by Melanie Bryan
MSM: Tell me a little bit about your background. Where did your interest in music come from? Was it something that you always knew you wanted to pursue?
BRANDON: Music was actually not the first thing I wanted to pursue. Growing up I was actually very active and loved being outside. I played soccer for about 5 years and even played hockey and football. I wanted to be a QB for the NFL. Unfortunately I was bullied out of all the sports I wanted to play. I also had HUGE dreams of becoming a professional skateboarder. “Jackass” and “Viva La Bam” were very popular when I was growing up and I wanted to be just like Bam Margera. But those dreams ended when I broke my growth plate in my right ankle skateboarding at a church. That’s when I found music. Started out as a joke at first cause I had no talents with any instruments or anything but I remember some friends of mine had their own band in grade school leading into high school and I wanted that so bad. So I started self teaching myself everything. Grew more and more. Had some high school bands. And from all of that it led me to now!
MSM: If you could sit down and have a conversation with someone who has guided you through your journey as an artist, who would you choose and why? What did you learn from them?
BRANDON: Honestly I didn’t really have any guidance from anyone getting to where I am now. A lot of the people I grew up making music with don’t even speak to me anymore or resent me for even continuing to pursue music. Few friends of mine even went so far as to deleting my first YouTube channel that I built and made to build a name for myself. The only people I’d want to sit down with that gave me any type of support or guidance is my mother and father. They’ve supported me since day 1 and started out taking me to my first shows and helped purchase my first instruments. They’ve always said that if this is what makes me happy then they’re happy. I’d sit with them and just thank them over and over and keep telling them I’m gonna buy their dream house and take care of them.
MSM: You have recently taken over lead vocals. How has this experience for you been so far? Have your fans been very supportive?
BRANDON: The response from the fans and even just from close friends and family has been overwhelming. It’s been amazing so far just seeing what myself and the rest of the band are capable of doing now. I’ve never been more proud of myself and this band. We’re a force to be reckoned with and I know the experiences are just gonna keep getting better and better.
MSM: When fans recommend your band to others, what song do you hope they choose first?
BRANDON: Well since we are a new lineup and have new music I think I would have to say “Better” for sure. That song is a perfect example of who we are now and the direction we’ve chosen. We made that song for everyone. No one is secluded from it.
MSM: What has been your favorite tour so far, and why? Any particularly fun memories to share?
BRANDON: I think for me now, my favorite tours would have to be the last two we did right before covid hit, which was the full US tour with Starset and the EU tour with Sleeping With Sirens. The reason why I say that is because I believe that was the beginning of something we weren’t expecting to happen. Funny(kind of not funny) story about the sleeping tour: there was a halfpipe at one of the venues and I thought I was good enough to still drop into it. I surely wasn’t lol I went to drop in and my shoes did not grip to the board so it instantly flew out from under me and I fell directly onto my arm and fractured my elbow. I couldn’t barely move it for the rest of the tour and could only use my right arm to hold the microphone. So I’ll never touch a skateboard again. Those dreams are long gone lol.
MSM: You’re very open about your anxiety. How has this affected your music? Do you find that it helps or hinders your creative process?
BRANDON: It definitely helps and hinders the process for me. During the creation process it gets very hard for me to focus on creating just because I’m in panic mode most of the time and my mind travels elsewhere into scarier thoughts that aren’t real. But after fighting through it and actually finishing something I do get a sense of relief and just feel proud of myself seeing the outcome cause I get to reflect and say, “you did it”. It gets hard though sometimes. Lot of tears have been shed during the creation of this album. But I’m glad I’m here and able to see it flourish.
MSM: What do you hope to achieve with creating music? Is there anything in particular that you want people to take away from your songs?
BRANDON: I just want to achieve growth. Not just for myself and this band but for our family, friends and fans. We all have been through hard times in our life and still do to this day. I want to basically go hand in hand with everyone into this new chapter of Palisades and grow together and battle our demons and show that we are capable of anything.
MSM: Last, but certainly not least, do you have any closing messages for your fans?
BRANDON: I just want to say thank you. I’m so grateful for this opportunity and I couldn’t be more excited to have such a great fan base and support system. We’re on the way. Let’s feel “better” together.
PHOTO BY ALEX BEMIS