Burt Byler & the Bearded Souls es una mezcla de rock sureño y blues de Mississippi. Después de una gira por el sur de EEUU llega a España para presentar su nuevo EP “Castle of Corruption”. El pasado 16 de marzo presentó estas canciones en la sala Fun House de Madrid y en la sala Continental de Barcelona al día siguiente.
Castle of Corruption (2017)
Burt Byler es el nuevo viaje musical "rock americana" de Josh Brister. Nació en Nueva Orleans y creció en Mississippi, sus primeros años como cantante y compositor son una mezcla de folk despreocupado con letras sobre su vida tranquila en el sur de Mississippi. Ahora a sus 30 años, algo cambió. Fue después de ver la serie "Making a Murderer" cuando despertó algo dentro de él, que parecía explotar. La ira provocada por la corrupción y la injusticia brotaba como nunca antes, y ese sentimiento fue el comienzo de Burt Byler. Con otras bandas, Brister ha sido telonero de Shooter Jennings, Paul Thorn y más.
The Bearded Souls en España lo forman el talento nacional de Moisés Rubin como guitarrista principal (Moses Rubin, The Baked Beans in Tomato Sauce Brothers), Jonatan Temprano a la batería (Maria Ayo, The Flamingos Bite) y Pablo Delgado (Maria Ayo) en el bajo. Brister también tiene planeado girar en acústico por varios países en Europa como Noruega, Alemania, Austria y Suiza.
Una razón del por qué se creó este nuevo proyecto es para tratar con temas actuales que están ocurriendo en el mundo como la corrupción y la injusticia social. Por eso el 10% de las ventas del EP irá destinado a ayudar a niños sin recursos en Mozambique, África a través de la ONG Dignidad.
Nuestro compañero Josechu Egido ha hablado con Burt Byler para saber más de este proyecto y de sus planes.
The songs of Burt Byler &t the Bearded Souls sounds like an elegant Blues Rock where I can detect Hard Rock and bit of Jazz. A mix of styles that results on the personal and beautiful sound of your music. But, what are really your musical influences?
That’s a great way to mix up my upbringing! I was born in New Orleans and everytime I go there, and I try to go as often as I can, jazz really does something to me. I’ll be honest, I rarely listen to jazz outside of the streets of the “Big Easy” but I can’t get away from its influences on me. Obviously growing up in Mississippi I’ve always been fascinated by roots/blues music. The first time I heard “Sweet Tea” by Buddy Guy recorded in Oxford, Mississippi was when I got the bug for roots music. So my influences can go back to old timey bluesman to newer “Americana” artists like John Moreland, Phil Cook and Jason Isbell and I even love some Spanish artists like Quique Gonzalez, La M.O.D.A. and Morgan!
What's your inspiration when making your songs?
To be honest with you anger was my main inspiration for most of the songs. I was so angry with my country’s ridiculous politicians, racism and income inequality. It seemed like everyday there was something new to write a song about and the truth is nothing has changed since I started writing these songs in 2015. It’s actually gotten worse. 5 of the 6 songs on the EP are dealing with frustration whether it be corruption, the struggle of being an artist and white people turning a blind eye to so many social injustices. So I would say most of them came from pretty tough places.
Are you completed your expectations with your last album “Castle of Corruption”? What do you expect from this album?
I would say absolutely. There’s always songs or ideas that I wish I could go back and change but for the most part I’m super proud of how the EP turned out. I’m proud of how the tour has gone to share the songs and I’m genuinely excited about where the project is heading. Honestly, I expected very little from the EP because we are a brand new band and I know how hard it is to get going. However, thanks to people/blogs/radio stations like y’all we have had a much bigger impact than I expected. We’ve received really kind words from way more people than I expected especially at our live shows. We’ve even filled some venues in Spain which was a huge surprise to me!
What do we will see and enjoy in your live concerts?
Me and the boys decided to make the songs more intense live. If I could go back in time I would have made songs like Castle of Corruption more protesty instead of so acoustic and we’ve really made big changes to a lot of the songs. So you will see a more intense side to some of the songs. We try to keep the show high energy and fun for any type of person and we’re having a blast. We finish every show worn out and can’t wait for the next one to start!
