Last fall I had the opportunity to have a interview with Brian Cline of the BRIAN CLINE BAND. Brian is a character of sorts, two of most interesting nature. The first would be his love for music and performance, and his personal solid energy to work and commute in his profession. Wait! There's a third, Brian Cline is a loving father. So, for an informal meeting, at a quiet corner at Downtown Joe's I asked Brian some questions on his life, interests and playing music. With the Chef's Market to begin, this is a good time for rollingrape fans and BCB fans to read a little about Brian and music mates.
Rollinggrapeguy: When did you start your music career?
Brian: As a teenager at 19, I had my first band "Enchant". Though at eight years old I new I wanted to be a musician. I left Enchant at age 22 and worked as a sideman playing Bass. That's when I played bass in a blues band that performed at the Concord Pavilion.
Rollinggrapeguy: When did you begin playing music regularly in Napa Valley and Northern California Wine Country?
Brian: I began my career in Napa Valley in 1996. I have played a 1000 shows and average 100 performances a year.
Rollinggrapeguy: What is your most memorable moment performing and what venue were you in?
Brian: My most memorable is that magic moment at the last night of the Chef's Market in Napa. Connecting with the audience! Connecting with the audience is a prize for me, it is that magic moment.
Rollinggrapeguy: Do you like playing the Chef's Market?
Brian: I like the Chef's Market because it allows us to showcase our original material as well as our cover material. The Chef's Market is a different crowd, we have more younger people and families that attend the market. We have a wider range of audience there. It is great exposure for our band. The market also improves the local music industry by providing an additional venue to perform. I wrote a letter to the editor of the Register that supported the Chef's Market, as a family event for the community.
Rollinggrapeguy: Are you a member of the recording academy?
Brian: No not at this time. Though I am a member of ASCAP and a member of the Northern California Song Writers Association. I have published 17 songs, and many of my recordings are featured on network TV and movie soundtracks - CDS are available at www.briancline.com
Rollinggrapeguy: Back to Napa, what was the industry like for the Brian Cline Band in 1996?
Brian: We played O'sullivans and DownTown Joes. Aaron was my first member. In 1998 we were playing more upvalley. Also in 1998 we started to see an increase in the Napa Valley night life. In the last two years we have seen the Napa downtown industry increase as well.
Rollinggrapeguy: Is music a hobby for you, or a profession?
Brian: "Have Band Will Travel". We are a working band with the intent of succeeding in the music business. And are in the process of writing for our most recent CD and have added a fourth member Dan Hayes. Since we are now a BAND the NEW CD will be released under the 'IDLE SOCIETY' name. THE band is now the surviving members of that Napa band. And, I am their new lead vocalist. Though it is a new formation of members. By day, I am the CHIEF COMPLIANCE OFFICER of a LARGE MORTGAGE COMPANY. That's my day gig! Ha!
Rollinggrapeguy: What is your favorite guitar and who is your favorite guitarist?
Brian: My Taylor 614, has a curly maple top. I have yet to find the type of electric I like. And I am really into PRS Basses and electric guitars. I would say that I am more of a acoustic player than an electric. My favorite guitarist is Duncan Shiek.
Rollinggrapeguy: Who are your influences?
Brian: I am a huge Beatles fan, James Taylor and Simon and Garfunkel. The band (BCB) enjoys a wide range of music.
Brian and I went on to enjoy the rest of our meeting time with fans from Downtown Joes coming to our table to ask for autographs. Brian speaks wonderfully of his family coming to his performances. He told one story of Hannah his daughter doing PR for the band by selling CD's at the Chef's Market. Of note Brian has a Masters In Business Administration from La Salle University. I would like to make a point here that the Brian Cline Band is one of the Bands in Napa Valley that supports a "local music industry" and historically participated in the Rebirth of the music scene in Napa Valley. As of this publishing Brian performed recently on the FOOD NETWORK.
Interview on Bruce Latimer Show, Channel 8 TV Pacifica, 8/2/00 & 8/6/00 to approximately one million households throughout the San Francisco Peninsula area...
Bruce: Welcome for the first time to the Bruce Latimer show, the Brian Cline Band. These cats play all over the place, around 150 dates a year. We've got Rob Sherman and Brian Cline up here with me. They are certainly giving it all to make their scene happen. You get so many nice feelings out of your music. Now you started this, Brian, sort of doing a solo thing.
Brian: Yes, I put out "Hold the Keys" about a year and a half ago and it got picked up and released nationally last March. So the band has been together since I put the CD out. We have been playing together ever since and now we are writing together as a band for a new CD.
Bruce: Now that should be out in a year or so?
Brian: Actually, not even, we are looking toward the end of the year.
Bruce: That must be a nice feeling. Now Rob we've seen you before right?
Rob: Yes, a long time ago.
