LONG BEACH LOCALS GIVE US THE INSIDE SCOOP
I remember clearly: it was freshman year and I was a fresh-faced college student who was not so eager to learn. I did, however, want to become involved in Long Beach’s music scene. Back in San Diego, I was well acquainted with all the bands and scenes that were running the town, but here in Long Beach, I had no clue as to what was going on in the musical sphere. Four years later, I still don’t have a fucking clue about the musical going-ons of this place. But one name has stuck around those entire four years I’ve been here. Brown and Blue was that name. I had heard of people in the dorms talking about the band and decided to check out their stuff. What I found was really good and exciting and helped to propel me in Long Beach’s musical direction. Now, as music editor of the Union Weekly, I’ve gotten the chance to interview these fine musicians about their start, their music, and what makes them tick. Hopefully, if you’re new as well, this will help you get acquainted with some of the great things they’re concocting here in Long Beach. Also, their EP A Warmer Climate is out as a free download on Bandcamp, so why don’t you mosey your way on to a computer and get it.
Union Weekly: So to get us acquainted with you guys, when did you all meet and how did the band form?
Danny Nogueiras: Ricky, Ray and I all went to high school together. I started performing as Brown and Blue in 2006, I think Ricky joined soon after Ray, but wasn’t in the band until its current line up. This line up was solidified in 2009, I believe. We met Bert White and Anthony Vezirian while they were attending CSULB. We were all friends and hung out pretty much every night at Ricky and Ray’s place, which was on PCH and 7th at the time. We were looking for new members and our best friends seemed like an obvious choice.
UW: What music do you guys take inspiration from?
DN: Its hard to say. When we’re all in the car together it’s safe to put on The Band, Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, Neil Young and all that sort of classic rock n’ roll Americana stuff, and you can expect us to sign along. As for newer music, I’ve been a big Bright Eyes fan since I was in high school. That band continues to inspire me. We got really into all the Saddle Creek stuff happening a couple years back and it never really went away for us. Bands like Two Gallants, Cursive, Neva Dinova, Rilo Kiley, and all the other wonderful indie music that leads you to that was going on around the same time. Lately, Ricky and I have been listening to a lot of Grandaddy together. I suppose our taste is all over the place.
UW: You guys recently released an EP, A Warmer Climate. Can you describe the recording process for that? How did you come up with song ideas and how was recording in general for that EP?
DN: We recorded this new EP in three different places: my apartment, my studio down the street from my apartment that I share with our buddies in FIDLAR, and our producer David J’s house. We’ve never worked with a producer before, but David J has been in some of our favorite bands (Kind of Like Spitting, Novi Split) and we had just recently become friends with him. It seemed like a good opportunity to get to work with someone whose music we’ve loved for so long and could learn from. It was. He worked us really hard in the studio and instilled a new work ethic in the band. We were used to trying to record fast and live and he helped us really concentrate on the details of the songs and create something more focused than anything we’d ever done. The songs just sort of happened, I suppose. They’re all inspired by one thing or another that was happening in my life and I wrote them as they came. They weren’t written specifically for this EP or to be released together.
UW: Do you have any favorite venues to play at?
DN: Pehrspace has been really friendly to us and we’ve had some really fun shows there.
UW: Do you have any particular piece of gear that was essential during the recording of the EP?
DN: I’m not really sure. Maybe my recording console? Its an old British console from the ‘80s I picked up a while back. It changed a lot about the way we sounded and I really like what we could do with it.
UW: You also have your own record company, Mountain Man Records. Are there any benefits to running your own label while doing the band?
DN: I am not currently running Mountain Man Records. It is being run by my good friend and the guy that founded the label with me, Mike Smith.
UW: Any last advice for the kids out there?
DN: Yes. When seeking advice on anything important, don’t ask me.