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The Dive Bar Rock Star Podcast
The Dive Bar Rock Star Podcast

Episode 30 · 11 months ago

Brandon Rogers- Use What You Got (American Idol, Usher)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Singer, Songwriter, Producer, Brandon Rogers, talks about his soon to be released EP and shares an early listen of two of the songs. He reflects on his experience on Season 6 of American Idol and explains his mixed emotions about being voted off. He discusses his time in quarantine and the songs that came out of it. Brandon also explains how he got to be the voice of Oha in the new Coming 2 America movie.

B. Random- Finish Line

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MtSVPwDImx8

Quarantimes (Star Again)

https://youtu.be/fKRmfp9NEg8


Alec Benjamin- I Built A Friend

https://open.spotify.com/track/68XhCrBajUR64h6wv4eYYW?si=6186b5afb5464027


Frankie Rodriguez- In A Heartbeat

https://youtu.be/Rkvvfb9NvtA



www.divebarrockstar.com

If you are a fan of the dive bar Rockstar podcast and would like to help support the show, there's a great way that you could do that and start a new fashion trend. We have a new merchandise page on the website, which features t shirts and hoodies that are available for sale on Amazon. Just click on merchandise and the top menu and all of the links will be there. or go directly to dive Bar rockstarcom merchandise. Get started early on your Christmas shopping at dive Bar rockstarcom. Welcome to the dive Bar Rockstar podcast, the show exploring the lives of professional musicians of all types, touring musicians, recording artist, songwriters, engineer's bar bands, wedding bands and anyone making their living in the music industry. Whether you've dreamed of being a professional are you already are one, this is the podcast for you. I'm your host, Eric Baines, and I hope that you not only find some entertainment here, but also some helpful tips, trade secrets and ideas that will help you achieve your dreams. I realize the other day that on my last podcast I said that I was going to take a few weeks off and I don't know how it happened, but it's turned to seven and a half months and it's been an incredible journey. I have a baby. The baby is here, Lennon Allen Baines. He's super healthy. Everything came off, you know, without a hitch, other than him being two weeks early, but he was just excited. I think he just got excited. He wanted to meet everybody and he's doing great. He's keeping me up late at night and early in the morning and the chaos is afoot, but it's mostly awesome. It's also made a little more stressful by the fact that live music is back and which is a good thing, and a lot of people are getting back to work finally after I don't know fourteen months of lockdown and everything being shut down. So it's an exciting time. I've been out on the road. has been great seeing live audiences again and, you know, I'm sure it's great for everybody to be back doing what we're supposed to be doing. My guests tonight today, whenever, whenever it is that you're listening. That's the beauty of a podcast, I guess. Is An incredible singer, songwriter, producer and keyboardist. He started as a backup singer for artists like Anastasia, Christina Aguilera and usher, among many more. You might remember him from American idol season six, where he took twelve place. He's just finishing up an EP and on this episode you'll get to hear it first. We got a couple of brand new tracks, one of which isn't even the final mix. It sounds awesome, don't worry. But the he's not even out yet, but he agreed to give us a bit. He's just a taste. Just give us a taste. He's got lots of music on spotify to check out, though, including an EP from a band that I was in called B random, so check that out. He's recently written some songs for a couple of Disney projects, including a musical called Sneak Arello, which isn't out yet. It's a modern tick on Cinderella. Look for that. But he also wrote a song for high school musical, the musical the series, which is on Disney plus and the episode just aired on Friday. But it's history making. It's the first lgbtq Love Song that has been written and performed, you know, for a Disney show, so it's pretty big deal. He's also the singing voice for Oha in the new coming to America movie which came out a few months back. But it's so hilarious, especially if you love the first movie, you're going to want to check this one out. It's really great. Just a heads up that there will be some language in this episode, so maybe this isn't one to listen to with the kids, but you know, that's how we musicians talk sometimes. So and it's a podcast, so you know, we're going to do what we do. He's a really awesome guy. He's a super talented musician and writer and he's a great friend of mine. So I hope you enjoy this conversation with Brandon Rogers. Star. So we're talking about your new EP, MMM, which is when did you do you have a date? No, I don't, because I wanted to make sure I had the songs first. Yeah, that's so. It's good. I've had a lot of CD release parties. Were like there's just going to be here in a week. Yeah, thanks for being here tonight. I've done those. You probably played it a couple of my I did just that. Yeah, no, I but you were just telling me the story of how you lost. So you had a whole completed thing with a vibe and you got how many songs on it? Five, five songs and six. So you're looking at this definitely almost like a record, where it's there's a you want it to be a complete you want someone to sit and listen to the whole thing exactly and be an experience. I wanted to be an experience.

Every song has a theme. It's probably the most personal stuff I've written, just because, I mean Shit, I was in my feelings during, like the pandemic, like during during isolations, like being single and living alone and not being able to leave your house all together. Wow, was just a mix for me. Having go see a shrink. I guess it's like which which? Which happened? Which is which is, I guess, a positive negative, like is it one of those things like I had never done but always wanted to do, but I finally I woke up one day in the middle of the pandemic and I was like, Oh, this sucks, like I just like I felt I was more depressed than I ever been in my whole life. Yeah, and so I'd already written a couple songs that are that are on the EP that sort of you can sense that energy from it, right, but I'm just I have a feeling that's going to be a lot of people's EPS coming up. Yeah, and I was trying to actually release a couple songs during the quarantine riff that reference to quarantine directly, because I didn't want to do that afterwards, right, I didn't want it. Like some of them, they tackle the mood of isolation. Like one of the songs is about anxiety, as my son very must called deep end, and it's about like wanting to connect with people but not actually wanting to connect with people. been afraid to because I fall into deep and it's, you know, sort of I guess you can take it two ways. You can take it too deep in emotional connection with people, or I fall in too deep in my own anxiety. Right, it's they're both true. Lesson that you're needing. Needing. Control is a fantasy, hope is a tragedy. Search in between the loge you're reading. So I could be less smoke. What if I'm right, right, right, because I cannot pretend that I can choose to swim. Probably being too hasty, but I'm with the lonely made me. Yepkune, I was just talking about the idea that you had a song that you would co written. Yes, and you were like, Hey, I got the CP all done, and he's like, Oh, shoot, I sold that. So sold that song, which is like Yay. Always sold the song to a licensing company for you some TV shows and they love it and they're like it's in there like their group that they always get placed in shows, so I'll definitely make some money off of it, right. But I was just like fuck, like I'm like I was done, like all the songs are written. Now I just had to like clean up some vocals and tighten up the production, get it mixed and mastered right, and then I could like pick a date right and and start like deciding which videos I wanted to spend money on or if I wanted to spend money on her right. Just it was just I had crossed the threshold that made me feel really good. So I felt really bad when it ended and I didn't know what to do and I knew it needed the energy that the song that I lost had, right, so I I produced. I produced basically a reharmonization of the same song, I said at this hot started anyway, and I kept writing stuff and I kept was like referencing my other one in trying to write and capture the moment. You just can't like it. Is it rings false, because every song has its own personality, every song has its own sense of creation and and that sort of source of inspiration. Yeah, exactly, one particular coming from a place. It comes from a particular place that's intangible. I think so. I think so too. I mean, I write songs for living for lots of different artists, but I'm kind of a nerd and I like it. I like big words and my favorite big word is very similitude. That's awesome, which means that's a great word, which means having the appearance of being true, and that's what makes any good piece of art feel connective to people who listen to it. It's that. It's the very similitude, it's the IT sounds real. So everything...

I write has to start from somewhere true, nice and so me trying to duplicate rubber stamp this song that was true as heck when I wrote it right is not going to work. So what I did was I sort of broadened my idea about the theme of that particular Song, because the theme initially was ambition. HMM, and so this one is more about like, like and like. It's like a conversation with myself about ambition and comparison to other people's careers and lives. You know, you, we always, we all fall on the trap looking at someone who's the same age or younger, because that's usually what it is. They're older, you're like, I'll get there, but if they're younger and like, everything's popping off for you. Yeah, and then, and then you run into the dangerous thing of being like, well, I'm better than it's like, man, and then that's a facebook doesn't help. Yeah, it's not for you to say. They're like a current any anything, any social media. The fact that we're all glued to social media constantly, like it's of course to do that. INSTAGRAM is curated, I mean by you. Right, it's created. You're not. Most people aren't posting like the worst pictures of them right. They're not posting themselves like waiting for their unemployment checked by the by the mailbox. You know, they're not posting that. Right there exactly. They're posting themselves, you know, in a seat with extra leg room, saying it's first class. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, anyway, I didn't mean to get in the specifics about the song, but I just like I kind of love it because it's an interesting lesson it because I do not a lot, but I do more, you know, writing for TV, where it's like we can't afford this song. They used to call them sound a likes, but nobody wants to use that term anymore. Right. So my instinct in your situation would be like, let's write a sound alike. Yeah, but when you're doing something that's supposed to be art and not supposed to be the background was somebody exact love scene or something we want to mean something, it's a hard place to to go to. Yeah, and actually that's I do the same thing. And Yeah, and it wasn't. Actually, when I the song I wrote was the original song, was a quote unquote, sound alike. That turn out not to be. But right, because I don't it was like supposed to be like Anderson Pack, and I don't listen to an an a lot of man and I know he's great because I've heard some of the stuff. I love it. It's super creative and like interesting and cool progressions, which, Yay, yeah, I freaking love. Yeah, but basically they did the sound like part in the track originally, right, and I just wrote what what was in what it came to me in the wind from that, from that track. Right. So I wasn't doing a sound like, but that's how it started, right, that's how it started. So this is a not sound alike of a sound of right. Right, it happens to be that. I happen to like. Actually, more I'm everything happens for a reason. Yeah, I wrote and produce every song on the EP except that one. Wow, and so that song got taken away from me and I had to write and produce the one to replace it. Right. So now I have an EP that feels holy mind. So you've written, you wrote everything. I wrote every song. I've rememb produced every song, by yourself and by myself. Yeah, and isolation moslowly losing my mind. Wow. Firstly, I gotta get a little some of much I want to shine. You think I'm kind of impressed my faulty stay, bald and pressed. Yes, if you feel a type of way, then I'm talking to you. I'm not trying to make it feel like a fool, but you can only grow if you know the truth. See, we made you want you can have it. Stay focused comparison. So if you need someone, and I'm going, I won't tell you what to do to your own stop. You have a you're one of the most ECLECTIC writers, you know. Yeah, are and I were in a rock man together. Here we were in a band and you know, it was probably really awesome. Yeah, and probably the most poppy band that I've been in since, yeah, high school, you know. Yeah, so for me it was really fun anyways. Yeah, and actually more poppy than metal usually. I just I'm a hard person to category grass him for myself as like, who do you want to be as an artist, I'm like, I want to do like all the...

