An Interview With The Group Brick And Mortar

brick+mortar-20lb from dan feeny on Vimeo.

Brick And Mortar are a fantastic DIY band from the Jersey Shore that sound nothing like the stereotypes you think of when that area comes to mind. Combining Boards of Canada like- atmospheres, with 70′s prog melodies and pounding rock rhythms, the group makes a sound that you have definitely not heard before. These guys are gaining a buzz by being both creative and hardworking, recently releasing their debut EP 7 Years In The Mystic Room, which is receiving a very warm reaction throughout the indie world. They gave us a fantastic interview with some smart advice. Do yourself a favor and while you read this interview take a listen to some of their tunes.

What is the biggest misconception in the music industry

That it costs a copious amount of money to make a good

How has the importance of playing live/touring
changed in the industry and what do you see people doing that is smart?

focus has been shifted to touring and live performances due to piracy
and accessibility of media, but this is a positive shift; leaving room
for more bands with strong and creative live shows. Incorporate the audio
with the visual

What should bands be concentrating on that
they may not be thinking of?

Building a community among your
peers and actively collaborating on as many projects and ideas as
possible.  Not just musicians, artists, photographers, videographers,
but anyone who’s willing to try.

What is the biggest mistake
your group ever made?

Being inactive, unproductive, and not
trying something because it seemed overbearing.

What is the
smartest thing your group has ever done?

Embracing the DIY
attitude, making plans and following through. Bands don’t realize how
fun doing it all yourself can be when you embrace the idea that you can
do anything you put your mind to. If you are a musician then you are
also an artist so experiment with the audio the visual and the art of

What advice can you give for a group looking to
improve their live show?

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or
try something new on stage. Sometimes the best ideas are born in the
chaos of improv and this experience will make you a strong player in the
long run. Play as many shows as you can. Play all the time, practice
wherever and however you can.

What advice can you give for a
group to build up a buzz?

Create something new everyday. Know
who the buzz bands are and where the play. Know the artists around you
this means photographers musicians designers etc. Go to shows. Ask who
books them. Find your scene or build one from the ground up. Read blogs.
Make plans and follow through.

What is the coolest piece of
gear you have come across recently?

Its between the Roland
SPD-S and the Korg Zero 4. The Roland SPD-Spds is hands down the best
and cheapest standalone sampling unit on the market. Although it is a
bit cryptic at times once you learn this piece of gear the possibilities
are endless. The Korg Zero 4 has changed our whole outlook on what can
be pulled off live. Plus only having to give the sound guy 1 XLR output
doesn’t hurt. Although I don’t own a Monome I am excited about the
growth of open source controllers.

What is a piece of
equipment you can’t live without? And Why?

We would be lost
without our Roland SPD-S it gives us the freedom to create whatever
sound we want and then bend that sound in whichever way we choose. I
believe in gear that always you to bend its purpose and create new and
innovative techniques.

What is the dumbest thing you see other
groups do?

Not giving a fuck. Feeling entitled to success.
Not respecting to past or not learning from the present state of music.

have you learned songwriting wise recently?

To trust my own
gut. Believe in your intuition, do whats feels good even if that means
barely playing at all.

What is the biggest mistake you see a
band do in promoting themselves?

Not using their creativity,
if your creative enough to write an album put your talent to use in
other areas such as art and promotion.

What is the smartest
thing you see a band do in promoting themselves?

We see some
bands getting their fans involved in posting media, which we think you
will see much more of in the future. Any band that stays current by
creating making new art, photography, video etc. Another thing is bands
that encourage the remix some artists are not ok with this saying that
someone might destroy their art. That is bullshit art must be accessible
in order to have people interpret, draw inspiration from and  create
new art of there own.

What is the biggest mistake you see a
band do in recording?

Focusing one just one section. Not
admitting things to themselves such as the importance of the whole song
over the importance of each members part. Not bringing up something you
don’t like just to avoid conflict, sometimes you need conflict in order
to change a perspective, just realize that you all want the same thing
and thats to record an amazing song.

How did you ago about
choosing the producer/recording studio for your latest release?

We met with Pat Noon (Eight
Sixteen Studios
) after our friends in River City Extension suggested
that we work with him. We chose Pat one because we love his work with
River City Extension but also because he was willing to work with our
budget and he seemed to genuinely care about our music. He really made us
confident and even came out to our shows to see what we are all about.
Someone caring about your band is just as important as studio quality
and pricing.

If you enjoyed what these guys had to say do yourself and check out their music here or watch the fantastic video they made above.

Jesse Cannon is the editor of Musformation. He produces records at his studio Cannon Found Soundation. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseCannonMusF. For more info please visit his website.