Friday, January 16, 2015

Fridays with Foz: Carson Brom

Carson Brom is the youngest member of the Revive crew, and possibly my favorite. Today we got a chance to sit down and talk about his band, his love for Mac DeMarco and the fact that he hasn't cut his hair in almost two years.

Fozzie: So, Carson, tell me a little bit about yourself

Carson: Well, my name is Carson Brom, I'm 18 (ed. and currently single, ladies!) and originally I'm from Austin Texas. I moved to Washington DC because my dad's in the air force and he worked at the Pentagon. So, we moved from Austin to DC and then my dad got a job at the University of Portland as a professor of aerospace studies in the air force program. So, we moved here just over four years ago this month. 

F: How did you end up at Revive?

C: Basically in the summer, or early 2013 - we have an old house - Leland presented his business at one of our Retro Renovation house meetings. My mom wanted me out of the house for the summer, wanted me to do something, so she asked Leland if he did internships. 

F: Did you feel forced into it?

C: It was something that I really wanted to do, and I only really knew about upholstery through Jack White. So I thought it was a cool thing to do. 

F: When did you start?

C: A couple of months later, the summer before my senior year, I started interning here. The day before I started my girlfriend, of two years, broke up with me so I really needed something to take my mind off that.  I found out I had enough credits to graduate early, so I decided to do that. I ended up using my internship as my career credit and graduated in August of 2013. 

F: Wow! Congrats, what are you up to now?

C: Doing upholstery part time - just tearing apart stuff on Fridays. Right now it's the perfect balance to school. I probably wouldn't be able to do a full time job right now. Its really nice to just work at a hobby. I go to PCC right now, I'm getting my associates degree in arts. It's a transfer degree, so I can transfer and only have two years left.  I can choose my major then. Right now, I'm kind of undecided.

F: What do you do in your spare time?

C: Write and record music.

F: Really? Do you have a band?

C: Sort of. I've had a few. I'm still looking for people. I've played live a few times with a bunch of different people as my backing band. It's always worked out.

F: Where can I listen to some of your stuff?

C: There's not much on there now but there will be. I have an album coming out soon. 

F: What's it called?

C: Its still a work in progress. I make it all myself in the basement of my parents house, with just a laptop and all the instruments and microphones. But yea, I do it all myself, when I play live I try to find people to play the music with me. Its fun. I've been postponing it (the album) forever but its exciting.

F: You said you play all the instruments, how many do you play?

C: Typically like 4, keyboard, drums, bass and guitar. I'd probably play other ones, but I don't have them. I would like - I'm taking a Music Theory class right now, I would like to learn to read and write music and play piano classically. I've always wanted to play band instruments like the trumpet or saxophone or something. There are a few I haven't tried or gotten into. 

F: Do you find that its mainly music that inspires you?

C: Basically the only thing that keeps me making music and inspires me is that all my friends also make music. They are always sending me stuff and its become a small competition. You don't want to fall too far behind your friends, because they are doing really cool things too. We're always trying to one up each other. 

F: You tend to bring a lot of new music to the shop, where do you find it?

C: Everywhere. To begin with, my parents and my sister. My mom's a musician, a rockabilly singer. We have a large, large collection of records. It seems like every night my dad is always showing me another record and trying to play me something. I don't know, as I and my friends started to get into music, its always just been my friends now. They have bands, they open for bands, they are just super in the scene. Its like every week there are 10 new bands that they've found. That's another thing, every weekend we hang out and then we try to see who found the best new song or new band that week. Its another little friendly competition thing.

F: I know you see a lot of live music, what's been your favorite show recently?

C: I drove down to LA to go to BeachGoth in October, which is the Growlers' music festival at the Observatory. It was like 30 bands in one day. They were all Burger Records bands. I go see my friend band LadyWolf every other week, at house shows. Usually the house shows are the best shows, because everyone goes to them because they are free and all ages. Those are the best.  There's an all ages problem in Portland, so I have to find other ways to see music live. 

F: Are there any bands you haven't been able to see because of the whole 21 and over thing?

C: My friends band that is actually blowing up, Pyschomagic, I've only seen them once because they're just big enough to not have to play house shows anymore but their only concerts are 21 and up. Also, La Luz from Seattle, they played the Doug Fir. The Doug Fir gets all the good shows, but they're only 21 and up. I haven't been able to see La Luz and its really disappointing. They played twice this last month and I still haven't seen them.

F: Have you ever snuck into a a 21 and over show?

C: I've tried. I've come really close. It's usually the bands (the nice ones) who try to sneak me in. 

F: What records did you bring to play today?

C: I had an Iggy Pop record I wanted to bring in, but forgot. There's always Foxygen and The Growlers. I had a whole stack of records to play today but I forgot them. Oh and always Mac Demarco he's the best. He's like my hero.

F: You talk a lot about DeMarco, what about him do you love so much?

C: There's nobody like him. His personality, he's just the weirdest, biggest goofball and I just really, really admire that. His whole persona, he just seems like the coolest nicest guy ever. Just super goofy. It translates into his music really well. Especially his lyrics, because he's like a poet first and then also just happens to be really good at making music, but his lyrics are always really meaningful. I can really relate to them a lot, mostly because they are about sad teenage boys. 

F: Oh Carson, are you a sad teenage boy?

C: I don't know a teenage boy who isn't sad. 

F: On a happier note, what are your top three records to rock out to at work?

C: Thin Lizzy- Nightlife or Jailbreaker. Only their early stuff, if I want to rock out, I don't like any of their other ones.
Foxygen - ...And Starpower, their new album - it's the best yet but it seems like nobody seems to care. People blew it off, but I think its great. Its 25 songs and its really rough, sounds like a bunch of demos but its really great. 
Mac DeMarco - Salad Days - because, well it's Mac DeMarco.

F: So Carson, what's next for you?

C: Id really like to go into music in any way shape or form. There's producing or playing as a studio musician, or in a band. I'm just going to find a way. I hope it works out. I keep doing upholstery because I really like it here (at Revive). I had a job at Fred & Meyer for like two months and I really hated it. And they didn't have a dog, a really nice dog. It's just perfect, super fun, I just love doing it. There's not anything else I'd like to do instead, its like a really fun hobby.  

F: Well that's all we have time for today, is there anything else you liked to say?

C: Thanks for reading. We might have a show coming up, I don't know when or where, but check out our Facebook page for updates. 

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