...things I want to do. Yeah, whatever that means. Right. Yeah, and you do it in this ep from what I've heard already, you know, because that's what you were talking about. progressions, and that's what you think. You know where your songs going. Yeah, and then you don't. You go somewhere. So totally awesome because I can board with it while I'm writing. Yeah, and that, for me, is like my most favorite music to listen, you know, like I'd because I mean, I don't know, I can get old and grumpy about how like I feel like using grumbling what I was scared grumble, grubble, grubble. Edited out of this, edited out of the PODCAST, but I got it. You know, I enjoy I grew up in the S and s were like music progressed every time you've heard a new record, and I don't know that it does that anymore. I don't know that's really a part of the thing. So when I hear things that are true, are progressing, like you. This is. This feels progressive to me because I appreciate. I get in a track and I oh, it's that's like an RMB pop thing, and then you're going, Whoa, that where? That's not our be pop, that's this her that you know, like it's really interesting to listen to. It's why I appreciate like curry. It's so much going on there. Oh yeah, like a you just that spice mommy is like it's sweet, it's spicy and salted. I know, but you know that just I mean that I came to it, as my parents like to say. I can't came by it. Honestly right in that, like, you know, my favorite writers growing up were stevie wonder and James Taylor, yeah, like and the Beatles and Bonnie rate and like. So it was just as a hodgepodge of musical identity and a sort of feels like I feel like you've gotta Palette, yeah, of a lot of different stuff and just kind of sprinkling it on there, because sometimes I'll do something that's more like a pop or like something that's current feeling, but then I'll dig more into the lyric and, you know, and then something that's a little lighter lyric. I'll make sure I make those in Chord aggression interesting. Yeah, and that's not even for anybody other than myself. That's and that's one thing I learned about making this EP in particular, and me making music from generally. But this time I was like, I am a forty three year old man. Nobody's gonna tell me what the fuck I'm going to write or saying yeah, like I just I'm going to write and produce what I want to hear right period. Yeah, like I can't, like I was like I don't have time to focus on like what the possible result is I'm not trying to get a deal or sign like that. I mean, you know, we can segue into something else, but just you know, the sort of democratization of the music industry through and you know, through Internet and you know companies like a wall and you know like payer out and what's the a CD baby and things like that that sort of allow everyone who has capability to put out music right like there's enough with is more and more people every day too, because the gears chief you would do it on your laptop and which I like both high key hate and I'm very appreciative at the same time. It's a tricky I'm glad for me because I am someone who has worked for years and we would you know, went to college school for music, been riding tour and singing with people, doing on TV, been not on TV. Dude, I've been hustling for twenty years and so for me it's sort of freeze me up to do what I want to do and then figure out how to get it out. Then the hard part is finding the audience. The downside is that it's just a see of it's it's the fucking Pacific Ocean. Yeah, of music. It's just so much stuff. So in that in turn makes it even harder to get attention, especially when you're a fuddy duddy like me who fucking hates posting on social media. I'm sorry, I curse a lot and you know that's about me. It's all good, it's a podcast. I'll give you to Oh, yes, I'll warn people, you know, going in. Okay, let me yeah, I brand into look a lot, yeah, a lot. Yeah, but you know what I'm saying, like it's like, yeah, it's like yes and no, like please God, like I want. I want people to shine. I'm not a I'm not a person who believes that there isn't enough room for people right, like, I can see that I just said about you know, they're being an ocean of people out there, which there is, but I also don't like the idea of gate keepers of people, like labels and stuff, preventing people from doing that. So I think, you know, I constantly tell you we all got room to shine. Yeah, you know, if you can find your light. I mean, nobody's got seven billion fans, so there's a there's a market for you. Yeah, it's just enjoy yourself. Finding that. Well, that's a pretty thing. It's just as much work to get to your people as it is to make great music. And Yeah, that's where the gatekeepers, because I kind of got the hail about it, because to me it's like an an our guy, that was a talent. Those aren't just people that were preventing. There were people who could see something that people would like, yeah, and exploit it, you know. And of course the deals were never fair. You know, you could. There's plenty of stuff about the record label system that yable. But but the idea beside twice. I get it. It's all right and they but the idea, idea of qualified gatekeepers, sort of keeps everything a little at least there's a standard, you...

...know. Yeah, but they used to be able to control the gate, like and not just keep the gate and like see what's missing and and get, you know, develop artist and all that stuff. They because they were the only outlet for people to get out there. They knew what the hell they were talking about. Now I actually know something in our people and they don't know what the fuck they're talking about. Yeah, like I mean, and some of them, there are some of them are, some of them do right, you know, totally and those are the they tend to be like the people who more like our age, like around our age, you know what I mean? Yeah, and, and I sound like I'm sounding an old man now just because I'm like these kids today. Yeah, but like, like when I mean a lot on, I mean are and they're like twenty seven and I'm like, sir, please don't tell me about it. They yeah, it's tricky. Most of the kids I work with, you know, production and writing. Why is our sixteen to twenty five? Yeah, you know, my playlist when I get in the car is the future hits playlist, not the current popular is right, future hits? Yeah, exactly, because I always want to hear what is getting the least amount of plays. But these kids all know it, right, they all know it already, the stuff that's getting lots of plays. They're over it already because of attention spans. Well, it's you know, top producers talk about how like they have to think a year and a half ahead because they're going to make that record and then it's got to get packaged up. That's not gonna come out for a year. And what's the what's the sound going to be? Then? The greatest or the ones that can call the next one it. And you know who knows? Maybe most time it's an accident. But yeah, but if you're always doing the greatest, then at the same time you're the leader. You know, you're the one actually pulling the rest along. I suppose you know, you're totally right, I think, for least for me, the goal, you know, I got some stuff coming out then that my may or may not break, but if it does, I hope it's because I'm not trying to duplicate something I heard all, you know, like on the radio, if it makes sense. I'm trying to keep the sound, the current sound, in the progression of it in my head, HMM, while trying to do what I just want to do in a production like fort for an artist like I'm not, you know what I mean. I'm not trying to copy, because I think that's where people make them a big mistake. To me, it's very successful for very luquetive for them, sometimes right till I just come completely like how many more trap songs do we need? Yeah, right, like I just totally duplicate, duplicate, duplicate. You hear the formula like you like four chords, spooky pianos sound. Pull it back eight hundred and eight and the same. And then near the and they on the radios, muvid and son's, and now everything is dubstep. Yeah, you know, its been happening high hats, and that's been happening since the beginning. Like every song in the s sounded the same. You know, it's you can hear the the the changing sound as the era is go but but you're right, it's like you don't want to totally copy. It's like what you got to be able to hear. What's next? Yeah, what's next? I guess. Can I elevate? What can I elevate? Where can I and what can I bring to it? Yeah, one else going to bring to it what you're going to bring to it into there. I mean, I tell all the guys, call them the kids. That's why I tell it was kind of be awful. God, that's good. Be Awesome, awesome. That tell the people that I tell the people that I that I write with. One of my beliefs is that nothing is original everything, nothing is inherently original. Everything is the culmination of everything you've heard, and what makes it original was how that transmute through you yeah, you know what I mean. That's so I think you can't spend too much time being like I want to do something crazy. I'm like a guarantee. You're going to use the same thirteen notes and twelve, notescuse me, as everyone else. Right, exactly. So you have no choice. You have no choice. A semi tones don't work. Yeah, in the not in the Western world, exactly. And and actually, to be honest, even in eastern music it's usually a passing tone or something like that's right in between. Something like that out as it yeah, nobody's like playing the F sharp sharp half chord like, like I said, no, nobody's doing that. Right. So do you when you're writing for other people versus yourself? Is there a difference there? You're always trying to be you know, come from the same place that I try to be as consistent as possible. I'm definitely a little more discerning from my own stuff because it's just it's different, it's coming from a different place. It's I want it to be my own, I want my own energy. I want to take my time and figure it out, and I it takes me longer to write a song for myself now for other people. I just sort of learned tricks. So usually the first half hour to an hour of a session sometimes it's just me having a conversation, it's just me asking questions, shooting the Shit, asking what's on their mind and and low key taken notes while they're talking, right, and I just sort of try to figure out like because, like I said before, it I try to stick consistent. It has to be true. It didn't have to be like a true story, like we're not talking about biographies here, but it's got a it's got to have some sense of true right, and it can't be I think we're a lot of people, songwriters make the mistake is making stuff overly general, and so it's so general...

