Interview: The BRKN
What got you into music, and if you had not gotten into music what would you be doing today?
Jacob - There were a few things that got me into music. Most of it was definitely at the hand of my Dad always having guitars around the house and playing music loudly in the car. That gave me the first bit of love for it. If I hadn’t become massively obsessed with music, I bet I would be somewhere either playing soccer or doing something dangerous like motocross or drag racing. Anything for adrenaline.
What do you like to do when you are not playing music and how does that influence your creativity?
Jacob - When I’m not playing music usually, I like to go to a nice coffee shop or cocktail bar. It puts my mind at ease being out in public around people with a good beverage. I also fancy watching captivating movies/tv shows while building the occasional guitar.
How long has your band been around?
Jacob - The BRKN has been together for about 2 years now including the Covid lockdown. But we’ve only had a record out of our stuff for about a year.
Where are you based out of and how did that influence your music?
Jacob - I was born in El Paso, Texas but my family moved to Colorado when I was about 6 or 7. I honestly feel like the creative scene in Denver has influenced my writing a ton just because there are so many fantastic artists here that have a voice. It easy to learn from them and be inspired.
How did you come up with the name of your band and what does it mean to you?
Jacob - The BRKN is a symbol of the notion that every human goes through life not knowing who they truly are. That is until a crushing event happens that puts them at what seems to feel like rock bottom. Therefore, causing said person to rebuild themselves from the ground up in any way they want to. In doing so they find out who they really are, who their allies really are, and a little bit of what life truly means to them. Thus, we are all “broken” at some point. But being broke is necessary to find yourself and the happiness within.
Tell me about your most memorable shows.
Jacob -.Our most favorite shows we’ve played to date have definitely been the strings of headliners we did right as covid allowed us to have shows again. There were two in Denver at Lost Lake and Globe Hall that went off in the best way possible for us. Then, another in Arkansas at a DIY venue called The Pipe House. It was so encouraging to know that the fans were there waiting for us and even growing in numbers while we weren’t able to be playing out.
What is your favorite venue to play at, and do you have any places you want to play that you have not already?
Jacob - Our favorite places definitely have to be Globe Hall in Denver, The Pipe House in Arkansas, and The Masquerade in Atlanta. One day it’d be amazing to play at Red Rock or Madison Square Garden. As well as the O2 in London.
If you could play any show with any lineup, who would be on the ticket?
Jacob - That’s a good one. It’d probably be something like this
The Band Camino
In no particular order.
What is some advice that you would give to someone who is just getting into playing in a band and some advice that you would give to your younger self?
Jacob - For someone who is just starting out I would say to just play as much as you can whether it’s in your basement/bedroom or out at venues. Get your experience playing live up. Also try to learn as much as you can on your own without taking lessons. That’s how creative breakthroughs happen and how musicians change the world. As for my younger self I’d tell myself to start singing earlier and to become aquatinted with the Nashville Number system earlier. As well as start learning how to record music myself earlier.
If you could go back in time and give yourselves advice, what would it be?
Jacob - I think we’d tell ourselves to stay true to ourselves always and not worry about other people’s opinions as much.
Of your songs which one means the most to you and why?
Jacob - All of our songs are pretty near and dear because we’ve put so much into but if I had to choose, I think “Coffee” would hit the mark for sure. This is because it felt like it was the first time we really wrote something that was purely us and not forced at all.
Which songs are your favorite to play, and which get requested the most?
Jacob - “Fake Love” is definitely a favorite because of the energy. I would say the most requested song we get is “Be Cool.” People love that tune, and it goes off live!
What is the creative process for the band, and what inspires you to write your music?
Jacob - The creative process for us is a lot like throwing Play-doh at the wall and seeing which color sticks the best. Usually, it starts out with all of us listening to the loads of demo I have backed up on my computer and pick out which tunes speak to us the most. Then shredding it apart and putting it back together a million times until it feels like we’ve ruined it. Then, backing up a bit. Very chaotic but we’re always pushing ourselves to be better. We get inspired a lot by what music we’re listening to at the time and also just by what vibe we’re all feeling in the room that day.
What kinds of messages do you like to get across in your music?
Jacob - A lot of it is just being there for people who are going through a tough time and just need the right energy to get through. Whether they need to just dance or sit in sadness with vibes music. We want to make our listeners feel understood and like we’re living the same life they are.
Do you ever have disagreements in your band, and how do you get past them?
Jacob - ALL THE TIME! We’re all just very honest with each other about how we’re feeling. A lot of how we get past things is just by talking them out and hugging it out at the end as cliche as that sounds. Whoever said being in a band is like being in a marriage to multiple people is correct!
What are your plans for the future, and do you have anything that you want to spotlight that is coming up?
Jacob - .YES! We’re about to head out on the road with The Dangerous Summer and Cory Wells. We’ve US dates starting in March and UK/EU dates starting September. Our specific tour dates and ways to purchase tickets are on our website http://thebrkn.com !! Please come out and say hi!!
3/8 Denver, CO Marquis Theatre
3/10 Kansas City, MO The Rino
3/11 Chicago, IL Cobra Lounge
3/12 Grand Rapids, MI Pyramid Scheme
3/13 Lakewood, OH Mahall's
3/15 Buffalo, NY Rec Room
3/16 Pittsburgh, PA Craft House
3/17 Harrisburg, PA HMAC
3/18 Asbury Park, NJ House of Independents
3/19 Cambridge, MA Middle East Downstairs
3/20 Brooklyn, NY Knitting Factory
3/22 Richmond, VA Canal Club
3/23 Chapel Hill, NC Local 506
3/24 Columbia, SC New Brookland Tavern
3/25 Tampa, FL Crowbar
3/26 Atlanta, GA The Masquerade
3/27 Nashville, TN The Hi Watt
3/29 Dallas, TX Three Links
3/31 Phoenix, AZ Valley Bar
4/1 Anaheim, CA Chain Reaction
4/2 Oakland, CA Starline Social Club
4/4 Salt Lake City, UT Kilby Court