Sunday, September 1, 2013

Andreas Frontman Brian Dahl: Towering Monoliths Of Taste. A Personal Reflection About Creative Freedom

By Brian Andreas Dahl

When we first endeavoured to begin promoting our material via the live music scene, I don’t think any
of us were prepared for how hard it would be to actually find work.

I’m where I am today for two reasons: one, my mother’s intense love of reading and two, my father’s obsessive relationship with music. From a very young age I was indoctrinated with some very subjective viewpoints on music that have become objective truths to me today: Elvis Presley is The King, Alice Cooper is the villainous jester, Led Zeppelin was the best that ever was and ever will be, and rock attained perfection somewhere around 1995 (despite what Homer Simpson would have you believe).

There is little room for interpretation within these simple guidelines, and to adhere to them is to live a miserly life of pop culture exclusion. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’d like to say there was a rebelliousness (relative to my social circle) in my staunch views on what was and what was not palatable music (though given my “mainstream” musical tastes, there is a dark irony there I don’t really want to touch on…), but I think more so than anything else it was taste.

At this point in my life, it is absolute conviction.

As a result of the ensuing culture clash which was to follow my musically myopic upbringing, I spent most of my adolescence and young adulthood defending my musical choices and tastes in that which I held most dear. I became hardened and cynical, and as my writing and musicianship progressed, my influences became towering, unassailable monoliths; it was a shared interest in this kind of hero worship that was integral in selecting the other members of the band.

Andreas has a very distinct sound. On every track we try and leave a little bit of everything that brought us there in the first place; when it comes to the writing process, we have no interest in writing something that sounds like it belongs to a particular zeitgeist.

We’ve become a little bit of a culture clash band in that respect (powerfully ironic given the pop accessibility of our music), and as a result it’s been tough finding a place to fit in. I can’t say for certain whether or not it’s going to get any easier when it comes to finding an audience or scene that wants to embrace the story we’re trying to tell, but there is a certain freedom in doing things the way we want to do them.

When Zeppelin broke in the late sixties they sounded like four guys who cut their teeth studying the deep blues; it was honest. They were a pure reflection of their interests and influences without ever reducing themselves to simple imitation. They never sounded like anything other than Led Zeppelin even when they were very clearly playing someone else’s riffs.

That’s all I want out of the music we make, and I believe that should be the intention of anyone even remotely considering making music for a living, regardless of the costs associated with it.

About the author:

When Brian Dahl and Jason Brandow joined forces to begin a two year songwriting effort, the results were so empowering and freeing they couldn't stop. Filled with a sense of possibility, and with some good fortune thrown in, the men soon met keyboardist Jennifer Lockman and bassist Adam Payne. After a year-long search they added drummer Mike Medhurst. The band Andreas was formed.

The talented quintet soon discovered a contagious chemistry amongst themselves, began playing out and working on their sound. Named after the lead singer, Andreas is Dahl's middle name.

No comments: