RGM INTRODUCING – WE INTERVIEW LONDON ARTIST BRYDEN
Welcome to the RGM Interview lounge Bryden, lets’s do this.
What made you decide that music is a thing for you?
I was always surrounded by music because my mum is a dance teacher, and I think despite the fact I can’t dance to save my life I’ve always had that innate desire to be a performer (And I’m a Leo too). I started by recording bad demos with beats ripped off youtube in my bedroom and was too scared to show anyone whilst at school, but sung in school shows and competitions and gained a lot of confidence from that.
I then met my current producer Oscar when I rented cheap studio time in Kentish Town in 2017 and kept working on refining my sound over the years with him and a few other producers. I recorded tons and tons of songs and ended up putting a song called ‘Tempted’ out on Soundcloud and selling out a student gig whilst at university.
Introduce us to you and your musical history.
Just me! I’m 23 and grew up in North West London. I worked with an amazing producer called Oscar Moos for this EP and hopefully will continue that working relationship for the bryden project in the future!
Name me your 3 favorite Albums.
Endless – Frank Ocean, The White Album – the Beatles and The Smiths, Hatful of Hollow
What was the first song you heard that steered you into a music path?
Year 3000 by Busted or the Feel Good Michael Bublé cover.
The music industry is the hardest industry in the world to progress in, How do you feel you are doing?
Got to start somewhere! I think it’s been a decent beginning and I feel grateful to have a body of workout that I think is cohesive and shows off what I can do. I’ve got a sell-out show in Soho on Friday the 19th so it’s gone pretty well all in all. I think I’ve made a few mistakes in terms of release and it’s all about learning and growing so the next release can get even further!
I’m seeing a lot of debate about women not feeling safe at music gigs, any thoughts on what we need to do to help?
I suppose everyone’s got to stay accountable for themselves and who they’re with, listen to female-identifying figures in music, and change behaviours accordingly.
As you develop as an artist and develop using socials what ways do you get new ears on your music? Any tips?
I suppose it’s just a game of trial and error and attempting to be more authentic and relatable. I don’t think I’m particularly great at it but I’m definitely getting better, so I think it’s just about staying in the game, staying aware of what is and isn’t working, and getting more and more consistent.
Tell us Two truths and a lie about you.
I’ve fractured my funny bone (twice).
I have three tattoos.
I can only play one song on piano (by Beyonce)
What’s your thought on Spotify’s monopoly on the music industry?
I think it’s obviously better than any current alternative and I do really like Spotify as I think it’s super user-friendly. It could probably be more artist-friendly, especially toward indie artists I thought the cheaper pay-out ‘discovery mode’ thing sounded pretty concerning.
Do you sign up for any conspiracy theories?
I am completely convinced that Tottenham Hotspur Football Club will be revealed to have been a social experiment to see how much pain the human form is willing to tolerate. But no, not really.
Did you buy anything you don’t need during the pandemic?
I was still at Uni so mainly just books I no longer had the energy or inclination to read and too many takeaways.
What was the worst experience on stage?
I once won a poetry reading competition as a kid, and the prize was to read it out at a bigger arena. It was this super long poem in two parts and I completely spaced on the second half, so I stopped triumphantly and gave a little bow after the first half. My English teacher who had come with me, then clambered halfway on the stage to whisper the next line to me very loudly. I stood tall and resolutely didn’t look at her waiting for an interminable time until the lights came down.
Tell us something about you that you think people would be surprised about.
I don’t have any personal dealings with Satan or blood on a regular basis. It’s just a metaphor for this EP!
What makes you stand out as a band/artist?
I think my lyricism and storytelling could be a USP. I also think the blending of genres and soundscapes used in this EP is something kind of unique!
I hear you have new music, what can you tell us about it.
I fell in love whilst studying occult rituals and satanic poetry for my dissertation, so that was the genesis of the emotions and imagery which inspired the EP.
The intensity of my feelings felt inextricably linked to the study of rituals, masks and satanic melodies which I was reading about and I wanted to re-create the genuine magic which Alastair Crowley, WB Yeats and Madame Blavatsky created in their meetings to reflect the unprecedented rushes of love and beauty and fear which I felt at the same time.
Basically, I was running off no sleep, coffee, and hangovers, whilst burying my nose in haunted books in an old library and I fell in love at the same time.
Talk me through the thought process of the new tune/s.
I wanted to tell the story of undergoing a ritual (which was typical of Victorian occult societies such as The Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn & Theosophical societies). Over the three songs a spirit appears, the protagonist falls in love with the spirit, is consumed by it, and then decides whether to stay in its seductive, devilish grasp or leave.
What was the recording process like?
For this EP I began with around 5 short poems that centered around a central narrative of falling in love / undergoing a seance. I then condensed and edited down a lot of that on my own, on my little 3/4 acoustic guitar, really prioritising melody and feeling rather than the story. I then brought a embryonic form of the songs on the EP to Oscar and we played around with structures and fine-tuned the songs over a few weeks in Urchin Studios, Hackney Wick.
I had more of the melodies and lyrics pre-written before approaching the sonic tapestry behind it that I usually had, but for these songs I really think it worked out.
What was the biggest learning curve in writing the new tunes?
Me and Oscar then wanted to create a real ‘band’ sound, but one that was ‘really weird’. We had a massive array of references for the sounds behind and were attempting to access something that sounded like it could have been made in the sixties, like an abandoned tape but pushing at the boundaries of that imaginative space.
I wanted this EP to serve as a cohesive story and sonic package and a consummate introduction to me and the different genres I can exist within. I also wanted it to feel kind of timeless like it could be a lost collaboration between Don Mclean and Captain Beefheart.
It was really important to me that the sound was right and we ended up taking our time and coming back to re-record the drums and guitar with some incredible session musicians like Josh Darby on drums and Eik Petterson whose guitar lines on Leap are unreal. References we listened to were artists like Mitski, Frank Ocean, serpentwithfeet, Billie Eilish, Angel Olsen, SuicideBoys, Butthole Surfers, Warpaint, Grimes, and The Weeknd.
Would you change anything now it’s finished?
I think generally for my next project I want my songwriting to evolve to be a bit simpler, truer and less needlessly ornamental. But honestly, I couldn’t imagine these songs any other way at this point, I think for the concept and what I wanted to achieve I really couldn’t change a thing.
Is there anything else you would like to share with the world?