who are your musical influences?
I have very diverse tastes: The Pretenders, Clash, Cast, Led Zeppelin, Smiths, Def Leppard, but grew up on the bubblegum rock of AM RADIO before hanging out in punk and hard rock clubs.
Who are your non-musical influences?
Hmmm, interesting question. I suppose any organisation that represents social justice. I also love cinema and get influenced by the feel-good messages that seem to permeate a given film.
What’s the best gig that you have ever played?
It would most likely be the Vicar Street venue in Dublin; it was my band’s third ever gig to a 1000 people, and we were just thrown in the deep end. That gig led to us being sent to Manchester to represent Rock Ireland at the In The City music festival and that was our tenth gig!
What is your funniest gig moment?
I keep getting reminded of this all the time. I was headlining Dublin Castle venue in Camden, and we flew over from Dublin. Onstage I was like “Hello Dublin” then a brief pause “Castle” after my lead guitarist tapped me on the shoulder and can I add that was with zero drink in me.
What do you think are the biggest obstacles for bands/artists today?
Easy question – lack of development deals. Today a band of 18-year-olds are meant to be the finished product with demos that sound like £500,000 productions. Its just ridiculous how record companies won’t take risks anymore. Another obstacle well certainly here in Dublin is lack of audiences coupled with venues closing. The gigs are free in, and punters still won’t turn up probably because the pints are overpriced. It is a vicious circle, and I don’t believe in bribing my relatives to turn up to simulate a crowded venue because that’s not a true following. And of course, there is the usual non-payment to bands or worse the pay to play scenario.
What advice would you give to other bands/artists starting out?
Support your scene; go to each others’ gigs and network. There is no room for selfishness anymore. Bands need to help each other out and stop the cliques because what these cliques don’t realise is that whilst a ship can rise together; it can sink as well; hence your band loses out too. If you sense peeps in the band are not committed, or there is something else that always seems more important then cut em loose. ZERO point wasting years to convince them to be committed. Either you wanna rock, or you don’t!
What are your hopes for the next two years?
I wrote up a five-year plan to include nonstop touring by year 5, but as for the next two years, I reckon getting some follow up singles recorded and promoted, exploring other musical territories to promote myself in and chase some semblance of a development deal or a new publishing contract. But I live for the road. All I learned since getting off the road was next time I get on the road just STAY on the road!
FV Music Blog June 2020
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