On Brass Owl‘s self-titled EP, released in June, this power trio shifts gears from stoner metal to jam band to southern rock to blues and back again over the course of seven songs — no matter what they slip into it’s cohesive, catchy and damn memorable. Simply put, hearing traces of Gov’t Mule alongside COC is never a bad thing. Mastermind and guitarist/vocalist Brian Tarter played with Steve Vai back in the 90s and having been in the music game for over thirty years he, obviously, brings a ton of experience and knowledge to the table that, along with his bandmates, shines through every note of Brass Owl. We had the chance to sit down with Brian for more information on him and the band so head below for his answers and click through the links contained within to show them some support.
How did you first get into playing music, and have you achieved the level of success that you hoped for?
I started playing at 12 ( 44 now ). Definitely not . There has been success but not , I am making a decent living playing rock n roll success.
What’s the most you have ever debased yourself to get your band onto a show, into a magazine or otherwise promoted, covered, and praised? (If you don’t have a story, please tell us any funny/embarrassing story.)
We have had to tone it down a bit to play some blues festivals and reel it in because of an older crowd (they frown on crazy loud distortion and beating drums to death).
What do you see as some of the great things happening in metal and what are some of the worst things happening inside the scene right now?
There seems to be a solid fanbase and support of metal even though it has little to none mainstream support or acknowledgement.
I guess the bad is a lot of the new bands sound the same and lack creativity. It has to have some talent and not just kids screaming and being mad at their dad. You can’t be angry enough to not have to play in tune.
It seems that now everyone has a passion for some cause and that those people are very open about displaying their passions. This is probably a very, very good (and progressive) thing socially. What are some of the most important issues (social/political/humorous/etc .) for you and how do you insert those issues into your music?
I believe in working for things. I believe in opportunity for all and hand outs for none. A lot of the younger generation now just stare at their phones and have no skill or ambition. I think people should think and do for themselves rather than the media telling them what to buy, who to listen to, what to believe in.
What, or who, got you into metal and how old were you? How did your family take the news?
My parents are religious and didn’t want me to listen to non religious music so I was really into instrumentals early on and then I discovered some Christian metal bands. They didn’t care how heavy it was as long as it was religious.
What advice do you have for aspiring music critics and outlets out there? How can we all better serve the genre in the eyes of a hard-working musician?
A kind word or sharing, promoting goes a long way to a band putting themselves out there. People act tough on the outside but it cuts deep when people don’t like your stuff. A lot of guys are just looking for the opportunity to prove themselves or get heard outside of their hometown. It’s tough. I would say, try it before you judge.
What’s your goal? You guys thinking world domination? Maybe saving a continent? Maybe invading one? Any interest in starting a cult? Do you guys have day jobs or hobbies you want to share? Whatever it is, please let us know.
Still got the day jobs so we are not cool yet. Baby steps. Maybe a tour and then the cult thing.
When you’re not obsessing over your own material, what are some of your favorite albums to listen to currently? (Feel free to include non-metal)
Rival Sons, Zeppelin, Sabbath, COC
What is the 12-month outlook for you or your band? Any specific events on the horizon that the masses should be aware of?
We plan to release a new full length album on vinyl and do a nice video in the next year.
Summarize your band in exactly one word. (Disclosure: If you include additional words, we will select our favorite for the final publication.)
Many thanks to Brian and Brass Owl for their time!
For more information on Brass Owl and to pick up a copy of their self-titled EP, visit their official website.