"Colorful songs with honest bravado."
Sooooooooooo, this is my bio. First things first - I hate bios. No flashy adjectives or 3rd person subjectivity could possibly make my life nearly as fascinating as that of any of my idols (pick one? Stevie Wonder. Pick another? The Beatles - yeaaaahhhhh, NOW I sound like a serious songwriter). Hell, I could even go as far as to create some kind of intellectual persona for myself that overemphasizes how much my music is ìunderscored with vivid, 'cinematifikery', or that I'm 'blazing musical territory that was until now uncharted'. But, honestly folks, that's just not me.
Seriously, what do you really need to know about me? I went to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA - that was pretty (expensive) cool. Good times. Graduated in 1999 with a degree in songwriting. Oh yeah, my son, Tyler - LOVES my music. He squeals and screams along with "Burning the Days" every time he hears it in the car twisting down Sepulveda on the way home from work. No accolade could ever possibly top that kind of review.
I suppose the most important thing you need to know about me, (much like many people doing my kind of gig) is that I am OBSESSED with all kinds of music and quite simply LOVE this music thing I do. Some people are Star Wars geeks and have to have a set of Boba Fett pajamas, or still keep their coolest Return of the Jedi action figures in a case shaped like Darth Vader's head in the toy chest in their living room that doubles as a coffee table. Me? I spend my Tuesday afternoons at Amoeba Music, gluttonously scouring the new releases and digging through the used racks searching for the next 'Revolver' to my ears. Or Iím rummaging through the thesaurus searching for the synonyms and euphemisms for experiencing an elevated state of consciousness, because how many different ways can you say that before people get the wrong idea? Really? Thatís right mom, the WRONG IDEA.
Anyway, it was this undeniable passion that gave me no choice but to embark on this crazy musical journey of mine. I moved out to LA about two years ago with my dog, a bottle of whiskey, and a suitcase full of songs - oh, and my wife (who, at this time has not left me or shot the dog). I started playing at this little coffee shop in Glendale to a good handful of friends who, I don't know, thought I had really awesome sneakers or something. This place didn't have a stage. They didn't have a sound system - half the time, they didn't really seem interested in having music in there at all. But I kept coming back - and a few of us even bought lattes every now and then, so in the end I think everyone was happy. Before I knew it I had built up the core of my musical dream team - bass, kazoo and guitar player Greg Jamrok and drummer/kazoo master Dave Stalker (a.k.a. Torkee and Tappy, respectively). We started getting pretty damn good together, and before I knew it we were turning our amps up to 11 in various clubs in and around LA and fleshing out the arrangements for what would become my first album, "RELEASE".
This album has been coursing through my veins for about three years. Its inception dates waaaaaaaaaaayy back to the summer of 2000 (insert Wayne's World flashback sound-EFX here). I was working for a small mom and pop record store selling CDs at a flea market on Cape Cod. There, in the humid August sun, sandwiched between an antique dealer and a shoe salesman (I still have 2 pairs of his shoes!), out of sheer discontentment I wrote Paper Wings and Little Juliet. In this case, art certainly paralleled life as the idea of letting go of the past and facing the future kept creeping into my lyrics (case in point, Still Life) - deep down, I knew I had a move and an album to make.
Jumping forward a few years - as my musical family started to build in LA beyond even my own lofty expectations; I came to the conclusion that it was time to commit to RELEASE. Tappy, Torkee & I started rehearsing in November 2002 with various guest artists (including, but not limited to Steve Barton, David Kalish - of Rickie Lee Jones fame, Rod Cumming - of The Wedding's Off & Black Valentine, Jack Maher, Jason Wormer, and NYC singer/songwriter and close friend, Brooke Fox). Tracking began in January 2003 at Strawberry Blonde Studios in Valencia, CA with Greg & me producing. We finished recording in August, and wrapped up mastering on September 9th, 2003.
That pretty much brings us up to date. The album was released November 18th, and more information pertaining to its support & creation (including a full length audio commentary) can be found on my website (www.brandonschott.com). I hope to see some of you at my shows, and maybe you'll dig my music enough to tell a friend - and have them tell a friend, and so on and so on. Bottom line: I love writing, recording, and playing music and I look forward to sharing every bit of this journey with you. This is only the beginning, friends. Thanks, and may the force be with you.
Until we meet again...
P.S. Don't eat fried Twinkies.