Big Brutus on Spotify
Interview & Review
Big Brutus is filled with rock and a singer/songwriter kind of sound, just don’t tell Sean that. “That’s not what I consider myself as,” Sean tells me rather persuasively. “I’ve been in bands that wrote happy dance music, and I’ve been in bands that wrote strained and twisted lyrics. And I kinda found my nesh were I kind of write personal stuff, that is in between those two.”
Brutus is that kind of artist, which I assume is a better way to refer to him as, that I would like to listen to certain parts of the day…. Especially if I’m emotional. “Life stuff…. Political stuff… And just stuff.” seem to be what the songs are all about, literally anything. Honestly, though people, we need more songs out there about life and stuff.
All the songs off of Odd Willow sound great, but my favorite is his top song on Spotify… Louise. Louise is simply a soft rock song that talks about a story of a girl named Louise. The song is a rather bittersweet love song, in which you listen to the rise and fall and then rise again of the couple. Louise is so much different than the harder rock song New Voodoo, that has to blare distorted guitar and rather disappointing vocals that I can barely hear. Hotbox is a great song, and Games for Nameless Things is an amusing song with better vocal tones. (Prelude) is trippy, but tradition is a great Typhoon-like song that I actually enjoy listening to the in-and-out and psychedelic music. Hannah, Do You Hear Me? a song with potential written in its name is actually good with the echo lyrics and Beta Radio like sound. It’s a song you would listen to while on a trip of talking to a dead person….. “Hannah, do you hear me? Oh yes, I do dear”… Death is an awesome song that I actually love, yes even with the odd vocals that are sometimes hard to hear too. And finally, Bury Bone is a great song with crunchy lyrics and bone-crunching words.
The album is overall good, but the vocal tones do need some work. I like listening to it despite that, and I’m very grateful for finding Sean and Big Brutus through #MonsterThread.
“It’s not really a band, it’s kind of just a thing I do and I have people play on with me. I started it because I just liked playing music… I guess” says Big Brutus. And Sean that is a great reason to start a solo career, and if anything else it’s a perfect career to pursue.
Sean had no intention in telling me how his band’s reception is going even after being added to a rather popular playlist Jon Magnusson produces….. “It terrifies me in a way…. But I don’t want to be obsessed with myself…. It’s best if I just disconnect with it socially” he says. Which makes sense, because to be honest half of the time I go to look at my blog views I hold my breath before I see the results. But at the end of the day, the results mean very little….. It’s how you feel about the product you put out that matters the most. That’s exactly what Sean seems to be doing, and I’m very happy for him.
The future seems rather bright for Big Brutus, and the tour is going to new lengths for the project. July 25th he is playing with Suitcase Junket in Eddie’s Attic (Decatur, GA). August 5th he then plays with Adam Torres in the EARL (Atlanta, GA). But on September 10th he will be playing at the Rockwood Music Hall (New York, NY), the very first time he will play in New York. With that said, I am very excited to see what is to come for this guy, and I am happy to say I will be there all the way for him. Hell, he’s already…. “Working on some new music, which is cool cause we just came out with Odd Willow” and “working on trying to get a music video up,” Sean says.
The last time I caught up with Sean he told me he was making new music, I just didn’t know he was doing this…. “I biked from what was originally gonna be the entire coast but there was like, a forest fire and I got injured and a couple other different things happened, so I biked from Boca Raton to Jacksonville, over 300 miles. And then I biked from– I took a train to Richmond, and from Richmond, Virginia to Philadelphia is where I biked next.”
I continued to learn more about Sean’s lifestyle that including a lot of biking to and from places….. He was even biking during our phone call!
In other news, America Circa was an album that just so happened to be developed as an album sort of. “I didn’t even intend to write another album to be honest with you. I just had like, the idea was for me to bike up the coast, kind of to play The Odd Willow stuff to people, and to promote that album. Which I did. And that was cool. But the other idea I had was I’ll just talk to people about what it’s like where they live, their experiences, what they’re going through. It was very illuminating, like the way the country is right now.” The album ultimately became a political album from his own viewpoint, which was obviously told through the 7:40ish minute song “History”.
Sean says, “I definitely write them because I feel like I need to write them. Besides, like, I just create. If I get inspired by something I’ll just go on a tangent and want to see it through. And I didn’t get the opportunity to see many things through like that musically for a long time, so now that I have that ability and that opportunity to I wouldn’t wanna use it for my fans.”
Just to tie Sean’s biking and music hobby into one another, while biking up the east coast he was sort of developing album by talking to people on his way up. “I’d just talk to them, like I’m talking to you. The conversations just sort of wrapped themselves back around to whatever. So I would just ask people about their lives, what was going on, et cetera. And eventually they’d start telling me more about what was happening and their experiences living in this country right now.”
The one song I have taken quiet a liking to in America Circa is “Consumer Machine”, which is very catchy and gun to listen to.
He continued to tell me the multiple ways he standing up against these scary times, including going to the CNN building in Atlanta protesting with a organization called “Standing Rock”.
Finally, I haven’t heard from Ari about the recent effect of Unedited Music Blog on Big Brutus, and Sean says he tends not to focus on that kind of stuff. “I try not to keep up or read anything that’s done about me. I don’t wanna get sucked down that hole. It’s like, if I didn’t have Ari who takes care and manages and promotes, then I would be very lost. I’m self-admittedly a semi-fragile person, you know. I’m okay with criticism but I just wanna create from a blank space and not from a place where I’m trying to lean into what people want me to do.”
“I mean honestly, I know I need to be involved a little bit more in that aspect, but I like to be by myself and I don’t really talk to too many people about too many things. I’m one of those kinds of people. I’m quiet, a little more subdued,” Sean says.
He has been playing in a couple shows in Asbury Park, New Jersey as an acoustic gig. He played a city winery session in New York, a couple in Atlanta multiple times. “I just played this music fest called Plasma Fest this past weekend. That was awesome, man. We played a different sort of set completely. It was just a bunch of different kind of songs. We did a couple covers, some Nirvana. Stuff you wouldn’t normally think of when you think of my music.” He also gotten to know a songwriter, Rachel Lynn, and a writer and producer of one of his favorite songs named Sean Barna both from New York.
Right now Sean is getting ready to move to New York, even though he will be moving away from his family in Atlanta.
America Circa: ★★★★1/2
The Odd Willow: ★★★★1/2
Tiny Box: ★★★★1/2