Friday, February 27, 2009

The Peverett Phile Interviews: Brian Sullivan From Emerald Rose

Hello, kiddies, miss me? Welcome back to another entry and another interview on the Phile. Tonight I have a gentlemen who is in the band Emerald Rose, a Celtic folk rock band from Georgia. They are playing at MegaCon this weekend and maybe a convention near you. So, ladies and find fair folk... or phine phair pholk... the Phile welcomes Brian Sullivan.

Me: Hello, welcome to the Phile, Brian. How are you? So, you are first band I interviewed that wears skirts.

Brian: Fair enough! We actually see a lot of bands that wear the kilts, but you get that at Celtic fairs and a lot more at sci fi and fantasy cons these days. We have a whole list of kilt stories, but those are best told privately.

Me: You guys are from Georgia, right? What part of Georgia?

Brian: We're from North Georgia, near Dahlonega, in the county where the Appalachian Trail begins. It's in the foothills of the mountains, and a very beautiful place to live. We have been up there longer than we have had the band!

Me: Who is in the band and how did you guys form a band?

Brian: We are Brian Sullivan, guitar and vocals, Arthur Hinds, guitar, bodhran, vocals, Larry Morris, pennywhistle, pipes, percussion, and Clyde Gilbert, bass and percussion. We have all been friends for many years longer than the band has been around. We met down in Decatur, and one by one moved up to the mountains. Now we all live within five miles of each other.
We formed the band so that we would have something to do other than play Magic: The Gathering.

Me: Where do you shop for your clothes?

Brian: My leather jerkin is from , our kilts are from www., and many of our shirts are made by the Deva company. Clyde and Larry often have shirts custom made by their wives. I am big on Under Armor these days, too.

Me: What is a typical Emerald Rose show like?

Brian: That depends on where you see us, but usually by the third song the crowd is along for the ride. We have a great time playing music that we love, and we tailor our sets to the event we are playing. A three hour night at the pub is different from a 30 minute set on the concourse at DragonCon, but both will get your blood up. A Celtic festival set would be very different from a wedding. We try to play shows appropriate to the occasion.

Me: Okay, do you guys know what MegaCon is? How did you get booked there?

Brian: We will be playing at MegaCon on Feb 27 - March 1 in Orlando. We love playing at MegaCon! We played there once before, a couple of years ago, and it was a wonderful experience! They treated us so well, and we got a table next to the boffer sword pit. Arthur waded in and slammed some fan boy in the face a few times. I got to meet Marina Sirtis (Counselor Troi from "Star Trek:Next Generation"), and we really enjoyed being wandering minstrels, playing for the registration lines. And did I mention that it's in Orlando in February?

Me: Do you often play sci-fi conventions? If so, how does your music fit in with comics and sci-fi?

Brian: We love to play conventions. We are all geek fan boys anyway. We connected with the Lord of the Rings fan site at our first DragonCon, and they invited us to play at their DragonCon Hobbit party. It was a wild gig, and later, they invited us to play for their LOTR Oscar parties for Two Towers and Return of the King in Hollywood. We have played DragonCon since 2000, ICon up in New York, ConClave in Michigan, and MegaCon in Orlando, among many others. With the recording of "Con Suite", we have a whole range of filky folky rock that explores fandom from Celts and starships to sexy vampires. And I got to play my electric guitar for a change.

Me: Have you ever had your music in a movie? You are doing something for AMC, right? Is that the movie theater chain or cable channel?

Brian: We have had two soundtrack placements, both in fan documentaries. Ringers: Lord of the Fans is a movie about the Tolkien phenomena and it's fans... we have two songs in that film and a very short appearance. Done the Impossible: The Fans Tale of Firefly and Serenity is a similar sort of documentary about the Firefly series. We have about nine songs on the soundtrack, we're interviewed several times in the movie, and they filmed Larry and me doing our arrangement of the Firefly theme song. We look good. AMC is the American Movie Classics channel on satellite TV. They ran one of our instrumentals in a commercial for a month. We made about $35.00, for that, I think.

Me: Do you guys like sci-fi? You look like you should be in Lord of the Rings.

Brian: Somebody mention that to Peter Jackson, would you? Yes, we are sci-fi fantasy buffs since elementary school. We read LOTR out loud to our kids for bedtime readings. I still record Justice League cartoons... so I can watch them by myself!

Me: I saw on iTunes you have some albums out. How many and what was the latest? Working on anything new?

Brian: Well, just about everything is on iTunes these days. Latest is the aforementioned "Con Suite" which has us breaking all the molds for this band. We just wanted to ditch the Celtic mantle for a while and play some fun stuff. It was really about exploring the studio as an instrument. Even though the songs are light hearted, we put a lot of time into capturing the sounds and tones we wanted, and overdubbing like crazy.

Me: Have you heard of the Celtic band Off Kilter? They play at Epcot.

Brian: Heard of them, don't envy the job. I think that might be a harder gig than people would think.

Me: Who came up with the name of the band? How long have you been playing?

Brian: I came up with the name, sitting at my computer. I remember thinking, 'What would be a good name for this band'. Then it came to me...'pop!'. It won out over '4 Fat Dads'. We have now been officially playing together for fourteen years.

Me: Okay, fellas, go ahead and plug your website and I will see you at the 'Con.

Brian: You can find us, along with audio samples, youtube links and embarrassing photos at Thanks for the interview!

What a nice kilted lad, eh. I met two members from the band this afternoon and hope to meet Brian and see them play. The Phile will be back tomorrow with an interview with upcoming pop singer Mandy Ventrice. So, until then, spread the word, not the turd. 

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