FACE TiME POLiCE
i'M NOT GONE
ASA BREBNER TALKS TO ROCKWiRED
ABOUT HiS LATEST ALBUM SUENOS DE LOS MUERTOS
RETURNiNG TO MUSiC AFTER FOUR YEARS
AND THE ALLURE OF THE BOSTON MUSiC SCENE
iNTERViEWED BY BRiAN LUSH
ROCKWIRED spoke with ASA BREBNER over the phone. Here is how it went.
This is your
in four years.
I actually first
became aware of your work through THE BRAMBLE
them towards the end of last year.
It was definitely the first childrenís album that I ever covered and I have no children. Me neither. How I got involved with them is that I was taking care of my mother and my neighbors were semi-interested in music and we had this epiphany about writing - not necessarily childrenís music - but family music that wouldnít drive you crazy on a long car trip.
Your latest CD
interesting title. Talk about it.
The due date for the CD is coming soon.
On February 13th, weíre going to be having a release party at THE PRECINCT. Itís pretty nice club. Iíll be playing with some friends that Iíve known for a long time in various bands. Weíll all be on the bill together.
Whatís all going through your head with regard to this forthcoming release? How do you feel about the album now that all the work that has gone into it is behind you?
This is probably the seventh album that Iíve put out and itís nice to be back and making music again but I wouldnít say that Iím anxious. Iíve been playing music for quite a while now without the ambition of trying to ďmake itĒ as a rock star. In my twenties, I was trying to do that, but at this point, itís become a habit. I canít live without it. Itís intertwined with the social fabric of your life as well. I live in a really nice city where there are a lot of clubs around that are walking distance from my house and thatís great. Itís sort of a microcosm and a macrocosm.
What drew you to
music in the beginning?
Explain the songwriting process. How does that work for you?
There are several different ways that it can work. I write some kind of emotional, cathartic, love-and-loss type songs and those usually come from some kind of base experience. Those are the songs that usually end up writing themselves in a really short time and just have to be tweaked here and there. Then there are the subject matter type songs that arenít quite as emotional but are probably a little more satire. There is a song on the record called ALLNIGHTUPTIGHTBAGBITEKOKAINEPAH which is a satire of a certain period Ė the late seventies and the early eighties. Cocaine was ubiquitous and record companies were handing it out to bands. On the one hand it was really stupid but at the same time, there is this dumb nostalgia for whatever was happening in your early twenties. You may have been coming of age when MOTLEY CRUE was on the radio and that was your BEATLES. It just happened to be the wallpaper of music was when you were coming of age. The drummer that plays with me is about fifteen years younger than me and MOTLEY CRUE was what was there when he first started opening his ears to what was on the radio. At the time, I dismissed their music but in retrospect, I look back at those bands that I used to hate and think they were actually pretty good. I came of age in the late sixties and early seventies and that was a time that was kind of an anomaly. I think a lot of the artists that were on the HIT PARADE or on the top ten were actually really serious and important artists like THE BEATLES, BOB DYLAN, JONI MITCHELL and THE ROLLING STONES. Iím not sure if thatís the same now Ė not to put down whatís going on right now. I know that there is tons of good stuff out there now. Itís almost weíve come full circle from the EISENHOWER era when we made these people like PAUL ANKA and now we have JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, BRITNEY SPEARS and LADY GAGA. Iím not saying those people donít have any talent. Iím not trying to put them down. Iím just saying that it seems like the sixties was this anomaly.
How did you
recording this album?
From the album, what songs resonate for you the most and why?
My favorite track on the record is COME BACK TO ME. Itís got a little bit of a Latin feel to it. I think that song is one of those romantic songs that I wrote in ten minutes. It sort of tumbled out as a catharsis. Those are the kind of songs that happen the most for me. Itís a short song and itís pretty simple. Itís all about love and loss and longing. That is the one that ticks out to me the most. Iím also partial to TRIED AND TRUE because my friend ANDREA GILLIS sings on it. She is a big punk rock, R&B singer around here who I love dearly. Itís a song about rediscovering a lost lover or a forgotten friend.
From a distance, it looks like
Itís a big college town. I started playing when I was in my early twenties at THE RAT which was this famous place Ė itís gone now Ė it was a melting of people that were just beginning to make baby steps away from the corporate rock thing that was going on. I thin that in many cities, punk rock became a reaction to a lot of the Corporate FM radio. BERKLEE SCHOOL OF MUSIC is here to there is a super jazz scene. The great thing about
I interviewed a band from
That sounds like the RED SOX. I donít know what theyíre taking about. I think a lot of bands here end up being insulated in
That was what it meant.
Youíve got a few people whoíve gone national. Youíve got the MIGHTY, MIGHTY BOSSTONES,
What would you like someone to come away with after hearing
Itís rock n roll. I hope it makes Ďem rock. Rock n roll is about sex, fun and living and I hope that some people get some inspiration from that.
BRiAN LUSH (FOUNDER, EDiTOR-iN-CHiEF)
CONTACT BRiAN LUSH AT: firstname.lastname@example.org