Bruce: Now Rob was on the show with another band at one point. All you guys have a great mixture of sounds that really sends off Brian's music and words. I have been reading some of the things that have been written about you, does it bother you that they mention Dave Matthews? They say, "if you like Dave Matthews Band, you'll like Brian Cline Band"? Is that a cool thing?
Brian: I think it is a cool thing. But, I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that it is the "Dave Matthews Band", we are the "Brian Cline Band". They use acoustic guitar and we have acoustic guitar. But we are totally different, they have horns and violin. Great stuff! I love it. I think there are a lot of other bands we are more similar too.
Bruce: I think you are similar to who you are. Again you started as a solo thing and now with the guys, you can tell they are adding their own sounds to it. What's this Blake's in Berkeley, you have a couple shows coming up?
Brian: Yes we will be there on 8/8.
Bruce: Then you are going to be at San Jose State, Stanford, and Sacramento State.
Brian: A lot of the colleges have noon time concerts right when school opens up. So we have a bunch of those coming up.
Bruce: So I guess Chelsea will be at the Stanford gig.
Rob: Actually, she dropped out. Yes, a college drop-out.
Brian: I thought that was beauty school?
Bruce: Yes I think I heard about that, she is helping her mom with the political scene in New York. Are you in to the political thing?
Brian: Not really, too many gigs.
Bruce: You guys have a website.
Brian:Yes, its www.briancline.com.
Bruce: That's not too hard to remember.
Rob: It's pretty original.
Brian: Yeah, we were stretching it with that one.
Bruce: I read about you that you have a lot of TV stuff happening.
Brian: We have a publisher that has been really good about getting us on network TV. We've been on MTV, soap operas, and commercials. Soap operas love us!
Bruce: In the world of entertainment you've got to start somewhere.
Rob: Public access TV is a good challenge too!
Bruce: Well its right there. No BS.
Brian: Bruce, we've never had an introduction quite like that either, with the guitar, very cool.
Bruce: Well they are telling me our time is up. Rob Sherman, Brian Cline thanks for coming on the show and we look forward to hearing your new CD when it comes out. [top]
Brandi: 99.3 the Vine is pleased to welcome Brian Cline in the studio. Thanks for joining me.
Brian: Of Course
BB: You always get to join John. You never get to join me. So its actually a good thing John is on his way to Mendicino right now, because you get to be in the studio with me. Now you were going to bring the band in today, usually you come in and just do a solo acoustic thing, but the band was actually going to come in and join us today. But they got stuck in traffic in the 780 fire.
BC: Hi guys.
BB: Hi guys, we miss you.
BC: In know they are listening right now. In fact since they are listening, can I do their portion of the interview right now? Is that OK?
BC: Alright. Let's see... Brian's influences are Bananarama and Liberace' and he strums too much and he forgets the words, OK I think thats their portion.
BB: Why don't you introduce the band Brian?
BC: OK right over here we have on electric guitar, Rob Sherman, I think he is right over here in the passenger seat of the black SUV, and we have Andrew Lion, on bass, and Paul Batres is our most recent joinee on drums and backup vocals. Actually, all the guys do backups.
BB: Well, you guys are missed. So you said your influences are, you said, Bananarama?
BC: Yeah... yeah.
BB: You know, I wouldn't have guessed Bananarama. I would have guessed maybe Dave Matthews, Counting Crows, Eagle Eye Cherry, Lenny Kravitz, but never in a million years an all-girl eighties band from Sweden.
BC: Yeah well, those other bands may have rubbed off a little too.
BB: So what do you listen to?
BC: Right now in my CD player I have Verticle Horizon. I am also listening to the new Oasis CD. Andrew let me borrow it, I promise I will return it real soon. Generally, I am really into modern rock, especially if it has an acoustic basis to it because I am an acoustic player and that is really kind of my thing. The guys really aren't here to say anything else, so there you go.
BB: Those influence are definately reflected in the music. You brought some CDs in to give away so pick a number from 1-10.
BC: Lets listen to the first track, thats actually the one being spun as a single right now. We are on 30-40 stations right now across the country since the CD was released nationally in February.
BB: That would be Hold the Keys. I can't get the CD open, why don't we check out the version of What's That Do For Me, that the band did in the studio.
BC: Yes, that was the last time we were all in. That was about a year and a half ago. Yeah, lets just pretend everyone is here.
BB: And while we are listen to that, we will take some callers and give away some CDs.... (During song- off the air, the fifth call is from "Emily" who procedes to rant and rave on how she is our biggest fan, etc. Within thirty seconds Brian asked, "Is this Rob????", to which the response is laughter from the cell phone of Andrew and Rob still stuck in traffic. Rob asks, how did you know it was me, to which Brian replied, "You sound to ugly to be a woman".)
