Backstage with Bret John Elvis


What made you first realize you wanted to pursue a career in music?

This is going to sound silly but it was a music video: American Hi-Fi’s “Flavor of the Weak”. Before then I mostly listened to hip-hop, but after hearing this song, it really made me realize how music I wanted to be in this world.

You write all of your own music; where do you draw inspiration from when you write songs and what’s your favorite part about the process?

I draw inspiration 100% from emotion and feeling. I have always felt music and lyrics are really two separate arts that are combined when you use voice as an instrument. My favorite part about writing is developing the melody to get an idea of how the music makes you feel. The lyrics come later once you hear that melody and feel something. I have never sat down and said “I am going to write a song about my girlfriend breaking up with me.” Instead whatever I am feeling at the moment unconsciously becomes the inspiration for the song. The hard part is making the connection in lyrics for that feeling. I am not very good with words so that part is not as easy for me.

What was the first song you learn to play on guitar? When and why did you start playing?

“Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles. We always had guitars around the house since my dad used to be in The Kit, a band back in the 70′s. To be honest, I can’t remember why I actually picked it up in the first place. Probably because I wanted to be cool.

How would you describe your sound and singing style?

It is always tough to narrow down your art into a specific category or genre. If I had to I would say my singing style was a combination of Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray), Gavin Rossdale (Bush), Stacy Jones (American hi-fi), and Dave Grohl (Foo Fighters). People always have different opinions of who I sound like so guess you’ll just have to check out my music for yourself and let me know what you think!

What bands/artists influenced you growing up?

Well in addition to all those bands I just named I would say I am influenced now by Goo Goo Dolls, 30 Seconds To Mars, Third Eye Blind, Skrillex, and Three Days Grace. Growing up, I would say I was influenced most by Sum41, Our Lady Peace, Sugar Ray, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Matchbox 20 and New Found Glory.

What are the five things you can’t live without?

All you need is love.

If you could go open up for any artist on tour right now who would it be?

Of the artists that are really big right now it would have to be either Bush, 30 Seconds to Mars, or Foo Fighters.

How do you balance your music with other obligations – family, friends, job?

I tend to write music pretty quickly so that part isn’t hard but, with the amount of hours I work being an engineer, it gets really tough to find the time to actually do the recording for albums and bookings for shows. Music has always been a passion of mine and therefore, doesn’t feel like work at all so I don’t stress out about it. Music is always flowing constantly in my head whether I want it to or not. It’s just a matter of finding the time to get it down on paper.

Finish this sentence, Ten years from now you will be….

On the radio. Maybe not my own voice but the songs I write will be. That is my goal.

What can we expect next from you? Any new albums in the work?

I have made a promise to my friends and fans that I will be releasing something new every single month. I am constantly recording my music. I write songs faster than I can record them. Since I do all the producing myself, I have come to be a bit of a perfectionist so it tends to take me a while to do all the finishing touches. That being said releasing a new recording every month is a bit ambitious. So if I am unable to make the once a month deadline, I promise to release a live performance on my YouTube channel. Recordings will be released on Soundcloud and my Facebook page. Oh and don’t forget to check me out on August 30th 6:00 PM -10:00 PM playing at the Flying Squirrels baseball game in Richmond.

Follow Bret John Elvis:
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