Monday, December 19, 2011

▼▲▼ BRETT DETAR ▼▲▼




Name / Age / Location

Brett Detar / 33 / Hollywood, CA






1. Your album Bird in the Tangle is available to download for free.
How long did it take for you to finish the album?

The whole recording process was pretty quick and relatively painless.  I tracked almost all of the music live in 2 days in Nashville and then did the vocals afterwards in my old place in New York City.  The writing took a lot longer then because i wasn't necessarily trying to make a record.  The band i was in and toured the globe full-time for 10 years had just broken up and I guess i fell into a bit of a depression.  More or less I was unsure of where I fit in the world and what I was supposed to be doing with myself.  I had myself convinced that I wasn't much of a songwriter anymore and that I should give up music altogether so if and when a song started taking form in my head I'd just haphazardly record it onto a little digital recorder and forget about it - never playing the song again.  After a couple years of this I went back and listened to the recorder and I sorta came to the realization that there was an album in there somewhere.  So the writing took a lot longer than it typically takes me to put an album together because i wasn't actively trying to write music but I think that time and space was crucial for the record becoming what it is.






2. Do you have a ritual when it comes to songwriting?

I have various different methods of writing.  Sometimes I sit down with a guitar and just sing melodies and put words to them later.  Sometimes I write lyrics first and then craft a melody around them, you know? There's no set way I guess.  Lately, for my next record, I've been writing a lot on the piano and that's cool because writing on the piano takes songs to different places that writing on guitar does for me.





3. What music did you listen to while growing up and which bands / artists influenced you the most?

I listened to a bunch of different stuff growing up.  My dad always had oldies on around the house - particularly doo-wop and motown stuff. He thought the beatles "ruined music with their nasally voices and shaggy haircuts." haha so I couldn't really turn to him for rock music but when I was really young he had this box full of old vinyl singles and I adored that box of records.  In first grade I had him dub all of my favorite records onto a cassette tape that i wore out.  I listened to that tape full of Marvin Gaye, Temptations, and Smokey Robinson in my walkman every day on the way to and from school.  As I got a bit older I got into classic rock - stuff like Neil Young and Pink Floyd and all of that.  Then when I was 16 I discovered hardcore and punk rock - particularly fugazi who blew my mind and still have a big impact on what i do today mainly in the way they ran their business and did things for themselves.  Clearly the music I am making nowadays doesn't really resemble fugazi or minor threat or unbroken or whatever but that diy ethic still holds a big part in what i do.  Nowadays I'm hugely influenced by folks like Townes Van Zandt, Levon Helm, Kris Kristofferson, Waylon Jennings, Dylan, The Louvin Brothers, Elliott Smith, and Hank Williams.






4. Did you play in any Bands before?

I started playing in bands as soon as I could strum a few power chords on guitar but I got my "break" so to speak when I joined the metal-core band Zao as a guitar player and simultaneously started what was supposed to be a joke side project with my friends - The Juliana Theory - which ended up being my full-time job for 10 years.  Funny how that stuff goes. 







5. What do you think about the modern music industry -
Do you think its hard to make a living with music nowadays?

I'm not entirely sure what I think of the modern music industry.  It's definitely changed a ton since I started playing music for a living 15 years ago and on some levels I'd say it's a lot harder to make a living with it but I still believe with all of my heart that people want to hear good music and that if you make great music and get it out there that it will move people.  Ultimately, business plans come and go.  Labels and trends die.  Great songs live forever and people will always need music in their lives so musicians will always be able to do what we do we just probably won't be getting rich from it.   








6. You got some really good pictures of yourself. I saw that your wife is a photographer.
Is she taking most of your pictures?

Thank you, Nina! My wife http://shaedetar.com/ definitely takes a good bit of my pictures and I think she's awesome - a truly creative person - a genuine and uncompromising artist.  I've been fortunate to work with some other rad photographers too like my buddy Andrew Kuykendall, among others.





7. If you could tour with any band / artist who would it be?

Wow that's a tough question.  If they don't have to be living right now I think it would have been absolutely amazing to be around and playing shows when rock and roll and rockabilly was really born.  To have shared the stage with a young Johnny Cash and Elvis at the same time or to have seen the whole Willie and Waylon thing happen early on would've been pretty incredible.  As for now, sharing the stage with any of the old legends that I love like Loretta Lynn, Springsteen, Ralph Stanley or anyone like that would be amazing.  I'd absolutely love to play one of Levon Helm's "Midnight Rambles" at his barn in Woodstock too.  That'd be a dream come true.





8. Did you always play music or is there also another side of Brett?
What other interests do you have besides playing music?

I started playing music pretty young and enjoyed it but didn't really fall head over heels in love with it until I picked up the guitar in my early teens.  I moonlighted there for a few years with ice hockey and that probably holds a close second.  I played hockey growing up and wished I could play in the NHL but i could barely hold my own on the junior varsity squad.  haha.  I still watch my team, the Pittsburgh Penguins religiously.  Other stuff I'm into are hiking in the hills of Los Angeles, reading up on things, watching documentaries, movie stuff, all of that and taking hot baths.





9. How would you like to make people feel with your music?

Mostly, I just hope to move people in general with my music.  It depends on the project.  If i am making music for a movie then I just want serve the picture and help convey the feeling that the director is trying to put across.  With my solo stuff I cover a myriad of different emotions and hopefully I can take the listener on a bit of a journey.  The thing for me is that sad songs make me happy so I guess that's a personal thing that differs from person to person.  I just want people to feel something when they hear my music.





10. What future plans do you have? Any tours planned?

I'm excited for a few different things going on right now.  First, I am about finished writing my next record so i've been taking off from the road in order to write the album and then I'll start recording it shortly.  That's priority number one.  I've got a movie coming out on Paramount Pictures called The Devil Inside and it hits theaters worldwide on January 6th.  I did the music for that with my buddy Ben Romans so I am looking forward to that coming out.  Tours are always in the works and two of my big priorities are coming to Europe and Australia.  I've done both in my old band but have yet to come over as a solo dude and I am chomping at the bit for that to happen so fingers crossed I can get that to happen soon.







Check out http://www.brettdetar.com/ and download his album Bird in the Tangle for free - amazing songs!


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