I tried to do a bit of research on Brain before interviewing you. I gotta say, y'all chose a hard name to search. I got a lot of hits for behavioral neuroscience before I found your Bandcamp page...
Ha! Good fucking luck! When I joined the band, I was told I could find live recordings on Youtube so I could use those to write lyrics. A year later, I still haven't found the damned videos. Maybe making our URL brainmusicatl would help...
So, if you can listen to JB together, you must get along pretty well... Or do you keep your social lives separate from the band?
We're all friends. You have to be friends with your band, or you end up being the subject of documentaries that are more about you fighting onstage and doing drugs than your music... But when I tried out, I did scare Tanner, our drummer, so much he wouldn't look me in the eye for two months. I drank a lot more back then.
So how did you get involved with the band?
It was August or September in 2011 when Matt mentioned he was playing bass in this new band and they had a show at the Drunken Unicorn. He had been in some really terrible bands previously and I wasn't expecting much when I went to go see them. They blew me away. I must have called Matt a hundred times over the next month to harass him about letting me try out for Brain. I tried out. Heard nothing for a month. Had another practice with them, and afterwards they sat down and had the talk. I was in the kitchen making some coffee, and Matt walks in and says he's sorry but they didn't think it was going to work out. I was mad. "Whaaat?" I started cursing and remember saying things like "You guys are all fucking stupid!" and "No one else is going to be able to sing better than me." Matt let this continue for a few minutes, then started laughing and was like "Naw, you nailed it." I was ecstatic. And pissed. But ecstatic. That's pretty much the dynamic within the band. A bunch of asshole tomfoolery. Clay is always worried that we're going to get on the wrong side of the right person just by being us.
You write most of Brain's lyrics. How does that process work?
In terms of lyric writing, it's always been a struggle for me. Balancing what sounds good on paper and what sounds good for the song. If we have the opportunity to record a rough version of a song I usually sit around with the instrumental on repeat for a few hours as I figure out a good cadence. Nonsense consonant streams eventually get set down in my head and then it's a matter of filling those in with the strongest ideas. Every song references scientific/pseudoscientific theories I'm interested in. A lot of astral projection references pop up. The world is an amazingly beautiful and mysterious place, and a lot of our grief is self-made and can be fixed by changing our ideas about ourselves and our environment. I hope that's what people take away from our lyrics.
Any hope we'll be seeing an album any time soon?
A beginning is a very delicate time. We started off recording rough demos of the songs we had when I joined the band a year ago. We're constantly writing and improving ourselves, so we sat down with a cool-ass cat named Ryan Potesta this summer to cut our first EP. We recorded seven songs, and we're releasing them ASAP and then the other two as singles later down the line. However, the new songs we're woodshedding now are going to blow people's minds, and we're debuting one or two [at the Earl on Wednesday].
... And this is your first time playing the Earl?
We've all played the Earl before, but this is Brain's first time there. It's a great room, and we're all excited. Should sound fantastic. I look forward to every show because I love our songs, and I love performing. I never worry about whether or not we're going to have a good show. Brain almost always sounds good. There may be a few jazz notes towards the end of the set as the drink tickets are spent, but I've never finished a show with this band and thought that the audience was ripped off.
Brain, Mechanical River, Andy D, and Michael Kai & Co. play the Earl on Wednesday, December 12. $7. 8:30 p.m.
Second Hand Swagger!!
Totally original!!! Love love them!
The Quaildogs for sure!
It looks fun cheers
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