My Brothers and I
I have been speaking with the Portland band…
My Brothers and I about their new single, When You’re Ready, and what they have planned coming up. I ask how they started making music together and what the scene is like in Portland and whether they are coming to the U.K. – I ask who they count as idols and which artists they are inspired by.
The guys discuss what their favourite musical memories are; what they hope to achieve before the end of the year; some new artists worth looking out for; whether they get time to unwind away from music; the advice they would give to any new artists emerging – the guys each choose a song to end the interview with.
Hi, guys. How are you? How has your week been?
Good, good. We’re traveling on a few tour dates right now and having fun playing in some cities we haven’t played before.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourselves, please?
We’re a band that writes and plays Pop music with soul. Compiled of three brothers and our childhood friend; we go by the name My Brothers and I. We had some success with our debut album, especially with licensing and sync, but we’re super-excited for our next couple of singles leading up to our sophomore release that will be a six-song E.P.
When You’re Ready is your latest single. Can you tell me what the background to that song is?
It’s about falling for someone but they’re not planning or ready or looking for love. Sometimes, you find the right person at the wrong time but you feel you’re still going to end up together.
It is from a forthcoming E.P. What sort of songs and themes might we see featured on there?
Musically, we wanted to create a hybrid sound; blending real instruments with more synths and samples than we’ve used in the past; pushing ourselves and our sound while maintaining organic elements that leave a unique sonic fingerprint. Lyrically, our songs are about relationship, love and loss. We view relationship, romantic or otherwise, through the lens of our faith in God.
How did My Brothers and I start playing music together? Erik, Scott and David, as brothers, was it an inevitable decision (to join with Jordan)?
Jordan and Scott started their first band in 7th grade, like seventeen years ago. When Erik entered his teens he joined and then I (David) joined. When we signed our first record deal I was still in high-school. The band took many forms and many name changes, but we feel that we’ve found something special with these new songs. We’re discovering our own sound and we feel that the rhythm we’re in right now is rare.
Which artists inspired you to make music? Who do you count as idols?
We’re huge music fans and have been inspired by many different artists. As individuals, we bring such a variety of influences, from James Blake to Chance the Rapper; Kevin Garrett to Adele.
Portland, Oregon is where you hail from. What is the music scene like there?
Just like everything in Portland, it’s weird. It’s a little bit of everything, accordions; bagpipes, Doom Metal and Jazz clubs - bands with two drummers, two bass players and two lead singers, that sort of thing. It’s very much a come as you are music scene…
Do you have any gigs lined up? Where are you heading?
Yeah. We’re currently touring with what we call our 'stripped set', or acoustic set. We perform with a Cajon box-drum, acoustic guitar and electric guitar: no keyboards, synths or backing tracks; just playing raw. So, right none, we’re in L.A. for a few days before heading south-east to Austin, Dallas; Nashville and Atlanta.
Will we see you come over to the U.K.?
We would love nothing more than to tour in the U.K. It’s one of our goals and we’re a pretty determined bunch but, right now, there’s nothing in the works.
What do you hope to achieve in 2018?
Honestly; our biggest hope is to make this a sustainable career.
We feel like 2018 is our year to get over the hump and become a full-time, year-round and profitable business. We hope to play a lot more shows, appear in more television shows and, most of all, up our social media game. We’ve been a little shy with social media: we’re starting to get more comfortable peeling back the curtain and letting people in; letting others see who we are as people beyond the music.
Have you each got a favourite memory from your time in music – the one that sticks in the mind?
The memory that’s stuck in my mind forever is the letters we’ve received from fans expressing how our songs have impacted their lives. One fan said our song, Scars, helped them through depression and attempted suicide. Another fan wrote us that Stay helped her and her husband fight cancer.
Those are moments you never forget. It’s a reminder of the weight a song can carry. Bruce Springsteen once said something like: “A three-minute song can change someone’s life” and we’ve always been motivated by that.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Beyoncé, duh. We don’t need much, though - Diet Coke and coffee is about it.
What advice would you give to new artists coming through?
Perform live as much as you can. It’s the only way to develop all the different skills you need to succeed in the music industry. Talent will only get you so far: you have to learn how to work with people and build up a team around you.
IN THIS PHOTO: Allen Stone
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
We unwind with Xbox, mostly playing PUBG, right now. I’m (David) ranked top-fifty on North American servers (no big deal). We also play basketball, read a lot and watch movies.
Finally, and for being good sports; you can each choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Kevin Garrett - Little Bit of You
Chance the Rapper - Blessings
John Splithoff - What If She Wants You
Shawn Mendes - Lost in Japan
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