Music Interview: Brando Albers, Fading Away

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Brando Albers self released album, Fading Away, released 14 January 2013, is an interesting mix of electronic wanderings. What started as a hobby has transformed into his full time affection. He started with a whopping forty five songs during this song writing period and knocked that down to just ten. His vocal style follows in the tradition of Bauhaus with his reverby transcendence, but Kraftwerk seems to be a large influence in his electronic renderings. The album starts off slow with a pulse here and there of repetitive synthesizers. His voice is added as the album goes along and is a nice alternative to the squaty synthisizers on the rest of the album. You can download the entire thing for free from his website or his bandcamp.

Where are you located/from?
I live in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

How does your location effect your creativity?
When it comes to seeking inspiration I venture into Shorthills Park, a local protected natural area. I then attempt to get lost within the trees finding my way out when I’m ready to.

What influenced your sound on this album?
A current situation I found myself within; I had a high stress healthcare job that didn’t work out and left me at rock bottom. I decided to focus back on music to help release me and uplift me from the situation.

What programs do you use to create music?
I’ve used Cubase SX and Magix 12 Deluxe Edition. I record direct input. My equipment is nothing to rave about. I focus more on production technique and skill rather than owning a bunch of overpriced bells and whistles. I like to think of it as a bare bones honest effort.

What programs would you like to try that you haven’t yet?
There was one suggested to me, although its name escapes me. I do remember it having very flexible MIDI instruments with a huge selection of synthesizers and realistic classical instruments.

When did you begin creating music?
My friends and I were young. At the age of 15 my friends and I would record songs using a karaoke machine, guitars, amps and a cassette tape recorder. It was fun to pass the time making up strange songs and showing them to our friends.

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How does songwriting begin and end for you?
I have hundreds of demos and ideas clogging up my computer. Sometimes I will get an idea out and it will take off and I will finish it within a day such as my song “Procrastinate”. In other situations I will have an idea get stale and fall to the wayside. Once I forget about it I will discover it again, wonder why I didn’t finish it and then get it done. That happened when writing “Nothing Left To Be Afraid Of”. In terms of structure I always start with the drums, guitars, bass and keyboard. I always come up with my vocals and melody last. Then I clean it up and master it.

What are your top five favorite albums?
1-Pinback – Self titled
2-Grandaddy – The Sophtware Slump
3-The John Francis – The Unspoken Rules of Frontier Justice
4-Run Chico Run – Shashbo
5-AAKismet – What’s the Use of Crying When the Wolves Have Arrived?

Was going from 45 tracks to just ten a difficult process?
Yes, I felt as though it was never a finished recording. I felt like the next song I wrote for the project would be better. It was a black hole process.

How did you decide which tracks to keep and which to toss?
I Just decided it was time to get the album out there. I became very critical and cut any song that irked me. All of the cut songs can be found on my website under “downloads” for free. I just kept cutting the fat until Fading Away emerged. It became quite clear near the end of the process.

What inspires you?
Mostly nature, exploring the outdoors. Getting lost physically is calming because it seems to fit how I feel on the inside. I also enjoy painting. Also Jason Lytle from Grandaddy truly inspires me. His music speaks to me. I’ve seen him live before in Toronto. He opened for a great band called Midlake. It was a surprise because I originally went to see Midlake. I had no idea he was opening. If I smiled any bigger my mouth would have ripped straight to my ear holes.

What do you do when you’re not creating?
I make abstract films and have had an art showing for a bunch of paintings I’ve done. But aside from art I am going to college for Healthcare Nutrition. I am very focused on personal health, be it foods or fitness. I plan to one day build myself an earth ship house/studio. Dreams.

Does that have any effect on your creative side?
As for my videos, each video has an instrumental song I created specifically for that video. Painting is what I do to release aggression, especially if I have a block musically.

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What is your favorite noun?
Stability

What’s next?
I am going to take a short break from recording so I can promote my album Fading Away. I have a new music video that I’m animating myself for the song “Nothing Left To Be Afraid Of”. It’s a big enough project to keep me busy for a while. I have a few trips and places to go before I will feel comfortable enough to start recording my next release. It is coming for sure though, I just hate rushing things.

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