Monday, December 10, 2012

Your New Favorite Song Artist Spotlight - Brett Gleason

Welcome to the first of hopefully many Your New Favorite Song Artist Spotlights. If you are a singer/songwriter or are in a band and would like to take part in one of these spotlights, PLEASE hit me up on Twitter (@sneezeguard). Makes my job a lot easier.

(photo courtesy of Brett Gleason)
I was first acquainted with Brett Gleason and his music a couple months ago via Twitter. And despite him recently acknowledging to me that "Adore" is his favorite Smashing Pumpkins album I still haven't unfollowed him (everyone "knows" the answer is "Gish" or "Siamese Dream"). I'd like to thank Brett for agreeing to be the first Your New Favorite Song Artist Spotlight and for taking the time to thoughtfully answer some not so very deep questions provided by yours truly.

BIO (ripped off from

Combining the intimacy of a piano based singer-songwriter with dark electronics and jazz harmonics: Brett Gleason's music has been called "revolutionary" and garnered comparisons to diverse artists like Trent Reznor, Tori Amos and Depeche Mode.

From Brooklyn, NY by way of Long Island, Brett Gleason's early life was hampered by a severe speech impediment, leading to a solitary childhood immersed in the arts. His struggle to communicate led to a mastery of multiple instruments and a fiction degree from the New School University in NYC. Both an out gay artist and bi-polar sufferer, Gleason knows what it's like to live a life of intensity outside the mainstream and his music reflects this.

Brett debuted "The Dissonance" in early 2010 with the "I Am Not" video climbing to the top of MTV Logo’s The Click List for 20 weeks.

Created with a vow to play all instruments and self-produce every detail, his latest record, "The Thawing" is an operatic set of new tracks both aggressive and vulnerable, abrasive yet beautiful With an emphasis on a classical piano background and the addition of strings, this sophisticated sophomore effort is a seamless development of Brett’s unique, layered sound.

(photo courtesy of Brett Gleason)
The Interview

Your New Favorite Song: It’s time to get the party started, what are you asking the bartender to make for you?

Brett Gleason: Is coffee not an option? Alcohol gives me migraines so it's either water or soda, I wish American bars offered more juices, coffee/teas and food but failing that it's root beer, failing that Diet Coke. I know it's bad for me but I crave the chemicals.

YNFS: As we close in on 2012 what are five albums released this year that you can’t get enough of?

BG: Five is a lot! I'm more a creator than a consumer but definitely fell in love with Fiona Apple's "The Idler Wheel," Smashing Pumpkins "Oceania," Amanda Palmer's "Theatre is Evil" and Cat Power's "Sun."'

YNFS: OK, And now what are the five albums that you can’t get enough of that aren’t cool to admit to liking (I know how these lists work, I do the same thing)?

BG: I'm a real stickler and only like very serious music but have to admit that at Thanksgiving my sister got me hooked on Robyn - I can't help it, the stuff makes you move, "Dancing on my Own" is my jam.

YNFS: When you were in high school and locked yourself in your room what five bands were you digging on the most?

BG: THE SMASHING PUMPKINS - big time, I still worship at their alter, especially their quieter/electro stuff. Was also really into Radiohead as well as NIN, Tool and Bright Eyes, still am.

YNFS: It’s the 1800s, whose novel do you wait in line for before its midnight release?

BG: If we can make it the early 1900's it's Virginia Woolf and Aldous Huxley. Her self reflexive style is like a drug and his mixture of philosophical and science fiction is genius, literally. I guess in the 1800's I would've loved Henry James but I like him more as an historical figure and less as an actual author.

YNFS: Cats or Dogs?

BG: I can't emphasize enough how much I love dogs, they make me so happy, just the thought of a fun dog to roll around on the floor with makes me so happy.

YNFS: Who’s the most famous musician/artist/actor you’ve ever had the pleasure to meet? Paint the picture. What happened?

BG: I tend to meet really famous people that mean nothing to me, often not realizing their fame until afterwards. I guess the main one that I really cared about was Dave Gahan, lead singer of Depeche Mode. I used to teach his daughter and despite his detached manner I decided to give him a CD of some of my music, I'm sure it ended up in the trash because surely he would've loved it had he given it a chance?

YNFS: What’s your favorite word?

BG: I love curse words, the more offensive the better, I just love how offended we can all pretend to get at a sound, a movement of the lips. I never use them in my music and rarely in real life but when I do it's effective.

YNFS: What was your most embarrassing moment on stage? What happened and how did you handle it?

BG: My first gig was fairly disastrous. I was performing a song at a convention center as part of a larger event and had to go karaoke style due to time restraints. I hadn't thought through what I'd do during the instrumental passages and just stood there awkwardly clutching the mic. I eventually did a back flip during one of the solos out of desperation which just confused the audience. I promised myself then I'd never perform without an instrument in my hand, had to do a similar event recently and even though I couldn't plug it in I strummed an acoustic guitar as if my life depended on it, unheard by the audience.

YNFS: Finally, If you could say one thing to potential and current fans about your music what would it be? Sell us on your awesomeness!

BG: My music's not for everyone but if you're one of the few I'm speaking to it's gonna change your life so you better listen to find out.

As expected Brett's pretty much all over the internet so click on some of those links below and get to know him a bit more.


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