BB: Welcome back to Brian Cline in the studio and from the last time they were in the studio, Whats That Do For Me, you can find that on there latest cd called Hold the Keys. We congratulate Scott, Jeff, and Brent all picking up the Brian Cline Band cd. Brian is in the studio, getting ready for his live appearance at the Chef's Market and later at Downtown Joes. So, you want to play a song for us?
BC: Yeah. This one goes out to Emily and also to Rob who wrote this song. This was actually written by Rob Sherman our guitarist. Its called Day to Day, which will be on our next cd which we are actually about to start recording.
BB: As soon as you get your fret fixed right.
BC: Exactly, right as soon as your boyfriend fixes my fret. Then we will go in next month and record our new cd which should be out by the end of the year. This cd is available at all the major chains and amazon.com and all that.
BB: Do you sell it through your website also?
BC: Yes, it is also available through www.briancline.com. That's like Patsy Cline only with a Brian. Here you go, here is Day to Day...
BB: I wish I had an applause machine (clapping). I am the only person in here, its just us. Its not like we have a big crowd in here or anything, but there will be one tonight at the Chef's Market. I hope you break a leg, not literally.
BC: Of course, the figurative leg... You know one thing I need to mention. Our Executive Vice President of marketing, who is also Andrew our bass player, makes me say this. We are offering a cd, stickers, and a shirt or a hat for $20 if you mention this interview tonight. Its usualy $35.
BB: Thanks for joining me in the studio today and we are sorry we missed the band. Sorry guys.
BC: Thank you and great to be here.[top]
Al: This is Al Cocchi on the line right now with the Brian Cline Band. So we have the new CD called "Hold the Keys" tell us how the Brian Cline Band came together.
Brian: I did the CD almost two years ago now. I did the CD as "Brian Cline" because I couldn't find people I wanted to play with or that wanted to play with me. Ended up producing it on my own and then at that point was able to attract the people who were interest in the same style that I was. The band got together over the last year and a half as was able to get the CD release nationally on the Icourse Recordings label. As of right now, it is available at all the major retail and online stores. Now that the band is together, we have started writing as a band and we are really exited about the next CD, which we are going to start recording next month.
Al: How did you find the other members of the band?
Brian: Well I went to high school with Andrew, but we didn't hang out much together because he says I was a nerd.
Andrew: We passed each other in the hallways every once in a while I think. The days I showed up I suppose.
Brian: Between the two of us that was probably about a week. But we ran into each other later in life commuting on the Bay Area equivalent of the subway, BART. We exchanged numbers. He came to a few shows and we started hanging out. We found a drummer in the Napa Valley, same thing really, met him at shows. Aaron was in the band about a year. Rob our guitarist was in a great band called None of the Above. I used to go to his shows all the time. It turned out he was available.
Andrew: It's true, Brian was a groupie.
Brian: Not in the traditional groupie sense. At that point we became a four piece and then Paul our drummer joined the band last January.
Paul: And he rocks!
Brian: So that's where we are, moral is good and we are happy to be playing together. Well I like playing with these guys, they probably hate me, but we are having fun.
Andrew: As long as we don't have to pay the bills.
Al: How would you categorize your music?
Brian: We just came up with a snappy tag line. Modern rock with an acoustic edge. I play acoustic, it's definitely influenced by the Beatles and a lot of modern rock. What have we been listening to?
Andrew: Dishwalla, Goo Goo Dolls, Train, Vertical Horizon.
Brian: I love the way acoustic and electric guitar sound together. We are just trying to write good songs and make it as interesting as possible.
Al: The first track on the CD is "Hold the Keys", why don't you tell us about that?
Brian: That song is a positive statement. I guess I was in a good mood one day, too much coffee maybe. I wanted to make the statement that we choose our own destiny. We hold the keys to what we want to do. Sometimes positive things come out of painful situations. There is a lot of conflict in the song, the verses, trying to beat the clock and relationship issues. But it's saying that you hold the keys. Andrew: Besides that, Brian is always losing his keys, so it's a good reminder so he knows where to find them.
Brian: Its true I can never find my keys. It was almost called "Hold my Keys". (Plays song)
Al: Email me let me know what you think. We are going to play the entire CD. The next song is called "What's That Do For Me", tell us what that one's about.
Brian: It's a sarcastic look at selfish love. I'm not going to say who inspired it our anything. Andrew: It was Paul.
Brian: It's a tongue in check look at someone who is being incredibly selfish. (Plays song)
Al: We are on track #3, its called "Eye of the Storm", tell us about that one.
Brian: This is a song about an illicit love affair. That's all I can say. (Plays song)
Al: Let's get back to the CD, we are up to track #4, it's called "Something to Tell".
Brian:That song is a love song I wrote for my wife, Diane.
Andrew: I thought that was about Rob.
Brian: Dude, come on, this is on the radio.
Andrew: Oh, that's right, we aren't supposed to publicize that.
Brian: Exactly. (Plays song)
Al: We are on track #5, it's backwards, what does it say?