...it hits nobody. That's exactly it's. So it's got to be it. I'm like, no, make it super specific. Yeah, and then it'll feel like it'll feel general because people will feel like they're seeing into your world. And also, by the way, we're all humans. And Yeah, like what are you trying to avoid? You really think that your experience is the only you're the older person's all. That's stiens that have us too specific for me. I'm like no, dude, like so like if you go to watch a movie that has a really unique plot, are you always like it wasn't general enough? I don't it's a I don't know, I don't understand, but you know what, some people feel that way really well, like I couldn't relate. I'm like, it's iron man, bro is this we're talking about songwriting. I have to talk about this song that you wrote, and I remember the day that you wrote it because we had a band called B random will tell about that too. But and you came from the session, I'm pretty sure that's how I remember it, and you were like, listen to this song I just wrote with this kid Alec Benjamin. Oh right, yes, and I listen to it again today and it just in terms of coming from a real place, even like I'm literally bawling uncontrollably about a fictional piece of plastic and I'm thinking, what did I miss? Why is this happening? Is One of the most amazing time crush ever heard in my life. I appre I built a friend. It's called it. I don't even know. It's not yours necessarily or I don't know if I can play it on the on the podcast without getting to him a fifty percent owner of that song. So I don't know. Yeah, so I'd probably just put a link. But yeah, check out this song. It's unbelievable and it's on. It's on Alec Benjamin's album. It's funny. X I where we wrote it back in the day, but he put it on his most recent album, on the on the deluxe editions. This is perfect time me. Yeah, perfect time, which is great. It's on a the area's at these two windows or something like that. All present, I forget. I forget what the name of the album is, but something about two Windows Goss you. But anyway, know, the reason I think what you feel, because I feel it even when I hear the song, is because you hear what we talked about to get to that point. He was signed to Columbia records at the time. He's not anymore. He signed to someone else, but he was signed. He was signed to somebody and he was feeling he was nine hundred and eighteen or nineteen. He was feeling he was lonely and something had happened with his friend. And in my world, like one of my friends and my dog just died like like within six months of that or something like that. And and so we just had this moment. We were like, what if we wrote a song about losing a friend or being lonely? And then it became and then we sort of wrote a screenplay ish, like not scheme screenplay, but like an outline of a screenplay for that. So, because, because you have little time in a song, so you have to paint a picture that carries over to the next picture. Yeah, or else rolls, you lose them. You can't jump too fast. MM. So we created sequences and we were like, okay, we want to get here. He's we're gonna get here. It's we're going to write a song about a kids so lonely that he creates his own friend. Okay, then the kids that becomes his best friend, and then he goes off to college and neglects the best friend and the best friend kills himself. And it'Sai and let's make it a robot, unbelievable for kids. Yeah, right, yeah, no, and at that that last turn catches everyone off guard, like and then they're like literally, I'm like, gets a piece of plastic and an old cell phone. What am I? What am I crying about? Because it's about more than that, I think. Also, the harmony is gorgeous. Thank like you're you get sucked in right away because you're like, Oh, this is a sad story, and it is. It's horribly traded, but so many Brit in the middle you think it's gonna be happy, like because it starts out it's like he's sad and he like, oh, he's lonely. Well, I don't think I felt that because because of the first words are I built a friend. That's sad right there, like already. I'm like, Oh, well, you got it, got me for you gout. You know you got it because it is sad. But we were thinking we would trick people to the thinking that it becomes all right, it becomes happy and he's sated and then the rug is pulled from my right. That that one, like this one, turn the lyric where you know the holy we had so much fun together. We yeah, that's it. We we thought we made friends forever, and so the last time we had we change when lyric lazer though, and we had so much fun. To know, we knew we'd be friends forever. Is What it is. But whole song. Yeah, the last one is we thought we be friends. It's so and it's just those little things that's actually strange enough, that little turn. I do that in some songs because that's a country thing. Yeah, yeah, and and that's where I got it from. Listen to grown up listen to the country music and and how they would shift to words in a verse here there, and you get chills up your arm because it just change the meaning of everything. Yeah, well, I'm glad you like. I'm glad you like the song because I really loved that song.

I mean it want might be on my like list of top five favorite songs of all time. I appreciate that. It's one of my favorites. But speaking of like emotional songs, like quarantine was a challenge for you. That's a couple of great songs came out of it. Yeah, that you wrote a song called a but Corne, clorn times, Corn Times, yes, which it wasn't the first time I heard that song, but I mean that term. But I think your take on it is so cool because what I love about you, you're sad songs, is that there's I don't even know if I call them sad, but when you're talking about an issue that might be controversial, maybe, or at least serious. There's always this positiveness. Yeah, and there's all you're always sort of trying to make peace with it. Yeah, I think I'm an inherently pot I'm an inherently positive guy and I'm an inherently curious guy. And so I'm a firm believer of do you want to be upset or do you want to fix it? Right? Do you want to stay mad or do you want to fix it? Do you want to stay sad or do you want to fix it? I want to fix things, I want to figure out things right, and so I think you can only do that. And when in Songwriting, when you talk about the journey of something, I can't just sit and wallow in a feeling in a song. I to work it out through the song. I feel like that just to me, that's more interesting than just writing a sad song, you know, right, like I was when I wrote Corn Times in particular. I was sad and I was looking around and I was like can we all do better than this? And and so it became about that. But it's also it's like I try to ride this line because I don't want to be preachy either. Right, yeah, it's you know, it's a tricky lie. It's like just, you know, walking the tight rope, but I do it a lot and I and and sometimes I fall on the one side and from times I fall on the other, but I always try. And you kind of do it with questions. I think it's yeah, how you don't you know the socratic maybe we should open our minds in these corn times. Yeah, maybe it's awesome, maybe we should try. Yeah, that I didn't feel preached. Yeah, well, I appreciate that and I love it. She brought this song up just because I that Song meant a lot to me and I did a one chat video against my wall in my living room right and I just I don't know, I just really love that song and I don't can't even listen to it anymore because it makes me sad. Yeah, because it takes me back to what I was feeling when I wrote it. This felty show is the first you know you end up in hurts. Don't do feel so elated? Well, I'm Kinda like that anyway. It makes me fall apart some days, and now they're all the same. Sometimes I don't even wanna try. What's the USIN doing? Well, which just buying times. We're pleasing a losing game and loves become as no play, no way to master thing. When they open up the gates and let the horses out, we just gonna find another tractor running around. Too many answers, no solutions. Time is running down. It's a chance to take confusion live without a doubt that each other is the one thing that we can live without, not the money that's been missing from your bank accounts, and maybe we should open up in these corn types. When I first heard it to I just thought, oh, Brandon's going through a bit of a theater phase because, yeah, it had sort of a musical theater kind of you know what funny? I don't want I really listen to it. Yeah, I like I don't hear it as much. I push it back. I was going through the music. I push back on that because I used I gotten that my whole life and it's because I have a big voice and because I like lots of courts. You like courts, I like corlity. Yeah, cords and melody and like. I don't know why, I don't know when. One day that became assigned to musical theater, because I not like I'm out there seeing a Oklahoma or some shit, like it's. Well, you know what happened is that slowly but surely, pop music stopped using yeah, you're right. Now, the only place you here it is on Broadway. You're right. You're right. I just you know, I went to college for Dass. So, like I'm I'm trying to not do that, but because supposed to do that, I don't try not because I like, you know, eating, yeah, eating, and like paying bills and like, you know, not living in alleys. That's terrible. I got lots of successful jazz musician friends and I'm being a Dick Right now. I take it bad jazz. You taught me lots of things. Yeah, absolutely, but I like courts. Yeah, yeah, so where did you go to school? I'm to university North Texas, nor Texas, North Texas, North Texas state, or, if you want to get our are we had...

