Posted On 04 Aug 2017
Meet the LA songsmith Brad Byrd! His video for “1000 Pink Balloons” was just premiered on idobi Radio, and you can check it out here! It features a hand-puppet, video drones and heartbreak. This track can be found on his just released 3rd studio album called “Highest Mountains.”
Byrd’s multi-layer musicianship has landed his tracks on shows like the The New Girl, and Happy Endings, American Housewife (ABC), Ben & Kate (FOX), and Keeping Up with the Kardashians (E!). He has performed with likes of Bobby Long, Mike Doughty, Jay Farrar (Son Volt), and Jurassic 5.
Learn more about Brad Byrd in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time today! How has 2017 been treating you? Musically, did you approach this year any differently then you did last year?
Pleasure… yes, I knew I needed to get a new record out this year and wanted to get it out before the summer. Some years you know it’s just too much of an undertaking, and then some years you know you have to get it out…
Where does this interview find you today? Is there music playing in the background? If so, what is it? What kind of music do you listen to when you are working? What music gets you instantly out of a bad mood?
The only thing I hear right now is birds chirping. Quite peaceful actually. I’ve tried to have music playing while I’m working at my computer but usually it’s total silence and focus on what is in front of me. When I hear music I get lost in it and distracted. I start to analyze it and it takes me away from “work stuff”. Any great melodic rock tune will suffice… The Smiths just popped into my mind, so there’s that.
Growing up, have you always wanted to be a musician? Can you recall your earliest musical memory?
In high school I just played drums in the basement and jammed with my brother who played guitar. I recall playing air guitar on a hockey stick to The Cure and U2 a lot in my bedroom envisioning myself on stage playing in a stadium when I was 10 or 11 years old, and I do have this one vague hazy recollection of crawling around on the carpet while my parents played Beatles records.
If you weren’t a musician today, what else could you see yourself doing?
I always wanted to be a professional athlete till around my college years when I truly got the bug to want to write songs.
I always like to ask artists about where they came from and how that city or town has influenced them as an artist now. So how do you think your hometown has affected who you are as a musician and the art that you create?
I grew up in rural Massachusetts (north shore). Basically in the woods and in fields. I think that definitely had a strong affect on the acoustic backbone of my sound. It’s also where that country element came from. I’ve lived in Urban cities such as NYC and LA for so long that eventually that indie rock coloring entered the sound picture and blended the two worlds together, I think.
How creatively involved were you with your music video for “1000 Pink Balloons”? Where did the idea come from to use hand-puppets?
I’m usually very hands on with the direction and concept of music videos but on 1000 Pink Balloons I really just let go and allowed the director Pat Fogarty to do his thing. He came up with a very detailed treatment for it and we all liked the quirky-ness of it so we let him do his thing. He’s a seasoned pro so I knew it was going to be great. The puppet idea was all Pat. I too wanted to do something different and add more humor so he thought the puppet angle would work great as he used puppets before in other music videos and it seemed to go over well.
How do you think you have grown on your newest album called “Highest Mountains”? What was the inspiration for this collection?
I feel like I have finally grown into my sound and embraced it. The first two albums were me trying to find my way sonically, but I think I know where I need to be. Combining that vintage analog sound with a modern digital crisp sheen is my sound I think, and having developed and real ear for it is truly a great feeling. I have to thank the producers and engineers that I’ve worked with throughout my career that helped get me to this point. I think this set of songs really captured a seven year period of my life where I returned home to where I grew up again in rural Massachusetts. This batch really captured leaving urban city life and going back to the wilderness so to speak. I battled a lot of things returning home with family, and getting sober, and feeling a lot of strange emotions tied in with not wanting to live in major cities at the time. I wrote a lot and I needed to re connect with who I was and where I was from again. I’m proud of it, and I think that’s what this record is about.
Can you remember the first time you heard your music on TV? What did that feel like for you?
It was in 2004, my song “Your Good” was used on an episode of a show called Jake 2.0. It was an absolutely surreal feeling, I just could not believe it.
What are your plans for the rest of the summer? Do you have any tour dates currently lined up?
Yes, I’m hitting the road for a US tour starts July 21st in Colorado! Very excited. I will be playing in Chicago, NYC, Boston, and bunch other towns all over the country. You can find details online!
Who are some of your very favorite artists or rather, what musicians have continued to inspire you and your music? What musicians would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
There’s a lot of artists whose music and songs have influenced me greatly such as Petty, Young, Dylan, and newer acts like Nada Surf, Ryan Adams, Pete Yorn, and Joseph Arthur to name a handful. To be able to work w/any of them in any capacity would be a trip.
What do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people continue to take away from your songs?
I think the main over arching message is one of hope and surrendering the ego. To share and reflect the struggle of the human condition with people and hopefully be able to help or relate or comfort someone along the way.
What advice would you give to someone just getting started on this music path? Or even to someone young that is thinking of becoming a musician one day?
Don’t get caught up in what others might think of your art. Just do your thing and share it. You’ll learn and grow and start attaching yourself to people. Start soon, cause it takes a very very long time.
Is there anything else that you would like to share with our readers about yourself or your music?
Thank you for supporting independent music, and my journey. My new album Highest Mountain just came out, and if you would like to find more information about the music or upcoming shows you can go to www.bradbyrdoficial.com