By Isaac Davis Junior
Sometimes one doesn’t need words to make a BIG impression with his or her music. Take Guitarist Brad Hammonds who masterfully commands his instrument with brilliant sounds of excitement that music lovers will find intoxicating. Hammonds is skilled with taking us through a musical joyride that tells wonderful stories along the way. His music is brilliantly and wonderfully constructed with just enjoy added tunes with vocals and other instrumentals to make listening to Hammonds’ music a memorable lifetime experience. In this spotlight with our publication, we get the 411 on who is Guitarist Brad Hammonds.
Isaac: Thank you for allowing us to interview you in this format. It seems like the world is excited with tons of new great music. What are you most excited about for your music in 2012?
Brad: I am really excited to be releasing my new instrumental album this summer. I recorded with a killer band (Will Martina- Cello, Jason DiMatteo- Bass, Mathias Kunzli- Percussion) and love how the album turned out. It’s been a lot of fun playing these songs live and mixing them up with some of the vocal tunes I have done in the past.
Isaac: Which label would you prefer to sign with major or indie, and why?
Brad: I think Nonesuch would be a great label to be on. Their roster is amazing and I’ve heard great things. I would also love to be on Ani DiFranco’s label righteous babe- she is a huge influence on me.
Isaac: Do you consider yourself an indie or DIY performer and why?
Brad: I am completely independent and I’m not sure what a label could really offer at this point. I know it’s my job to go out and get people into shows and garner interest in what I do. If I can do that successfully, there is no need to hand anything over to a label.
Isaac: Do you feel that the media supports DIY performers/bands/artists enough?
Brad: Yes, but it’s like anything else; you have to work hard for the media to take notice. Everyone is a musician these days or has a band so you have to do something that will stand out from the crowd. I don’t mean getting calf implants, or playing naked on stage but I have considered both of these things. Huh?
Isaac: In your opinion, what are your thoughts on how the most unusual place you’ve ever played a show or made a recording impact the qualities of the show/recording?
Brad: I played a metal club one time in the Netherlands with my old duo Brazz Tree (www.brazztree.com)- very organic rootsy world music. We thought the crowd was going to 1. Hate us and 2. Beat the hell out of us…but it wound up being the best show of the tour and we sold a ton of CD’s. I think it’s really good to get out of your comfort zone when doing shows or recording.
Isaac: I am interested in knowing if in what ways does the place where you live (or places where you have lived); affect the music you create, or your taste in music?
Brad: I live in New York City and there are so many amazing musicians here. Any night of the week there are ridiculously talented people playing their faces off. It’s really inspiring for the most part- you can find Gypsy Jazz, Balkan dance music, New Orleans Brass bands, amazing Singer Songwriters etc.
Isaac: What can you tell our publication about the last time you wrote a song?
Brad: My last album (Greene Street) really came together as a whole. I started writing this batch of tunes in my studio (on Greene Street) and they kept coming. When I put the band together we only rehearsed a few times before hitting the studio. It was the easiest process I’ve ever had putting together a record.
Isaac: If you knew that you would never gain fame and fortune with what you are doing now, would you continue to make music? Explain.
Brad: Absolutely; I don’t plan on gaining either- I write world folk music . My goals are to evolve as a musician and have some great experiences out there.
Isaac: Do you have a strong support system with your family and friends? How do they help your financially, emotionally, spiritually, etc.?
Brad: My wife, Candace, is my biggest champion and my best friend. I toured for three years full-time when we were first married and it was never an issue. We have a two year old and I named a song on my new album after him ‘Ryan the Lion’…I can’t really begin to describe how amazing life is with him in our lives! Sorry for the cliché, but its true; he is an amazing kid and a burgeoning flamenco guitarist!
Isaac: As you continue your own path for making music, do you find yourself getting more or less interested in seeking out and listening to new music made by other people…and why do you think that is?
Brad: I am always seeking out new music- I find a ton of great music on the NPR tiny desk concerts. Music isn’t really a hobby for me where I listen here and there, play once in awhile etc…It’s goes in there with eating and sleeping.
Isaac: As far as your influences, what would you say are the musical periods or styles do you find yourself most drawn to as a listener? Isaac: What is the best site/s that you can be found on the Internet?
Brad: I am all over the place with music- I am drawn to folk music from America and from all over the world, as well as jazz. I also go see a lot of heavier bands etc…
A musical partner and I recently started a business where we write for film and tv so we listen to a lot of electronic music for reference and to ‘what the kids are listening to’. Its been a blast!
Isaac: The floor is yours; final words…..
Brad: Thanks so much for another interview, Isaac!! I really appreciate you giving the floor to independent musicians such as myself!
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