Brian: Just a little background here, the graphic design on our CD, the "e's" on the song titles are backwards. Its called "Joe". You know we have been accused of being Satanists because of that. It's a love song for coffee. Actually, it was inspired by my grandfather, who had a terminal condition. He had Parkinsons. I was watching him go down hill and was trying to say live for today and not to let live slip away. (Plays song)
Al: Why don't you tell us individually what your influences are.
Paul: I love a lot of different styles, mainly R&B and funk. What really got me into what Brian was doing was I am a big Rembrandts fan. That style, I really do like. When I heard Brian's music, I thought, "Wow", I really liked the songs and how they were put together. I was really moved by it.
Brian: Aw shucks.
Paul: I was very humbled that the guys liked my playing and thought it matched up pretty well. If you asked me what it is like I would REM with Powerstation on drums. Its pretty cool, I added more of rock and funk edge to it. I have so many different influences. Probably the biggest influence was Kiss. When I was a little kid I wanted to be Peter Criss.
Brian: Liberace has had a lasting effect on me.
Andrew: I could tell that by the way you dress. He also cakes on the powder.
Brian:Actually, it all started with the Beatles, I was five and wore out every record I had. Then my mother broke it to me that they actually broke up the same year I was born. Then I went through various stages. The 70's stuff really sank in and then I got into progressive stuff like Genesis, Rush, and Yes. Currently, what I dig is music with good songs and a good mixture of instrumentation with a natural production to it. Bands that we are similar too like, Vertical Horizon, Goo Goo Dolls, and Tonic. Rob what about you.
Andrew: Time to wake up.
Rob: You're going to make me talk this early in the morning? (9am) I got a lot of influence from my instructor in high school, Chris Olberg. He has played with everyone in the Bay Area, like Santana. He taught me how to bend the note and how to listen. The first nine months I played with him he just showed my different kinds of rhythm, how to funk things up, how to leave space. He got me into a lot of stuff, like B.B. King, early Clapton, Jeff Beck. I come from the same line as Brian. I love the Beatles, Pink Floyd. I love the new Filter and Stone Temple Pilots. Also some classical too, I am a huge Stravinsky and Mozart fan as well. Anything melodic good and with feeling I tend to enjoy. Take it Andrew.
Andrew: I have to admit at six years old I was one of those kids who also wanted to be Peter Criss too, but they handed the tennis racket to me and I had to be Paul Stanley. (Plays Kiss's Beth in the background) I realized later that wasn't such a bad position to be in.
Brian: What is it with Peter Criss, I wanted to be him too! What about you Rob?
Rob: No. Me. Never. I always wanted to be Boy George.
Andrew: That's why we break into "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me".
Brian: Well I guess three out of four of us wanted to be Peter Criss.
Andrew:It was the whole cat thing.
Paul: I think it was the drum set that was bigger than some people's house.
Andrew: So I guess the common thread was really the Beatles. That was my first real discovery, as too the power of rock. David Bowie really hit me. Pink Floyd as well. As far as a bass player, I am similar to Paul in that I have a R&B background. Of course with rock, there was Paul McCartney and John Paul Jones, I think that might influence how I write my bass lines. From a feel standpoint, James Jamerson was the unknown bass player in all the early Motown records. He influenced a lot of bass players in terms of getting in the pocket. From a musical standpoint, that developed into everything from Missing Persons in the early 80's to Charley Parker so it's all over the map. I align with everyone else's interests which is modern rock with an edge. We have a lot of dynamics so we can bring it up and down.
Al: Hi- I'm still here. You guys can host your own show, I don't have anymore questions. Tell us about "Take Time".
Brian: This was inspired by a friend of mine who jumped into a bunch of relationships and never took the time up front to wonder if it was a good thing or not.
Rob: Are you a split personality Brian?
Brian: No its not that friend, her name was Sybil. This was my attempt to do a little philosophizing, but I probably failed and its probably all not true.
Andrew: Its also one of our favorite songs to play live.
Brian: It rocks out a little more now. (Plays song)
Al: Tell us about "Endless Ambition".
Brian: That is a tune I wrote when I reached the edge from a time management standpoint. I had hit the wall and was frustrated with life in general. Not that I am a buddhist or anything, but there is an ideal they have that all pain and sorrow is because we want things. So what I came up with, is that this endless ambition is driving me nuts. Of course it hasn't really helped, we are still working every night. (Plays song)
Al: Do you guys ever do covers when you perform?
Brian: Sometimes we do different versions of songs we like just to mix things up and keep it interesting. Also, sometimes it allows us to play a little longer and sometimes, make a little more money.
Andrew: Brian likes Neal Diamond. Seriously, we do a version of Solitary Man that I think Brian really relates to.
