In an age where there’s so much music to be heard, how do you find those artists we listen to everyday? I usually like to browse Spotify or iHeart Radio. Sometimes, I’ll even tune into a local station. The live experience is the true test for me; If I love a live band, they will sit higher on my pedestal.
Aaron Reed & Phillip Reed, two locals from Ashland, OR are now living life on the road as songwriters.
Why did you start playing music?
“When I was five years old I heard Michael Jackson’s “Bad” for the first time and had an overwhelming urge to sing and dance. I would secretly practice my dance moves in my bedroom and write down whatever I believed the lyrics to be at the time. My mother is a musician so I was exposed to live music pretty much out of the womb. But I would say listening to that record as a young boy was what got the wheels churning in my head, imagining I could do that one day. I didn’t officially start playing until 6th grade. When, after a frustrating piano lesson with my mother in which I slammed the board and broke two keys, she broke down and got me a guitar. That was about the time I decided I wanted to play music for real.”
How did you end up performing in a band with your brother?
“In 2000 I went off to college. Phil was 12 years old and was just starting to pick up the guitar so we never got to play with each other growing up. My other brother, Michael, and I played in bands throughout high school but Phil is six years younger than me, which is a significant gap as a kid. In 2013 our parents left Missouri for California and Phil decided it was time to get out as well. I was able to convince him that Oregon was the place to be, so he moved out and within a few months he had joined Buckle Rash (our punk country project). I was always picking up side gigs as a solo acoustic act so I started hooking him up with some of those connections. A couple times we played the gigs together, just traded songs, noodled around, and sang harmonies to some of each other’s melodies that we were familiar with. A couple of the places that booked us solo saw our performances together and told us that was what they wanted from now on. So, rather organically, the Brothers Reed was formed.”
Tell us about your new record?
“Well, we are about to release a live record of our set at The Buck Hunters Ball in Callahan, CA. It’s a chance to let our fans get their hands on some heavier, more rocking versions of our songs. That will be out by June. In September we will be releasing our third studio album, which is all about coming back to our roots. I want this record to be clean and organic but super tight and punchy. I’ve invested quite a bit in upgrading the studio in the last 9 months and can’t wait to hear the results in our material. I’ve already produced a couple commercial jingles as well as a couple other bands’ projects and I’m floored by the quality of the sounds coming out of my space right now. Our last record was very experimental. A lot of different styles and ideas were present throughout the album but this record is much more focused. We are also going to be bringing in some outside players to collaborate with. We’ve done this in the past but usually just guest spots. T.J. Eilers and Matthew Kriemelman will be playing bass and drums throughout the entire record, which will be an upgrade from the last two albums. We’ve got about 30 songs we are tracking to see what works, then we will whittle it down to 12-15 songs. You never can tell how a song is going to work when it’s recorded. Sometimes a song you feel is very unsuspecting just comes alive in the recording process. I love that and can’t wait to see how this new stuff fleshes out. We are also super pumped that we have two brand new custom amps built for us by Troubadour Amplification out of Rio Vista, California that we will be tracking with on this record. These things are tone monsters outfitted to our precise specifications and we could not be happier. Troubadour CEO, Shawn Lininger, is a genius. We are so stoked to have them in our corner right now.”
Tell us about your upcoming tour?
“We have been touring pretty extensively this last year. This year we have been from Seattle to Flagstaff, AZ and all points in between. We don’t have a national tour booked though as so many great West Coast opportunities have been popping up that we have not had the chance to block out the 6-8 weeks needed for an extensive tour. However, our music has been on international tour as we were recently featured on a sampler released by a roots/bluegrass/old timey label out of Kentucky called Poetman Records. We’ve gotten airplay all over the US as well as Holland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Germany, and all across Australia! We have also recently signed with a company out of Nashville called The Label Group who are handling distribution, radio, and PR campaigns for our new record.”
How has cannabis played a role in your life?
“Cannabis has played a huge role in my life since college. I was always a very committed athlete in high school so I didn’t really smoke much until towards the very end of my senior year. It was something I was always drawn to and kind of knew it would be a part of my life but never realized how crucial it would be. I am a hundred miles an hour at-all-times kind of guy and cannabis in small increments throughout my day allows me to drop in and focus on one thing at a time. Brothers Reed is pretty much a DIY outfit so there are always shows to book and promote, websites to maintain, books to keep, songs to write, and music to produce. It is really easy to get overwhelmed by the sheer volume of work that goes into running and being part of a full-time band. Cannabis allows me to be pretty stress free and just chip away at the work that needs to be done on a daily basis. It’s my all-in-one medication. I’m sure a doctor would tell me I have ADD but cannabis just allows me to be relaxed and focused. I am a straight flower-out-of-the-pipe kind of guy as well. It really allows me to control my intake. Joints are great but are harsh on my throat, and dabbing as far as I’m concerned is in a league of its own. I’ve tried it twice. Not for me.”
What’s your favorite strain?
“Some of my favorites are Bubblegum, Blueberry, Sour Diesel, anything Diesel really, Sage n’ Sour, Trainwreck…..I like spicy herb. I also like a good sativa/indica blend with the profile leaning slightly towards the indica side. I would say my favorite right now is Jager. I know a ton of people are growing it and I can taste and feel why.”
Where can people find your music?
“You can visit www.thebrothersreed.com for all Brothers Reed’s music, apparel and tour dates. We are also on iTunes, Youtube, Spotify, CD Baby and all those other streaming sites.”