A note of positive from the maestro of sadness. Interview with Brazzaville frontman
On March 8, the Waiting Room club will fulfill the most moving dream of the girls of the Northern capital – Brazzaville will perform, the one that once conquered St. Petersburg with the song “Clouds In Camarillo” (“On Top of the World”).
Before the gala concert, Irina Zakharova talked with the founder of Brazzaville, David Brown:
“I was terrified of … fame!”
1997 year. One morning, I was sitting in my old Chevy Niva in front of the house of a woman named Michelle, the owner of the Lava Lounge fashion club in Hollywood, David begins intriguingly. – I painted her mansion for the part-time job. And so I take a break and open the Los Angeles Times. On the front page is an article about the civil war in the Congo. “BRAZAVIL” – the headline catches my eye! As soon as I saw this word denoting the capital of the Congo, I instantly realized: here it is, the name of my group !.
The first step into the world of show business, David helped his friend, the illustrious saxophonist, offering a joint tour.
In my youth I wrote a bunch of poems and in the early 20s I began to think about creating a group where I would write songs and perform them, ”says Mr. Brown. – The first person I came up with this idea was Kenny Lyon, my old friend since Onyx Cafe, this place was the center of creativity in Los Angeles. Kenny was a fiasco in his personal life and was absolutely ready to create a group! By the way, on March 8, Petersburgers will see him at our concert.
The very first song of the Brazzaville group was called “Shams”, in honor of the bosom friend of the poet Rumi, it contained rather brutal motives: a young man trying to escape from circumstances, drugs, a goddess on the seashore, death, etc. Soon, a young American dreamer needed a recording studio. One such fate has already been reserved for him. This studio was located in a small house in North Hollywood, directly opposite the legendary hills. A gloomy quarter with parts stores, department stores and nondescript recording studios …
The guy opened the door to me in purple silk pajamas, military boots, with dreadlocks, a devilish beard and mustache, with a cigar in his hand! Despite his strange appearance, to put it mildly, Michael Roson turned out to be a glorious fellow! Almost everything I know about sound recording and arrangement is his merit! We became good friends, he recorded the first albums of the group.
Our songs sailed on the air of the coolest radio stations in America. The first record was snapped up in Los Angeles and Tokyo! We have become a tidbit for renowned record companies! But I was terrified of this fame: I began to drink, went wild at concerts, gladly dissected around the stage in a fur coat, thinking that it was the way … I simply did not believe that I deserved to speak, I tried to overcome my fear. But when people began to say that the music of Brazzaville helped them in a difficult moment of life, the group leader became thoughtful and finally understood his purpose.
Brazzaville is a multinational group. How explosive is this mixture?
We have representatives from America, Turkey, Russia, Spain. These are great originals! I take on the tour of various characters, depending on which country I’m going to. Each participant adds something of their own, national, to the music: we do not give her a chance to fade!
Wherever David Brown went, he traveled to India, Brazil, Indonesia, Nepal, Japan … That’s why the Brazzaville songs absorbed the sun and winds of all these countries … By the way, Mr. Brown found his favorite guitar in the Japanese commission in the end 90s. The musician admitted that he loves to wander in Tokyo, appreciates ink painting in the “hang” technique of one local artist. Now the main “Brazilian” lives in Barcelona, but really misses his homeland, which “boils with youth energy”.
Barcelona is a very comfortable small town: it can be easily circled by bicycle. And Europe, on the whole, is undoubtedly majestic, but sometimes it seems a prim old woman who is always imposing her order. And I miss the smell of the desert, growing vegetables on a small patch of land. I would like to go to the coast and feel the unbridled power of the Pacific Ocean instead of etiquette politeness of the Mediterranean !.
The secret to fighting depression!
Brazzaville songs are sad. Frankly: Are you disappointed with life?
Absolutely not, I love her! The most unpleasant things in life are pain and boredom. But I do not take them for granted. I was a drug addict, grew up in orphanages. I have seen madness and alcoholism. It is really wonderful that I lived to a very old age – I am 43 years old (winks), that I have a wonderful family and favorite job. My biggest discovery in life: you need to think about yourself as little as possible, and life will be sweeter! You need to take care of each other, and heaven will already take care of us. Great sadness lies in the fleetingness of life, but this makes it priceless! Without death, life would seem a boring routine. It is the same with God: if we could explain Him, we would get bored the next week and start looking for something new.