Brian: Yes we do that song. We play it with a Policy feel. When we do covers, we like to completely mess them up and make them our own. Another example is All Along the Watchtower, we do a unique version of that, since everyone else has covered that tune as well.
Al: If you are going to mess up a tune why not Nsync or the Baystreet Boys?
Brian: Hey, food for thought.
Rob: (Starts singing Brittney Spears)
Andrew: With Brian's range we actually were going to get into the Brittney Spears, Christina Aguilara stuff.
Brian: Oh, Yeah!
Al: I'd like to get in to that stuff to, but that's another story. Tell me about "Let Us Remember".
Brian: That was inspired by a guy I used to work for in college, doing awful wallpaper-prep work. He was in Germany during World War II and use to tell me these war stories that blew my mind, being a suburban kid an all. I couldn't believe that anyone actually lived through all that. It inspired me to write a song. (Plays song)
Al: Track #9 is called We're all Here, tell us about that.
Brian: What I was trying to capture with this was the lonely feeling in a bar around two o'clock in the morning.
Andrew: Isn't that how we met, Brian?
Brian: Just playing bars and looking at the people and the loneliness.
Rob: Kind of like looking in the mirror, huh Brian?
Brian: Shut up man! Ouch. If you listen to the beginning of the song, you are in a nightclub type atmosphere, with lots of people but feeling alone. Everyone's talking but no one is listening. (Plays song)
Al: Once again let us know what you think. We are up to track #10 tell us about "A Moment in Peace".
Brian: I wrote that song about that feeling of hiding under the covers and escaping from the world and that moment of peace in life that makes it all worth doing. Hope you enjoy it. (Plays song)
Al: We just got through listening to the entire CD with the Brian Cline Band. What's up next for you guys?
Andrew: We are going into the studio next month and we just got done with laboriously writing a bunch a tracks for the new CD and will whittle it down to about twelve tracks. As Brian mentioned, the rest of the us have become key to the writing process while keeping the original vision.
Rob: (whispering) Buy "Hold the Keys". Buy "Hold the Keys".
Brian: A little subliminal marketing there. We should have it out by the end of the year. What I am really excited about is now I feel there is a lot more depth to what we are doing. It is a lot more interesting for me. When you are writing with other people its more interesting, I mean, I know what I am going to do. In the meantime, we are working hard to support "Hold the Keys".
Al: Any cool shows coming out?
Brian: Well we are playing the Eat'm conference in Las Vegas tomorrow. We are pretty lucky to be playing such a renown music conference. Other than that we are trying to keep the shows to a minimum so we can focus on the recording process.
Al: What is the ultimate goal for the band? Where do you see yourselves five years from now?
Andrew: Pop superstardom.
Brian: Gods, yes.
Andrew: We will rule the world with the BCB sound.
Paul: I predict Paul will have a heroin addiction.
Brian: My personal goal would be nothing more than wake up in the morning play music and then play a gig. To be on the road or just to go out there and share music, meet people and enjoy life.
Al:And sleep later than 9am.
Rob: Hey, no digs here. For me, I really want to make albums. I know this is a lot to live up to but to make something like a "Dark Side of the Moon", or "St. Pepper", or "OK Computer". To make an album that is critically acclaimed and people really get into and is timeless.
Andrew: That really turns me on too. The creative process and the writing and working in the studio. To be able focus on that and then support that with energetic performances.
Al: Thank you guys for joining us. Brian, Paul, Rob, and Andrew. Continued success with your band and keep us posted with new developments.
Paul: Go Devils.
BCB: Thanks!!! [top]
Joe: We've been talking about it all week, the Brian Cline Band is going to be stopping by the Upper Room. They are in essence a band we like to hear about. This band hails from the Napa Valley, California. They are a quartet, led by Brian Cline, who plays acoustic guitar and who is also a powerful and passionate singer. We also have Andrew Lion, who is funky and melodic on that 5 string fretless bass, Rob Sherman on the wah-wah and great stylish playing on the electric guitar, and on the skins, Paul Batres, is kicking on the drums and percussion. Let's welcome right now, and give a warm welcome, to a band whose CD we have been playing for over a year now, the Brian Cline Band.
Band: (Group Hello)
Joe: We missed you when you were out on the east coast, how did that go?
Brian: It was great we did a showcase in New York at a place called the C Note in the East Village.
Joe: You guys have been together for about how long?
Andrew: I think as a band, we started pulling this together about 2 years ago.
Joe: Now did you guys know each other from other bands?
Brian: What happened was, I had a vision for a sound I was trying to get, basically what interests me, which was taking songwriting which was based on the Beatles, you know good songs, good melodies and hooks. I really had a hell of a time finding anybody to do it with me. So I ended up putting out the first CD as a solo CD and at that point was able to attract the guys in the band. Now it has transcended Brian Cline and now it's the Brian Cline Band, which I am real happy about. Now we are writing material for our next album, which should be out by the end of the year, as a group. So now, I am basically just a member of the band.
