By: Ginger Coyote
I recently met Bryan in the flesh at a party that my beloved friend Pauley Perrette threw for his childhood pal Matthew... We had conversed on Facebook for about a year prior to our meeting.... I got a chance to ask Bryan to do the following interview with him... I hope you all enjoy it.
Punk Globe: Thanks so much for the interview Bryan... I know that you were born in Pittsburgh... Can you tell the readers more about your early days?
Bryan: You're welcome, its my pleasure. I was pretty much a loner. I didn't have any kids that lived around me, so I spent most of my time entertaining myself. I always seemed to understand music, so I would spend most of my time involved in that in one way or another. I remember singing made up songs to myself in bed when i was falling asleep. It kept me occupied. Pittsburgh isn't exactly a hot bed of culture if you know what I mean. (No offense to the folks back home)
Punk Globe: At what age did you realize that music was in your blood?
Bryan: I was doing music ever since I can remember. I used to play my grandparents baldwin organ at around 2 years old, then started playing my dad's guitar a couple of years after that. I could barely hold it, but i tried. I would take two tape recorders, record on one, then playback the first and record on the second. My very crude version of multi-tracking. The recordings always came out sounding wobbly, but I didn't give a was like magic to my ears back then.
Punk Globe: Who were some of your early inspirations?
Bryan: My father is the first. He would play in the style of Chet Atkins, all kinds of different songs. "Puff the magic Dragon" I remember distinctly...Although id always get pissed because he seemed to be in a trance when playing and wouldn't acknowledge me making a fuss in front of him. I'm sure it pissed him off, ha ha. Now (of course) i get he was concentrating. I was an annoying little bastard. ;)
Punk Globe: Did you eventually move to New York City?
Bryan: I thought about it. But the weather was too cold and I figured Los Angeles was the place to go to do music. I did visit NYC many times, with some crazy ass stories to boot. They involve nights at The Pyramid Club, Asian crack hookers and angry pimps chasing me down the street, not to mention pizza's being thrown onto cabs from hotel rooms twelve stories up.(true stories) but that's for another interview I'm sure.
Punk Globe: What brought you to Los Angeles?
Bryan: Music and the weather. And I enjoyed the fact that I was as far away from Pittsburgh as was possible. It seemed like a completely different world out here, and it still does. I love it here, and consider it my true home. 17 years and counting.
Punk Globe: Was it hard to find a break in LA?
Bryan: In a manner of speaking, yes. It wasn't so much that the opportunities were hard to find, it was sifting through the loads and loads of other people trying to do exactly the same thing I wanted to do. I was under the assumption that coming here I would be competing with the creme de la creme of musicians, turns out it was the same sea of mediocrity only in much greater numbers. Which turns out to be a separate challenge in and of its own. I'm certainly not trying to put anyone down with that statement, everyone has the right to pursue whatever it is they love, and I support that. If you stay true to yourself, and compromise as little of your integrity as possible, eventually you find your way and where you are supposed to be.
Punk Globe: Have you worked primarily as a solo artist or have you played in a band?
Bryan: Solo artist. Ive always had very strong ideas of what it is I wanted, and wanted to do. A band is a bit too much of a democracy for me. Its cool if everyone involved is into sharing their shit, and seeing what comes of the soup that is made, but like I said, I had/have very strong ideas about what it is I want to do, and that wouldn't be fair in a band dynamic. I run more of a benevolent dictatorship. Seems to work. Nobody has complained yet. :)
Punk Globe: How long did it take you to break into music supervision for film?
Bryan: I started as a PA for a show done on UPN 13 called "Housecalls". I was the post production PA. Basically it was myself and the post production supervisor. My music abilities were soon noticed, and they offered me the chance to compose the theme to the show. It came down to me and another very well known composer. He got it, but I was put in touch with some folks who could help me as a composer.
Punk Globe: Can you tell the readers the names of some of the projects you have worked on?
Bryan: Just about everything you could imagine. A&E Biography, Lifetime Intimate Portraits, MTV'S 2gether, Modern Marvels, The History Channel, Animal Planet, Disney On Ice, countless ads for Nissan, Toyota, the favorite was a commercial with Pat Boone, where we re-wrote the lyrics to "Love Letters in the sand" to sell toilet paper. Were talking high class shit here.
Punk Globe: You also collaborate with quite a few musicians... Can you tell us what you have done?
Bryan: Most recently was a Christmas album for a charity I've worked with for many years. I arranged about half the record and sang and played on a track myself. The artist's on it include Jackson Browne, Billy Idol, Peabo Bryson, Sheila E, Little Feat, Inara George, and a slew of others. Ive also had the honor of recording with Lee Sklar (Phil Collins), Mike Finnegan (Jimi Hendrix), Tony Braunagel (Robert Cray), etc. Those of you that don't know the names should look them up...heavy heavy cats they are, as well as great people.
