Thursday, July 21, 2011

World, meet Barry.

Music. It is hard to put into words what music means to me. Growing up around my dad's extensive record collections, has given me a respect for music that I probably wouldn't have ever had. Music is powerful. Listening to a special song can take you right back to that memory, and make you feel exactly the same way all over again. Music understands you on happy days and sad, and always has a song to fit your mood. Music is many things, but to me, music is monumental.

Don't get me wrong, I sing my heart out to Britney Spears on the radio from time to time. But my true loves are those other artists, who pour their heart and soul into their words. The artists that sing for a reason, and the reason isn't to be on the next cover of People Magazine. No matter how talented you are, if you have no passion for your craft, it will come through in your sound. And no band has more passion and love for what they are doing than Barry. Have a listen, and see for yourself...

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I was lucky enough to meet Patrick Barry, one third of the band's trio, through my brother. Patrick and Shea have been friends for some time. In fact, Patrick sang Shea and Sarah's song, "Better Together", for the first dance of their wedding. Not only is Patrick exceedingly talented on the guitar, and has one heck of a voice, but he is a genuinely good person as well. He even charmed the heck out of my grandparents, which is saying a lot, because I am pretty sure men with full beards and hair halfway down their backs isn't Mimi and Papa's usual cup of tea. 

I have had the pleasure of knowing Patrick for the past couple years, and was thrilled to know that he was joining his two brothers, and starting a band named Barry. In their studio that they built themselves out of a barn in Western New York, they produce a unique folk rock sound that is unlike any other. But what I can see and hear more than anything else, is that music is something that is deep within each of them. This isn't a side hobby that they do to earn a few bucks, it is their life's work because they truly love what they do. 

Their new album is entitled Yawnin' in the Dawnin', and was released this last May. I was lucky enough to get a chance to ask these boys a few questions about their biggest passion, and their new collaborations with each other. I've got to say, they are pretty witty guys, who sure do know a thing or two about music. Nothing is more attractive than a funny guy, who can write songs about you...right girls?

What made you want to be a musician?  
Ben: Life was bad.  I was in an awful marriage and my kids were looking at me like I was a zombie.  Music starts as an escape.  We’re lovers of music, like most people, but we’re addicted to the creation process and the emotional and physical experience of live performance.  It’s our Zoloft.      

Brad: growing up with my brothers- Pat, Ben, and Navar. I could never see myself doing anything else. My only other aspiration was when I was four or five I had a dream of one day becoming a firehouse dog.

Pat: This probably seems like a joke, but Rivers Cuomo and Stephan Jenkins.  I grew up on Motown, oldies and then hip hop...but it wasn’t until my first rock show that I saw Weezer and met Rivers during the Pinkterton tour in Rochester in 97 that I fell in love with live music and alt rock.  Motorcycle Driveby still remains one of my favorite songs of all time, and the first time I saw Jenkins perform it live that same year, I realized the connection that music can have with the writer, performer and listener.  I went home, learned that song on guitar and realized that it was just something that I had to do.

How would you describe Barry’s sound?  
Ben: Stripped down and raw Americana

Brad: Folk/Americana meets it's Rock Cousin

Pat: A few brothers trying to stay in tune and keep a beat...on the verge of a fist fight.

What inspired the music in Yawnin’ in the Dawnin’?  
Ben: The way we live, it’s an honest output of what we believe in and care about, and our interaction with the world.  It’s been good to us and it’s been hard on us.  We’re regular ol’ hard working Americans, and these are our experiences; these are our songs.

Bradspontaneity, intuition, sweat, pressure, life.

Pat: The levee breaking.  Life was just too fast and seemingly exciting for me over the past 5 years that I just lost confidence in having something to say.  Cutting out the excuses and the things we can’t control left us in a room to explore what we actually liked.  Ben and I were in a band that worked hard to live up to a perception we built and I was just sick of that.  We locked ourselves in the barn this past winter, tried to stay warm and didn’t stop until we got the songs together.

What artists inspire you?  
Ben: Anybody who is able to work simply and produce huge works, whether they’re emotional or celebratory—if they have something to say, as long as it’s not full of pretense, we gladly listen.    