Joe: Now is everyone else getting a part in the songwriting?
Rob: It's a lot more collaborative, which tends to be a direction I think we all wanted to go in, including Brian.
Brian: There is only so much you can do on your own, no matter who you are. Working with other people adds depth, different influences, and its been great. I really happy with the new material.
Andrew: Besides that, it gets kind of embarrassing when you are playing with yourself all the time.
Joe: That is true, getting tired after awhile, right? (Laughing)
Brian: Especially in public.
Joe: Who is the comedian in the band?
Brian: All of us and none of us.
Joe: Let's talk a bit on your individual influences. Who were your influences?
Brian: Who first, me?
Andrew: (Laughing) Might as well, you're the "vision".
Brian: I grew up listening to the Beatles and got really into progressive rock in the 70s. Bands like Genesis and Rush.
Joe: So you grew up in California?
Brian: Yep. I think all of us grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. Who is on my CD player now is like, Tonic and Train, and yes I just said "like". Sorry, it's a west coast kind of thing. Also, totally, dude, awesome man. To digress, our lawyer is in New York and the first time I ever talked to him on the phone, he said, "did you just say 'totally'?" I am really into the bands that are basically rock bands that use different textures, and good songwriting, and acoustic guitar. That's what I like.
Andrew: I am pretty sympathetic to what Brian has been listening to. As far as what has really pushed me forward, I would have to credit my father. He was definitely a product of the 60's. I don't mean to start any rumors about him. There was a pretty happening music scene as everyone knows here. And he fully appreciated that and turned me on to a lot of the local...
Andrew: oh, yeah, whatever... Let's start some really good rumors. You know Jefferson Airplane, Hendrix, Cream, and Zeppelin. I would have to say who pushed me into bass playing was John Paul Jones, one of the greatest of our time in rock music.
Joe: How about Victor Wooten?
Andrew: Victor Wooten is awesome, I love the Bela Fleck stuff. I think of everyone in the band, I have the most eclectic tastes, and I just don't think they understand me sometimes.
Brian: Yeah, you're speaking a different language, man. Victor who?
Andrew: As far as what we are doing, the acoustic approach really lends itself to more of a singing fretless bass sort of sound. What may not be well know, is that Brian played all the bass tracks on the first CD. Our playing is very similar, I tend to lean towards the more melodic side.
Brian: Gee, thanks.
Andrew: So Brian, you were an influence on me, (laughingly) at least as far as Hold the Keys goes.
Rob: I am mainly into like mall rock. You know Debbie Gibson and Tiffany, the Backstreet Boys. (Band is dying in laughter)
Joe: So this is your confessional hour, is it.
Rob: I've got to admit it. I went similar to Andrew's influences. I grew up without a lot of music, but starting playing guitar at 12 and I started to lean more towards the 60s, early Clapton with Cream, Hendrix. Actually, I guy I studied with at home actually played for Santana, Chris Olberg.
Joe: If you a great wish for a new product or a new guitar, what would you get?
Rob: I am actually looking for an old telecaster. So if anyone knows... I don't really tend to go for the new stuff. I only have about 6 guitars right now, but I am working on it. I need better gigs though.
Paul: I started off listening to Peter Criss from Kiss. Of course, every drummer my age says the same thing. As time went on, I listened to a lot Steve Smith. Got into Missing Persons with Terry Bozzio. Then I went through the R&B stage, Jelly Bean Johnson, from the Time, Tony Thompson, from Power Station. Then I got into Vinnie Coaliuta. So a lot of different influences have come my way. It started with Deep Purple and the Beach Boys to Robin Trower and Fleetwood Mac. My older brother was a drummer. So he taught me at an early age how to keep a beat and how to use his record player. I drew mostly from the R&B end of it, more of the late 70s, like Jimmy Jam/Terry Lewis stuff, a lot of the Prince stuff, the funkedelic stuff, the Bootsy Collins thing, Dennis Chambers. I really got into that stuff because is was a total...
Brian: There he goes, "total".
Paul: Big groove stuff.
Joe: It must be quite a tour bus going out on the road?
Brian: We are playing more regionally at this point and only traveling as needed. We were picked up nationally and are on the radio across the country on college and commercial stations and the CD is available everywhere, including Murry's right there in Fairfield, but we are supporting Hold the Keys the best we can and staying close to home, gearing up for the next disc. Andrew: I should add, we love to hear from people. So if you get on our website, send us a note and tell us what you think. If you go to any of the retail sites, you can post a review up there too.
Joe: So fans can definitely get in touch with you, there is no excuse.
Rob: Its encouraged too.
Joe: What was the idea behind the title track, Hold the Keys?
Brian: My idea was to have a positive statement, you know we have all been through a lot of stuff in our life. I am not sure what words I can't say on the air. I wanted to say that we hold the keys to our lot in life and the roads we decide to take.