...a, you know, campus jazz radio station, like lots like jazz schools do, and it was k and to you, because of very easily could have been k UNTI, because everyone calls it unt right, but not the radio station, because, I mean it's like four years it was north Texas state that they're used to call it, right, and then, and then, twenty thirty years ago, they started like all the signs and everything says Unti got you. So did you have a good experience there? I had a great experience. I have friends that I'm still friends with a lot of as a blur. Yeah, not because drugs and drugs. I did spoke a lot of we, but now I you actually know. I take it. I I didn't smoke we during the school year. I SHANNA had a rule about that. That's cool. I kind I just been like, you know how practice rooms are like. You're in it, you see that practice room more than more than school, like more in the school. It's like, you know, you have twenty credit hours in a semester and that's a heavy semester. Twenty credit hours and you spend twenty thirty in your practice room. Yeah, yeah, practicing for like three classes, right. It's great. Yeah, I know. I I learned a lot of stuff. I met some good people to college from or Jones, which we sang together, and choirs and bands, and you went as a singer, as a singer, as is it. Well, I when I was when I got to college, I played piano, saxophone and voice. Primarily, I played other instruments, but those are the three that I'd like. Was In ensembles for. And so when I got there I was premed for one year and then my parents, both individually. They're divorced, but their friends, but individually without talking to each other, where like you seem miserable, and strange enough, my parents are the ones who encourage me to switch my major to music, and it was I was no surprised, like I went there to be adjacent to music. Yeah, I was like, Oh, they also have a good the school is great for music, but they also have a great premed program so I'm going to do that. I'm to be practical. That's interesting and I was good at two things, music and saints. And so when I got there I played those three instruments. I had to make a choice because I was looking at the sex players. I'm like, Oh, if I do that, I'm have to only do that. And if I played piano, okay, if I do that, mouth only do that. And I was like, but I'll sing in minor and piano. Nice. That's why I did yeah, that was I was a little bit in the same boat when I had Berkeley, it's like I gotta pick and I was like, well, the only one I can really read on, because I've played bass in high school. But it right. I didn't want to. So instead of practicing, I was just like I just learned to read pretty well and then I could just show upen do it. That's a girl, you know what I mean. Yeah, so when I I got to college, it's like, well, I'm going to be successful, I should do something I can read on. It was I just picked bass, but like, I mean, it was always it took a long time adjusting because in high school I would play everything for everybody exactly. Now it's like what, I gotta spend how many hours doing the focus on one thing? Yeah, I mean, I don't know if your audience is aware that Eric is a kind of phenomenal bass player and singer and piano player and guitar player. Well, I'm I'll go down the bass. Take it. Just let it watch, let it wash over. I want the phone to ring and be like Hey, I heard you're a great, you know, Guitar Player. Then what you star though? I can get some takes. Yeah, don't call me for your GIG, but yeah, if you want. You want some tracks, I got tracks for day. It's so funny. That's how I feel like about piano people. Sometimes they're like hey, you know, can you come into this piano get? I'm like absolutely not, but if you need me to play piano on your track, I could do that game some takes, right, exactly. I might even. You know, I can. I can do a jazz alone the piano if you give me a take, because I'll write out the don't ask me to do it off the top of the dome. Right, I can't do it. I just I'm not built for that. I'm a classical player mostly, right. So, yeah, dexterity without improvisation for my fingers. Yeah, but I could, but I had to take Improv classes and whatnot for them, not like acting in prop classes, jazz improv classes, but but I was like, you know, in a room full of Saxon trumpet players with a mic Guy, and so I had to learn. I'd but I had to do all that. I'd go through all the paces. They did not hold back on me and it was painful. Well, it's good, but I learned. Hays off right paid off. I think. I think it's like I use my I use my degree in the things I learned and like the jazz vocal groups, they're passively like is in what I do a lot, especially during the pandemic go I just step up my production and my vocal production, because performance was gone. Yeah, just gone, like right, evaporated into dusk. Thank goodness for like unemployment, because for a minute therey was looking kind of touch and go with my life and finances. But we figured it out and it the benefit of the pandemic is that it forced me to do some things that I needed to do anything anyway, I've always wanted to like level up past just, you know, playing gigs, just occasionally doing TV stuff, just, you know, just I wanted to. I've been trying to level up. So it was good because I got some good opportunities to play, to...

...produce and write. One of them is very reliant, you know, distantly related to me actually. Just yes, yeah, a lot of my life in law. It's hit's an in law of Eric's. Well, that one I can I can tell your high school musical. The musical the series is like a spin which you've done. Songs were too. I don't you. I have not, but you know, but my brother in law did a cameo, right, my brother Luca's gray bill, who's in the original three movies. Yes, he did a cameo in the last season. So just watch, tune into Disney plus for high school musical, the musical, the series. And I wrote a song called I choose you great wha. No, no, that's not what it's called. Oh No, you don't even know your song. Well, that's one of the lyrics it we it was a toss up. When you're right. You know, part of writing a song is deciding what you're going to call it. Yeah, but it's actually caught in a heartbeat, guy in a heartbeat, and that's I'm really excited about that song. There's also an upcoming movie called Sneakerrella, which is sort of a take on Cinderella, a new modern take on cinder but it's it's so well done. From what I've seen, I've only seen the clips around my song, but I wrote a song. I wrote a song that's performed in a Disney musical, like and Disney music musical movie on top of you. So I that's that's one of those things I got to do. That's one of those things that kept me from being in a complete like dark cloud during during the quarantine, because both of those came happened during the during the situation, and I vocal produced both of them. Guy. So, which means I did a lot of zoom sessions, which actually strengthly open up another thing that I started doing, which was a niche that I sort of found, which was tracking vocals across the country through zoom in different applications. I figured out how to do it in a way that a couple people hired me to do it and it became an easy is just, it was just, it just some things worked out. It taught me. taught me to use what you got. Yeah, yeah, use what you guys put yourself forward. Yeah, and like I think, yeah, at this point in La anyways, if you don't have a studio set up at your house, then you haven't caught up, and you know we can't keep up. It doesn't work. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, so many things I don't and I wonder how much of that is not going to change. You know what I mean? Because it's cheaper. I know you have to run out of studio anymore. And you know, if I'm going to do a session. I'd rather just call you and and send me the files then how to go rent capital records out in one hundred percent. Actually, I just did a session a camel or. Yeah, so they're open, they're open, and that a lot of rules. Yeah. So, I mean I've done a few, you know, big studio sessions since everything started opening back up, and it's just it's a been a little weird, little you know, when you're singing in a choir and everyone's got a partition between rights. Yeah, and and you had to pull up your mask anytime you're not singing, and which, you know, I appreciate it. I'm not one of those people. I'm like, you know it, do what you got to do until we get right. But also, like wes, soon as they were like take your masks off, I was like, you know, because I wouldn't got that. I would got that vaccine, and the vaccine beat me the hell up for one full day. Yeah, and it's so after that happened, I was like, I've earned, yeah, the the the ability of the right to take this fucking mask off. I've got superpowers now. Yeah, you know you okay, tell me, but tell me this. My friend brought this out the other day. Did you, like after you felt like shit? When you came out of it, did you feel kind of like a superhero, like not a superhero, but like did you feel like I felt like extra healthy. Not Mean, okay, I in my mind I felt super powers, but no, it was like it was a one day of I don't even want to say it was that rough. You know, other people had it worse, but still it was like weird headache, like it didn't feel I never had a headache like that. You know, you just did. I feel right, it really exactly. Yeah, and then I feel like it lasted like three or four days. I'm just like not, I'm doing stuff now and I'm cool, I'm out of bed, but it's just there's this weirdness. I've never felt this weird before. I felt like the hottest of New York garbage for like one full day, one full day of like where I was popping tiling almost of the day. But I knew, you know, when you sort of take it and you realize if I didn't have this time, like this would be, yeah, this would be the worst day. I am all that's what I did too, like I just felt like that I was like yeah, because because you got I go. I could feel it, like I would take the tale on, then I'd like lay down and then I I'd wake up when the town all wore off, and I was just like like reaching for it and then after it came up, I think. I think maybe it was a maybe I'm what I felt was like relief, right, maybe I just felt like I haven't you didn't realize how much you were carrying. That's worrying about whether you were going to get covid. That's exactly it. You know, I definitely Feundu. I was like, Oh my God, like, yeah, my...

