Trevor de Brauw is a busy man. Besides his gig as a member of the mighty Pelican, the guitarist is also a publicist, prolific tweeter (@trevordebrauw) and party to several side projects (Chord, Let’s Pet, Bee Control). And, lest we forget to mention, he’s also got the “solo artist” thing going, as evidenced by the fact that he played his nearly half-hour long composition “Don’t Be An Asshole” last week at Chicago’s Empty Bottle. While the live track streaming below (whose title bears a valuable life lesson) is quite different from the riff-based tunage of his main outfit, it’s not very far off from some of de Brauw’s other extracurricular work. With all of that in mind, we figured it was high time to ask the man himself a few questions about this particular “power ambient” endeavor.
What’s the genesis of this song? How long had you been working on it before this show, and what spurred you to take it live last week?
I’ve actually played this one once before, but it really took shape at this particular show in a way it hadn’t before. I usually put solo compositions together in the recording environment, so the process here was a little different – this one is based more around technical approach than musical arrangements, so really the whole thing came together in my imagination before I ever tried to play it. In the last couple of months I’ve played it twice at home to rehearse and twice live.
Your soundcloud page says it’s a work in progress – given your other time commitments, do you envision finishing it at some point and/or putting out a solo record? Are there more tunes stashed away?
I think composition-wise it’s pretty much finished, but I do want to take the time to do a proper recording before I close the book on it. That’ll have to wait until after the Pelican tour this month amongst many other things. I suppose I’d do a solo record if someone is down to put it out – I don’t have the expendable income to do it myself currently. I have another whole album of songs as well, that I got about 80% done on and then put away for a rainy day, so it might be time to revisit some of that stuff.
What was the reaction like at the show? Do you think this is something you’d do again or just a one-off thing?
It felt good. I’ve been doing solo CD-Rs for 10+ years, but since it’s dense multi-tracked recording stuff, I’ve never bothered trying to do anything live – it seemed too complicated. This was the first composition I’ve come up with that worked as a solo performer and it felt like it came off well. Hoping to write more in this vein so I can continue doing shows here and there.
*You can check out Trevor’s soundcloud page here.