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  • Break It Down: Brendan James

    Mon, 04 Aug 2008 16:09:27

    Break It Down: Brendan James - As American as Quick Stop apple pie

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    Dedication might be a better predictor of success in the music business than talent. Luckily for Brendan James, he's proven to have both factors in his corner. Living in New York City without access to a piano early in his career, he'd dress like up like a guest and sneak into hotel ballrooms around the city to practice. This subterfuge inspired the title of his first EP, The Ballroom Break-In.

    After leaving the undercover life behind, James hit the studio with producer Mikal Blue to record his full-length debut, The Day Is Brave. Filled with autobiographical tales and rooted in his expressive piano playing, the album brought his music to a wider audience and spawned the track "Hero's Song," which was chosen by Eddie Vedder to appear on the Body of War documentary soundtrack. We recently caught up with the singer down for a Break It Down, where he told us about his love for gas station apple pie, Levis Jeans and one very special bench.

    What have you been listening to lately?

    My taste varies with my mood. I've been listening to Bob Marley, Nick Drake, and James Taylor this week.

    Where’s your favorite place to chill?

    My favorite place to chill would have to be in my apartment in park slope watching TV.

    What’s the most dramatic thing you ever did to save money as a starving musician?

    Aside from sneaking into hotels for free practice space, I'd have to say eating pasta for weeks with marinara sauce.

    Tell us one of your favorite song lyric?

    Although I'm sure this is a popular pick, there is a reason why it's popular— it's true. "All You Need Is Love" by The Beatles.

    What is your most cherished musical instrument or accessory?

    Piano bench. Hard to find great piano benches at venues across this country...So I bring my own :-)

    If you could change one thing about the music industry today what would it be?

    Less plastic over the airwaves.

    What never goes out of style?

    Levis Jeans, Nikes

    What’s the theme song to your life?

    "The Only Living Boy in New York City" by Simon & Garfunkel.

    What movies, artists, authors or athletes inspire you the most?

    Into The Wild, Kurt Vonnegut, Tiger Woods.

    What's your favorite way to stay in shape?

    Playing basketball and doing pushing ups.

    What non-musician would you most like to meet?

    Dalai Lama

    What's your biggest guilty pleasure?

    Lately, it's been eating those little gas station apple pie snacks on the road.

    MySpace or Facebook?


    —The ARTISTdirect Staff

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