Monday, January 10th, 2011

Emerging Artist Interview: Brook Pridemore

Brook Pridemore (born in 1979 in Detroit, Michigan, USA) is an American singer-songwriter affiliated with the Antifolk scene in New York City. He has released five albums on the Bronx-based record label Crafty Records, and co-produced a compilation of antifolk acts for that label called Anticomp Folkilation. He has contributed to numerous other compilations, and recently shared a split 7-inch with Ghost Mice for Plan-It-X Records.

He Lived in Kalamazoo, MI for years doing back yard shows and working dead end jobs to pay for his musical endeavors. Brook was known to sing about the things his friends did, or that he saw while hanging out downtown, just for something to do.

He has toured the United States numerous times and mounted his first European tour in the fall of 2009.Due to his experience playing many house shows on tour, Pridemore and his roommates were inspired to turn his own apartment into a performing venue for local antifolk acts and touring bands; they titled it the Brooklyn Tea Party. January 2010 saw the commencement of the Multinational Perspiration Tour, an undertaking which will see Pridemore, with tandem partners including The Hit and Miss Engines, Doug Cote, Liv Carrow, Crazy and the Brains and Father, Son and Holy Smokes, perform across the US, Canada, and various European countries before the tour ends in New York on June 19, 2010.

What was the first record/cassette/CD that you owned and how did it change you?
With my own money, They Might Be Giants' "Why Does the Sun Shine?" EP. TMBG taught me that guys like me, normal guys, not rock stars, could make music.

If you could pick any musician's brain over a beer, who would it be?
I would go off the wagon to drink Scotch with Lee Hazlewood.

What would the name of your band's biography be?
"Like a Man Who Means Business"

Which musician would you be most comfortable dating your mom?
Tom Petty. He seems like a stand-up guy, and I'm sure he smokes mad weed, so my Mom would like him.

Name your dream tour: up to 5 bands, dead or alive.
Archers of Loaf, Lee Hazlewood, Brook Pridemore's Gory Details, Neutral Milk Hotel, The Ramones (in that lineup).

How would it feel to play with your favorite band?
If I were playing before them, I'd do everything in my power to give them a run for their money. As soon as my set was over, I'd be down in the pit. It would be awesome.

What's the funniest moment your band has ever experienced?
Seeing people crowd surf to me playing solo at the last show ever at the Tinderbox, in Brattleboro, VT.

the craziest/most bizarre?
I was playing a show in Wichita, KS, at Kirby's Beer Store. The place was entirely patronized by old gay men. This one guy said he'd put us up for the night, then led us down a series of unlit dirt roads to a farmhouse on a vast piece of property. We were pretty sure he was leading us off to pull a Deliverance on us. We were scared as hell. A gigantic, mean dog ran up to the gate as we pulled up. He led us into his house, which was messy in an unsanitary way. Then he proceeded to dig out a box of old fliers from shows his punk band had played with Black Flag in the 80s. Turns out he was the guitarist from Roach Egg Invasion, the greatest 80s punk band that only I've heard of.

Who are you musically influenced by that no one would ever guess by listening to your music?
My favorite album of all time is "So Tonight That I Might See" by Mazzy Star.

Tell us about the most unique member of your band and why he/she has earned this title.
Gory Details drummer Doug "Bermuda" Johnson rides his bike everywhere he goes, always has a genuine, beatific smile on his face, and yells out stuff during songs. He doesn't have a microphone, so the stuff he yells is for our amusement. I'm always cracking up. Doug was into jazz in high school, then discovered punk rock while studying jazz in college. Also, he was born in Portland, OR, and no one was born in Portland, OR.

If someone invested a million dollars into your band, how would you use the money?
I would buy a building in Brooklyn. All my musician friends could live there for next to nothing. I would invest the remainder, and do everything in my power to work only on music, forever.

How do you feel being on stage when the audience is having an amazing time?
Like I am made of electricity. Like I am a funny guy. Like I am good looking and smart. Like no one can touch me. Like I'm doing what I'm supposed to be doing.

Which 5 songs would you cover if you had a cover band?
In a traditional bar band, I would insist on 1. "Second Hand News" by Fleetwood Mac, 2. "Fat Bottom Girls" by Queen, 3. "American Girl" by Tom Petty, 4. "Rock and Roll" by Led Zeppelin, and "Baba O' Riley" by The Who.

If you swapped ipods with other members of your band, what's the most surprising music you'd find?
Gangsta rap on John Telethon's iPod.

Name the place you'd most like to play a show, anywhere in the world.
Venue: Madison Square Garden. Scene: a cliff in the Scottish Highlands.

What's the most memorable musical moment of your life?
Being asked to be the background music while a guy I had never met proposed to his girlfriend in Bristol, RI.

If you got a band tattoo, which band would it be?
I already have a Bill Callahan tattoo on my forearms. It says "I used to be sort of blind, now I can sort of see." Maybe next I'll get the Mountain Goats lyric, "I feel so proud to be alive, and I feel so proud when the reckoning arrives."

Tell us a situation where another band really helped you out.
Nathan from One Night Stand in North Dakota did a show for me at his house in Durham, UK. I had the next day off, and he let me stay an extra night, then threw together a show for me nearby in Newcastle. He did all of this even though we'd never met, and he'd split with his girlfriend a few days before, and was completely miserable. That's the power of punk rock: you have family everywhere.

What moment has made all of the hard work being a musician worth it?
Being invited, by strangers, to play a stranger's eighteenth birthday party in Tom's River, NJ, not wanting to go, but remembering that Joe Jack Talcum almost didn't show up to MY birthday party, going, and meeting four of my favorite people in the world there.

If your band was a comic, what would each member's super power be?
It would be the X-Men, because the X-Men are badass, and so is Brook Pridemore's Gory Details. John Telethon would be Cyclops, Doug "Bermuda" Johnson would be the Beast, John Two would be Iceman, and I would be Wolverine, because I'm from Michigan.