CALIFORNIA FOCUS / MUSIC: The Brothers Reed
Who are your musical influences and why?
Phil and I both grew up listening to heavy rock, grunge, all the good stuff from the 60's, 70's, and 90's. Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Tool, Weezer, Alice In Chains, and Soundgarden were all staples in our collections; but as we grew older we started discovering old blues and country artists, as well as a lot of of contemporary songwriters. Those later influences such as Townes Van Zandt, Joe Pug, Elliot Smith, Sufjan Stevens, Johnny Cash, and Matt Hopper really created the backbone from which we have built our songwriting and recording style. I'm not sure how much are influences actually stand out though. People come to our shows and buy our record and don't have a clue who we listen to, maybe because most of the artists who inspire us aren't megastars.
What is your favorite song to play, and why?
Hmmmmm....no one has ever asked this question. For me, any new song Phil comes up with ends up being my favorite for the time being. He writes extremely intricate picking patterns that take a week to learn but sound really simple. It's really satisfying once I've finally learned the pattern and feel comfortable playing it. Once I have it locked in it feels oh so nice.
What made you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?
Always have. My first dream was to be a professional baseball player but that quickly went away. When I was 5 or so I was obsessed with Michael Jackson. I remember watching Moonwalker everyday, transcribing lyrics onto a notepad, and dancing and singing. I honestly was so young that I can't tell you when that actual moment was. I could say that dropping out of college at 19 and leaving Missouri for L.A. was the moment I stopped messing around.
If you could perform with anyone in the world, either dead or alive, who would it be? Why?
Townes Van Zandt, because he is the greatest of all time. I just would love to be around that guy. I wouldn't even want to talk music. I would want to drink, smoke, fish, play cards, and pass out on his couch.
Do you ever base your music on real life?
It's all based on real life. A lot of the time it's not our life, but it's all real life.
What has been the biggest challenge for you or the group?
There honestly haven't been many obstacles we haven't overcome but we have only been doing Brothers Reed less than two years. We immediately gained a following and as soon as our record came out it started selling really well (for an independent artist with no financial backing). Now I foresee our biggest challenge being getting those with money and connections to really take notice. We are putting ourselves out there as far and wide as we can. We are down to explore every avenue of promotion and we are doing our due diligence. Ask me this question in a year and we will see where our cards have fallen. Us and our listeners have tremendous faith in our music going places and being exposed to larger audiences. If we just keep laying it all down, we are bound to win at some point.
Do you write your own songs or do covers?
We write our songs. Sure, if we are playing a long gig we will throw some fun covers in there, but no we are not a cover band. The covers we know and perform usually have never been a hit so no one has any idea they are not our songs. Was that answer too hipsterish?
Where do you think your largest fan base is located, and why?
Southern Oregon, because that's where we are based out of and have put in the most work. However, we have been touring the last few months and in a real short time we have had great shows in Portland, Bend, Berkeley, L.A., northern California, and beyond. We really have not had to grind out too many bad shows on the road.
Without music, I would be?
A professional baseball player, LOL.
What I feel like I was made to do, when I'm doing it.
My music makes me feel?