Morning Chat with Venice Musician, Brandon Meyer | + Free Download of New Album “In Vain”

Today marks the release of the new album “In Vain” by Venice-based electro/rock/pop musician, Brandon Meyer.  The breezy and eclectic album is a smooth and flowing headphone-happy journey that runs the gamut of Meyer’s eclectic musical influences and vast musical talents, yet all the while manages to maintain a unique sound all in its own.

What does “In Vain” sound like? WELO readers can download it for a limited time here:

We had the chance to sit down with Meyer to learn a little bit more about the record, his favorite Venice hangs, and his newfound love of “Breaking Bad.”

WELO : Thanks for doing this interview with WELO.  How are you feeling today?

Brandon: I’m doing great, thanks.  And much appreciated, always happy to chat.

WELO : So this album is really cool, very unique, we had the chance to listen, and I’m really digging it.  I understand you played all the instruments on the album?

Brandon: Thanks man. Yeah,  I’m pretty stoked on how it came out.  You know, it’s one of those things, I’ve been working on these songs on and off for the past year or so, some are pretty old tunes, and some are very new, lots of different recordings and versions of the tunes…and it’s really just me playing all the instruments, producing all of this stuff in my bedroom, both here and when I lived in New York City.  Lots of tinkering and messing with different sounds and home-production techniques, so I think it sounds pretty cool for a fully independent, bedroom-y record.  And it’s also kind of a cool snapshot of what I was working on in New York juxtaposed with some of the new songs that I wrote here in LA.

WELO : So yes, let’s talk a little bit quickly first about your background, and now living in Venice after spending some time in New York City.

Brandon: Yeah, I lived in NYC for 4 years or so, a bunch of different neighborhoods, and finally made the big move over here last August.  It was somewhat a very spontaneous move, and also somewhat very long-in-the-making.  But I kind of literally said ‘fuck it’ one day, bought a one way plane ticket for me and my dog, gave away some stuff, sold some of my gear, and landed at LAX with some suitcases, ready to rock.  With not much money.  And no job really lined up.  So, a bit ballsy, sure.  But life is short, you know?  And it’s all worked out so far.

WELO : Excellent.  And how have you enjoyed living here so far?  Certainly a very different lifestyle.

Brandon: Totally.  I really do love it here in Venice.  It’s very much a community vibe here, very creative, smaller-town, beach-town feel, and I love that.  Especially coming from the craziness of NYC.   And I’ve been in many cities in this country and abroad, but specifically moving from NYC to any place in LA, or vice versa even, is a pretty major change of pace.  But yeah, I love it.  I rarely leave the west side, I go out to bars and shows, hang with friends almost always in Venice or Santa Monica.  Why leave?

WELO : You’re not signed to a label right now?

Brandon: No, I’m not currently, and to be honest, I’m not even thinking about it in the least.  I could give two shits.  My focus is 100% right now on just being creative, making cool music, making art, learning more… Just staying on point creatively, you know?  Honestly, I have a solid day job working on various TV and film projects, and music to me is so, so, so much more important and relevant and sacred and ever-lasting, that I’d rather just be focusing on making cool shit, than having to worry about the paycheck from it, or any associated stress in any way from making music.  Music for me has always been a healthy release.  I don’t want to ever change that.  Not that I wouldn’t cash that licensing paycheck yesterday.

WELO : For sure.  But the album is free…

Brandon: Exactly. The whole point is, and I was having this conversation just the other day with a friend, is that I honestly just don’t pay for music anymore.  Who does?  I haven’t payed for a record in years, except maybe my friends bands, who I actually wanted to contribute to.  And I think it’s kind of perfectly fine.  From a business standpoint, I don’t really expect people to pay for my music, and I’d rather they have it for free.  If people are into it, they’re into it.   If and when I start touring again, if people sneak for free into the shows, then I’d be pissed.

WELO : Well, we’re digging the album here at WELO, and hopefully we’ll have you do a set at one of our parties soon.

Brandon: I’d love to.  Let’s get weird!  Sorry, I love the show Workaholics.

WELO : And you do some composing in film then?

Brandon: Yeah, trying to at least, how can I get an apprenticeship with Hans Zimmer?  I’ve written music for quite a few shorts, and would love to place some of these newer tracks in a film or two.  But I do work as an editor in TV out here a lot, and do a lot of screenwriting as well.  So I’m fairly active in the industry, things are cool.  I’m a believer in letting things happen organically and for the right reasons, with the right people.

WELO : Favorite films or TV shows?

Brandon: Shit.  Off the top of my head, True Romance, Goodfellas, Heat.  Older stuff, Metropolis and Maltese Falcon are huge ones.  Comedy?  Dumb and Dumber, Wayne’s World.  Recently, I liked “Drive” a lot.  For TV, I’m horrendously far behind on a ton of TV shows.  I kind of don’t watch a lot of TV, ironically, being that I pay my rent in TV money.  But, I will say that I totally missed the boat on Breaking Bad, and recently have gone on a serious binge on Netflix and have watched like 17 episodes in 4 days.  I’m obsessed.  I think it’s one of the best programs ever.  Vince Gilligan and Bryan Cranston are more impressive geniuses than a lot of people making pop music right now.   No offense to the horrible pop artists out there.

WELO : Who were your musical influences growing up, and who are your influences now?

Brandon: Always a great question to think about…  Guitar-wise early on, Santana, Garcia, Kirk Hammett, Trey (Anastasio), Tom Morello, Al DiMeola, those are the early ones, probably.  Band-wise, I grew up on a good amount of hard rock and metal bands…and as well always listened around my house growing up to tons of broadway-stuff, Phantom of the Opera, Les Mis, tons of musicals.  Then you get into a heavy Bob Marley phase, then comes jazz, then comes studying classical music, then comes the baby in a baby carriage.  Kidding.  No, later I really got heavily into electronic music, drum n’ bass and jungle, dubstep a lot.  And from a production standpoint, that’s really still the huge influence now.  Anyone that can teach me tricks on Ableton.  I’m just a fan of good music.   From Holst to Band of Horses to Les Mis to Skrillex, it’s all inspiring in a different way.

WELO : Any inspiring music experiences recently?

Brandon: Well, I will say that I was in Jamaica recently with a whole crew of people, probably 30-40 of some of my closest friends.  And I had this night where I was just a little spent from partying, a little too much sun and heat, and just relaxed with some friends on some outdoor couches listening to Marley all night.  All night.  And it was incredible.  I can’t even describe it.  It’s like I listened to Marley in a whole new context, like I was 15 again.  You could hear the waves crashing outside below the cliffs near the house we were at.  It was magical.  Had to be there.

WELO : Lastly, favorite hangouts in Venice?

Brandon: Hmm.  I kind of try to keep it pretty local and mellow usually, but there’s an occasional awesome party or three around town.  On the weekends, I tend more to stay in, work on creative stuff, just avoid the crowds and the hysteria.  But I do go out when I can and feel it…. Other Room, Townhouse, Hinano’s…the smaller joints with good tunes are always the spots.  And if there’s a pool table there, chances are I’ve won money from unsuspecting people there.  But I do love the coffee shops and great food around, not to mention I can walk to the beach every day.  It’s a beautiful thing.  And the sunsets.  That’s the real hangout in Venice.

WELO : Well, thanks Brandon.  It’s been a pleasure, and I’m sure we’ll be seeing you at a local joint.

Brandon: Thanks!  Peace to all in Venice.  See you at the bars, the beach, or a local coffee shop west of Lincoln.



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