INTERVIEW: Brian Charles Tischleder

Hi Brian, welcome back to VENTS! How have you been?
It’s been two years since I last connected with VENTS, and the world has changed since then. We experienced a world-wide pandemic and social unrest because of slavery’s legacy. These two events are reflected on my new album, This Town.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “I Can’t Breathe?”
George Floyd’s death was on the news and social media. You couldn’t escape it. On Memorial Day weekend, 2020, we watched Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin murder George in front of our eyes. Chauvin killed George because George was Black. As a singer-song writer, I responded the only way I knew how-through my music. I wrote a song that honored George. I wanted to put a spotlight on that injustice with words spoken by Floyd, “I can’t breathe.”

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?
Yeah, I mentioned George Floyd’s death inspiring the song, specifically the image of George gasping his last breaths and calling to his mother for help. His words stayed with me. I needed to express my sadness and anger. Calling your mother for help in times of distress is an universal plea that anyone with humanity recognizes.

Any plans to release any sort of video for the track?
Yes. I will drop the I Can’t Breathe music video on Sept. 28. Catch it on my Youtube channel or website

The single comes off your new album This Town – what’s the story behind the title?
I watched Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kill George Floyd on the streets of my hometown, Minneapolis. This town created the soundtrack of my youth with music by Prince and Soul Asylum. This town where I learned to play a guitar after watching Dr. Mambo’s Combo at Bunkers every Sunday night, and Hoopsnakes at the Five Corner Saloon every Wednesday night. This town was now the home of a murderous act of hate and racism.  This town was now the epicenter of social unrest. Being a singer song writer, I responded the only way I could–through my music. This Town, my album, is a reflection of this moment of time.    

How was the recording and writing process?
The songs on This Town were my observations of the town I grew up in. I watched protesting and rioting on the streets (the streets were on fire) and before I went to sleep at night I retreated to my studio and wrote songs on my acoustic guitar. Some songs like I can’t Breathe and Black Cadillac took two hours to wrote. Other songs such as 16 Candles, a song about apocalyptic youth culture, took two years. These songs that I have been working on for a while matured at that moment because I finally found the right chord, or right word choice, or right energy. Once I completed the songs, I enlisted talented musicians I knew in the Twin Cities, folks like JT Bates (drums), Walter Chancellor III (saxophone) and Tonia Hughes (harmony vocals) to help me propel the songs to their highest potential. We recorded over two weeks at the The Terrarium.

How has Prince and Soul Asylum influenced your writing?
Both Prince and Soul Asylum gave their heart and souls, every fiber of their beings, to their songs. The results were pure music magic. I was fortunate to see both acts numerous times around Minneapolis. I was amazed at the complete devotion to the performance. When I write and perform, I give the same dedication to the music.

What role does Minneapolis play in your music?
Bluegrass, rap, soul, country, heavy metal, alternative, world music, these are all music that if you walked down any street in Minneapolis you can hear in just one block. Minneapolis is a diverse city, full of diverse music. We are so fortunate to have Minneapolis be called home for talented musicians such as Prince, Bob Dylan, and other folks such as the Suburbs, the Replacements, Husker Du who are just as talented, but perhaps not known as globally as Prince or Dylan. All of these musicians were influenced somehow by the soundscape of Minneapolis just like I was.

Where did you find the inspiration for the songs and lyrics?
Inspiration is all around me. It’s the people I meet or have never meet and admired. For example, Marilyn Monroe inspired the song named after her on the album; All Night Album Stand was inspired by a scene I witnessed in Nashville. I saw an young musician walking away from the bright lights of Music Row, holding his guitar case, so I wrote a song about him-imaging his struggles.

What else is happening next in Brian Charles Tischleder’s world?
I’ve got a few gigs lined up for this fall and winter, but I am unsure of how many live performances I will get to perform because of Covid-19. Follow me on social media to find out the latest:

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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