Brain talks about Buckethead, life, career, project, movies & more
From Chris Niess and Benjamin Frasier, what have you been doing to keep your sanity during the pandemic?
Well, the company I'm starting is called Green Frog. I'm doing it with Melissa Reese (Guns N Roses) who is my composing partner. We're building a website for it. I think it's www.greenfrogproject.com It should be up and running within the month.
Besides that, Melissa and I have been working for Facebook doing a lot of music for them. So that was one of the gigs we were working on during the Pandemic. And writing songs and soundtracks for up and coming movies. I've just been watching movies, listening to music and writing.
Business as normal?
Yeah, kinda! It's kinda weird.
Okay next question from Lujan L on Youtube, who do you currently listen to? What's on your playlist?
To tell you the truth the latest stuff I was listening to has been soundtracks. A lot of the old school Frank Zappa, mainly the instrumental stuff like 'Shut u and play yer guitar' 'Sleep dirt' 'Zoot Allures'.
I have to say, my daughter is really into new school hip-hop stuff I've been listening to a lot of that. I don't even know who they are but I have to listen to it when we're driving. If I put on my music she shuts it off and says “are you kidding? What is this?” And I'm like “yeah okay, I get it. I'm the old guy now and you're the hip youngster”. But yeah, mainly soundtracks. Soundtracks have been my favorite. I've been listening to the Annihilation movie soundtrack.
What about 1917? that was another one that had a good soundtrack.
You know, that's funny, dude! Yeah! I watched the movie the other day. Thank you for saying that! Because when I was listening to it I was like 'this soundtrack is pretty cool'. I forgot to listen to that, I kind of spaced out and forgot about it.
You're right, that was pretty cool, I really liked it. I remember when they were going through those tunnels I was like 'this music is cool'.
Yeah, like the perfect setting for the music!
Yeah! I'm writing that down, that's really good!
Next question from Yoface355 on Youtube, is there anything in your career you regret doing or not doing?
It's not a like a regret but I wish I would've been more in the moment and enjoyed it. I regret where my head was at. I didn't appreciate how rad it was at that moment.
So If I can give any advice to people I would say to be grateful for the time you get to do what you want to do. I was doing what I wanted to do but I was kind of a punk about it.
Like being on tour with Les Claypool and 'Bucket of Bernie Brain's and Buckethead, and complaining about something or being punks. I look at it now and go 'think about it, you're here with Bernie Worrell and Les Claypool' and what the hell are we complaining about?
Okay next question from Alex in Austin Texas, I love the Dragons of Eden project you did with Buckethead and Travis Dickerson. Was there ever talk of you guys touring?
On that album, no. Travis was never a tour guy. And we never thought of it for a second. Travis is strictly a studio guy. We never thought of it, no.
Lisa in Oakland asks, do you know what Buckethead does with all the toys people give him at shows?
A lot of them he keeps. P-Sticks will put them away and they have a storage locker.
It must be a giant locker.
He has like 40 lockers!
Wow! Okay next question from Andy in Cardiff, UK. Brain I love everything you and Buckethead have done together but my favorite is 'Cuckoo Clocks of Hell'. Any memories of making that album?
The main albums like Cuckoo Clocks, C2B3, Giant Robot, all those albums I loved making those because we all wanted to be their doing it. It was our main thing, there was a concept and a goal. We were there for the art not for money, It wasn't a job. Some of the Primus albums and Guns N Roses album were more like we had to do it, like it was a job.
Okay next one from Laura Chevalier on Facebook, what is or was your ultimate goal as a musician?
I think my ultimate goal was first to be great at the instrument, and then I wanted to make a living at it. To now, I wanna help people with it. Whether its older people or kids, anybody. Help them become a better musician and person.
I'm starting to realize that my goal now is to pass along the knowledge and talent of what I've learned and done, to help other people.