...blood pressure went down like ten points, like what the he like now? You know, I definitely thought that. I think. I think a lot of us did. You know, I a lot. Some some people lost no one, some people lost a lot, some people lost whole families. Yeah, my uncle passed away from covid like my dad's brother. I mean he was older, but still like like he thought he had a cold and then he just kept getting worse and worse and worse. Yeah, so, so, yeah, we don't have to go down that, that dark alley that I've been granted. It's a well lit dark alley because everybody was yeah, and by the way, this is episode thirty, I think, and this is the first show I've done in six months, and part of the reason I've waited it's just because, like, I'm tired of talking about covid that side of it. Yeah, I mean that's like, how do you have a music podcast when no one's working? You know, it started to get a little weird to me. But rickie's back, baby, and you're like hey, so what would you recommend the when you moved La, like what's what's your thing to get gigs? And how do you ask that to a quite when there's no real like be covid? Yeah, a star. I have to confess something. I love books, but I don't love reading, and it's been something that I've wrestled with since I was a kid. You know, I can read. I have read books, but they're very time consuming and I've spent most of my time trying to build a music career it which takes a lot of time. But one thing I definitely do a lot of is drive in La traffic on my way to a Gig, and there's a solution that combines those two situations. And that's called audiblecom Ottawa has thousands of audiobook titles and you can listen offline, anywhere, anytime. The APP is free and can be installed on all smartphones and tablets, and they have just a ton of music related titles, like all you need to know about the music business by Donald as Passman, how music works by David Byrne, or music production secrets by Calvin Carter. And you can get a free thirty day trial right now if you visit audible trialcom dive Bar rock star. That's audible trialcom dive bar rock star. I'd like to take a second to thank you for listening to the dive Bar Rockstar podcast. As a new podcast, getting the word out as a vital part of what it takes to keep the show on the road, or off the road, as the current case. Maybe if you would like to support the podcast, all you got to do is subscribe wherever you listen and if you have an extra minute or two, please leave a review. You can also share and follow the podcast, asked, on your social media APPS. Okay, enough begging. I hope you're having fun and once again, thank you for listening. I know I don't even think I've seen you in two years. No, so, no, let mean would like we were in bands together and and then Eric got a dope ass gig and like bounce the F out and was just gone like in the world and like flashing on our news feeds, you know, on facebook. But I'm just I'm just so happy for you, Brad. I'm just so I'm just happy that it that we all want gigs like that. Actually, some of the gigs I had when I first started my career, like some of my early gigs were big like touring gigs, like because I started out as a back I start as a background singer. In my first GIG was this lady Anastasia, who a lot of people in America don't know, but at the time she had sold like thirty million records in Europe. And did you get that GIG IN LA? So you move? I got La. No, I'm okay, because you're originally grew up. He grew up in La. My mom moved to Texas when I was in high school. I went to I went to high school one year in Texas, eleventh grade. I fucking hated it and so I kept some friends, but I fucking hated it and I move back here, graduated here, then flew back there, went to college. I will come back for every summer here. And then after college I was signed and in a boy band. After the band I I moved back to La and live with my dad and worked at blockbuster video. And then, while I was and then I did this like September eleven charity thing, hmm, with it was called unsigned artists, unsigned heroes, for unsigned art unsigned artists for unsung heroes. Right where? There you go, USA for us. H Okay. So we did it and that is where I met Rhet. That's where I'm measure rhet Fisher, my best friend, the great singer Songwriter. Yeah, so don't former power ranger. That's that's right. That's where I rent Raett, my friend Charlotte Gibson, singer as well, and a pile of other other people, alt you know, Ali Porter, who recently won the vote voice a couple of years ago. All these people, we all met that day and we've been friends ever since then. And I bring that up because at that event I met Charlotte Gibson, who was singing for wooden Houston at the time, and we just connected. I didn't see her again for a year and then a year later she was working with Annastasia and remembered me and called me and asked me if I wanted audition, and I audition and I took that gang. I would not have I'd probably would not have a career where. I mean,...

...it would just be different. It would be wildly different. I can't say it would be bigger or smaller, but I think she's she's like my sister and we're so close and she's amazing singer. But she got me that first Gig. From that Gig I got I went from Anastasia to Christina Aguilera to back to Anastasia because Christina, yeah, got dot bike. Gosh, I lovely girl. So from Christina back to Anna Stage, it was her for too years. Then usher and then in the interim, just like the streets and gladys night and earthway and fire and all these little one offs here and there, because I got in with rickey minor and he does are got yeah, but like and then from then it was on idol and then yeah. So it's like it that everything folds into something else, and that's sort of the theme of our conversation, which is just trying to move to the next progression in your life. And yeah, try. That's kind of like they made a big deal about. You were on American idol, yes, season six, season six, twelve place, twelve place, the words. Forgot the words, and you know really, no, no, no. You know, it's funny. I was talking about this with my buddy the other day. Everything happens. I hate saying everything happens for a reason. I always say everything happens because it did. Interesting like, you know, like when people are like, everything happens for a reason, I'm like, and the reason is that it happened because any other thought is feudal. You can't change anything. So right, just learn from the past and move on, because you can't. You literally, literally not. You can't. You just regret does nothing but make you feel bad. Right. I said, yeah, it's the no purpose other than a hurt. You absolutely so. I forgot those words. I've talked about it on when I did the press after that. What was going on with me at the time? I'm not blaming this, but I had too herniated discs in my back and I got voted off the show. What would have happened if I didn't give voted off the show. I had back surgery a week after I got voted off the show because I had been waiting till I got voted off right. If I went two weeks longer, I would have been on the tour. So then I would had to make the decision. Do I get back surgery or go on the tour? Do I go on the I'm knowing me, I would have gone on the tour because I was aging out of the show. I was twenty eight when I audition I was twenty nine when I was on the show. So I was that wasn't it. There's a one and one and done right. So what would have happened, like what I've been agonizing in pain on, you know, in a tour bus? Would I've had to jump off in the middle of the tour and, you know, have back surgery? What I'm more injured my back or like? You never know. So, like that's why, if you, if you were to go back and look at my when I got voted off, I sort of smile and shrug my shoulders. I'm like, like, there was not a tear, right. I was like by everyone. I can sketch on my searcher he know, like, but and I'm just I wish my wish, my ego and my not egoing away the way that people think, but my my ego and sense of pride. Pride is better where than EGO. I wish my pride would have allowed me to share it. While I was on the show right, was so embarrassed. There's my first real injury as was a human and the only people who knew where the producers, and every time it came up I asked them to remove it from through. You not use the footage? All right, anytime it came up, like a time they saw me get up and I like sort of got up slow and like lipped. I was like kid, you're not show that like and I could have been using it for sympathy, like I know now. Have you seen the show recently? I've you seem. Yeah, I do watch it now. Yeah, because it's a whole different show, in my whole different show. I love watching it because it was just Simon making fun of people. Yeah, here, let's who we're gonna bullie this week. And Yeah, he only bullieveed me the week I got voted off. Every the week it was next to me. But now I feel if you're on the show now, they would make you use that. That would have been your yeah story, that back story to a cane and like stand up, like I just still standing at out a wilchair. Yeah, no, I actually let the'll be show down. I love it. I think they got some great talents on there and they always get rid of like the most talented person around the third week. Yeah, like the the best, like the person who you is like to meet, that the objectively best singer somehow gets cut like early, and the judges, you know, hold their hold their faces because, yeah, America is going to do what it does. But what I was going to make the point of, like your story on American idol was that you were a backup singer. Yes, you had kind of given it all up to pursue your dreams, and that's always something when I think about going on a show like that. Not that I was good enough or whatever. I'bout just I never audition for that because I traged out, but it's just like the idea of like, well, I do this professionally. I feel weird about it, you know, but you were just you're like yeah, but I want to I want to do my thing and they it was. It's just co cool that they embrace that. You know, yeah, it's cool, but it's...

...also I would like to preface well I'm about to say with I had really good experience on the show. I had no issues with drama. I got along well with the producers. I performed at the finale, I mean the original when the show was supposed to end, finale, right, so I had a good experience in the show. However, it's television and so narratives matter, right. Like, for instance, I wasn't the only background singer that season. You know, I might have done the biggest artists, but the girl came in third place, the Wonderful Milinda doolittle, she was also a professional background singer. And once they sort of pegged me with that, I knew it was going to follow me. So every comment, anytime I didn't do what they thought I was going to do, it was like, you're not a background singer anymore, Brandon Elsa, I know that. Did you like it or did you not? Because I'd like to go and you know me, I can't hold my tongue. I have a hard time with yet, and so I had hold my tongue and because I didn't want to get you know, that's interesting. Yeah, but and it even showed itself once in that. Me and Charlotte joke about it. Because next is my friend Charlotte, who I brought up, who got me the backshound thing is, was a background singer my season, an idol as well, just coincidentally, right. Yes, she she had been doing it for a few seasons. I had to sign a waiver. I had to get ricky minors sign a waiver because they asked you if you know anybody in production and I had to be like, I know every single person on stage. All right, I have worked with every single person, person in the band. HMM, every single one of them. But it worked out because they didn't have any bearing on who did what on the show. Like who wander? Didn't write? Obviously No. But I remember I was doing me and Charlotte talk about all the time. I was singing a song and apparently, and maybe I did too many runs or something in a song and Paula Ab Duel said here in the front now you don't have to do any more of those background runs and I turned, I glanced back at Charlotte and shows, like like she's strong. She's like it's so we got off station and we both got we up to each other. We would like, what the fuck is a background ROM background run? She said there's background runs and that acted. That is the moment when I was like, Oh, this is there. I'm just going to be the background singer right, rights my phone. No, I know my character now. I know my character. Yeah, like and even when like going get it, when we got into the top twelve, in the top twenty four show, I remember, I've never thought about this. I'm standing there next to Melinda and Ryan seacriss is like is their room for two background singers in the finale, you know, to be on our finalists, right, and yes, there is cool, thanks, like you know, just like I. But the way they framed it, it's to APP up tension, like right, they get possible, both of them, though, but I mean some drama, yead. I have a little bit Drub. I mean not to be weird, but there's like there was one other black guy and we both look at each other and we were like, you know, only one of us are coming, right, and we just took ads. We were like yeah, yeah, and we're right, only one? Yeah, it can be only one. No, honestly, it was. It really was a great experience. YEA, and it felt it always felt fair to me, like there was always talk about this or that, but ours was actually the first season, especially after there was drama about contracts and stuff like Kley Coxon originally had issues with the show because our contract and stuff like that. And for me, all respect to everybody, that's coming from a bunch of freaking amateurs who've never seen a record contract before and they'll likely this is bad. Yes, it is, yeah, but it's no worse than like when I was like signing with Arista when I was twenty one years old. Yeah, no worse and actually a little bit better. So, like our what I was going to say was our season was the first scene of where we got, like, we know, they put the top twenty, top twenty four, top twelve, I can't remember, in like a board room, right, and then like four different law firms did like a little speel Spiel for us, and then we got to choose which lawyer we got to negotiate our contracts and then we designated people within the top twenty four to like get information from everybody see what we could push in the contract and move and whatever. So we got to negotiate our contracts because we got to negotiate our contracts as if we were the winners, right, because they didn't know who was going to be the winner. So we all got input on it. And next it was kind of sort of fair, right. Yeah, so it was. I don't know if I'm allowed to talk about that, but I don't care and say it. You started and yea, it's got to have expired by now. I mean Nevin'. I don't think there were the rage back then. Yet it was I don't think I had an India. Yeah, it's fourteen years ago. You know, another difference between the show and then and now is that we're back. Then we had to close our social media, HMM, because people had different levels of social media. So they thought it was an unfair and it was new like any more. Come A my space. Right, facebook did not exist. Right, so, right, which time on my space? Right then, when I say social media, it was basically just my space. We had to...