Is this is your first time in Spain? What do you expect from the Spanish crowd?
Well I’ve actually been living in different parts of Spain for the past 5 or so years so it’s not my first time although some of our empty concerts may have given that impression ha! My wife who's from Málaga and I are currently living in Malasaña and I am absolutely in love with Spain and don’t plan on leaving anytime soon. I’ve been very surprised in a great way with Spaniards in concerts. I think our high energy style of roots music is going over really well. We’ve had some amazing crowds in Burgos, Santander and Málaga and I have been blown away by how kind people have been. We can’t wait to get back to some of those cities!
What are your plans for this year 2017 and next 2018? We assume that you will touring around clubs and festivals. Can you advance anything to us? Any important event? When new songs?
We’ve got a few more concerts in Asturies to finish up the tour and in July we’ll take a little break. My basque drummer and Asturian bass player can’t handle this summer heat. Hopefully in the fall we can go back to some of the cities where we had good responses. I’ve already got 7 ideas for new songs in the oven but I gotta beg my wife and see how many we can afford to record haha. There’s one I’m really excited about called “Bloody Magnolias” that deals with racism and white privilege in the south. Maybe we can record it and release it as a single before christmas and then an EP/CD later on next year. I’m spending a few months in Mississippi for work in winter so I’d love to tour the south with some of the new songs and then tour hard in Spain in the spring!
Do you think the digital world will end with music as we know it today? What do you think is the future of music?
I think the digital world will end the old music model of gatekeepers but I think the new music industry is so great for emerging artists. Obviously, I don’t think it’s perfect or anywhere close but I think we’re living in an age where independent artists have so much more leverage than before. Thanks to the digital world I can acheive my own audience and book my own tours without the need for the old gatekeepers. I don’t need a rich white guy’s approval of me or my music. I can go out and fight for my own fans and hopefully create my own career. Call me crazy but I think we have more opportunities now than ever before.
What is your best memory about music?
I think my favorite memories in music were when I first started singing with my grandmother at a very young age. Around 7 years old she would take me to sing at something that’s called ‘dinner on the grounds’ in Mississippi where most people in the town would go to the local church and all have lunch together. After lunch people would take turns singing songs and I’ll never forget singing old country songs with my Meemaw. She’s a real star. That’s where I fell in love with the power of music.
How is a normal day in the life of Burt Byler?
Because I don’t have anyone working for me, and I like it that way for now, I have to do everything myself for the project. So normally my mornings are spent in front of the computer sending emails and making phone calls. I write the songs, book all the shows and try to promote the project as much as I can. Then in the afternoons I try to spend time either writing, rehearsing or keeping the house clean. I also do coaching sessions for artists to try and help them on this crazy journey of being an independent artist these days. Seeing as we live in Malasaña whenever I can I try to meet up with friends in 2 de Mayo to have some cheap beers and sunshine.
What do you think about the current economic and social situation in Spain, Europe and in the World in general?
I think we are getting what we are voting for and by we I mean Spain and the US. We’re seeing some of the biggest gaps in income inequality that we’ve ever seen because we keep putting pro-corporate candidates in office. I read just yesterday that 5 men now hold as much wealth as half of the world’s population combined. Until we start to vote for candidates who will fight for the poor, workers and minorities instead of the rich and corporations it’s going to stay the same. I’m ashamed of my country and my state of Mississippi for voting for that orange reality star but it seems like a sea of change is coming with heroes like Bernie Sanders. Let’s hope that Spaniards wake up to what’s happening with the corruption that Rajoy and all his idiotic minions are enabling.
Glory land (2017)
Could you tell us about...
... A book?:
For any artists that are interested in learning about being an independent musician I highly recommend “How To Make It In the New Music Business” by Ari Herstand. For years I believed that I needed someone or something to succeed as a musician (manager, record label, booking agent, etc…) but thanks to this book and so many other resources I know that I can do well in this industry without gatekeepers. It gives so many practical ideas on how to advance your music career and I would recommend anybody to give it a thorough read!
Thank you very much. Best wishes from Spain, and congratulations for your music.
Thanks so much Josechu! I hope to get to meet you one day man! Thanks so much for your hard work!