BradWhen I can feel that there is something more than a couple chords and some rhythm, I am inspired. It's that feeling that isn't really there, our ability to take other peoples experiences and emotions and welcome them as our own. That is what inspires me to join in and give others the escape that I've been running to my whole life.

Pat: Whoever can raise the hair on my arms and make me shutter to the verge of tears. It happens all the time, and it’s always from an honest performer who shares themselves beyond the point of complete vulnerability.  That, ironically, takes a huge scoop of courage and confidence.  

What is your favorite song of the moment?  
Ben: Love Something Too Much is my fav by Barry and Tumbleweed Stew by Slaid Cleeves

Brad: Suburban War - Arcade Fire. I'm at that point in my life..

Pat: Solitary Man - Neil Diamond

When did you start playing music?  
Ben: MS and HS band, guitar in college

BradSometime in high school

Pat: I am told that I started singing as early as 3 years old.  I got a guitar as a high school graduation present and the harmonica a few months ago.

What's the best live show you've ever seen?  
Ben: Arcade Fire @ Bonnaroo, Rolling Stones @ Rich Stadium in Buffalo, Public Enemy, Blood Brothers
Brad: It was a combo - My Morning Jacket who I had just started listening to, and Arcade Fire @ Bonnaroo. They absolutely killed it!
Pat: Rolling Stones @ Rich Stadium.  60k people for one band.  My older brother took me and bought me a beer.  I was forever changed.

Which musicians do you identify with the most?  
Ben: Tom Petty, Jack White, The Avett Brothers, Tom Waits

BradThe Avett Brothers, Bob Dylan, Neil Young

Pat:  I probably identify the most with the thousands of other musicians out there trying to find a balance between art, practice, historical appreciation, marketing, business, acceptance and a day job.  It’s tough to prioritize without screwing up what makes what you do actually matter to someone other than your Mother.

What artist do you think you'd like to hang with? 
Ben:  Jack White, Eddie Vedder, Michael Stipe, Levon Helms, Rivers Cuomo

Brad: Ray Lamontagne

Pat: Glen Hansard

How does music affect your daily life?  
Ben: It’s a nagging bitch wife who gives me great sex after I dig a hole in the yard for the new septic. 

BradIt's the cramp I wake up with every morning and the love I go to bed with every night.  

Pat:  Each glance, interaction and experience is an opportunity to capture and share.  Creating art makes you aware of that fact, regardless of whether you do anything with it.  Music makes me cherish the days that I do...and loathe myself for the days I don’t.  

If you guys have any other questions about Barry, you can visit their Facebook and Website. Check them out, they are definitely worth the trip!

I feel a little bit like William Miller in Almost Famous, interviewing my first band. You know, without the whole touring the U.S. thing. Who knows, maybe Barry will take me with on their next World Tour? What do you say guys? Hint. Hint. 



melifaif said...

Go Kai!!! This was a great interview!!!! I love and live for music too. Great sounds....thanks for the heads up!

JMay said...

Very great interview, I love the 3 years in Carolina song, I'm def. going to have to listen to more of their music. I love what you wrote,

"Don't get me wrong, I sing my heart out to Britney Spears on the radio from time to time. But my true loves are those other artists, who pour their heart and soul into their words."

SO so true!

Olivia.Dee said...

what a wonderful opportunity to interview a band that is so true to their craft! I'm absolutely going to need to hear more!!!

thanks for the introduction!

patience said...

this was so well put together! and the intro was a perfect description of the importance of music and why it's great to pay attention to artists that make it art. rather than a formula.

plus i have a HUGE thing for guys with long hair so i reeeally enjoyed these photographs!

[SMASH] said...

Great post! Those guys were pretty good!

Ashley {hudson's happenings} said...

Woop Woop! What a great interviewer you are, cute Kai! :) This post made me smile, and the guys sound great!! Really enjoyed reading this!

Fash Boulevard said...

amazing interview. thanks for another lovely post. I hope you had an amazing weekend. Would love if you'd check out my latest post featuring pictures from my favorite little treat shop in Beverly Hills. Thanks love. xoxo

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