Interview: Morgan Brown
Written by Kiersten Gerard
Boston native Morgan Brown lives and breathes music. We got the chance to sit down to talk with him about the recent release of his EP nooneaskedforthis, moving forward as a solo artist, and the absolute euphoria only brought on by a good basement concert.
You’ve recently released an EP containing songs you’ve released in years past. What compelled you to re-release these songs?
I felt like I really wanted to release something because I haven’t released anything in the last couple years. Honestly they just made me laugh. They brought me joy. I never release music that’s not “finished” or “perfect” or whatever. I think people might laugh at this and people might have a good time, and that’s all that matters right now. I put it out for me more than anyone else.
Do you prefer writing lyrics or music? What is that writing process like?
I prefer writing lyrics 10 times more. Don’t love writing music. I think a lot of people do this same thing, where they have a gigantic list in their notes of good lyrics. Then when I’m fiddling around with music or anything I’ll think “oo what fits here?” And I’ll try every single line to see what fits. Cool. Then I'll go from there and figure out the vibe of the song. I find lyrics way more fun. It’s so funny cause with my band, they are the exact opposite. They don’t pay attention to lyrics while I only pay attention to lyrics and not any of the music really. I love references in my lyrics. References on top of references on top of references. I hope someday someone will be like “Oh my god when you said this you meant this!” but that may never happen because I don’t think anyone is as crazy as me.
In terms of themes and stories, what do you find yourself writing about most often?
Right now what I’ve been writing about a lot has been the idea that as artists we’re constantly comparing ourselves. I think being creative is definitely a curse in that way, because it sucks to be so creative and ambitious but then not be able to do anything with it or figure out how to make money doing it. It kills you on the inside. With social media and everything else, comparison culture is completely destroying the mentality of so many people. If your song doesn’t get 5 million streams in one day and someone else’s does you’re just going to be f--king sad. I’m writing a lot about comparison culture. Writing a lot about social media. Abuse. Talking a lot about the connections that people need to make as the pandemic ends.
Alternatively, there’s this whole attitude of “people are never good enough for what they think that they want” even though they definitely are. It might not come everyday, it might not come in a week, it might not come in a month, but at some point it will if you keep doing what makes you happy. There is so much ego in music, people always want everyone to hear what they have to say and I’m definitely guilty of that as well, but yeah. I’m trying to write less songs about girls. Less songs about girl problems and more songs about things that really matter. But there will always be at least 3 or 4 songs about girls, it’s unavoidable. If someone has as many girl issues as I have, the songs write themselves.
How big of a role does music play in your life?
It’s the biggest thing in my life. The only two things that are huge in my life are T.V. shows/movies and music. I’m doing one of those things at any point in the day. I’m either putting on records, working and listening to music, listening to full albums in the car on a drive, or watching TV shows and analyzing the songs in them- it is the only thing that matters in my life. Which is kind of sad. I love my friends and family but I really love music. I’m listening to music in the shower, listening to music in my office, listening to music in my living room, or I’m watching T.V. and movies. And listening to music through that.
QUICK what, in your opinion, is the best album of all time?
F--K uhhhhhh probably Rubber Soul by the Beatles? I don’t know! Genuinely an impossible answer. I went Rubber Soul because that’s my favorite Beatles record. Rubber Soul or Help. Everyones like “Oooo Abbey Road, Sgt Pepper’s” and I’m like nah nah nah give me that good mix of slightly weird but still pop songs. Not “Please Please Me.” Rubber Soul and Help are right on the cusp of them getting weird as sh-t. I’m all about those records. But I don’t know if they're the best records of all time. I don’t know. That’s an impossible question!
What does the future hold for Morgan Brown? What does the future hold for your band The Amy Incident?
The future for Morgan Brown is looking very up. The future for The Amy Incident is looking very down. David Bazan in an interview once said that he had too many band names and he was like “Just put it all under one name. If it’s just you just keep it all under the one name.” That's kind of killing me because there's this separation between The Amy Incident songs and what I’ve been doing now. They don’t even feel in the same vein. Production wise, genre wise, they’re quite different. I’m definitely not making pop punk music anymore. It's tough because I really love The Amy Incident. My roommate in college made this point once, where because the name of the band is “The Amy Incident,” every song I write is at least a little bit about Amy. That's inescapable because it's under the context of that name. I think that's been kind of limiting for me.
With all of the songs I’ve collaborated with people on, “Morgan brown” is on Spotify constantly, yet he doesn’t have his own page. I might just make it so I can be tagged in with everything that's already out there. Again, the future is looking really bright. I believe there's going to be a new album in 2021/2022, I’m going into production on Saturday. Maybe making a movie, who knows? We’ll see what happens. Hopefully the script will come with the record. I think Childish Gambino is awesome. I really want to do something akin to his work because it feels so much more impactful than just an album. Not ten songs that someone collected. It's one full whole cohesive story. It’s taking way more time than I thought it was going to because I want it to be truly perfect. That's what the future is holding for me right now.
You’ve played a good deal of gigs in various places with various people- Who has been the most fun to play with? Where is your favorite venue that you’ve played?
The most fun to play with is the band Half Astronaut for sure. They’re some of our closest friends and we love them so much. We did a whole two and a half week tour with them which was awesome. Puddle Splasher is also super fun to play with. Would it be weird if I said my house as my favorite venue? I throw all these basement shows and those are the most filled shows I’ve ever had. Especially when I was younger and I was doing it, it got really out of hand. I would say any of the D.I.Y. places we've played. We also had a show on Long Island at Revolution Bar in Amityville that was surprisingly a really great show.
What advice do you have to offer aspiring musicians?
Write songs that just make ya happy. Put out songs that make ya happy. Try not to care about what anyone else thinks, but yeah that’s literally impossible. So I would just say as long as it makes you feel complete and happy then honestly that's really all that matters. You really shouldn’t pay attention to anyone else’s stream counts or anything else. Music should just be this thing where anyone is able to express their feelings in any way. My other advice would be that if you really want to do music and stuff, if you really wanna go down that road, these days it’s ten times harder because you have to have so many other plates spinning at all times, like gaining a huge social media following and using goddamn Tik Tok. If you don’t want to do that, then don’t. Make music because it’s something you love doing. Don’t make it a business. Until it becomes a business, don’t make it a business.
Anything you’d like to plug?
I’d love to plug my podcast, “A new sound with Morgan Brown.” We talk a lot of music, we talk to a lot of cool people. I’d also love to plug all The Amy Incident content out there, specifically the songs “Sand” and “Boston.”
Follow Morgan on Instagram @morgancbrownmusic and find his podcast "A New Sound with Morgan Brown" on any podcast streaming platform!