Brown Bird – Fits of Reason Interview
This has been a big week for Brown Bird with the release of their new record, Fits of Reason (Supply and Demand). Brown Bird will cap it off with a good ole hometown CD release party this Friday, April 5, at the Met Café. I spoke with half of Brown Bird’s dynamic duo, David Lamb, on the eve of the big week to find out more about the new record and what lies ahead for the band.
MC: Was there anything different in the approach to writing and recording Fits of Reason compared to your earlier albums?
DL: Some of it is a bit transitional just like our previous release; Salt for Salt (Supply and Demand) was an evolutional movement forward. I don’t see it as a vast departure from the earlier recordings. Our good friend and landlord, Will Schaff, who is a great local artist, did the artwork for this album and the last record too.
MC: Brown Bird started as solo vehicle for your songwriting and you’ve gone through a few lineup changes to get to the current state of a two-piece with MorganEve Swain. Can you give a brief history of the band?
DL: Ten years ago I was living in Maine and had decided to move to Seattle. I didn’t know anyone out there so I started playing solo under the name Brown Bird. I moved back to Maine and started to play out as Brown Bird with some old buddies as a three-piece. Then we expanded to a five-piece and went on to tour as such. After the tour, my friends had their own bands that they wanted to concentrate on and around that time I met MorganEve Swain and Brown Bird went back to being a three-piece for a couple of years. It was never really a plan to be a two-piece band but when it became so, it just felt right.
MC: The list of influences for Fits of Reason is pretty eclectic – between philosophers from different points in history and ample kind of Old Testament biblical imagery. What inspires you when it comes to writing lyrics?
DL: I was raised in a strict household where we were required to read the Bible every day. My father was a minister. This left me with a strong desire to seek out other points of view that I wasn’t exposed to growing up. Some of this definitely came out in the writing Fits of Reason.
MC: What were your biggest musical influences growing up and today?
DL: The Beatles definitely; I remember seeking out their entire catalogue. MorganEve would say the same as far as The Beatles. Then I moved on to Led Zeppelin and I remember putting on all their records and trying to learn all the drum parts. Nowadays there are a ton of artists but some of the constants are A Hawk and Hacksaw and Omar Khorshid, who’s an amazing ‘60s Egyptian surf guitarist. I also listen to a healthy dose of metal with bands like Mastodon and The Sword. We were touring with our good friend Joe Fletcher and he made a comment that I bet nobody would ever guess how much metal we listen to in the van.
MC: You have a lot of touring on your plate, are there any places you’re excited about hitting up?
DL: We’re really excited to take our friends, The Last Good Tooth, out on the road with us for the first leg of the tour. We’ll be going out from the record release into June in hitting the East Coast and the Midwest. As far as places, Indianapolis has always been really good for us. We play this place in Chino, California where we didn’t know what to expect but from the first song it was crazy. There is also this brewery in South Dakota that we didn’t know anything about, but we played there and had a great show too. We’re excited that we’re going to be going back there on this upcoming tour.
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