Brown Bird Talk "Fits of Reason"
Mon, 22 Apr 2013 09:36:12
Brown Bird's Fits of Reason is the kind of record that deserves a lot of time. The longer you spend with it, the more you're going to understand it, feel it, and love it. The duo's nuanced approach encases cryptically vibrant storytelling within a haze of roots instrumentation. It's eerily folky and brilliantly bluesy. It's as intimate as it is invasive, and that's what makes it so powerful.
In this exclusive interview with ARTISTdirect.com editor in chief Rick Florino, Brown Bird's MorganEve Swain dives deep into Fits of Reason…
What's your take on Fits of Reason as a whole?
It wasn't so much that the songs had to be in a particular order to make sense, but we definitely wanted to have a concise album. We wrote the interlude, and we definitely wanted it to be a complete work of art. Hopefully, the songs can stand on their own as well.
Are there any thematic threads? What ties it together for you?
For me, it's a little different than it is for Dave because he's the lyricist. Lyrically, there are a lot of recurring themes. He was watching a lot of documentaries and reading Thomas Payne. He was on a constant spiritual search for information, and he was into all of this. Thematically and lyrically, that's in there quite a bit. Musically, there's a lot more Middle Eastern influence, and that goes for both of us. We had been listening to a lot of psych rock from Pakistan, a lot of Indian music, and music from all over the place. Then, we listened to a lot of metal. We're really into Mastodon and Baroness. That was a huge influence on this. As far as themes go, maybe it's the theme of being intense [Laughs].
What's the story behind "Caves"?
It's a weird one. It began as a fun recording project. Dave wrote all of these parts and recorded them himself. Then, I want in and put myself in. I added the strings and everything. It's different for us in that we will probably never be able to reproduce that live because there's only two of us. We liked that challenge of doing something weird and seeing how people would react.
Where did "Wayward Daughter" come from?
"Wayward Daughter" is the first piece we wrote on electric bass. It basically talks about Dave being frustrated with people's greed. I really like that song it's fun to play.
What song resonates with you the most?
Right now, I'd have to pick "Hitchens" and "Barren Lakes". Musically, "Hitchens" is very different for us. There's a really fun cello part. It's also a fresh challenge. Lyrically, even though it's named after Christopher Hitchens, it's not really saying anything about him, us, or what we think about him [Laughs]. We're intrigued by what he says, and hopefully we get people thinking because of what we say. "Barren Lakes" is just really fucking fun to play.
What artists shaped you?
I grew up in a very musical household. My dad was very "instrumental", no pun intended [Laughs], in teaching me about rock 'n' roll. He did it starting with The Beatles and working forwards and backwards from there. That was a brilliant way to introduce me to music. I don't listen to The Beatles that much, but I think they're ingrained me like they are for a lot of people. I love a lot of music from the early nineties like Faith No More, Pearl Jam, and Alice in Chains. It's all very near and dear to my heart. Dave and I are always searching for new music. Right now, Secret Chiefs 3 really resonates with you.
If you were to compare the album to a movie or a combination of movies, what would you compare it to?
I have no idea! I'd need three days to think about that one [Laughs].
Is storytelling part of the songwriting?
It's more about presenting an idea and letting the listener figure out what the story is. Hopefully, that story is different for everybody.
Have you heard Fits of Reason? Check it out and pick it up on their BandCamp page>!