Getting to Know Bryan McPherson


Los-Angeles based, Boston-bred folk-punk troubadour Bryan McPherson is about to release his third album. We asked him to tell us about himself. Here he is, in his own words:

My name is Bryan McPherson. I write songs and sing them for people. I’m banned from performing at any venue on Disney property.

If I am talking about myself, who is doing the talking? There must be two me’s. I am tired. I’m on the road in Germany, playing amazing shows with a talented folk-punk singer named Louise Distras. Paul is our tour manager. We got into an accident the other night in Austria. Someone crossed the divider lines and drove right into us. We are all ok and were happy that it happened after dinner instead of before. We stayed in a Hotel that was originally a leper colony in 1300 and then a hospital for victims of the Black Death. It was lovely.

Wedgewood is my new record. The album title comes from the wood stove in a hut I was living in while making the album. If you wedge wood together it creates friction. That friction can create fire. The record to me is about the fire. The fire of life. The fire of love. The fire of revolution. You can use the fire, but the fire can use you, so be careful. The album started at the release of my last record, which coincidentally happened during the Occupy movement in which I was involved in Oakland Californa. Some of the songs on the record were written during those times and the following couple of years. It’s been in the works for a while. In the end of 2013 I finished a long tour and found myself in Los Angeles with nowhere to go and nothing to do and a handful of money to make a record. My friends in Northern California are activist folks who live on a beautiful chunk of land in Colfax, California in the Sierra foothills. They said they had a hut I could crash in and work out the record. I took them up on it and drove out to The Chicken Foot Ranch and holed up in the hut for a couple of months, hammering on the songs and figuring out arrangements. I recorded the songs at a nearby studio called Flying Whale, located on an old gold mine in Grass Valley, CA. I left the hut in early 2014 the rest of the accompanying instruments were added in my West Coast tour travels. A little in Portland, in Oakland, a little in Santa Cruz, and finished it off in Los Angeles on the Sunset Strip, where I met Slash. Very Hollywood.

Occupy Oakland in 2011 was an amazing time. A revolution squashed by the big bad machine. The latest and greatest stance against the powers that be since the 60’s when every leader was assassinated. This movement had no leaders and its character was assassinated. Laughed at and mocked by haters and drones. Discredited by the puppet mass media. A wicked good time and a life-changing experience. Also very much in the past. What’s next? I do not know. Just singing songs and driving down highways in far-off places.

My U.S. tour this June is going to be killer. The best U.S. tour I have ever done. America’s last chance. It better be good or else I’m packing up and moving to Berlin 🙂 It’s going to be hot. I see myself bathing in some lakes along the way.

I spend too much time writing stuff.

I am currently listening to NOFX sing “Olympia WA” by Rancid in a basement venue in Germany called Subway to Peter. I have been performing this song with Louise at the end of the show every night here. Great song. Other than that, Paul has been listening to Hardcore, so I have been listening to a lot of Hardcore. Nothing with a ukelele, though there is one on my new record.

It might surprise people to learn that everything they believe is true is a lie and the whole world is controlled by a shadow government and a media that is owned and controlled by a few very wealthy families and most people are slaves or need to be and not in a sexy way. Myself included. Austria is beautiful and I’m tired.  And I also do not care anymore.  I just wanna sing songs and fuck.

You can keep up to date with Bryan at his website and pre-order the album here.

bobby townsend


Interview by Bobby Townsend.