Interview with Brandon Rhodes (DD Island)
We had a short interview with Brandon Rhodes, the creator of lo-fi, psych-pop project DD Island. always excited about featuring new projects like "Favorite Shirt" is out now as it is the second single off of the Scaphoid EP.
So with no more introductions, we will let Brandon describe more about his work and process.
B/P: What drew you to the music industry?
Brandon : Music's just awesome you know? It's a lot of fun to play and to listen to and everything about is just cool. It's a really powerful thing. And it's always been that way in my life. So I guess in highschool is when I started getting involved in bands and in the community aspect of music. Playing shows etc. So when it came time to go to college I decided I would go to school for music. Because that's just what society wants and expects from you at that age, to go to college, so I thought I'd play along but find my own way to do it. This brought me to Nashville where I was enrolled in University for 1 year. Absolutely hated it! Every minute of it. It sucked. But I lucked out and got a dorm all to myself, so I pretty much just ditched classes and parties and spent that year recording alone in my dorm room. Eventually I started playing shows with bands in Nashville after I dropped out of school. And eventually found myself touring for bigger artists, playing in their bands. And that was kinda it for me, I knew once I went on my first real tour and saw these people who were a little older than me making a living out of music, I just wanted to learn how I could do that for myself. I'm still working at that part, honestly it's not super straightforward but I just keep making and seeing what sticks.
B/P:Who are you inspired by?
DD I.:I'm inspired by my sister. She just had a kid, she's a couple years older than me and it's just crazy to see her take on something like that in life. She's always been more of a home body and I've always been a little bit more of a weirdo and wanting to go get out in the world and get dirty. But I have so much respect for her. Motherhood looks hard man. Harder than anything I've ever been through. And she's KILLING IT! She loves her daughter more than I've ever loved anything in my life. Seeing her do her thing as a mom gives me the strength to believe in myself and my own path in life.
B/P:Please explain your creative process?
Brandon : My creative process is to not give up. About 80% of what I do is just not give up. Seeing through an idea and a dream even when it gets a little scary or hard or sad. If I can pick up my guitar everyday for the rest of my life I think I'll be doing alright. After that I just take ideas to my tape machine and make it happen. That's the fun part.
B/P:What’s an average day like for you?
Brandon : Brush my teeth, meditate, eat some cereal and have a cup of coffee, go down to the basement where I have my studio set up at the moment and pick up wherever I left off last. Basically record/demo/write all day, have some lunch at some point. And then meditate in the afternoon, eat some dinner, watch a couple episodes of Broad City or maybe Seinfeld and then call it. (This is total Covid life, living at home with your parents in your 20s. I'm sure this won't last long, but I'm enjoying it for the time being:)
B/P:Is there a hidden meaning in any of your music?
Brandon : I think most of the hidden meaning in my music is hidden to me too. I think good music can affect everyone differently. I think when I've done a good job on a song or a recording it will reflect something different in everyone who hears it.
B/P:Do you collaborate with others? What is that process?
Brandon : Nah haha I actually don't. I've tried in the past and I'm not closed off to the idea. But I know at this point with music that I work best when I'm alone.
B/P:What is your favorite part about this line of work? Your least favorite? Why?
Brandon .:Favorite: With covid I've really rediscovered my love for the studio process. I love the creative side of it all and I've learned to embrace the solitude of it. But before covid I would have probably said touring. I love traveling and going to new places and playing live. It's like a big adventure. I've always loved adventure.
My least favorite: Sitting at my computer. I've been trying to be a lot better about social media and marketing and what not, but honestly I've always hated sitting still at a desk, that's why I hated school. So I've gotten better at carving out an hour or so in my day to sit and work on that side of things, but I'd be lying if I said there weren't things I'd rather be doing that sitting behind a computer.
B/P:have for someone wanting to follow in your footsteps?
Brandon : Following in my footsteps? I regret the time I spent worrying about how things would play out. If I had any advice for someone it would be to let it go, and just flow with it all.
B/P:How do you feel the Internet has impacted the music business?
Brandon : The internet has definitely changed this "bizz" entirely. But I've never really known it any other way. I think there are probably a lot more people making music and releasing music these days, the river is a lot wider, but about just as deep as ever. Population increase is crazy. That's something I think about a lot. Like there are so many damn people on this earth. And as it grows there's more and more subculture being created everyday. I think that's really cool though, everyone's finding their own voice. I also think about how crazy it is that some people are "artists" and we pay them to be "artists" when we're all designed to be creative beings. So I have this sort of weird fantasy sometimes where everyone is making music and art and constantly creating but then the world no longer needs "artists" because we're all self sufficient, no one pays to go to shows to see bands because everyone's in a band. And it just kills the music industry which is kinda ironic, because now that everyone's making music we don't need it anymore. I sound stoned. I hope you get what I mean.
B/P:What is the best advice you’ve been given?
Brandon : "Just make your songs dude."
B/P:If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?
Brandon : It makes me sad when I see a lot of people trying to replicate other people. Like copying a style or a trend. So I'd probably change artist's insecurity and give everyone the confidence to be wholly and utterly themselves and nothing less.
B/P:What’s next for you?
Brandon : Scaphoid comes out April 16th, the I'm moving up to NYC the start of May, and from there I got some videos to work on and then more music coming this Summer!! Tysm:)
Brandon Rhodes, we appreciate your time and can't wait to see your future projects.