...get my space and then any records we had out had to be pulled from the shelves. Interesting I mean from new production you know, I mean right, yeah, and but now, or now, it's just now. It's like it's just the opposite. They're like leaning on people's social media. They're like, you know, vote on social media, and I'm like, how is that gonna be fair? But your season also is Sanjaia, who that was an interesting test of the system. The sweetest boy. I made him cry once. No, I never talked about this. I didn't mean to. I just we were a few weeks in and he was like really living on the hair and and being a sort of he's got a beautiful voice now, but even then it was a nice voice. It just wasn't like he didn't care. WHO's fifteen. I wouldn't care either. He's fifteen years old when he started on the show, sixteen when I voted off and I we were at dinner at the right at the hotel restaurant, and I just remember he was there with his mom and I just said, you know, a lot of us here are taking this very seriously. This is a you know, this is this is a big opportunity for a lot of us, some of the I'm twenty eight, you know, Buddy here's twenty seven. Like we've all been doing this for a while and it's doesn't make us feel good to see you not take it seriously, especially because you're getting so much attention. And Yeah, I kind of made him cry, but he's a lovely guy. Oh, I'm sure, I'm like, I'm sorry, I don't I can't say I talked to him regularly, but we're still friends. I got a number of friends on facebook, you know. Yeah, but yeah, I just that was weird season. Yeah, but we got along. So when it wasn't his fault, it wasn't funny. They just got that's why I didn't mean to make him cry, but I feel he had to hear it right. Oh, no, absolutely, you know, because I was grown and he was a kid, and so sometimes grown folks need to talk to a kid. No, it's amazing, and thanks for giving me the exclusive. Oh yeah, that is expecs. I've never told that to anybody ever, and I did a lot of press after the show. There's Foota Jim me doing ellen that you can find on Youtube. Oh, yeah, I did, I actually as yeah, I mean it's great, honestly. I mean you you were super poised and you know you look like you you knew you're doing. I got accused of being too polished. Nuh, and I got that's the thing about that show. They want I could also want to see the change. Yeah, it's team. I can also see that, though, because there was a you know, I was, what's a word? I've grown into act hual confidence. HMM, you know. I mean, yeah, like I've always been confident, but it was like a cautious confidence, a confidence that I hoped wouldn't hurt anyone's feelings or getting step on his feet. I didn't want anyone think I was like conceited or arrogant or anything that I and I'm so very careful, and not that I'm more considered arrogant now, I just don't care because I know I'm not. And I'm like I can think I'm good and not think I'm better than anyone at the same time. Right. That's they're two different things. And actually, to name dropped you, the person who told me that was Justin termor like there's true story. Wow, I was on tour with Christina and we were backstage. He was first of all, I stand. I see, this is me hanging out with the kids. I stand justin term of like all day, because he was nicer to my parents than he had any right to be. Well, and when I try to thank him for him he told me, and he said what, you don't have to thank me for having a conversation with somebody, and I was like right answer, like in my head I was like Jesus, and he was just lovely on tour because it was a Christina and Justin tour got you and then I did the grammy's with Justin that too long after that. But anyway, but he was really nice and he told me that you can be confident and I think that you're better than anybody else. Right, that's amazing and I'm like, I'm keeping that. Even now. You just apologize for dropping Justin's name, but name dropping means like I'm going to bring this up to impress you now or may not be true. What you just did was give me an experience, sure, but the your insecurities is just what you're talking about. Your Rightfi example, like there's no reason to apologize for having a great experience with Justin Timberley. You know, it was funny. I I played you a song that I wrote today and actually part of that is the first line of the song is. Why is it when I shine, you think I'm trying to impress you, and I think that's there's something, there's something we said about that. That's the part that's hard to shake, because we've both done cool stuff just as a as a factor of our lives, like it's just we've done cool stuff, but it's just our lives to us. Yeah, and so sometimes you feel some kind of way talking about your life. Yeah, and your experience is and how? Because you don't want to make you don't. You know they're cool and you're not bragging, you're just talking about your life. Like, yeah, I spent seven years touring with people. That's a lot of yeah stories, that's a lot of experience. It's probably more experiences crammed in those seven years then the fifteen since I quit, since I actively...

...quit singing background, MMM, which I don't regret. I miss the money, and that was my question, but I don't regret it one bait. Yeah, that's cool, because I also don't believe in regret. As I said, yes, I don't believe in it. I don't. I feel like that's none the way. You should do that to themselves. You can, you can learn you can feel remorse, but regret is imagining that you could have changed something. Yeah, you can't. No, I'm totally thinking exact the future. I might feel guilt about some things. You'll just fine, you know. No, guilt, more out of Jill the remorse. That's fine, but I don't regret them. Yeah, regret is Oh man, I wish I wouldn't have. Yeah, keep wishing. Yeah, you know, you should. Maybe if I was homeless then I might feel differently, but you know, it all ended up pretty good. So, yeah, you got to make yourself, make yourself feel like Shit and put yourself in not a better and not you're not going to put yourself in a better position to get out of your situation. Yeah, by make by regret. Yeah, no, Gil can do it, shame can do it. MMM, you know, growth can do it, but not regret regrets that one. It's just it's serves only one purpose and that's to make you feel bad. Yeah, I don't. I want no part of it. I was thinking of that in golf term. Sometimes too, it's like, you know, I don't know if you play golf. I never not golf before. I know I'm up. Sometimes you shank it I don't know. Sometimes tied Tiger Woods just shanks it into the woods. Yeah, but the thing is it's the next shot that matters, right, always the next shot. You might go into the woods, but you've got you've always got a chance. You know what I mean? It's like it's about choices sometimes and like you just gotta make the better choice next time. Yeah, look back, look exactly, you know. Yeah, it's like like we'll trying to get to the green. Yeah, good, Aymen, good, a good example of that. It's just like when you do something in some and you say, well, I won't be doing that again, right, yeah, and that's a good way just to yeah, okay, well, that didn't work, won't be doing that right, and that's and then you move on. You because I could have. I probably spent a week wallowing after idol after I got voted off, because not at not immediately after, because immediately after I was like the next morning press, six am, that later in that day, flying to New York for press, Regis and Kelly, all the TV shows, they're flying back to La doing the tonight show, and Ellen and all that stuff. So you don't have time to freak out then and you perform on all these shows. But then I got my back surgery and I was two weeks alone in my apartment, you know, in my house. At the time I was running a house with two roommates, and that's the only time I like like wallowed for a little bit, like I've just been like man, I wish you wouldn't got my words. Yeah, yeah, but then I go back to what I said in the interviews. After I forgot the words, they were like, well, you're nervous. I was like no, I don't get nervous on stage. It's not it. I've been singing for fucking ever, right, and like I just forgot my words, like would I was like, Michael Jackson has forgotten his words, princess forgotten his words, but that has forgotten their words. It just happens. It just happened to me while I was being judged for it. Right, yeah, and so I do I regret it? No, because do I wish it wouldn't have happened. That it would have been neat, it would have been great. Yeah, but it did. So what the yeah, you know, what's the use? But if that the only one, I was down and like actually bad ridden for a week for two weeks. That I, you know, did I actually like feel bad about it. But right, right, because then after I healed, I performed the at the finale, yeah, with the tube in my back, right under my shirt, see, and that would have been a good you would have gotten some more air time if you had to use the I just story shit cared. I've said this for you. I wish I cared about being famous. Right, I probably would be. I just never have. I like singing interesting. I like singing, I like writing songs, I like making music, I love performing. That's what I love to do. I don't care if I'm famous or not. But the only problem is, in order to do it the way I want to do it, I kind of have to be right. So, but I never chase fame. I hate that idea. MMM, I like the idea of being good at something and people finding it and being excited, buying and then spinning that. I just I hate chasing fame. I just weird to me. I know this is an amazing conversation because we were in a band together called B random yes, and it was kind of you, you sulder, first, and then we turned to the band and in a couple suggestions. Somebody said that because, you know, suggested the name, and I was like I don't mind changing it, like yeah, but but probably for me, just so you know, like just the best original band I'd ever been a part of. I'll DU think just the music was so high quality. Put on EP. You know, I tell that ape, by the way. Producing, you know, you were so it was like a different producers on the thing. But yeah, and...

