Hello Greg! How are you doing?
Hello Austria!!! I’m doing well, how are you? I’ve been fortunate to be staying busy with a variety of things. I’m working with my band Age of Fire and our upcoming EP “Through the Tempest,” which we hope to have completed this spring. Right behind that, I plan on working on a follow-up to last year’s full length solo electric instrumental disc “GCB”. I’m also working on my Master’s in Music Composition from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, which has been my pandemic goal when concerts weren’t really happening. I graduate this August.
We really liked your new song “Building 7”. We can call this “real music”. How do you feel on this?
Thank you so much! I’m glad you dig it. It was the first song I released on my 7 string and was a lot of fun to do. The title is a reference to 9/11 and the building that fell much later on that day. I’m not sure what is real or unreal, I just appreciate people listening to it. Music is such a personal and subjective experience but as a song writer, I’m glad this piece has resonated with a bunch of people across the globe.
Tell us a few words about the band and the musicians that you have in the band. Wow, that’s a tough one. Over the years I’ve tagged in a bunch of people. I’ve done all of the guitars, keyboards and bass on most of the tunes. The main thing I’m not doing is the drums. I’ve tagged in Steve Sanderson on a few tracks over the years and Arnaud Krakowka and he’s the one on Building 7. To date, it has been mostly a studio project but I’m hoping that will change after I graduate this Fall. I did a virtual clinic a few months which was a blast and might do that again. Stay tuned to my YouTube and Facebook channels for more on that. I hope to be posting some new videos of my solo work in the near future.
Being from USA, makes you have a big tradition in music. What is your opinion about music in your country?
That’s an interesting question. Honestly, about 150 years ago, most American music was inspired by the places people immigrated from, there really wasn’t an identifiable “American” music. Then Ragtime, Blues, Jazz and Rock-n-Roll came. I am a fan of Copland and Gershwin where there is this fusion of the past, but with an American stamp. As far as my opinion of music in my country, I have never really followed the trends or what is popular. The thing I miss most is the infrastructure in towns to really develop artists, be it the local club scene, local papers (which seem to pick only a couple of artists to focus on), and local radio. This is better in larger areas but there isn’t really a metal scene where I live and if you don’t fit in the box, good luck. I spend more time talking with people overseas than I do in the states. Look at the tours and festivals, they are mostly in Europe and some in South America. The battleground is the internet. That’s where singles are released, and the word of mouth happens,—which is great— but I am really not a big fan of the streaming services and their payment structure for artists. It’s quite criminal to pay fractions of a cent for artists and performers while the hosting companies walk away with billions. Until there is legislation or other mediums or more artists stand up to this, it will continue.
How is your mood about Covid-19? Did this influence the band?
My mood, like most, is exhausted. It’s mind blowing this has been going on for years. This has hugely affected my music, especially performing. This country has become so polarized over the pandemic, and I hope we can return to a semblance of where we were a few years ago in the entertainment industry. I had to shift gears and focus on writing much more, which I love, but the part of sharing this on a concert stage has become more difficult. I also perform classical guitar and those gigs have been happening, but less frequent and in smaller venues with restrictions. It is getting better and I have a variety of things lined up until the end of the year. I’m very lucky to be doing what I love.
Do you consider that being so unique as an artist is an advantage or a disadvantage for you?
Thank you for that. I think being a unique artist is the only way to go if you want to stand out. The hardest part for me is that I still absolutely love music and dabble in jazz, blues, classical as well as all the metal stuff. These explorations have been good and healthy for me and helps me continue to be inspired and creative. I was never into playing other people’s music note for note. I always wanted to focus on my “thing”.
Who writes the songs and the arrangements?
That would be me 😊. Except for a few minor exceptions here and there in my catalog, I do all the writing and arranging.
Are there any other musical projects for the members of Greg C. Brown?
The climate of the music industry is that so many are involved in a variety of projects just to make ends meet, we are no exception, it is also why things take so much longer than they used to. Maybe it’s a good thing, less burn out and more collaboration?
What was your best live performance ever and how did you feel?
I did a standing room only gig a few years ago in New York City, that was pretty amazing. It was such a great, humbling feeling to get that kind of response playing my own music. As a musician, what more could you want? I think performing is like writing—you are always trying to improve your craft. It has taken me many years to get where I am but there are still so many things I’d like to do and try in a live setting. All in good time.
What are your plans about Greg C. Brown? Do you feel this project will last for years?
I’m hoping to keep this going for years to come. It’s been a great ride so far and I have so much more I’d like to do as an artist and share with the world. There are some really cool, different musical ideas I have and want to explore and continue to challenge myself. I love to write music— it’s that simple. Can’t wait share with you all \m/
Keep up the nice work, Greg! Metal on!
Thank you so much, you too! I wanted to share with you that I was in Austria right before things started shutting down a few years ago. What a beautiful country you have. I spent most of my time in Vienna but loved taking the train through the countryside. I hope to be back soon and perhaps on stage!!!
Greg C. Brown- Building 7