By: Rob Brayl
ROB BRAYL: So, tell us about Brian.
BRIAN MACKEY: I defy main-stream. I’m the kind of guy that shows up to a gig without a guitar case, and just a guitar strapped around my back, I jump on stage and do my thing. I’m not really into being hip or what’s cool at the moment, I kind of just do what I feel, and if it makes other people feel in the process, then that’s a good thing, good or bad, happy or sad, doesn’t matter. (But I would like to make them feel good.)
RB: Your video for ‘Honest Love’ was just released and it carries a pretty heartfelt message. Can you take us back to the moment you started writing this song, what was the driving force behind this record?
BM: The song, ‘Honest Love’ came out of a conversation with myself, to try to make sense of what Love really means. The waiting, the wanting, the abandonment, the moving on, the changing of the heart, the mind, and still being able to sum it all up in one word, and putting Honest in front of it, which seems like a contradiction, but a beautiful one at that. The record was supposed to be a full-length album, but I didn’t really have the money to do it. So I made it an EP, and put together the songs that I truly wanted to get out there with the limited resources I had at the time. I just needed to get the song ‘Florida’ on there, because a lot of people came up to me at shows and said they could really relate to that song. So I figured if enough people told me they could relate, I felt it was a good fit for the album.
RB: Your song, ‘Sunshower’ (off the ‘Honest Love’ EP), was chosen to be on the official ‘Songs of Love for Japan’ compilation (among great artists like Sara Bareilles and others). Can you tell us a little more about this project?
BM: Yes, this one came to me last minute, and it’s really just a super great cause for the ravaged country of Japan, which is just going through so much turmoil. It was strange because I was saying to myself, what could I do to help, I’m only one person. And then there was this opportunity to help, so I took it. It’s a 100 song compilation of not so well-known songs, but by really great artists. 100% of the proceeds go to Shelterbox, the charity committed to helping the victims and their families in Japan. Also, Ani DiFranco will be on there too, and many more.
[To learn more click here.]
RB: Any current pop culture addictions? Ones that may have influenced your music in any way?
BM: Pop-culture addictions… there are some, mostly in the film world. I love certain TV shows like ‘True Blood’, or anything where someone is ripping their neck off, all done in the name of love. I love this great UK show called ‘Doc Martin’, I discovered it on Netflix. So what I do is go to the British TV section on Netflix, dim the lights, get out my chutney and talk like Sherlock Holmes the whole night. I’m not sure how any of this influences my music, but I love all kinds of music, for example, I love piano, and classical music like Beethoven privately, but never play it on stage.
RB: Finally, where can new listeners keep up with your work? What new tricks do you have up your sleeve? Oh, and thank you for chatting with us.
BM: They can find me in all the usual places, like Facebook, Myspace (when it was popular), Reverbnation, iTunes – oh and by the way I have a Brian Mackey App releasing this week, so for all of you who have iPhones and iPads, so if you are somewhere lost and the GPS drops out, the only thing that comes in will be Brian Mackey, you’ll surely be pissed off, and want to break your phone. Also, I will be the featured artist in the launch issue of Rising Magazine, they will be featuring new photos taken by their photographer on location “behind-the-scenes”-like candid stuff, so keep a lookout for that. In May I’m shooting my next video, ‘Sunshower’, with the brilliant director Nick Cavalier, to be released in the summer, and have some new tour dates coming out for the summer/fall.
Thank you so much for the time, and letting me ramble on about stuff!
Watch the just-released video for ‘Honest Love’ below.