A short day's journey into a long NoHo night, NoHo Calling is the follow up to the Brady Harris Band's debut, NoHo Confidential. Recorded by John Adair at his Nodondo Studios, NoHo Calling features 10 new original songs and 2 covers, Our Lips Are Sealed (The Go-Go's) & I've Seen That Face Before/Libertango (Grace Jones).
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REVIEW FROM AMERICANA-UK.COM - (EXCERPT)
"This album unfolds further with each listen and it is a journey I highly recommend. There is a whole but each of the parts however short and succinct is different and equally attention-grabbing... Recommended."
March 23, 2018
INTERVIEW FROM THE DAILY COUNTRY
"THE ESSENTIAL 8+: BRADY HARRIS BAND"
Hailing from North Hollywood, CA, the Brady Harris Band is a Rootsy-Beatlesque quartet big on harmonies, chord changes and the occasional female cover version (Go-Gos, Blondie, Grace Jones). Having played gigs up and down the California coast since releasing their critically acclaimed debut EP, NoHo Confidential, the BHB are back with the full length follow-up, NoHo Calling and ready to rock the NoHo Sound anew.
The BHB first played a one-off gig to support Brady at a dingy bar on the industrial stretch of Burbank Blvd. Then the rehearsals continued and the setlist grew as did the gigs. John Adair handles lead guitar, harmony vocals and is the BHB’s in-house producer and multi-instrumentalist. Marc Bernal holds down the bottom end and also sings harmony. Steve Markowitz keeps the time on the kit and also sings harmony. Brady, who sings, plays guitar and other stringed things, here answers his Essential 8+ and talks about songwriting, meeting Oasis, getting paid $100 after playing a Snoop song, and much more.
Did you have a musical mentor? If so, who was it and how did they influence you?
I’ve had so many. Some real. Some imaginary.
What’s the story behind your album’s title?
Well, I’m a Clash fan and my fave album of theirs is called London Calling. It’s been 38 years since that one came out, I guess it was time. Also, it made me laugh.
Why did you chose to anchor the album with the songs you did?
I always like to compile my albums with a collection of songs based on the following criteria:
Something Old. Something New. Something Borrowed. Something Bluesy.
“I Think I Know” & “Old Drunk Motherfuckers” have both been around awhile, so that’s the “Something Old”. The rest of the originals are “Something New”. NoHo Calling has two covers, The Go-Go’s “Our Lips Are Sealed” and Grace Jones “I’ve Seen That Face Before (Libertango)”, so that’s “Something Borrowed”. And “Raise a Glass” is chock full of blues licks, so that about covers it. Also, I like to have an instrumental on each release and that’s why “Battle of Swankershim” is included on this one.
When/where do you do your best writing?
Mornings, generally speaking. It’s like you wake up with a clean slate and everything is fresh and full of possibility. And it’s easier to get transfixed in some time travel mood or lost in a memory or photograph. Don’t turn on your computer. Don’t check your phone. I tend to revise a lot more in the afternoon, around happy hour.
Do you write about personal experience, the experience of others, observations, made-up stories, something else or a combination?
A lot of my songs are composites of personal experiences (Love Will Break You, Good To Know). Some are completely made-up (Little Miss Mourning, Kate Stay Late). Some are combinations. I wrote “Streets of Spain” after reading an article about the singer from an 80s band called Green on Red. He married a diplomat and was stationed in Spain. She had a cush job and he fell into heroin addiction. So he was living this dual life. And I had recently visited Spain and seen plenty of street kids on the rougher edges of Barcelona and combined that into the narrative.
What’s the best advice you have ever gotten from another musician?
1. “Making music should be its own reward.” -Paul McCartney
He followed that with something along the lines of “Everything after that is gravy.” (Vegetarian, I assume.)
I find that advice keeps my focus in the right place. And at this level, there’s really no other reason to do it.
2. “Check your tuning.”
What’s the best advice to give to a musician just starting out?
Practice more. Play live as much as possible and record it (to learn from). Be a really good listener, especially when you’re playing. And learn to sing, even if you’re not a singer. Everyone’s voice is good for something and learning to sing harmony will serve you well in many regards. You’re welcome.
What do you love most about being on the road?
The California coastline. It never gets old. It never ceases to impress. I also love finding your little spots in each town where you kind of become a (semi) regular, where you like to get your lunch, your post gig drinks, etc.
What has been your biggest struggle so far?
Dealing with the fame.
What’s your dream venue and why?
My dream venue was Joe’s Pub in NYC, after reading for years in the New Yorker all the fantastic and cool acts that graced that stage. I got play there in June of 2015. I music direct for actress Lauren Weedman and she had a show there. It lived up to the hype that had built inside my mind all those years. Next dream: Carnegie Hall or Paris Metro.
Which song of yours gets the best crowd response?
People love “Old Drunk Motherfuckers”. Maybe 'cos it has a swear word in the chorus? Or maybe because it’s a singalong. Or maybe both. At any rate it was based on true events at the Universal Bar & Grill.
What song are you tired of playing and why?
Mustang Sally. That’s why we charge $50 to do it. Johnny sings.
Is drinking at gigs a positive or a negative?
It’s a delicate balance that requires a lot of practice.
Favorite (or first) concert you have ever attended?
Fave off-hand is Tom Waits at the Wiltern Theater in Los Angeles, June 14, 1999.
He hadn’t toured in forever. This is his hometown and his home neighborhood. His voice was so strong throughout and there were just enough theatrics, lighting, set and moves that worked perfectly. Truly entertaining.
Also, Feist and Spoon at the Gibson Theater in Los Angeles, November 13, 2007. A perfect study in contrasts. Spoon plugged in and just rocked out with no stage theatrics or lighting. Perfect. Then Feist came out emerging from inside of a giant fabric ball with a jambox. And thus their amazing set began. Every song choreographed and lit beautifully.
Favorite thing to do on a day off?
Sleep in. Walk the city. Watch a football match.
Do you have a favorite gift from a fan?
I got a hundred dollar bill from a guy named Patrice after I played a Snoop Dogg song at the Universal Bar & Grill. He came up to the stage, I wasn’t sure friend or foe, he’s a big dude and he held out his hand to shake mine and asked my name. When I shook his hand, I felt a folded paper. I thought maybe a bindle? As he was walking away I opened my hand and saw it was a bill. Then I unfolded it and saw it was a hundo. I yelled out to Patrice as he was exiting the front door “Thanks, Man!!” He replied, “My cousin woulda loved that.” I think he may have been at the BET awards happening down the street. And who is his cousin??
Have you met any of your heroes? If so, how did it go?
I got to meet Noel & Liam from Oasis at their height, backstage at the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. They were very cool but you could tell they would not suffer fools gladly. I was asking Noel about an interview he had done earlier in the week on MTV where he was wearing aviator shades 'cos he was so hungover. He admitted to me that he wasn’t actually hungover but rather still drunk as he came straight from the pub to do the interview. He only said he was hungover because he knew his wife back in England would be watching and she didn’t like him being drunk on TV. I’d known him for 5 minutes and he’s telling me this. So cool. He seemed an old soul and Liam seemed so young, despite the years of fame and legendary partying.
Recent release you cannot stop listening to?
Drake: 0 to 100/The Catchup.
If that’s not recent enough I’d say:
The Grand: Santa Rosa
Is there a professional “bucket list” item you would love to check off?
Having a roadie/guitar tech. It’s gotta happen soon, right?