Posted On 09 Mar 2015
Tag: All Access, All Access Music, All Access Music Group, Artist Interview, Bad Bad Leroy Brown, Blue Eyes, Calgary, Call Your Girlfriend, Canada, Cary Brothers, Country, Country Music, Echo & The Bunnymen, elbow, Europe, Garden State, Gary Jules, Hotel Cafe, Interview, Jim Croce, John Hughes, Joshua Radin, KATY PERRY, LA, London, Los Angeles, Lovin' On You, Lovin' On You EP, Michael Jackson, Music, music interview, Nashville, New Order, Peter Gabriel, puppies, Robyn, Sara Bareilles, SD3, Seseame Street, Seseame Street Disco, Tennessee, The Cure, The Hotel Cafe, The Night Will Always Win, The Psychedelic Furs, Thriller, Vancouver, Zach Braff
Cary Brothers is an American indie rock singer-songwrite originally from Nashville, Tennessee. After moving to Los Angeles and becoming a regular performer at the influential Hotel Cafe venue, Brothers first gained national attention with his song “Blue Eyes” on the Platinum-selling, Grammy-winning Garden State soundtrack.
As an independent artist, he has since toured worldwide, released two full length records, and become one of the most-licensed artists in film and television. In the electronic dance music world, Brothers has collaborated with Tiesto on a club remix of his song Ride and an original song for Tiesto’s album Kaleidoscope.
All Access Music writer, Nicole DeRosa had a chance to ask Cary a few questions upon the release of his latest EP release, Lovin’ On You. Read more in their interview below!
Hi Cary! Where does this interview find you? What’s on the agenda today besides our interview?
The tour bus just rolled out of Calgary, and we have a day off in the mountains of Canada before we hit Vancouver tomorrow. We’ve been playing shows in snowy zero degree or worse climates, so 40 degrees here feels like summer right now. Heaven.
For those not as familiar with you and your music, how did you get your start in music? Who or what was the catalyst for you?
I have been writing music since I was about 13 years old, but I didn’t start playing professionally until my late 20’s. Picking up a guitar and writing songs was therapy for me as I grew up, and one day I decided to see if anyone else wanted to listen. Around that time, I found a great place called The Hotel Cafe in Los Angeles which ended up being the home base to many young artists that would hang out and play there, from folk singers like Gary Jules to pop stars like Katy Perry and Sara Bareilles.
Once I had the comfort of that room, I knew that there was nothing else I wanted to do with my life. A couple of years later, my song “Blue Eyes” was chosen for the soundtrack of the movie Garden State, and that was the thing that pushed me into the world outside of LA.
You just released your Lovin’ On You EP. What did you learn between albums that you felt you wanted to infuse into the EP and your upcoming album?
Most of the music I have written has been emotional and sad reaction to loss and heartbreak. I realized not long ago that I had never actually written a happy song and written songs outside of a certain “sound.” Even the ones that sounded happy had sad lyrics.
“This EP is a bit of an experiment to remind myself that I can do anything I want, and it’s all over the map musically – a happy acoustic pop song, a country stomper, a piano ballad about the loss of my father, and what i hope is my best atmospheric late night driving song. I feel invigorated to take risks now, and I can’t wait to see what comes next.”
Can you share with me what your inspiration was for your current single, “Lovin’ On You” and of course please tell me all about the video featuring cuteness overload with about 22 puppies crawling all over the place!
Songs evolve over time. That song was initially written when I was in a failing relationship – maybe as a reaction to it – and I felt like I couldn’t put it out in the world because it would be a lie. I picked it up last year and finished it, and now it speaks the truth to where I am in my life and my own happiness in love.
I decided to double down on the happy part of the song by putting 22 puppies in the video. It was sort of insane having all those dogs in my apartment for 2 days. Although they never stopped being adorable, it did smell like a zoo after the first six hours. I wanted to keep the lead puppy Leo but then found out he costs more than my old truck.
Who are your musical influences?
I grew up as an 80’s music kid, so I was way into The Cure, New Order, Echo & The Bunnymen, and The Psychedelic Furs yet was always finding new things to listen to from punk to metal to 70’s singer-songwriters.
Country music was unavoidable to me growing up in Nashville, so rebelliously I hated it at the time and found most of my favorite music coming from far away places like London; however, I see now how much country music informed me picking up an acoustic guitar and doing this for a living. I had to get away from country music to appreciate it.
Do you remember the first album you bought for yourself?
“Outside of early kid record gems like “Sesame Street Disco” (which is awesome by the way), the first pop music I bought for myself was Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” I’m still proud of that purchase.”
What was the first song you fell in love with and why?
Well, the funny thing is that the picture on the cover of the EP (seen above) is me singing “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” on a table when I was 5 years old, so I guess we have photographic proof of my love of that song.
When I was a kid, I loved songs that told stories, and few people have ever told better stories than Jim Croce.
Who would your dream collaboration be with, living or dead?
Peter Gabriel. He was my hero when I was in high school and still to this day his music has influenced my taste and life more than anyone else.
Who is in your current playlist? Any artists, musicians or genres we might be surprised to find in there?
As far as surprises, I will never turn off the stereo when a Robyn song is playing. I think she’s a fearless pop goddess. I even worked up a cover of “Call Your Girlfriend.”
My most-played band at the moment is Elbow. They’ve been around forever, but after seeing them live last year, I just think they are currently the band to beat on this planet. “The Night Will Always Win” is just the most stunning tune if you haven’t heard it.
What’s on tap next for you, Cary? What are you most excited about in 2015?
Well, this tour has been wonderful. It’s reminded me why I love playing music after a couple years off the road. I’ve got 18 shows left on this North American tour with Joshua Radin, and then I’m headed to Europe for a 15-city tour.
I’ll probably be recording a full length album before the end of the year, and I’m most excited about my synth pop side project SD3 which has been playing in LA for the last year. It basically sounds like a lost John Hughes movie soundtrack. We’re finally going to mix the first record of those songs in April. Lots of music to come this year.
To learn more about CARY BROTHERS, including upcoming tour dates, visit his website HERE .