With his latest record Fade just released, we had the chance to chat with Brick Bosso. I’ve been reviewing his stuff for quite some time, and with Fade being just out I think we’re going to have a really interesting conversation.
I’d like to welcome you Brick here on Rock Era Magazine, I’m excited about this interview,
- With such a diverse catalog, I’d love to know what was your first instrument. And what influenced you to pick it?
I started out on piano when I was maybe 6. Conveniently the babysitter of me and my siblings had a daughter who taught piano. So my parents bought a decent piano and a few of us took lessons. I did the rudimentary steps, and then in 1973 when Scott Joplin’s “The Entertainer” was featured in the film The Sting, I heard it on the radio, got really inspired and dove into ragtime music.
- What kickstarted your music career? And who are your main influences?
My Uncle George, who was a radio newscaster on KNX news in Los Angeles for 40 years, but also knowledgeable about show business, told me about music that ‘once you get the bug you can’t get rid of it.’ I loved all the great singer singer songwriters I heard on the 8 track player in my Mom’s car, plus our turntable. Those were Carole King, Barry Manilow, Anne Murray, Kris Kristofferson, The Carpenters, Elton John, Frank Sinatra…. those were part of my childhood. But I really didn’t get infected with the bug until just after high school when I headed off to Hollywood with my Moog Prodigy and the band Fahrenheit. We played lots of the hot clubs at the time. As for the music bug, I really might have caught something those days.
I was a teenager when new wave music was unleashed on the world. All the weirdness and twists of the sound really caught my attention…it was then that I decided I wanted to make music of my own. From Bowie’s new wave album “Scary Monsters” to Devo, Blondie, Robyn Hitchcock and also the Ska of The Specials, Madness, The Selecter, and The English Beat, -it was awesome songwriting with energy and creativity.
- You have a complex writing style, I believe it takes a lot of drafts, how usually does your writing process go?
Often I will get a lyrical concept and a melodic groove in my head at the same time. Then I’ll immediately sing into a recorder so I don’t forget. Then I’ll sit at the piano, or grab a guitar and flesh the main theme out. Eventually I’ll get my computer and DAW powered up and get a beat going to fit the melody and groove. Then I layer the instruments. Often I’ll add the bridges and other parts in this stage.
- Your new record Fade is an emotional and musical rollercoaster, with diverse sounds and progressions, how long did it take you to write Fade? And how does its writing process go from your influences to production?
Well, 7 of the songs on Fade I wrote in 2008, and I was rerecording them at the end of 2022. I didn’t have adequate recordings because in 2008 I had a mediocre audio interface because I hadn’t really dived into studio gear. So in 2022 I was releasing these reworked songs. For Black Friday I got a great deal on a Fender Squier Bass VI. It was my first time writing on a bass guitar. I wrote the bass groove and concept for “I Won’t Fade,” and then came up with the alternate universe version of the song “Fade.” The other three new songs sprung up, and I finished up the others from 2008. I think it’s kind of an interesting concept, imagining a kind of evaporation and mixing that with songs from an earlier stage with songs I really was proud of but couldn’t share because the recordings weren’t adequate.
- You closed the record with the epic title track Fade, honestly, it blew my mind with its progressive direction, are you planning to steer to a more progressive style in your future releases?
Thanks! It was New Year’s Eve when I created that groove with an arpeggiator in my DAW. I was playing around with the same chords as “I Won’t Fade” but in a minor key, and I thought it could be part of a concept album. I am interested in doing more progressive things….I find the complex meters interesting and am challenged by the melodic styles. So yes, maybe.
- Which of your releases do you think describes your sound the most?
Brick I think was when I really started doing different things and feeling really creative. Bianca too, with love songs. On Fade, 7 of the songs are exact duplications of songs from 15 years ago, so they represent the past. I’m not really there anymore. But the new songs on Fade certainly describe where I’m at.
- Are you planning any live shows supporting the record?
My rock band MindFree has me on keyboards and Mark Abbruzzese on vocals and guitar. I’ve messed around in my head with the idea of doing Brick Bosso in a live setting. Stay tuned? Maybe.
- What makes each new release unique? How do you approach every new project lyrically and musically?
I like to have a clear theme or vibe for each album. My high school drama teacher Dr Dan Bristow told us how each dramatic work has a “spine” which is a theme that runs through it. When I’m working on an album the songs usually come from the same time period, and are clustered around whatever ideas I’m thinking of and where my head’s at. Brick was an assertion of my identity and ideals, Bianca was mostly about romantic love. Fade was different because it’s from two times. But the idea of impermanence runs through it and is contrasted by the conditions of the two stages of my life it originated from.
- What are your plans for 2023? Should we expect more music?
I’m definitely wanting to write new songs and have a list of concepts and slight melodies to develop. I also want to exceed Fade and in my mind that includes going even farther with my keyboard chops. And as you suggest, there might be something progressive about it!
Thanks for your time Brick Bosso, always look forward to your work, cheers!
Check all Brick Bosso previous features here.