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Progressive Rock Interviews

Downes Braide Association

Interviewed by Gary Hill
Interview with Chris Braide of Downes Braide Association from 2015
MSJ:

You’ve got a new album out from Downes Braide Association. What do you think makes it like your previous work as DBA?

It’s similar to the first album we did in that we are using vintage synths like the Solina and the Fairlight again. Plus, it has a melancholy yearning feel to it, which is very DBA. There’s quite a Northern English feeling to everything we do together.
MSJ:
How does it differ?
It’s more of a complete album, rather than bits strung together, which the first album kind of was, really. This album is more solid, more serious. It’s a proper album from beginning to end.
MSJ: You’ve done quite a bit of stuff outside of that outfit. Can you catch the readers up on your musical history?

I’ve written and produced for people like Sia, Lana Del Rey, Marc Almond, Britney, Glenn Tilbrook. I formed a band called “Producers” with Trevor Horn. I’ve just formed a band called “This Oceanic Feeling” with Ash Soan and Lee Pomeroy from It Bites. It’s a fantastic and, and the album is called “Universal Mind,” and is one of the best things I’ve ever done!

MSJ: If you weren't involved in music what do you think you'd be doing?

Interior Design with my wife who has worked in that field for years. She’s very smart, and has excellent taste. I would drive her around and help pick out great fabric and fab furniture! (laughter)

MSJ: Who would you see as your musical influences?
Paul McCartney, Yes, Stevie Wonder, Genesis with Peter Gabriel, Joni Mitchell, Marc Bolan and T Rex, John Lennon.
MSJ: What's ahead for you?
Scoring a movie soundtrack at the moment, plus I’m producing the songs for another movie.
MSJ: I know artists hate to have their music pigeonholed or labeled, but how would you describe your music?
Widescreen, epic and emotional pop music.
MSJ:
Are there musicians with whom you would like to play with in the future?
I’d love to work with Elvis Costello.
MSJ:
Do you think that illegal downloading or streaming of music is a help or hindrance to the careers of musicians?
Streaming is better htan stealing. I love the accessibility of Spotify. I would really miss it now, if I had to go back to a folder full of CDs. Illegal downloading is a different matter, altogether. It’s theft. Stealing music makes me sick. I wouldn’t steal your cars or your clothes. Don’t steal my music.
MSJ: In a related question, how do you feel about fans recording shows and trading them or posting them online?
Totally crap. There is now a massive archive of badly recorded crap all over the Internet. It reveals too much. I’d rather see it beautifully recorded and filmed. What’s wrong with people these days? Leave you damn phone in your pocket, please!
MSJ: If you were a superhero, what music person would be your arch nemesis and why?
Any entitled singer with a narcissistic personality disorder. There are plenty of them out there, and I’ve worked with a few. Can’t say who, though. I’m a professional.
MSJ: If you were to put together your ultimate band (a band you'd like to hear or catch live), who would be in it and why?
Hard to say, really. I do not worship any musicians that much. Probably Lee Pomeroy, Ash Soan, Geoff Downes. Why? Because they’re my friends, and we’d have a laugh.
MSJ: If you were in charge of assembling a music festival and wanted it to be the ultimate one from your point of view who would be playing?
The Jam, the Smiths, Yes with Jon Anderson, Genesis with Gabriel, T Rex, etcetera, etcetera.
MSJ: What was the last CD you bought and/or what have you been listening to lately?
Beach House, Future Islands, Joanna Newsom.
MSJ: Have you read any good books lately?
Reading the Elvis Costello biography at the moment – excellently written.
MSJ:
What about the last concert you attended for your enjoyment?
Tears for Fears at the Wiltern in Los Angeles.
MSJ: Do you have a musical “guilty pleasure?”
Dollar – “Give Me Back My Heart” – beautiful record.
MSJ: What has been your biggest Spinal Tap moment?

Missing my queue as a guest singer at a Squeeze concert because was sat in the dressing room waiting for someone to come and find me. What a prat.

MSJ:
If you could sit down to dinner with any three people, living or dead, for food and conversation, with whom would you be dining?
Marc Bolan, John Lennon and my brother, who I haven’t seen for two years.
MSJ: What would be on the menu?
Indian
MSJ: Are there any closing thoughts you would like to get out there?
Don’t let your ego drive your life. It will eventually steer you into a wall.
MSJ: This interview is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2016  Volume 1 at lulu.com/strangesound.
 
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