We're definitely gonna start a non-profit in our Green Frog studio and do some teaching. That's why I was reaching out to Buckethead, I thought it would be fun to do a once-a-month teaching jam session for free. We'll jam something and then talk about it. I don't know, I just wanna give back.
Next question from Rick in Edinburgh, Scotland. Hey Brain, I love the Pieces album you did with Buckethead, who's the guy who raps on the song 'Bobafy Crucify'? Obscure question.
Yeah! Jeez. Who did that? Wait a second, was that? Oh my god. What was his name? Dude, that's stumped me. That's an insane question. I think that was an outtake of Islam Shabbar.
A guy we met from Bill Laswell. I think that's who. I think we had him. I have to check that out, I will message you with who it is. I have to listen to it again. But dude, that's the last thing I was ever thinking of right now.
So obscure. I'm sure there's a name on the back of the album. I'm trying to think.
Did we put a name on the back?
I've got the album, I'm looking now... Nate aka Bobasett aka Tree.
Oh! Oh wow! No! That was Nate. Ah okay. That was Extrakd's friend. It's Nate, a surfer friend of Extrakd.
So mystery solved. So, is he a black guy yeah?
No, Nate is a blonde haired surfer white guy.
Because that's what I was thinking, it sounds like a white guy trying to be...
Yeah a white guy trying to be a black guy, yeah. Playing around. That's funny, man. Yep, Nate. The surfer friend of Extrakd.
(Video Question, Aafke) Hi, Natternet. If you could ask Brain when that album is coming out? The one he talked about in the last interview because I have never been able to find it anywhere. Ask him that and tell him I think he's cute and really nice. And a very good drummer.
I kinda missed the beginning, she said the album?
Yeah, the last time we spoke I think you said you were working on an El Stew album?
Oh no, that was the Mars Mechanic album. It was with the El Stew people, like Eddie Def, Extrakd, MIRV. We were trying to get Buckethead on it but it never happened. Sorry.
Where was the released, is there a way to get it?
I think its on iTunes. We released it ourselves. We were gonna go with an independant record label but we were like, we just wanna do it for fun. That's why we're putting out another one called 'Let's be Frank'. A Frank Zappa one.
And the other one is Mars Mechanic. So sorry, the name wasn't El Stew. I should've been more specific. It was the El Stew people.
Right, we'll check it out. Speaking of El Stew, this is from Steve in Gainsville. Did you or Buckethead ever have a falling out with DJ Disk? I read on a forum that he released albums with you and Buckethead on without your consent.
Uh, kinda. Mainly Buckethead more because of that exact thing.
Final question from Lee in Pasadena. When it's all said and done and the mother ship comes to get you, how would you like to be remembered? A deep question to end on.
Yeah, a deep one! Kinda like what I was saying earlier, in the end of being remembered as 'urgh, a great drummer etc' I wanna be remembered as someone who touched people with my music, I helped music, I did more things like this for the real fans that ask real questions.
That's why I wanted to do this with you because I know you guys take it seriously. It means a lot to me that you said 300 questions came in. Whether they're about me or Buckethead or both, I know that we're a team.
A team yeah, exactly.
Yeah, I want to do these things. I wanna put in the time and answer questions and understand and get off on what we do. And hopefully it'll help them or touch them in a way that makes them feel good. Because people do that for me.
That's where I wanted to end up. That's why I liked doing this, because you guy's are so knowledgeable when it comes to my music, the music Buckethead makes.
From start to finish everything you've done is masterful. I love this stuff. Can't get enough of it.
Well, thanks. Hopefully more will come and let's do another one soon!
We'll have a studio tour!
Yeah, I'll let you know for sure!
Alright well much respect to you Brain, huge fan of yours as always and appreciate your time and thank you very much. You can go and listen to Metallica ruin a Prince song now.
(laughs) Oh yeah, Metallica. And I'm gonna be putting on 1917 after I pick up my daughter. Right on dude, I'll talk to you again.