Joe: Now Paul had to go, was he working on that Too Short collaboration?
Brian: Yeah, he's a busy guy.
Rob: Actually, he had to be the batboy for the Oakland A's tonight.
Brian: Boy, its fun when he's not here, we can just say whatever we want.
Joe: Why don't you talk about the live scene in the Bay Area.
Brian: It's a weird scene out here. There is not a lot of artistic-ness out here. People live in Silicone Valley, they make a lot of money, and it's just a different mentality.
Joe: So they don't listen to as much music as they did growing up?
Brian: So the local clubs where you can hang out, a lot have DJ's, those are insanely popular for people who want to dance. There's a cover scene where bands are playing funk, 80s stuff, and R&B. Then there is a meager, underpaid original scene. We are one of only bands around here that I know of that can go into these cover band places and get paid without playing all covers. We play our own stuff, sell CDs, shirts, hats, and still get paid by the club, and still be able to have an audience.
Andrew: What we are focusing on is showcasing. With summer time coming around we have lots of opportunities for street fairs and festivals.
Rob: Its not as bleak as Brian made it sound. There are always good bands coming out of the Bay Area, like Train, Green Day, Stroke 9 and the Counting Crows. But when you get out of the more urban areas, there are few venues where you can really express yourself.
Brian: There is an amazing amount of talent in this area and I am continually blown away at the level of musicianship. Most of the people who are professional musicians have gravitated to the cover thing. In fact, when we were looking for a drummer a couple months back, we asked 2 or 3 excellent drummers to audition and they wanted to, but what it came down to was since we weren't playing 4-5 night a week doing cover stuff they couldn't afford to pursue their art. Because of this market they were backed against the wall, and I think that is sad. Andrew: Ok, you're depressing me Brian.
Brian: Sorry. (starts wailing in the background)
Joe: Let's talk about something more uplifting. How about the new album?
Rob: Its gonna rock! (band laughing)
Joe: Brian, you going to plug that guitar in?
Brian: Not really. The new album will be a chance to put down on tape what we really sound like now as a band. Once the band came together, it altered the sound. I think we have a little more edge now, especially with Rob in the band. He adds a lot of style and feel with the electric guitar and slide with wah-wah and stuff that I couldn't do. I am mostly an acoustic guitarist. I think the sound is transforming. I am psyched about it. But I am still not plugging in.
Joe: We have seen a resurgence with the acoustic stuff too.
Brian: Yeah, in fact I do a couple solo gigs a month, because I like to do that too. But it doesn't match the band. There is just no way to get that power and energy.
Andrew: From a performance standpoint, we drive it forward with a lot of energy now, but it still has that acoustic edge to it. That I think is the edge we are looking for. With our writing there is an opportunity to be a lot more subtle. From a recording standpoint we are really able to take our time and orchestrate it. It's a beautiful process.
Joe: We have to get you guys out to the east coast.
Band: We're there, we'll do it.
Brian: We have about 15 songs in process and we will probably start recording in July and will release it by the end of the year. In the meantime we are supporting Hold the Keys and selling as much as possible. But we really think that the next one will define us. We feel our CD now will help lay the foundation and establish the connections. We've met a lot of great people across the country. But the next CD, we haven't heard it yet but...
Rob: But we are already selling it.
Joe: I have always wanted to ask this. Do you make more on the CDs or the live shows.
Band: Live shows, definitely.
Brian: One of my friends once used an analogy I liked, that a CD is like an expensive calling card.
Rob: Look at bands like the Greatful Dead, that's how they made their living. I think there is some statistic out there that for every CD you go out and buy for $12.99, the band actually sees 87 cents.
Brian: Whatever, the idea is to play for as many people as possible for as many people as possible so we can just do more of it.
Joe: How do you get the CD if you want to buy it.
Rob: Brian's number is 707...
Brian: No, 555...
Rob: Call him direct.
Brian: No, you can buy it through our website at www.briancline.com or through any of the major retailers and online shops, like amazon.com or cdnow.com.
Joe: So no excuse not to have it.
Band: That's what we think.
Joe: Now you said you wrote the song "Joe" for me. But I don't think so.
Brian: No, we did!
Rob: Joe was written for Brian's first boyfriend. (Everyone laughing)
Brian: Oh great! Way to many rumors on this one.
Andrew: Wow, Rob just woke up.
Joe: Now we know that someone in the band is gay, someone is recording with Too Short.
Andrew: Don't go to the equestrian thing guys.
Brian: Whew, I didn't write it about my grandfather, his name wasn't Joe, I wanted an anonymous type name for the character. It was inspired by my grandfather, who had a degenerative disease. The message behind it is you've got to live for today, there is no guarantee for tomorrow. I like to think there is some hope in the message.
Rob: It also rhymes with blow and snow.
