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Topic ClosedScott Brazieal (Cartoon) (PFS) (5UU'S)

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rileydog22 View Drop Down
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Direct Link To This Post Topic: Scott Brazieal (Cartoon) (PFS) (5UU'S)
    Posted: March 21 2008 at 14:14
I recently talked with keyboardist Scott Brazieal over the internet, and he agreed to allow me to interview him over email.  Scott has was a founding member of Cartoon and PFS, he has played with Thinking Plague, and 5uu's, and he has been out on tour with Cassiber, Skeleton Crew, Von Zamla, and many others.  If you haven't heard his music, Cartoon and PFS are excellent and highly recommended for all fans of RIO or avant-prog.  My questions are in bold, his answers are in normal font. 
5uu's PA profile here: http://www.progarchives.com/artist.asp?id=108

What are you currently working on? 
I'm finishing up, (mixing and mastering) a solo recording called "Songs from the Empire".  I've been working on it for a few years now. It's the first music project I've worked on, and plan to release in some manner, in over ten years.

What are your plans for the future?
The future's not ours to see, que sera, sera. ;) The other joke here would be: If you want to make god laugh, tell him your plans…or tell her your plans, whatever it is for you.

Which band was your favorite to work with?
All of them, really… (Cartoon, PFS, 5uu's, Thinking Plague) though in different ways: With my own bands, it's probably Cartoon—not because of our music output per se—but  because we were so full of youthful energy, boldness and relentless drive. And as most of us are in our youth, we thought the sky the limit and that we would live forever. We found out in Paris that wasn't necessarily true.  I certainly loved playing and touring with Dave Kerman, Bob Drake and Mike Johnson in the 5uu's, (a later 5uu's touring lineup was with Mark Smoot--Chainsaw Jazz, Clockhammer--on guitar)  all fantastic musicians.  We played some very amazing shows, in my mind at least. It was memorable for me and a lot of fun too.

Why the name change from Cartoon to PFS?  The two bands were nearly identical in membership.
Yeah, but it was a completely different approach in how we created and thought about the music we were doing. In the beginning, PFS was playing music as improvisatory as possible, and ultimately we wanted to capture our songs on the spot—so to speak—in the recording studio. So, we would have these song structures with a few arrival chords/keys and melodic sketches made out, but all we really knew going into the recording studio was how each song's form was to basically unfold; we didn't know or plan out any specific thematic/musical material and rehearse it. That was a huge difference between Cartoon and PFS. Let me tell you, Cartoon used to practice a lot.

I have heard rumors that Cartoon has some live material in the archives.  Will this ever see the light of day?
I know that there were several Cartoon shows that were recorded in a competent manner, so yeah; I suppose it could technically, although I doubt it personally. A lot of technical stuff and other things would have to fall into place. You know?

What was your single favorite musical experience?
Hmmm…Probably a gig the 5uu's played at an old abandoned government building (squat) in Maribor, Slovenia. We played a great show for a very interesting, unique and appreciative audience. On top of that, we had this unforgettable night's stay/sleep after the gig in this same building - it was freezing cold, broken windows, no heat and whatnot, and full of squatting punks who kept most of us awake throughout the night with their alcohol fueled revelry. If that wasn't enough, in the morning when we had to leave for our show that night which was a couple hundred kilometers away, no one was awake to unlock the bolted main doors of the building we slept in and we couldn't wake anyone up. So we all had to jump out a second-story window just to get to our van to leave. It was one of those incidents that was infuriating at the time but looking back, was both ludicrous and unforgettable. We certainly had a lot of jokes about Maribor while driving in the van for the rest of the tour.

