Chuck Schuldiner Project

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Interview with Bryan Beller of the Aristocrats!

So I recently had the HUGE honor of Bryan Beller answering some questions for me. Some of you might remember his band the Aristocrats from the Review I wrote back in February. Aside from that, you might now Bryan as the bassist in Dethklok.

In this interview Bryan talks about the band and more. In particular he talks about some pretty cool upcoming stuff and we find out a lot about him. So check it out!

Can you introduce the Aristocrats?

The Aristocrats are a rock/fusion power trio consisting of Guthrie Govan on guitar, Marco Minnemann and drums, and myself on bass. We're all songwriters and we all contribute equally to the material we play. We do play a lot of notes but we really appreciatesongs, and we have a lot of fun playing together, especially live.

Who are the big influences on the Aristocrats, and also on your personally?
We all have so many different influences it's hard to summarize them. I love everything from John Scofield to Pink Floyd to Rage Against The Machine. Marco digs The Police, Frank Zappa, and a lot of '80s pop, actually. Guthrie has studied a lot of amazing guitarists, but also has some really obscure influences I'm not sure I even know. We all dig Frank Zappa a lot, which helps the humor aspect of what we do, as well as the improvisational aspect as well.

How do you feel about your first tour?
Our first tour was actually in Japan and Korea, last summer. We discovered right away that we travel easily together as well as play easily together. That matters a lot when you travel as much as we do! We're fortunate that we have the right chemistry for these things.

How do you feel about the upcoming one?
We're all really looking forward to playing as a group for the first time in a variety of European countries. We are a multinational band, with Guthrie from the UK, Marco from Germany, and me from the USA, and we've all traveled a lot, so it's a great experience for us to go to these new places together.

Looking back how do you feel about the debut album?
It's kind of a miracle, really. We're all very proud of it, of course, and the reaction was great and we're grateful for that, bt when we were doing it we didn't know what to expect, especially from each other! We just wrote these songs and exchanged demos via e-mail, and then the next thing you know we're in the studio in Chicago making an album. It was the first time we'd been together since our very first gig, at NAMM in 2011. It could have all gone horribly wrong! I'm glad it didn't. :-)

Can we expect new Aristocrats material in the future? My friends at Petrucci Forum thought that a live album would be awesome!
We are indeed working on a live CD/DVD right now! The shows are already taped and I think they sound and look great. We hope to have it out this December. Meanwhile we are all writing material for a second Aristocrats studio album for 2013. Marco is a songwriting machine and has 3 songs written already. I have one that I just finished.

How do you feel about the future of the band?
Good! We're all much closer friends now than we were when this started, and we've been through a lot together in just 18 months. I think we'll make a lot more good music together in the future.

What is it that made you want to be in a band like the Aristocrats?
Honestly, it wasn't something I'd thought about until after the very first gig we played, which went incredibly well considering we had only one rehearsal. The response from the crowd was so overwhelming that I knew we had to do something. It wasn't like I was thinking about starting an instrumental power trio or anything. So this is just one of life's pleasant surprises. :-)

What do you love so much about music?
I like how it can move people in lots of different ways, depending on the particular listener. If you write a great piece of music, lots of people will see something in it they like, even if it's not the same thing. There is a great Walter Pater quote that says "All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music." I think that's both accurate and profound. 

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