After sharing Brave Baby’s single “Magic and Fire” last month, I am proud to feature an interview with vocalist and guitarist Keon Masters. This group from Charleston, SC recently released their debut album Forty Bells, and Masters provides us with an insightful look into the band’s creative process and his own views on life and maturation. Below you can listen to “Living in a Country,” one of the songs mentioned in the interview.
First off, what is your musical background and how did the band get started? My musical background consists of me sitting in my room in middle school writing terrible songs on an old Carlo Robelli my mom got for me in the 7th grade. But the band got started in 2010 after Wolfgang, Christian, and I got together in Charleston, having previously been in projects together in the Charlotte music scene.
Who would you say are your main musical influences? That’s a tough question because it changes all the time. As a band I know everyone has a soft spot for Queen and Fleetwood Mac.
How did the local music scene in Charleston affect the development and output of the band? I don’t know if it was Charleston that had the effect on us or South Carolina as a whole. We like to embrace on our southern-“ness,” but don’t like to abuse it. Charleston is the home to a lot of great music right now, and when were starting this band we were running from the Charlotte scene that we had been apart of and witnessed for too long, and winding up here worked out perfectly.
You guys mention that your recent debut album Forty Bells centers on “the long-lost-but-never-forgotten feelings discovered in childhood and early encounters with love.” Where did that concept come from? The concept really just came about through the collection of songs. I was having a hard time accepting adult hood, college was almost over, and I was in shambles. Girlfriends were getting serious, things were going down with all of our families, and it just seemed like the right things to write about at the time.
One of my favorite songs of the album is “Living in a Country.” What influenced you to write this song? It was my twenty-second birthday and I was at a mountain house with some of my friends for a spring break weekend trip. I had the best day with everyone, we went hiking, cooked great food, drank wine, yet I was still just in a funk. While everyone was cleaning up I went outside with this old classical guitar and started messing around until the initial idea for “Living” came to be. “Now I’m older, I don’t feel young, this far horizon setting in the sun.” The name of the house we were staying in was called “Far Horizons” and it just seemed to fit. We were at the top of the mountain and you could see this tiny city at the bottom of the valley, hence “this city is beneath me…” and so on. I don’t like getting older. My twenty-third birthday is next month, March 3rd, and I’m dreading it. Don’t know what it is exactly, I guess I feel like I’m always just running out of time.
Quick take: Best bite to eat in Charleston. Dellz Deli. No Doubt.
In your opinion, how has the band’s musical style developed after you guys initially met in 2008? We used to be more whimsical. Thought we were the next Queen or something. Got that out of our system and realized you don’t have to show off to be good. We’re finally getting into the groove of just being us. I think we have finally found our sound and it’s present on “Forty Bells,” but I have a feeling our second release will be remembered for having the Brave Baby sound.
So what’s next for Brave Baby? Keep playing shows, keep writing, and keep on keepin’ on.
How have music blogs impacted the publicity of your music? They’ve done great things for us. It’s insane honestly, I didn’t think one person would hear our songs, but because of blogs like you guys we’re all over the states, and in some cases in foreign countries.
And any final words that you would like to give the readers of Lobos en Bolos? Stay true to your blog!