What were the biggest influences on Cartoon and PFS, and what are/were the biggest influences on you personally? 
For me personally it would be 20th Century composers like Prokofiev, Bartok, Webern, Stravinsky, etc. I remember being completely blown away hearing the Rite of Spring when I was 12 or so, and instantly knew I wanted to make music in a similar vein. I started playing piano when I was 6 and was doing recitals by the time I was 9, so I was definitely influenced by "classical" music a bit more than I was by rock music. For the band's influences, we were definitely shaped musically by some of the RIO groups we listened to in high school: Henry Cow, Art Bears, early Univers Zero, Etron Fou and Samla, as well as some prog-rock bands like King Crimson and even Yes and ELP. Of course the thing about bands though, is that each player has his/her own set of influences and stuff they listen to and ultimately, it becomes all about taking these diverse influences and creating your own unique sound, which we did as a band pretty well I think.

What was it like playing shows with the likes of Christian Vander, John Greaves, Cassiber, Skeleton Crew, The Camberwell Now and Von Zamla and how much did you learn musically from the many wonderful musicians you met? 
Unquestionably, it was great to play at festivals with them, not only because we had grown up listening to most of these groups, but also it was nice to meet them as people—they put their pants on one leg at a time too—and also, to see and hear how they approached music as they were moving away from some of the stylistic labels that I had associated with them.

What was it like to work with Bob Drake and Dave Kerman? 
 Fantastic: not only because they are both great musicians, but also because they are very creative people, creative thinkers. I've always said that Bob and Dave balanced each other very well musically, and probably still do by the sheer fact that they still play together on occasion. I think that fundamentally, they played really great together as a rock drummer and a rock bass player.  I've never played, then or since, with two people that were so naturally locked together. In addition to Bob's singing and playing, I can't give enough praise about his recording and producing ability, or give Dave enough respect for his drumming, composing and musical thinking. They're both worthy of the "genius" label in my book.

What other bands are listening to these days?
I love The Books, especially what they do in concert with music and video; really inspiring and astonishing to me. I still like most of the music out of Cuneiform, ReR, pfMentum, Tzadik and the like. Love the stuff John Hollenbeck is doing with The Claudia Quintet. There are some other good American indy-rock type bands I enjoy: Califone, Animal Collective, Fiery Furnaces and even an alt.-country band from Austin called Okkervil River. They're fantastic. I love my local (Portland, OR) music scene: seems there is an almost never-ending supply of creative music that young people are putting together here--I especially like the trio, Menomena--there is always a great supply of live music one can hear in Portland.

What is your opinion on legal and illegal downloading of music? 
The Internet is our generation's monument to the free-exchange of ideas and as to the question, art and music. I personally wouldn't like it f**ked-with by legislating more corporate-minded rules and laws from yesteryear. Basically, file-sharing seems to me a natural progression of Internet technology and I can't see it changing anytime soon. As a musician, I have my own rule of downloading other people's music: if I listen to something more than 5 times, I'll buy it, period.

What advice would you give to an amateur musician?
If your heart is in it: keep learning, keep practicing, keep experimenting and keep playing. 



Edited by ExittheLemming - March 03 2012 at 21:02

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2008 at 15:42

That's great to read an interview with Scott, especially in concern to lesser talked about and magnificent bands like PFS and Cartoon.

Great work, Jake
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2008 at 16:14

That's a good read, so it is true all musicians put on their pants one leg at a time.Clap

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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2008 at 20:29
Indeed, a very good interview!
 
Which reminds me that I havent listened to either Cartoon or PFS in a while, so I will do that during this weekend. Nice work, Jake!
 
 
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2008 at 20:51
Well done, Jake, very good interview indeed and this has spurred me on to try and finish my interview with Jarno from Alamaailman Vasarat.

Like Blowfus said, I also need to listen to Cartoon and P.F.S. more, especially as I added the bands and wrote their biographies for P.A.! LOL
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 22 2008 at 08:33
Great read.

How did you first meet him online, Jake?
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 22 2008 at 15:37
Avant-prog Anonymous. Wink
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Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 23 2008 at 20:51
ClapClap
 
Good interview. Love his work, seems like a Cool guy.
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