We had a chat with the massively experienced Arizona-based artist Brian Berggoetz Band recently. Showing us the realness of the music industry for the 99.9%, telling us more about the new release Wildflower and fusing through the Dave Matthews inspiration, this is a gem of an interview. Ready?
Thank you for joining us, Brian. How are you doing today and what did you have for breakfast today?
I’m great and thanks for inviting me. Being a starving artist, I had my Costco breakfast sandwich and coffee for breakfast. I try to make my money stretch to pay for the art.
Firstly, where in the world are you based and where was the last show you did live?
My band is based in Tucson, AZ in the Sonoran Desert. We played a show this past Friday at a local bar and it was a great time. The place was packed and the dance floor was too. That’s what it’s all about, connecting with the people and feeling the vibe.
How would you describe your sound to someone you just met?
My sound is a combination of Dave Matthews and Bruce Springsteen. On the new EP, Familiar Sounds there is a touch of the Moody Blues as well. Recently I have been playing with a cello and violin players and that project found it’s way on to the album. There’s an orchestral rock song as well as a straight orchestral piece I did with some help from the Tucson Symphony. I’m very happy with those two pieces.
Please chat with us about your last release Wildflower.
Wildflower is a completely different music genre. It’s Americana and sentimental. Harmonies, violin, acoustic guitar and bass. It did very well. We received so much fabulous press. We made the cover of Lifoti music magazine and a nice feature in ION Indie Magazine, as well as a bunch of blogs, online magazines and Spotify playlists. Because of the album, agent Gene Foley reached out to me and is now working on my behalf. He is one of the top talent agents in the country and a real pleasure to work with.
We’d love to know about your brand new release called Familiar Sounds. Please tell us about the change in the sound and the creative process.
I worked with Jason Damico on this album. He played bass and guitars as well as production. He’s a fabulous player and it’s very special to work with him. My drummer Jeff Browning also worked on the production. It was very easy to do this one. I always start with my guitar and vocals, then drums. Jason adds guitars and then the strings and background vocals. Because of the Wildflower album, I have met some amazing players that were happy to play on this album as well. You know, everyone just took turns being awesome. As far as the sound, three songs are just straight-up rock songs. Familiar Sounds was clear that it should have a string section while still being a rock song. Pieces of Silver was written to be an orchestral song. I love orchestral rock and I really wanted to do this kind of song and it came out so great. It was such a thrill to have some of the Tucson Symphony play on this one.
What is the best perk of being a well-known musician?
I would say just getting to meet some of the most amazing people I would not have met otherwise. Music professionals, celebrities and just all-around excellent company. When I think about coming from a small town in Indiana to meeting and playing with some of the most fabulous people anywhere, I am humbled and inspired to see what happens next.
Lastly, what are your personal goals for the rest of 2023?
I’ve been working on the next album. I hope to work with Jeff Browning and Jason Damico again. I’m choosing the material and concepts now and hope to be in the studio in the summer for a fall release.
Hear more from this quality band on Spotify.
Interview by Llewelyn Screen