INTERVIEW: The Brothers Reed

Hi guys, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hey there!  Thanks for sitting down with us.  We’ve been busy but great.  Prepping for a big 2018.

Can you talk to us more about your new single “Hey Old Man”?

Hey Old Man was written in LA a couple of years ago and has become one of our favorite tracks off the new album. It ended up coming together really well with the full band and in the studio.

Did any event inspire you to write this song?

I guess turning 29 years old inspired the song which is kind of about reaching an age where there are strong societal pressures to have a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment in life and work… pretty much it’s about a mid-life crisis, haha.

How was the filming process and experience behind the video?

We had Lance Gallo, a film student and free-lance artist here in Southern Oregon, come out to Sylvia Massey’s studio (Prince, Johnny Cash, Tool) and film a few takes of the song. Then Phil took the footage back to Missouri for the holidays and edited it. It was super low budget and easy but I think it turned out really nice.

The single comes off your new album Three – what’s the story behind the title or is it as obvious?

The title has a couple meanings.  It’s our third studio album, which is the obvious reason behind the title.  However, we also have a third brother who is between Phil and I in age.  We used a lot of family style themes in the artwork so we thought Three was a really fitting title.

How was the recording and writing process?

The writing process was pretty typical Brothers Reed.  We’ve been writing and compiling songs since our last release in 2016.  When we decided to start tracking we had a batch of nearly 30 songs.  Instead of trying to widdle those songs into one album we essentially separated the fuller numbers from the folkier stuff.  Three is obviously the songs that represent our fuller sound.  We are releasing the folk counterpart to this record later this year.  Maybe we will call it Three(2)?

The recording process was such a whirlwind on this record because we originally tracked with a drummer who had never played our material.  We just flew him in and had him learn and track the songs in a week.  Although he did a great job it wasn’t quite what we were looking for so we re-recorded with our live drummer in Sylvia Massey’s studio in Ashland, Oregon; but due to unforeseen circumstances those tracks were unusable.  Ultimately we ended up doing everything ourselves which is what we have always done.  However, so much time had been burned up on stuff we couldn’t retain that we ended up tracking, mixing, and mastering the record in under three weeks.  It was a great experience though because we were looking for a raw sound and the time crunch meant I had no time to overthink.  In the end, it all worked out really well.

How the 60s and 70s has influences your music?

It’s really hard to say.  Both of us grew up listening to alot of 90’s alternative and rock.  Many of the artists from the 60’s and 70’s who people say we remind them of have really never played a role in influencing us because we never listened to them much.  That being said, our favorite songwriter of all time is Townes Van Zandt but we didn’t discover him til later in our lives.  The albums fifth track, Caroline, is a piece based on the character from TVZ’s, Tecumseh Valley.  Townes has influenced our music for sure but it’s not as evident on this record.

Known for playing with different styles – how do you balance them together?

I think because our voices remain true from style to style it allows us to get away with some variation.  I know personally when a record or an artist sounds the same throughout I get bored with it.  Critics haven’t necessarily taken to our breadth of styles but fans definitely have, and that is ultimately what is important to us.  It also keeps us interested and not feeling boxed in.

What role does Oregon play in your music?

Certain songs you can definitely feel the Pacific northwest vibes coming through big time.  We are in love with the state we live in and the west coast in general.  Overall though I feel like our music is really inspired by the whole of America.  I love every part of this country.  I think it’s the most diverse, beautiful, complicated and confusing piece of geography in the entire world.  All those things make for a great muse.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?

It’s all in the moment.  Neither of us ever set out to write a song, but we are constantly writing.  Doing this for a living really allows us to latch on to a moment of inspiration and just run with it.  We can take as much or as little time as we need to get the song where we feel it needs to be.  It’s a blessing to be able to write songs and have almost nothing inhibit that process. The songs are inspired by loves, family, trials, tribulations, people and places we encounter throughout life.

Any plans to hit the road?

January 18th we hit the road for a national tour that will take us through the south all the way to New York and back through the heart of the country. It’s been almost two years since our last national tour so we are pretty pumped.  Most of our touring happens on the west coast between Washington, Oregon, California, and Arizona so it will be nice to get out and hit the open road, skipping a good bit of winter along the way.

What else is happening next in The Brothers Reed´s world?

New album release and national tour is what’s on the horizon.  Our schedule is pretty well set into Fall 2018 as well so we will let you know what’s on our plate as we get closer to summer.  Thanks for talking with us Vents! Much love and see you all out there on the road!

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About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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