Punk Globe: Tell us more about your work with Alan Ett Music Group?
Bryan: Cant say a whole lot about those guys, other than that's where I did most of my writing for TV. We had a rather un-ceremonius break-up you could call it. They put me on *cough cough* "hiatus" and I ,in turn, sued them. I won. It involved some shady dealings money-wise, with some executives. I had no parts of it, other than I knew about it, So they figured I might be a liability, and let me go. I learned an important lesson though, sometimes people could give a shit about art, or who you are or your abilities...In this town (to executives) money talks, and bullshit walks.
Punk Globe: Tell us what work got you an Emmy nomination?
Bryan: It was for Lifetime and A&E. It was my music, but under the contract I had signed with Alan Ett Music Group, the nomination went under AEMG first, my name was secondary.
Punk Globe: How exciting was being nominated for an Emmy? Did you go the route that Kathy Griffin does to get votes? Place full page vote for me ads in all the media...
Bryan: I wish. I had already "left" AEMG when the noms came out. It was still very exiting nonetheless. A colleague had called me and tell me and congratulate me. I was so pleased to hear of it. I missed the whole luncheon and function the academy had for it, but very I'm proud of the achievement. Its a feather in my cap for sure.
Punk Globe: You also do a lot of charity work... Can you tell us some of the causes you support?
Bryan: I do my fair share, could always be more...for the past few years (& currently) its an organization by the name of Safety Harbor Kids. They help dis-advantaged children with exposure to the arts. Music lessons, inspirational speakers, as well as the basics (food, clothing, etc). Great organization. As a matter of fact they're having their annual Holiday party for the kids, at Dukes in Malibu. The kids gets a wonderful meal, there are music performances (last year was Sophie B. Hawkins) as well as myself and key note speakers (last year was the guy who is the voice of Winnie the Pooh) and gifts plus a visit by Santa. Check out their website and donate if you can, they could always use the help and its a good cause.
Punk Globe: What are your favorite venues to play at?
Bryan: I like them all. My all -time favorite is The House of Blues on Sunset. Ive played there a few times and each time its been just an absolute killer show. The crowd is always high energy there, and the place is just cool as hell in general as far as I'm concerned. People always seem to have one hell of a good time there. Even the staff gets into it. I Love the Viper Room too, its always fun there.
Punk Globe: Tell us about you recently teaming up with my pal Pauley Perrette?
Bryan: Pauley I met through a childhood and long time friend of mine, they had known each other for about 11 years before I came into play. I'll never forget Pauley (who is way into music) said "Where have you been hiding him?" She's been a real supporter of my work which she seems very fond of. She recently even tweeted about me to her legions of followers, to which I am really grateful. I should be doing some work with her in the near future, she has some great tracks of her own she'd like me to produce, so that should be fun. Keep on the look-out for it. On top of all that she's just an amazing human being in general. Love her!
Punk Globe: Is there anyone that you would really like to work with that you haven't?
Bryan: Beethoven... but fat chance of that one huh?
Punk Globe: How did the passing of the talented Amy Winehouse affect you?
Bryan: Its always sad when an artist like that passes. I wasn't much into her stuff, but I did love what I had heard. On the flip side of that coin, way more booze and drugs for the rest of us now, so I guess you could call it a push.
Punk Globe: Who is your favorite Golden Girl?
Bryan: Blanche. Hands down...simply because she's such an unaware, self-involved, shameless whore. What can I say? Birds of a feather and all that...
Punk Globe: Do you have any web addresses that you can share with the readers so they can catch up with you?
Bryan: Sure: ...that and... can go there for news about upcoming shows, releases, etc. Also readers can always just Google my name, plenty comes up.
Punk Globe: Do you have any special shows or recording projects coming up?
Bryan: I have an album slated for release this December, It will be on iTunes, Amazon, CDBaby.... if people check the aforementioned links, it will all be there...
Punk Globe: Any words of advice for singer/ songwriters wanting to break into the business?
Bryan: Yeah, quit! Just kidding...the only advice I could give would be stay true to your heart and stick to your guns. If you feel very strongly about what you do, do not let anyone sway you. Believe me, they will try. Keep your resolve and work as hard and as smart as you can and piss on what anyone else says, including me. That's it....& Thanks Ginger, you give great interview.
Punk Globe would like to thank Bryan for a fun informative interview... Please check out all the websites he has provided to find out more....