According to the bio on his website, Bryan Robinson (UK), would never win the lottery. Simply, because he doesn’t buy lottery tickets. However, he is a lucky winner after all, because he has earned this week’s spotlight! So purely hypothetical, if he did win € 10.000 in a lottery to spend on anything music-related. How would he spend it?
“On the best coffee machine money can buy… I believe they are thousands. Ask any musician, it is essential to make music. And if there’s anything left over, hundreds of spare strings as I’m always running out.”
Okay, so Bryan likes his coffee. What else is there to learn about him? Well, he runs ultra marathons. “I’m doing a 50 km ‘run to the sea’ this Sunday, October 11th.” His favourite song is ‘My funny Valentine’ by Rodgers & Hart. When he was born his father proudly shouted “It’s a boy!” from the bedroom window to the neighbours.
“I grew up in a small town called Tamworth, famous for ‘saddleback’ pigs and Robert Peel, founder of the police force: no pun intended.”
Growing up, Bryan wanted to be in forestry, or a tree surgeon. When he discovered music, he became a ‘tree hugger’ instead. It was Jimi Hendrix who inspired him to pursue a career in music.
“I watched Jimi Hendrix ‘Live in Montreal’ as a teenager and thought: “You can get paid for that!?”
“I fortunately had an amazing guitar teacher when I was 13 in Tamworth. He was called Steve Harrop. He very much shaped me as a musician. I was lucky to find such a great talent to help mentor me in such a small place.”
“I currently live in a small village, 40 km south of London. I have my own small studio there, where I record. I also teach music technology two days a week to troubled young people. It’s a privilege and I learn a lot from them.”
Bryan estimates to have played at over a thousand weddings, birthdays and funerals. For years he made up the Spanish words for the song ‘La Bamba’ at parties and only got found out once. I’m curious to hear about those made up Spanish words.
“Ha ha, well observed from my website! Here’s an example: la la la la la bamba – poopoo, peebo ma moko, mabo meebo, zappa ma caka… If you sing this with the chorus tune, it sounds quite pleasant! My profound apologies if this is offensive or disgusting in anyone’s mother tongue!”
The first concert Bryan attended was BB King when he was 13. The last one, Jeff Beck. No surprise, they’re both guitarists. So, about those guitars… Why do guitarists have so many guitars? 😉 “They’re all very different…OK!?” What’s his favourite guitar?
“An old acoustic takamine called ‘Sonny’, named after my father. I’ve had it 25 years from new. It’s not expensive and rather battered, but every scratch, dent and stain tells a story: from great gigs, to not so great gigs and then gigs where we just got out in one piece. It’s like an old buddy…”
What do you enjoy most as a musician? Is there anything you hate about it?
“Meeting amazing people and being challenged to learn and grow as technology evolves and music does too. I don’t hate anything about music…It doesn’t have any serious low points, does it?!”
Have your musical tastes changed over the years?
“It’s been an incredible, eclectic musical journey, through rock, classical, jazz, folk & country music. What has stayed the same though, is that I get the same profound feelings, with some of the same music that I did when I was a boy. Musical intuition is an extraordinary thing. I’m still as eclectic as ever.”
One of your songs is called ‘A Place To Hide’. What’s your favourite place to hide?
“Definitely my music studio!”
About music studios, if you could be a fly on the wall for the recording of any album in history, what album would you pick?
“I’d pick ‘Rumours’ by Fleetwood Mac. A great album musically under what must have been near unbearable stress with personal relationships… Is that a tad sadistic?! Then, for pure music, ‘Tubular Bells’ by Mike Oldfield. For one man to do that on tape is extraordinary.”
You’ve released 3 singles on Spotify thus far. One of them ‘Comfortable Silence‘ is at #17 in the Cool Top 20. What are you working on right now?
“Completing an album ‘Salvation Belle’. I’m hoping to release it in November.”
Do you enjoy the process of creating?
“I really enjoy solving the musical jigsaw puzzle. Create an idea, now fill the gaps and make a complete composition…Great.”
Bryan’s favourite song in the Cool Top 20 is Postindustrial Poets – I Gave You My Disease.