Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Peverett Phile Interviews: Brian Ruhe From daemon familiar

Hey, there, rock and roll phans, welcome to another entry of the phile. Today's interview is with a member of a band who has a CD out that I really like. The CD is called "Dawn of the Albatros" and it's one of my favorite CD's at the moment. It just came out in January so go and buy it, or download it. "I Hate To See You Go, But." is my favorite song on it. Okay, with that said, I bring to the Phile, Brian Ruhe from daemon familiar.

Me: Hey, Brian, how are you? Thanks for agreeing to this interview.

Brian: Hi, Jason. I am doing well after the long Holiday. Thanks for asking!!

Me: Brian, I must say, I just played the whole of your new CD "Dawn of the Albatross" and really enjoyed it. How long did it take to write and record that CD?

Brian: Jason. First off, let me say thanks for finding us out in cyberland... and giving our music a listen. As musicians we hope people get a chance to hear our music and hope that they like it, so thanks!! As for "Dawn of the Albatross", the majority of the writing was completed in about a year, but it took about two years to get it all recorded and mixed. That’s how it goes when you have day jobs, haha!

Me: The band is based in Chicago, right? When I first heard daemon familiar I thought of another band from the Chicago area... Cheap Trick. Are they influences or friends of yours?

Brian: daemon familiar is a 3 piece and all of us live in Chicago. Pablo grew up in the ‘burbs, Wendi and I are chi-town transplants. And yes, our music is influenced by Cheap Trick!! Unfortunately, we do not know them, but we are big fans of their music.

Me: Okay, now here's a question you probably get asked a hundred times... where did the name daemon familiar come from? Of course if it was my band it would be called daemon phamiliar.

Brian: Ah, that question does come up a lot! Our band name, daemon familiar, comes from a literary series by Philip Pullman. We appreciate the stories and his metaphorical writings.

Me: As I said, I loved the CD, "Dawn of the Albatross". Where did that title come from?

Brian: The three of us thought long and hard about the title of our debut CD. After 2 years of working on the project, we felt like we had an albatross hanging around our necks. When we were closing in on a finished product, we began to feel like a new band, we were having a new beginning, like the dawn. We put them together and came up with a title all of us were happy with.

Me: The first song on the CD is called "Oprah", which is one of my favorite songs on the CD, but won't get you on her show. Who wrote it, and what's the story behind it?

Brian: Pablo wrote Oprah, and let’s just say it’s about how some people don’t exactly give up their jets and mansions when they set out to help us all live better lives.

Me: So, Brian, is it true that you sit when you're playing bass on stage?

Brian: Yes, I do play sitting down. A while back I was injured and blew out both of my kn ees. It is difficult for me to play standing up, so now I sit, and leave the entire stage to Pablo!

Me: You are the third bass player I interviewed by the way. Every time I go to interview a band, I always get the bass player. Did you pick the short straw?

Brian: Haha. No, just happened that way. Each of us in the band has different responsibilities: I manage the MySpace Page... do the recording and mixing. Pablo manages the website... and is the creative one of the group. He writes the words and melodies to a majority of the songs, and then lets Wendi and I add our own flavor with our instruments.

Me: Tell me something about Pablo and Wendi, the other two members of the band. Pablo put down Reed Richards as an influence which I thought was weird, and as far as Wendi goes... if I only knew Matthew Sweet for her. How did you get such a cute drummer, anyway?

Brian: Pablo is a big comic book fan, and is starting to go a little grey around the temples, hence the Reed Richards reference. As for Wendi, well she is also a big comic book fan; actually she is a huge pop culture fanatic!! She also told me to say that she became cute from all of the hugging she has done over the years!

Me: I was looking at the posters you have advertising the band, and I'll post on this interview to show the Phile readers what I'm talking about, and I think your art work is cool. Who do you get to make up your posters? The one with the rabbit on the seahorse is very cool, and I like the Donkey Kong one.

Brian: The majority of our posters and the CD Artwork is done by the amazing artist Tom Kelly... and...

Me: Speaking of posters, I LOVE the one of the band and each member having an animal as a shadow. A rooster, squirrel and dog. Which one are you, and what is the meaning behind it? If I had a shadow of an animal mine would be either a skunk or a toad. No, a jackass. ; )

Brian: Funny thing - that poster’s by two of our other friends, Monica and Brooke! The meaning behind the animals goes back to the origin of our band name. A daemon familiar is an animal representation of you. I am the rooster, Pablo is the dog and Wendi is the squirrel.

Me: Let's go over some of DF's influences... you named some of my favorite bands, Squeeze, Crowded House, Fountains of Wayne and of course Elvis. The cool Elvis, not the dead one. Has the band opened for any of the band's you guys listed, and if so, how was that? I got to interview Chris Difford from Squeeze, which was a really big deal for me. At this time I haven't got the answers back yet though.

Brian: We love the music by those bands and many more. Since we are still trying to find our way as a performing band, i.e. we’re small potatoes right now, we haven’t been lucky enough to have opened for any of our influences. We do hope this album lets people get a glimpse into our musical world and become interested in sharing a stage together. We’ll see...

Me: The band plays a lot of shows in the Chicago, but now you have the CD coming out, are you planning on doing a tour? If you hit Central Florida, I'll be there. Of course I want a backstage pass. LOL.

Brian: We are planning to tour to promote the album. We are thinking regional for now, but who knows?? But for our fans in the Midwest, keep an eye on our website/MySpace page because we will be coming to a venue near you!!

Me: And finally, is there anything you would like to tell the Phile phans about DF, and what websites do you want to plug?

Brian: I would like to tell all of the Phile fans to check our website... and listen to a song or two. If you like it, download the album (it is available for free until January 10th). Then if you really like it, purchase the album when it officially goes on sale!! All of the details will be on our site!! Thanks Jason for taking the time to interview us!! We appreciate it!!

Me: Brian, I appreciate you doing this interview, and I wish you all the best with the CD.

Very cool. Well, the website is so go check it out. Now, obviously the interview was done before the CD came out. Almost a month ago in fact. Oh, well. And by the way, I am still waiting to hear back from Chris Difford. In the meantime the Phile will be back on Phriday with its regular entry and then on Saturday with another bass player, Ms. Karen Cuda from the crazy band Nashville Pussy. And then on Sunday it's French Canadian singer Marc Savoie. So, as always, spread the word, not the turd.

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