Marquee Memories: Brainstory

Brainstory just dropped their second full length studio album Sounds Good on April 18, and since their official bio already made the obvious joke we’re going to avoid it here. We are, however, going to encourage you to see them live, playing songs that range from their original jazz influence to psychedelic rock to funky R&B rhythms. If you’re wondering what drives that kind of creative mix, so were we. Luckily, we got Kevin and Tony Martin and Eric Hagstrom to sit down in our studio and share their favorite live music experiences to give us a clue. There’s definitely jazz, but also a couple names that might catch you by surprise. Watch:

Charles Lloyd

Eric: We saw Charles Lloyd together at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 2011, I believe.
Kevin: Yeah, we were 21 studying jazz at the time.
Eric: In our early days, we were like always playing his music that he recorded in the sixties. So it was just so cool to see him live and just the amount of emotion and his whole soul that he put into his performance, you could just feel it.
Kevin: Going to school and studying too, was like you could just be really focused on being technically really good and not have an emotive quality to your playing. So when we saw that, I think that was also like, “Oh, this is actually how it's done.”
Eric: He’s very inspiring.

Kamasi Washington

Tony: 2016 at Club Nokia. Kamasi Washington had just come back from a world tour. He played for like 4 hours straight. I straight-up cried. He was bringing back a spirituality that is kind of rare in jazz. It was like a non-denominational church going to see him play. We had been following his music for a minute. We went to a lot of his shows when he wasn't as popular. And so it was just a very spiritual moment to see him present music in a very deep way to a lot of people on a huge platform that no one else in jazz really had.

The Strokes

Kevin: This is throwing it back to when I was 13. It was 2003 at UCSD. My sister got tickets to see The Strokes for me because I was a huge fan. That was what we bonded over all the time was music. And so, that was super special to share that moment And when they started, they played the song “Is This It” at the beginning. And I was just like, kind of freaking out. I was like, “Dang, it's really them.” And I think the guitar player was like, “Look at this little kid over here.” And honestly, after the whole thing was over, I kind of didn't really remember. It was like I blanked out. It was like too much for my little mind.

Black Thought

Kevin: In May 2023, we saw Black Thought and actually got to perform with him at one point in the show.
Eric: Yeah, it was crazy too, because it was like we had started recording during COVID and we were just like, “Oh shit, this little recording we made is on a record with Black Thought!” We're like, “What the heck, man, this is crazy!” It just felt like a culmination of all this hard work that we've been putting in forever. And it was a magical night.
Tony: I remember we were playing the groove and it was just so in the pocket. And then he was just looking at me and he was like, “Ahh!!”
Kevin: Yeah, he was definitely as stoked as we were, just because he’s a music head, we're all there for the strength of how much we love music.

The UK and European leg of Brainstory’s Sounds Good Tour starts this weekend, followed by a few remaining US dates. It’s a short jaunt for now, so make sure you get your chance to see them alongside Lady Wray. For dates and tickets, visit Brainstory’s official website.

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Last updated: 30 May 2024, 09:42 Etc/UTC

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Last updated: 30 May 2024, 09:42 Etc/UTC