Introducing... Tracy Bryan
It's no secret that Los Angeles is home to a thriving DIY and lo-fi scene. With the rise of Burger Records, the DIY label that has the likes of the Black Lips to The Garden in their family and independent venues like The Smell, bedroom music is growing into something much bigger than it ever has been. Tracy Bryant is part of this DIY lo-fi scene. Bryant, also known for being in the band Corners, has released his solo LP Subterranean on Burger, a record full of intimate fuzz and Californian sun. Heading to the Arizona desert to record, February saw the the release of the full length which is yet to leave my cassette deck since coming out.
We caught up with Tracy for a quick chat.
Hi Tracy Bryant! Tell us how your musical journey started?
Music for me started on the piano when I was very young. I was doing recitals and learning how to improvise. When I was about thirteen or so I became more interested in guitar music and taught myself how to play the acoustic guitar.
You record in your apartment to cassette, is that right?
I recorded the "Subterranean" album in the studio with Matt Rendon, as well as "The Little Things" and "I'm Not There" 7" with Joel Jerome. My first experience with recording was on 4-track cassette, and I still enjoy recording that way.
Where does your DIY approach come from?
When I was younger and was starting to write more music, I came across Elliott Smith and became really interested in what he was doing. The idea of playing multiple instruments and recording at home on your own seemed to me to be the most independent way to create music. With that being said, I also enjoy working with like-minded people and appreciate the influence that working together can have.
You’ve got a real lo-fi vibe, what is it about lo-fi that grabs you?
There can be something very intimate and spontaneous that comes out of lo-fi recording.
You’ve got a new record out, Subterranean, what was the process like? Do you find when you record yourself you have less stress and worries than, say, working with a producer?
Recording "Subterranean" was a lot of work in a short amount of time, but fun nonetheless. I've never really worked with a producer but the guys that I record with are helpful in giving me their opinions which makes the process go smoothly.
You’re also in a band called Corners. When writing solo material do you find that it’s positive to step back from the band for a period of time?
Yeah, I think so! Writing and playing music is always a learning process so coming back to Corners, I have different ideas from things I've learned doing the solo stuff and vice-versa.
The guys at Burger put out the record on vinyl. That must have felt good to have it as a physical release?
Yeah, it was definitely exciting. Sean and Lee from Burger are very supportive and it's really nice to be working with them.
All the work you do seems to be done with friends, does that have a positive impact on you?
Yes, of course! I'm happy to have such talented friends that are inspiring to work with.
We hope to see you bringing Subterranean to the UK some time soon!
Thanks, the UK will definitely be on the map for the next European tour.
Watch the video for Subterranean below.