Welcome to a fresh edition of Skoped Out. I apologize for the delay as we were having some upgrade issues that are now resolved. Thanks to Shaun Flagg in ATL! Have you ever thought what it would be like to leave your home and head on the road to play music? Well my next guest, Brett Randell is in the midst of doing just that. On July 15th you can catch Brett in Worcester, MA at the famous, Lucky Dog Music Hall. Be sure to pick up a copy of his new EP, ‘Glow’ to take home with you!
Stoli: Where are we talking from today and what are your plans for tonight?
Brett Randell: I am now sitting on a porch in Ocean City, MD. My friend owns the only residential house on the boardwalk in Ocean City and my brother and myself are jamming out (acoustic guitar and saxophone) for the people passing by. Last night was the 4th of July, so today I’m taking a day off and getting my setlists ready for the upcoming DC, Philly, and NYC shows.
Stoli: Is Brett Randell your real name or stage name?
Brett Randell: Brett Randell is my real, birth name.
Stoli: You are currently on tour. How long did it take to secure dates and lock down this musical journey?
Brett Randell: This is my first tour so I had to learn how to set up and book everything on my own. All in all it took 3 months to secure dates – it was a mixture of help from my friend Music Read (from the band Fifth Nation), networking with musicians from different cities, meeting musicians at SXSW, and cold calls/e-mails. It was a long, tough process but very gratifying once I had it all set up.
Brett Randell “The End”
Stoli: How hard is it to leave your family & friends and head out on tour?
Brett Randell: It’s always tough to leave friends and family. I’m missing my friends in Austin although the cool thing about this tour is that I’m originally from NY, so I’m actually touring up to my family, college friends, and high school friends. I can hang out with them for a bit and then I’ll be back in Austin in no time. I plan on continually touring from Austin to NY and back, so I will be seeing my family and friends often.
Stoli: You moved from New York to Austin, TX. Why did you make that move and has the local music scene embraced you?
Brett Randell: I kind of blindly moved out to Austin after hearing how great the music scene was. I did a quick 5-day visit to check it out, heard some amazing musicians, packed all my bags, and drove out 2 weeks later. The music scene is full of incredible musicians who are very supportive of each other. The local music scene has treated me very well and I’ve found a great group of musicians to play and hang with. I’m playing with my trio (acoustic, cello, and piano) as Brett Randell & The Last Crescendo and we’re having a great time.
Stoli: Your recently released the 5 song EP, ‘Glow.” How did you decide on the five songs and what is the advantage to releasing an EP than an album?
Brett Randell: I chose the songs that would convey the style and meaning I was shooting for (epic acoustic poetry is what I like to call it) and some songs that would be most marketable. I think an EP is advantageous because it can give people a quick taste of your music and they’re usually much cheaper, so it’s easier for fans to buy. If people really enjoy the EP, then I can invest more time and money to make a full length album.
Stoli: You did not pursue music until you were twenty. What does performing music offer your life personally and spiritually that other hobby could not?
Brett Randell: I didn’t perform music until I was twenty, but I was always an artist and writer. Music was a way for me to express my art and words in a totally different way and I found that it was the best medium for my art. Music always has a deep emotional connection with people, so it has both helped me connect better with myself and other people. Connection with people is what I seek most in life and other hobbies didn’t have this same effect.
Stoli: I really dig the tattoo you have on your arm. Where and when did you get that done?
Brett Randell: Thanks! I got it done in Austin at Golden Apple Tattoo on 6th street. It took a lot of planning and preparation to get it done and I waited a long time to make sure it was what I wanted. It’s Chopin’s “Nocturne in F minor” and it’s a very important piece to both my music and myself.
Stoli: I really like your song, “Change The World.” If you could change one crisis what would that be and what would you do?
Brett Randell: Thank you again – I believe that’s a tough question – the simplest goal with my music and the underlying meaning of that song is to get people to relax and connect with eachother. Wars, hatred, and problems all stem from human problems and humans perceptions of things. When people listen to music they connect on a higher emotional and personal level and problems seem to fade away. So, without rambling too much, I guess my crisis would be to change people’s negative perceptions of each other so they could live peacefully.
Stoli: Do you think the RIAA measurements for granting Gold, Platinum, or Diamond on CD sales status is outdated?
Brett Randell: Absolutely – since I am so new to music, I’ve intensely studied the new music industry and methods of marketing and have a jaded view of. The old RIAA measurements were tied to CD sales and CDs as products – which, we all know now that CDs are not as important (barring merchandise at live shows) because music is perceived as a digital file now and many times assumed to be free. I think a whole new method of tracking should be used to find out how many computers have the song file (without any punishment for people illegally sharing) to see how spread out an artists music is across the population.
Stoli: What is coming up for you and where can we follow you online?
Brett Randell: After my Austin-to-Boston tour, I’m going to return to Austin to write more music and continue to learn. I’m planning another small tour from Austin to NYC in November and then a mini Europe tour in Amsterdam and different cities in Germany for December. I’m excited for what’s to come!
Free songs, my blog and more info can be found at www.BrettRandell.com.