...every Song Great. You know, I prob really know you don't. Actually I co produce every song because I would start it then give it to a producer. Got You. I would start it and then be like can you shine this up for me please? Right, yeah, and you songs are saying the cards. Think Electic. We did gigs. It was fun and another whole thing. Last probably three years and then, you know, I got the gig with Dwight and that was kind of one of the things that, yeah, left to because Dwight just works all the time. Yeah, dude is like literally buy Eric got a GIG and it was like all right, so I guess we're done. Yeah, and I wasn't, honestly it. But the problem is we weren't. We weren't like selling out arenas or anything like that, and I would have loved and I thought our music deserved it. Yeah, me too. But but I have to say where I'm leading a you know, one of my frustrations at the time. It probably wouldn't have lasted that much longer for me anyways, because I was starting to get the vibe like this is the best band I've ever been in and I don't feel like there's an adequate effort to like, I don't feel like we really what you just said. I could, I feel like I could sense that. I don't know that you really want this or it's not. It's you only wanted if it's going to be convenient. And I've been in a million band. Yeah, it's not convenient. You know what I mean? Yeah, and it's not necessarily I'm not even trying to hold you. No, no, no, but it's interesting that I'm not having my Pressi's more sense to me. I'm not precious, I'm not person no, I get it too. I get it, and I think it's not about because it's not about convenience. It's about if we would have put out music and people immediately responded to it, that I wouldn't have. I seen that's that's convenient. Yeah, and your yeah, I guess so. I guess so. Well, but but it's not because we put in a lot of work to get it. Yeah, but to make it. But the amount of work that really takes to get yeah, the amount of followers that you need. Yeah, you got to get in a van, you gotta sweat it out with each other, you got to share rooms. So you know what you're gonna that's and that's what we can't do as adults. Yeah, exactly. That's and that's like ause. I tried that. That's what actually what I did. Me and do you know Zack Hexam? HMM, Zack and I went to college. Gary's my he's like my brother, Godfather to his daughter, like cool, he was oldest daughter. He was like Drake Bell's band and I was in Corbin's band. We did a double bill one summer. Yeah, but before the summer, before idol my idle Zac and I went, Zach Zach me and Charlie Paxton Paxon went across the country in a in a van and like did small venues doing like my original songs, his original songs and Charlie's original songs and had a blast, but then I came back from that like like broke and broken, tired and yeah, and all those things. And so every time I've tried to put out music, I I just never have. I wish I had more money. Yeah, because that's always because, because that would have changed ached our situation, because then we would like like I remember we shot a video hmm on the roof in La and that shit was dope and then my cousin who shot it was just was like, oh, I didn't like the footage. Yeah, after all that time, we got it together. We had a fucking drone, like it was, yeah, still droness, like I was the wait and the song is dope. Yeah, and you know, most importantly, the song is dope and everybody brought their part to it. Like which one was that? That should that shoot them in? Yeah, I remember, Eric, I say this about you to Marie and all the stuff. I was like everybody in the band, like the song would not be the song without the people playing on it. You know what I mean? Yeah, like a true band, like a true band like I you know somebody, Sasha, because love sash. He's my best part players, one of my best friend, Sasha Sacha Beritella, but it's taken him some time, but he used to ask me like what to play, HMM, and I'm like I don't fucking I'm not a guitar player. Play it all right, like just figure it out and then, like I would never be like hey, Eric, could you play it like this? I'd be like here's the song, Eric, do what you do. Do what you do, because you know Chad, and then chat right, two drums. He's our first first episode on diver rock. So good. Yeah, it's just I was, I was I was swimming in riches, like I was really happy to have you guys there. I was really grateful to have such great musicians and you were also funding it, which is the expensive. Yeah, but I'm but it's when I could. You're editing the video. Yeah, we did do another video for finish line. That was I love that really cool. That was really cool. I remember you mad at me because I only put myself in the in the lyric video. Mad As of well, no, we're not mad, because it wasn't it, because it wasn't even intentional. It would have like bummed about is that? The lyric videos got fortyzero things in the video with all of us has ten, and I shouldn't be bummed about ten thousand, you know. But what is just like, how did that happen? Because what I knew, because what I should have done in retrospect, what I should have done is, when I saw that, notice that trend, I...

...should have just printed the lyrics onto the rundal video. And Yeah, but I never thought about doing that because at the time the whole thing was, you know, make a video, make a lyric video. Yeah, like two things right, do that are dips really? Yeah, and besides, I mean exposures, exposure, and you worked your butt off on both of those things. Like I was just an awe, like, how do you do this? Like it looks so professional. I appreciate taught yourself. I'm a learner camera gear. I'm a learner. I am a I said this earlier. I'm a naturally curious guy and I like to fix things. My I'm Bruce Rogers Son, I my Dad's son. He builds things, he's he puts things together, he figures out how they work. So I refused to be defeated by any program like and I'm all and I'm also pretty good at computers. So and you if you've never you've added things before, but when you edit video one, you dive in into it. It dive into it to the degree which I had to for those videos and all that stuff. You figure out how musical the process is, HMM, especially when editing a video, like, how rhythmic and how like it just is. It really opened up some for me. I directed a few videos after that, like I mean aline, but like I just wish she you know, I wish I had the confidence at the time to just call my cousin and tell him I will fly you here from New Jersey if you just give me the fucking footage now and I'll edit it right. But I was so because we even got shut down by the COPS. Yeah, like it was saying, living the dream. Yeah, it is great. I'm going through this fuses already. I'm going and it's one of those things. It's like, no matter what I spent, because I had limited funds. HMM, I couldn't get people to like hear it. Yeah, because when they did, they liked it right. Yeah, but it couldn't get people to hear it. I paid for ads, I paid for like like I wanted to get a PR person and they were like that's threezero dollars a month. As I've done it, don't waste your money. Yeah, and I was that's what Maria, my manager, says the same thing. She's like unless you can afford, you know, Ogil VBWAR for ten grand a month or fifteen grand a month, right, it's not worth it. Right, because the little magazines and little like blurbs are going to get you, you know, Shit, like people listeners. We got a spread, we got a right up in frigging variety. Wow, like what was it? Right, yeah, I think it's variety, because my my friend interviewed a like, not interviewed it, but she reviewed it for me, right, because he's a friend. MMM, I was like can you review this? And we got it, got a right up or the website and vaguely remember and Nary a hit. Like I know. It's just it's full circle back to the beginning of this conversation with yeah, like there's such sea of people out there and it's a see of how do you get seen? And like, you know, it's really hard and it also reminds me of the record label conversation of like that's why you get fucked. Yeah, because they have the resources, yeah, to put you out there like you can't do by yourself. Reg for people who don't know, a record deals basically a back loan. Right, it's basically they're loaning you money, and in the form of time and actual money, and promote promotional power and leverage, all those things that the cashe that comes with being signed to a major label. They get all that and then you pay them back for it. Right, and often times you don't really get an advance. You can to advance, but you don't see another dime, right until so you mut to make sure that's is large, because that might be the only money you ever even right, make sure it's large or small or really small, and with a commitment for them to spend like big...

