We first heard Bryant Eugene Vasquez's music when we were sitting out our stoop in the Fall of 2015. Our neighbors were having a show next door and after a couple of songs we thought we heard something worth checking out. Unfortunatly Bryant and his band were just wrapping up their set but we exchanged info and ended up filming the songs below in the Spring. We asked Philadelphia based Bryant Eugene Vasquez some questions about where he's from and the songs he played for us.
O: Where are you from?
BEV: I was born in East Los Angeles, California. My family moved to Southwest Arizona when I was pretty young, primarily I was raised in Yuma, AZ. It's right between Phoenix, AZ and San Diego, CA. I moved to Flagstaff, AZ (Northern AZ) in 2007 for university. It was there that I started songwriting.
O: What's inspired your move to the East Coast?
BEV: Since I can remember I've always been interested in big city life. The decision to finally move out here came after a car accident in August 2012. While on tour with my friends band, decker. , our tire blew out. Having experienced something like that, I felt it was a sign that I needed to get moving. New York City was the original plan. My brother and I were in a band together, Vagabond Gods, and he was supposed to move out with me. He ended up staying the night before we were supposed to take the train from AZ to PA. Philly was only supposed to be a temporarily place, but after having a bunch of things fall through (jobs, plans, etc..) I ended up just making a life for myself here. I really love Philly, there's a great dichotomy to this city. It's definitely not lost it's edge, you can feel it and see it on the regular. I played NYC a lot in 2014, and visited frequently...and well, I just ended up loving Philly more.
O: Can you tell us a bit about the songs? What inspired them?
BEV: These first three songs are off of my last album, All Damn Day: The Greatest Hits. The album came about during my first year of living in Philly, 2014. At the time I was also writing/performing in another band, Beverly Mud. Before ADD, my last few albums were a bit more of the somber side. Caliber is more of a ballad album, seriously influenced by classical pieces/minimal arrangements; Dear Brother Death was also sparse in the way it was written/recorded, and the content was heavier having been written post-car wreck; In a Room, On the Side was super lo-fi and recorded on a 4-track, kind of a mixture of 60s blues/rock/country whatever stuff.
ADD was my first attempt at setting out to write "pop" songs, verse-chorus-verse structures. It was also my first time fully self-recorded album using a digital studio. The feel of the album is still very much DIY/lo-fi, but there's also more of a polished sound to it.
O: How does playing solo effect how you play your songs?
BEV: Playing solo versus playing with my band (Los Gringos), it's definitely a huge difference. I tend to leave my softer acoustic stuff for solo shows. They're more intimate, and I try to sing "nice" or whatever. Ha. I'm more nervous solo, just because it's me and then whoever is watching. Playing with a band just makes it easier for me to be louder, or absurd. I love the dynamics of our band. Everyone is real good, and really groovy (haha). It's easier to feed off the energy of your bandmates when you know everyone is giving it all they got. There's a great sense of camaraderie in playing with my bandmates. I think it's pretty rad that we all have this common love/band, and we devote the time we have to create together, and perform it.
Bad as relationships, in bad health. Feeling okay with being mediocre, but lying about it being okay.
I wrote this song in the first months I moved to Philly. It's just a bleak take on walking around, feeling discontent. There's always more going on, internally, when one stays home and creates.
This song has no linear narrative. It's sort of stream of consciousness. I'm talking to myself, declaring personal advice, scenarios, and getting lost in thought. I tend to live inside my head a lot. This was me expelling that, trying to put it out in the open.
A father and a son. The son talking to his father, and to himself. He's trying to be something more than what he grew up with. His father, on the other hand, chooses to live a simpler life. In this they are divided. It's a battle between wanting more for yourself, or someone else. Maybe, it's just about pipe dreams.