Brian:This is true. Really the key to the song is don't let the moment slip away, the moments are few. That's what I wanted to say. Hope you like it.
Joe: Please come back in when you finish that CD and tell us all the stories behind it.
Andrew: The fist fights, the hugs...
Rob: We'll probably fire Brian by then.
Brian: I am a little worried about this. I won't even be able to use my own name. Joe: I see lawsuit written all over it [top]
(Brian Cline Band played "Hold the Keys" Live)
JohN: Brian Cline Band in the studio. Fantastic. Your CD is available at shows right?
Brian: Right now its available at our shows and through our website. (Brian forgets to turn off reverb from live song)
JohN: (Shouts like from a mountain) Brian, you're in a big tunnel, get out of the tunnel! (Everyone laughing as Brian turns down the reverb)
Aaron: Its called studio trickery.
Brian: How do they do that? Actually, we've got it available through our website at BrianCline.com. We're expecting to be in stores pretty soon. We have two national distribution offers on the table right now, which we are trying to put together...
JohN: Now people should know, are you guys are all from the Napa Valley?
Brian: Actually, Aaron and I live in Napa.
Andrew: I live in Concord, but my roots are planted into the Napa Community as well.
JohN: People should definitely come out tonight and support some live tonight at Downtown Joe's. There's not a huge amount of music in the Valley.
Brian: Not really, Downtown Joe's and the Chef's Market in Summer, and that's about it.
JohN: Yeah, So to see you guys there tonight is definitely a fantastic thing. Would you guys like to play another song for us? How about the Top-40; something else from the record. We are playing "What's That Do for Me?" right now in heavy rotation, why don't you play that?
Brian: Can I go back in the tunnel now?
JohN: Brian Cline Band here in the studio, on 99.3 The Vine. (Band plays song) Whew, man, sounded good. We should let people know you actually here in the studio playing. Make some noise so people can hear that you are in the studio playing. (Band makes noise) Now Brian, what are some of your songwriting influences?
Aaron: I would say he's influenced by Barbara Streisand.
Brian: Uh, that's Aaron. I really like the female singer-songwriter thing and of course I love James Taylor and the Beatles. A lot of the modern stuff, too, like Toad the Wet Sprocket. The whole idea of what we're doing is acoustic guitar meets modern rock. I know its not the first time its been done. But that's what we're about. Its an easy vibe but at the same time it is high energy.
Andrew: He's actually an in the closet glam rocker.
JohN: Say that again. I didn't have your mic on.
Andrew: Of course, once again, me the bass player always left out.
Brian: He usually doesn't have a mic.
Aaron: That's OK man, at least you're not the brunt of people's jokes.
Brian: OK they caught me in spandex once.
JohN: We've got a new CD-R right here, now this is a brand new song, is that correct?
Brian: Yeah, we just got a new publishing deal a couple weeks ago from a publisher we've done work for before. They specialize in network TV and Film work. "Hold the Keys" has been on commercials and Soap Operas. Anyway, they wanted two more of our songs, one of which we hadn't recorded yet. So we had two weeks to get the song on tape. I think we all got kicked out of the house. But we like it and its new.
JohN: So this is "Believe in Me". You recorded this for Armageddon II?
Aaron: I think it was for The Juror.
JohN: Any particular story behind this one?
Brian: Well, uh , actually, uh, this is going to get me in trouble, it was the whole first marriage and all that.
Aaron:: Oh gosh, we're running out of time.
Brian: Gotta go now.
JohN: On to the CD.
Brian: Actually, listening to it now it has some relevance to where we are at right now as a band. Trying to get a following, sell CDs, and break to the next level. It a lot of work. (Played "Believe in Me")
JohN: That's a damn original name, Brian Cline Band.
Aaron:: We were too lazy to think of anything else.
Brian: That reminds me, you know the guys have been threatening to fire me for the longest time. Well me nightmare happened at the last gig. This guy came up and he said, "my name is Brian Cline". Immediately, I was fired by the guys.
JohN: That's great that they have so much faith in you. So the Brian Cline Band is going to play one more for us today. Check it out, Brian Cline Band, on the Vine.
Brian: This is a song I wrote for my wife, Diane,Its called "Something to Tell". (band plays song)
JohN: From the CD, "Hold the Keys". Thanks for coming into the studio today. You know you scored big points with the wife.
Brian: I am so glad I didn't mess up the words.
JohN: But you didn't score points with the Brian Cline groupies out there.
Brian: Oh, man.
Aaron: Hey, the drummer's single! I've only heard.
Andrew: Yeah, he sounds a lot taller on the air.
JohN: We're going to give a few CDs today. Check out the Brian Cline Band tonight, free show tonight.
Aaron: I think the free shows sound the best, really.
Brian: Is that because you can buy more drinks? [top]
© 2006 Brian Cline Band. All Rights Reserved.