...brown because so you see, you end up actually right, cooping the money, because the problem is is that you have to recoup the the the advance and the money they spend. Yeah, right, so if you get a million dollar advance and then they spend half a million on it and you you're like all excited, becauld, you made a million and a half dollars and sales you ain't gonna die. Yeah, you just now going to start making somebody. But you got a million bucks, you know. Yeah, true, but but you know, I don't know. Sometimes it's fifty grand. Yes, I'm going to be on the lake times, you're gonna live on it for a year. Yeah, and you're probably going to be done unless you record, you know, break. So I don't know. It's I got. I got a buddy. It's one of those things. I was I was like, you know what, get fuck the first time, because then eventually your label will be over, your deal will be over it, but you'll have exposure and they'll spend all that money on that stuff. And I got a buddy who spent like who I mean, I'm not gonna name any names, obviously, but he got like a hundred fiftyzero dollar advance for a publishing do because he had a couple hits with big artist and like seven, eight months later he was emailing me ask me if I could find a MC GIG. Yeah, yeah, you know, because not that he was out of money, but he started to see the end of it. Yeah, I was like, and he hadn't recruited yet. So, yeah, the success he had started to get was you know, you don't get a dime ittilant money coming back, but this is this is fun. Yeah, and I was just thinking of like, you know what, we kind of got a wrap, but we're gonna have to have you back because there's so many things to talk we haven't even taught you know quickly. Actually, we have to talk about the arguably, you know, one of the coolest things that you did during the Covid is your and then coming to America to Oh, yeah, like massive. There's a great story. That's a cool story that I'll try to say really, really quickly. During a pandemic. During the pandemic, I think we talked, I don't know how I list it, talking about the stuff doing in the that we did in the pandemic, because during the quarantine I got a call to arrange some vocals to range and and vocal produce some actually scratch that I was I was called to do guide vocals for Eddie Murphy, which I was so excited about because coming to America one it's like my favorite comedy of all time, special place in my heart. But so I'm so excited and they was like, you know, didn't pay that well, but I was like I don't care, I'm just going to do it anyway. And then I start getting into it and because I am who I am and I'm kind of a completionist, I call the guy back and I was like how deep do you want me to go with these vocal productions? And he's like just do what you do. I was like okay, and I did it and then I sent it in and I got it like a call, like a week later, and they were like yeah, we're going to use your vocals in the movie, like all the backgrounds, all the harmonies on that song, on get off to print song. You've heard of prince right, vaguely, faguely, yeah, it's a hack. He was a symbol for a while, right. Yeah, it's simple. I'm not. He's like familiar with him a yeah, Prince also known as like the goat, like what are the greats? But anyway, so I do all these harmonies, all these arrangements, and I seem the lead doing an impression of the guy. And apparently, once they got it the guy. It's been thirty years. The guys, guys like I can't say right, you like the Guard Guy, got guys originally queen exactly right, yeah, that guy. So I go in doing that, that sort of inflection on the on the vocal, and they just kept my vocal and honestly, I did not know. So that's the original thing you sent them. Yes, you didn't go back in and Reno. That's the down that's the Demo I sent them. So and also they like they had me do of guide vocal for Eddie, for there's a memory when they're telling a story and they go back and they and you hear it's Ay to be loved to read. Yeah, it's me doing impression of Eddie Murphy doing I came because that was me doing my guide vocal. They kept it, they used in the movie. So that's two times, two things in the movie. But, like I was saying, I didn't know either and I didn't tell anybody really, because things get cut all the time. Yeah, so I was like, and honestly I thought they were only going to use my harmonies. Right, I didn't. I what? Why would I think they would use my leads right in place of the character who's in the movie who actually sang the originally original thing. Yeah, but I'm glad they did because it was really cool and I got a shit ton of like spotify lessons because of it. Nice, like like I didn't get a whole lot of followers, because I need it. It's one of the reasons I'm I need to release this DA MEP so I can so people have something to listen to. But I am yeah, it was like Brandon Rodgers, you know, with a hundred and fiftyzero listeners or something in that particular month or some, which is way more than I know really gets. I was I was glad to get cool. It was awesome. I mean we were I was watching a movie with the family and it's like it's I knew you were involved, but I didn't know that you know what voice. So you love that. That's around, like that's brand. That's crazy. Yeah, it's crazy and it's so centered and...

...so now all of us, you know, I'll out of nowhere. I thought I was just singing harmonies in this thing. And then, you know, one of the biggest rb stars is Tiana Taylor, who plays the you know, the daughter who's right singing. She's the other person who sings in the song. And now I've got like, you know, the first track on the album says, featuring brandon rodgers and Tiana Taylor and cool. Yeah, whatever. I forget the guy's name that jared Jermaine foul right, right, or something like that, the guy who plays I came sent long last Sun. Spoiler alert. But yeah, so it just it really is extremely humbling experience. And when people say that, but I actually mean it it. Did you go apologizing again. Sorry, there's no reason, listen. We're all works in progress. Yeah, and sometimes things are just tumbling experiences. Yeah, you know, it was. It was like it was such a big deal, like and to be a part of, like, I mean, that's it's it's for me. Yeah, I mean everybody. It was really good as a movie. I wish it was like I wish it was raded. Are we thought the same thing, because you could tell how careful they were. Yeah, and it's like, if you're not a sort of me tribute to and we've more than to a move over there. You know, that is a hard ourage nudity and yeah, Raunchy conup comedy. Right, so this one is funny, but it's like it's all funny that you can watch with your friend. Yeah, it's all clear. Yeah, it's a clear family movie. Now. Yeah, it's much, much more family, but I'm so glad I did it. This has been so amazing. But I should regular appeciate you come and being a part of it. You know, and I think people will get so much out of your thing. And I've always just had nothing but awesome times playing with you, and it's been way too long since we've made music together. You know, we wrote a song called enjoy the pain. We maybe we should fun. Yeah, we should finish it up and okay, well, we'll talk about that one we close the and then we'll have you back on on and you will do will will air the song. Fuck, yeah, let's do a mini app well, let's talk about wait, enjoy the pain. Do we record that here? Does my other house? I mean, that's what I meant. Yeah, okay, yeah, I think I love that song. I listen to it again the other day. Yeah, I haven't listened to it, Dude. You have to send it to me because I have to find it. I will, I'll say I'm like two hundred songs past that. Yeah, okay, yeah, like literally, like, because, because I was really in my fantasy too, I'm like, well, we should just book a B random gig. Oh, God just for fun, and I don't even remember the song. I don't either. I guess I gotta learned you wrote all my eyes is doing it. But anyway, I really really coming on, man, all right. Think you have nothing but the ultimate respect for you, and it's a singer and a songwriter and and it's just makes me really proud to have you as a part of my podcast. Dude, I appreciate it. I I am grateful that you had me on and I'm grateful to be asked. Everyone like to be thought about, so when you when you thought about putting me on the show, made me feel good. I appreciate it. Awesome. Thanks, man SAR so. I didn't mean to come across like I knew what very similitude meant. I think I was on my way to a joke, but I never really got there. But I don't know, but I didn't know at the time, but what a great word. Now we all know it's awesome. I really loved his story about the coming to America situation because it's just an example of, like any opportunity you have to be great, be great, you know, even if there used to be a thing where, Oh, it's just a demo. We're just putting out a demo, but those days are long gone. The Demos of especially music, if you're trying to sell songs and stuff, the demos sound amazing and sometimes those are what end up being the basis for the record. Are Parts of that Demo might end up on records, you know, and there are still appropriate times to do an acoustic guitar and a voice, but even that it's got a sound great, you know, it's got a sound like a record and it really paid off for him that time. You know, that stuff was used in the movie. I also wanted to add I think I've talked about choosing bass because I could read and call which on the show before. But we were talking in particular that you'd have to make choices in college and kind of focus on one thing. And you know, I remember coming out of high school where I was doing all kinds of things and playing all kinds of instruments, and then now I got to focus on this. But at the end of the day, thirty years later in this industry, I play all kinds of instruments now and I was able to do everything that I wanted to do, but I always had those skills that I got in college to sort of, I don't want to say, fall back on, but that's you know, sometimes I think of base as my day job, and that's those are the skills that I got because I chose those things and that that, I think, is really still important. You're going to get there to where you can do everything. I'm going. Every day of my life is different, you know, all kinds of music...

...projects are are different that I do and I eventually got back to being versatile and and doing every musical thing that I want to. But in college it was important that I that I chose. If you don't know who Sanji is or remember who Sanji is, Sanji a Malikar was a contestant on season six American idol and he was actually seventeen, not fifteen, but he made it the seventh place and probably really shouldn't have based on his talent, and America kind of used him to take over the show by voting for a mediocre singer every week, and Howard stern and some other groups had taken up the cause and it was kind of it was funny, not funny. He also had some pretty spectacular hair. That didn't really help the situation. At any rate, you can watch his performances on youtube and decide for yourself, but I would suggest watching some other performances like Brandon's from that season to compare and as a funny ending, apparently the ratings dropped nine percent the week after he was voted off. Sound alikes are basically what it sounds like. If a movie can't afford a particular song, or a TV show then you write a song to sound like that song. But now they use more of the term inspired by because they're afraid of being sued for copyright infringement. So if you're pursuing licensing opportunities, don't use the term sound alike. NDA stands for nondisclosure agreement, which basically means keep your mouth shut, don't say anything, and they're all the rage right now, so be prepared to sign mine if you're working with a major artist or a TV show or I've even signed them to play high profile wedding gigs. An our stands for artist in repertoire, which you know a in. Our guys used to be the scouts of the record labels and they were the people you'd harassed to try to get them to your shows so that you could get signed and become huge rock stars. Brandon also mentioned that he was doing vocal production, or he vocal produced some things, and I feel like that's a new role that's been carved out in the last decade. It used to be sort of the job as a producer to do all that, but now there's actually specialists that come in and just do vocal producing, and he described it as a combination of arranging, coaching and engineering. So he come out and then that also includes like comping the track, which is picking all the best takes and putting them into one track and then tuning it up. And so if your vocalist and have coaching experience, it's another also great way to make a living or another service you can offer. Well, I hope you enjoy the podcast and I hope you listen to the next one. Wow, you've made it to the end. I'm hoping it's because you completely enjoyed yourself and are now filled with knowledge and inspiration to move forward with your dreams. If that is the case, and you would like to stay informed of new episodes, live events in general news, please go to dive Bar rockstarcom and sign up for the mailing list. If you have any questions, comments, corrections or complaints about anything you here on the show, please email me at fan mail at dive Bar Rockstarcom and you may even end up on the show. We at the dive Bar Rockstar podcast with all of our hearts. Thank you for listening and remember it's all about dreams.

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