Drummer. INFJ. Remarkable Human.
I reached out to Brian about allowing me to do a feature on him for my website, and he kindly obliged. Little did I know, I was not just conducting an interview and spotlighting a talent...I was about to meet someone who I would cherish.
Prior to meeting Brian, I sent him a list of questions that I was hoping he would be willing to answer. In true INFJ fashion- he used his words to give me a window into who he is, and why he is. He so freely shares himself with the reader that you walk away feeling like you know him well. Upon reading what he wrote, I was moved to tears. Perhaps, because so much of myself could relate to him, or perhaps it was his refreshing transparency...either way, I was moved.
We met at this amazing Bakery in downtown Salt Lake City for brunch. We jumped right into all the important topics. We skipped the small talk and dove heart first in to learning one another. Words do not do Brian justice. As if his talent wasn't impressive enough, this man has so much emotional wisdom. He has a gift- the ability to make someone as challenging to learn as myself-feel seen and understood. He has a way about him that provokes a genuine trust in the people he engages with. Brian is a safe place, Brian is an open heart, and an ever-evolving mind. Here is what Brian shared with me for his feature:
I would describe myself as a drummer and recently have become a photographer/videographer.
My first drumset came to me in 5th grade, when I was 11 years old. I hadn't expressed a desire to play, but my mom must have known. Music had always played a big part in my life up until then, as my mom would take my older brother and I at an early age to see some of the greats perform in huge stadiums. Before I even realized it, I had a desire to tour the word and play music.
From the moment I got that first drumset, playing music is what I knew I wanted/needed to do with my life. I played as much as I could throughout school doing musicals, percussion classes, symphonic band, jazz band, etc. I played in several local bands of various genres, learning as much as I could. I turned down scholarship opportunities and was never interested in some mundane, complacent job. After high school, I found a new hunger and pushed myself harder on every level. I toured, did session studio/live work, filled in for music videos, was in a movie, did the soundtrack for the movie, and found every opportunity I could to make contacts and get myself out there. At one point when my self doubt took over, I still kept at it, but decided to go back to school because I thought I should have a "backup plan". After a couple semesters, I said "F*** this, I need to be putting all of my efforts into myself and what I ultimately want and need to be doing.". That statement to myself set my eyes on a new horizon.
Those years were filled with endless amounts of persistence, self realization, frustration, loss, pain, happiness, struggle, patience, and growth in every aspect of my life.
I had made some great connections from those years, which lead into me having the opportunity to claim the throne in a Las Vegas-based rock band. Otherwise was a band that I had been a fan of for a few years and had watched them blow up with their most notable song, "Soldiers", which had gotten them signed to a major label and known internationally. To jump in with them was a level of the industry I was very knew to. Although I felt intimidated, I was quickly put at ease with how genuine, fun, and easy to get along with those guys are. They had built something wonderful and a good majority of the fanbase was more like a close, welcoming family.
I've been with Otherwise for the last 3 years, toured the country several times, played out of the country, performed along countless huge acts (many who I am a fan of) at major festivals, written and recorded 3 releases with another one just around the corner. It's a wild ride, riddled with uncertainty, sacrifice, struggle, literal blood, sweat, and tears. I've had very difficult deaths in my immediate family while I'm away, had my finances severely strained, relationships have been damaged and lost, missed countless gatherings and events, been severely sick without the comforts of home, and an innumerable amount of other hardships while I've been pursuing my passion. Above all what makes it all worth it; There's an undeniable magic in connecting with people when I'm behind the drums and onstage with those guys.
It's not the easiest or most glamorous job a good chunk of the time, but the opportunity to literally live my dream is so worth it. Stagnancy and plateauing are my biggest fears in life, and I'm always on the grind to elevate and rise above the brutalities found within this industry.
I relate to each song on one level or another, and I put all of my being into it when I am performing. The most rewarding part of what I do, is looking out and seeing a smile. Seeing two people look at each other and know that a memory is being sparked for their personal connection, and that I get to be a part of that. Connecting with people in a positive way through the magic of music is a feeling that cannot really be put into words. It just feels right.
Over the last 5 months as we've been in writing mode for our latest album, I decided to pick up photography which has been a wild ride all on its own. I've been playing drums for the last 17 years, well over half my life. I never thought I could find another passion that I would connect with and love as much as music, but immediately upon taking my first picture with my Canon DSLR, I fell in love with capturing a moment. A moment that will never be the same. It was a blast to find those moments that I connected with and create a digital file that will live forever which captured that beauty. I've been humbled by the wonderful response to what I've been capturing and was greatly encouraged to sell my work. The idea of that scared me. I didn't want to taint the magic and purity of what it means to me by adding in money to this new passion. After a bit of encouraging, and deciding that I would always do my best to keep a level head and not lose that magic, it could be worth diving into. It actually added more magic than I anticipated. I have been overwhelmed with the positive response of my captures being displayed in peoples' homes. Which has lead into doing many types of photo and video shoots to capture memories and moments with people and where they are at in their lives, memories and moments that will live on longer than we are around.
I've recently started a production company with a handful of close friends that has already accomplished some great things, with promise of a bright future thanks to our tenacious, strong-willed drive.
The hardest question I've been asked is, "At what point did you realize that you've made it, Brian?". I don't feel like I've 'made it' and don't ever want to feel that. There's always more room to grow as an artist, more skills to learn, more challenges to overcome, more adventures to be had. There are many many more people who can do what I do, and do it much better. I feel incredibly fortunate to be doing what I am doing, to meet the people I've met, to travel the places I've been, and to dream deeper every day. I just hope to make a positive impact on the world and evolve to where I can keep doing this for as long as my body will allow.
I certainly don't have this all figured out, but I fully believe that there's always more positive than negative. More light than dark. Lessons to be learned from every struggle. Patience and persistence prevails. Little victories to be found and conquered each day that puts us closer to our goals. Find your strengths. Do what inspires you. Don’t get bogged down in the details. Focus your attention. Prioritize. Simplify. Maintain a positive attitude. Stay flexible. Rationality and reasoning before reaction. Communicate. Adapt to thrive. Find the balance. Live in the now for tomorrow. Allow yourself to be happy. It’ll be fine.
We're all human, and that's all I choose to identify and unify as."