REWARDS WITH BRIAN DAVID COLLINS
Brian David Collins is a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter raised in The Colorado Rockies. He is a CSU graduate, and a long time performer, entertaining crowds of all walks of life for two decades and counting. In his hometown of Fort Collins and the surrounding areas he is most well-known for his time with The Seers, a variety acoustic duo. In recent years he has dedicated his creative efforts to his solo project, Brian David Collins. Brian has just relocated to the small historic town of Hodgenville Kentucky for a new chapter in life.
How are you being bold as this year wraps in your music?
I am freshly relocated to Kentucky and just returned from a trip to my old home of Colorado where the band and the studio reside. The purpose of the trip was to play some shows, see some old friends, and most importantly, to attend a four day recording session for my newest project, Forgotten Door. The recording session had been booked for months, the musicians for saxophone, guitar and cello had been booked, the notes had been written and we were ready to go, except wait, Tom, the drummer and co-founder of the project fell ill the week before the session was to happen. At that time he said he would be too weak to attend the sessions and that I would be unable to stay with him. The trip seemed to be falling apart and I thought I would have to cancel all the shows and stay home. Fortunately a good friend of mine, Candy Dire, offered to put me up in her guest room. I was ready to attend the sessions without Tom, but by Monday morning when the sessions were to start, he was right there to pick me up and into the studio we went! Long story short, the session work was incredible, the times we laughed and cried about, and it would have been a tremendous opportunity missed if we had let our fear and doubt govern us. We plan to release Forgotten Door in 2023.
How are you leaving off this year and what are your hopes for the future of your music?
As the year comes to a close we are still in the height of promoting our 2022 release, Good Morning Music. This record is a fifteen track powerhouse and needs its day in the sun. We are very happy with the recent additions to playlists procured by B-Squared MGMT for our song Remedy and await other tracks off the record to be considered.
Out of family considerations I have made a recent move to Hodgenville Kentucky, while the band remains in Colorado. I plan to make several trips to Colorado in 2023 to record and play local shows. We have also applied to land some slots at some music festivals abroad and hope to do some traveling in 2023. For a pie in the sky goal, Tom and I were talking yesterday about opening up for Karla Bonoff, an acoustic singer/songwriter from the 70s. In addition, our new album, The Forgotten Door shall be released, and if all goes well, we will be rehearsing new tunes for a future release.
Are you planning extensively or are you allowing your music tide to take you on its own?
The band is in unprecedented territory, so we are definitely rolling with the punches. The constant is to always stay in contact and to keep planning recording sessions and shows for the future. Meanwhile I am in the process of getting my head back together to continue writing for the project. I have plenty of songs backlogged that we could work on but there’s nothing like the feeling of creating something new!
It is important for us to keep planning for the future and not be lax about the process. Long distance relationships of any kind do not survive if left unattended. I’m not prepared to lose this band. Life changes but I feel a great spiritual responsibility to hang on to what we’ve created over the past five years and plan to keep moving forward.
As you get to know yourself better musically, what is your biggest lesson learned this year?
For many years I have had a two pronged approach to my music, myself as a performer, and myself as a recording artist. The way I saw it, my move to Kentucky was to challenge both of these pursuits. As it turned out, it was an opportunity to expand! These last few months have shown me that as a performer I can take my show and find new work in the Elizabeth Town/Bards Town area. I have kept myself busy forming relationships with talent buyers and musicians and playing the best shows I am able to.
As a recording artist there are two paths one can go by. The first is the Billy Joel route, fire your band at a moment’s notice and replace them with others within a day, or the Lyle Lovett route, be good to your musicians and keep your band no matter what. I like the Lyle Lovett approach myself, and have not pursued recording in other studios and with other musicians local to where I live. I travel to Colorado to record with the musicians and engineers I have come to know and trust. I truly believe the music is more authentic this way. This isn’t to say that I won’t try to record in Nashville or somewhere like it in the future, but I’m taking my band with me, or no deal. Musical compatibility is hard to find and when you do it’s important, in my view, to hold on to what you have made.
Gaining the success you are seeing, tell us what has been the proudest moment for you so far?
Above notoriety for the music we make, it is the making of the music that makes me proud. I don’t know if it’s pride, but it is the feeling I get when something in my head becomes material, something I can listen to and study again and again. Last week in the studio, I listened to cellist Russick Smith lay down the tracks I had scored the week before. As the music shaped, I found myself saying, “I’m not used to something sounding better in real life than it did in my head, but this song does.” Upon hearing the final, I was proud that I had been able to score the music correctly to sound as it did, but also swept away by the emotion of the piece. It was one of the most rewarding feelings I’ve ever known!
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As you beat to your own drum, tell our audience what has helped you the most in finding your own beat for your career?
The support I have gotten from my fans, both as Brian David Collins and as a member of The Seers, has been most helpful. For years myself and The Seers have performed using the human jukebox gimmick. I/we challenge the audience to dig deep and challenge us with their requests. It is a fun game to play, it pays, and it’s something I know I can do. The Seers’ claim was that we could play one thousand songs. Mind you, not all of these were word for word, but if we could hit the chorus that everyone remembered and adlib some verses that was always good enough, and there would often be a comedic element to the makeshift verses. This is how I’ve made my bread and butter as a performer.
On the original side, all the recording I do is now with Brian David Collins, though The Seers may return to the studio at some point in time. From 2017 through 2019 Brian David Collins focused on performing live. We played small shows and offered our services as an opening act for larger name groups. After the pandemic, we retreated into the studio because there was truly nowhere else to go and move forward. Lately our approach has been to make the best records we have in our lives and to keep growing in the studio. This focus makes sense, especially since I have moved and we aren’t usually in the immediate area. We will play some smaller shows and are interested in traveling for festivals, but our number one goal has been to complete albums and support them with creative strategies for online promotion and sync licensing. Considering where we all are in life, this is what feels good and makes the most sense to us.