Former gubenatorial candidate/record store owner/Ho-Hum bassist* Rod Bryan keeps busy these days lobbying, on behalf of the Arkansas Conservation Alliance
, during the legislative session. But he's still, as ever, committed to music, and not long ago he launched two new projects aimed at tying both together.
Through the Arkansas Conservation Alliance, he's selling a new track
, which features Chris Denny and Lennie Dusek (Rod's wife) on vocals, Alex Piazza on guitar, James Powell on drums and Rod on bass. For 99 cents. Proceeds benefit the ACA.
He's also recently started "The Eco Pyscho," an hour long weekly morning show on KABF.
I talked to him last week about those projects and his hope to record an all-star collective of state legislators who do a little pickin' and grinnin' on the side.
Read our short Q&A after the jump.
*I don't think Ho-Hum's officially broken up. The band's just on a loooong hiatus.
So tell me about this new music project?
The first song that we did is “Things You Can’t Buy, which is an old Ho-Hum song. I would like to do maybe a few other [Ho-Hum tracks]. But maybe not. The main thing I want it to be is a quality production every time. I want it to be stuff that can be liked by many generations. Usually when I do music, I’m trying to do whatever I feel like. But I’m trying to make this more accessible. My mom heard this and she liked it.
You know, I’m going for less GBV
and more BTO
Some of these guys heard the song for the first time while we were cutting it. That’s not ideal, but it’s part of the idea of keeping it econo. I do like spontaneity; don’t get me wrong. It could be much more if there was a little bit of a budget. There’s a reason those Led Zeppelin and Beatles records sound great. But by the same token there’s Fall records and Big Star records that happened in an afternoon.
I want to carve out a way to do it that anybody who’s involved gets a part. You know, come up with a formula where the songwriter, the player and the nonprofit got some money. It’s one of those deals where you’ve got to sell a whole lot to make money, though.
But if enough bigwigs get involved, it could become a kind of John Peel-style launching pad. But all in the interest of furthering the nonprofit. Bigwigs, like big name artists?
I wouldn’t be opposed to that, but right now I really see it as a showcase for talent here.
People in Arkansas have always been willing to put in a lot of work and they’ve really never had the payoff that they deserve. That’s kind of true to all the musicians in the South — you think of Stax and Sun.
I think we do the same thing with our resources. We allow people to get at them at less than a premium. I see it as a kind of metaphor — to hold up our musicians and hold up our resources.
At the same time, we’ve never had a music buying public around here that really bought local music. When Ho-Hum’s major label album came out, not that it was some gem or anything, but I figured people would at least buy it because we were from here. Same thing with the Gunbunnies. When you’ve got a lot of talented people, they’re less likely to buy other talented people’s stuff because they’re like, “Shit, I could do that myself.” But to kick start it and give it the kind of marketability at a larger level, we’ve got to respect it ourselves. So talk about your new radio show.
It’s on Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m. on KABF 88.3 FM for an hour. So you’re talking about issues, with guests?
It just kind of depends. The one last week was very time sensitive because there was a vote in the senate that I didn’t much care for about the make-up of the oil and gas commission, so I used the show to discuss what went down. I love to use music metaphorically to tell a story. I think a song can nail a feeling more than a person ever can.
I want it to be primarily entertainment. I don’t want people on the air who are there without entertainment in mind. And I don’t want to make sport of people either.
I’d love to have Gilbert Baker on the show. He’s on the complete other side of me, generally, politically, but he can talk a good game. He’s into music, too.
Exactly. And Steve Farris, too. There’s two or three. Jon Woods.
I got a CD
the other day. I was prepared not to like it, but it’s pretty good.
I get a feeling from a lot of those guys that they’d much rather talk about music than politics. I would love to put together a core group of them and put together an all-star band, even if they’re politically opposite of me.
I’m sitting here now thinking if we could get Robbie Wills to play guitar, Gilbert Baker to play drums… Woods could play bass.
Yeah, there you go. Are you going to podcast the radio show?
I’ve got the mp3 streaming from my site. A lot of things I deal in I understand why people don’t want to read them because it’s boring and technical. But I’m really trying to use music and this site to drag people into the political process.
I made a shout out on the radio today, I said, “Hey all you indie rockers out there. The songs that appeal to you most, there’s a message inside those, and it’s telling you to participate.”