Right before Alex Brown Church of Sea Wolf was about to kick off his solo acoustic tour, he graciously gave us a few minutes of his time for a chat. Here it is the first part of that:
Pasta: Can I get a little history about you in general? Where did music come into your life?
Alex: I can remember as a kid I didn’t have television in the house. So pretty much my means of escapist entertainment were music and books. So since I was pretty young I’ve always loved music because it was one of the few things that could connect with you in that way.
I grew up in a gold rush town in California and there were always these bluegrass bands that would play in the middle of town. I remember wanted to learn how to play bluegrass fiddle. When I was 7 or 8 years old I started taking violin lessons. I only took them for about a year because my teacher was a classical player. She was teaching me classical which was something I was not interested in at all. So I quit after a year. Then I didn’t pick up music again until I was in high school, and I started taking bass guitar lessons. I think because I didn’t grow up in a musical or artistic family, music wasn’t something really viable I should pursue. But eventually when I was in college my college roommate was actually in a band and he kind of inspired me to start a band. I didn’t know that somebody could just do that until I saw him do it.
Pasta: I was reading a good bit about you as a songwriter. The literary influence was pretty big. So I’m guessing that tied into your love of books when you were young?
Alex: I guess so. Its nothing that I’m consciously aware of. I think because I’ve always been a reader, not necessarily a huge reader, but I read. I’ve always got a book that Im reading. so I guess it has.
Actually during high school and middle school I had an interest in being a writer, just a writer in general of books. Then I went to film school where I had an interest in being a screen writer. So I guess I’ve always had an interest in writing, so when I write songs all of that stuff that I was interested in comes out in the song.
Pasta: Also in doing a bit of research I came to find out you were a member of the band Irving. I had no idea. I have quite a few Irving tracks on my computer right now. Can you tell me a little bit about your experience with that band?
Alex: I had just graduated from college and I had moved to Los Angeles with the intention of playing in a band and working in the film industry to see what I wanted to pursue – which I wanted to do more. Within a week of moving to LA I met two of the guys I would go onto form Irving with. So I just kind of took it as a sign right away that this is the direction I should go in. We clicked immediately. And after our first or second show we had a demo deal with Warner Brothers
Alex: It was just crazy to us. We didn’t know what the hell we were doing at all. That ended up being the first of a long strong of potential opportunities that didn’t really pan out. Eventually I kind of got burnt out with my time in Irving. I had started writing songs and most of my songs did not fit with what Irving was trying to do. By then I had a better idea of what I was doing. I decided I wanted to start a new project which was Sea Wolf.
Check back soon for the next segment of the interview. Also do not forget Sea Wolf is playing tonight in Baltimore at the Metro Gallery. Don’t miss it!