A conversation with Brian Berggoetz about “Familiar Sounds”

Hi! Can you tell us about the inspiration and creative process behind the EP :Familiar Sounds”?

It started with Pieces of Silver.  It was the perfect ending to an album.  The Tucson Symphony helped with that and it came out amazing!  I wanted an orchestral piece to finish the album then everything else fell into place. Familiar Sounds is perfect right in front of that.  I worked backwards on this one.  It’s Gonna Rain is right in front of that one and so on.  It’s definitely darker than I usually write but it’s a tone and themes that are universal.  Struggles in life are what lead to breaking through and finding the truth and beauty in ourselves.  There’s also always the possibilities that are ahead of us.  It’s exciting and a little fearful of what lie around the corner.

How does this EP differ from your previous releases, both musically and thematically?

It is much harder and darker.  I released Wildflower two years ago as a solo record to great national reviews.  It was Americana folk rock.  It is completely different.  Sweet harmonies, violin, a lot of syrupy love songs.  A very uplifting album as well.  I have two bands and that’s a big reason for the difference.  This album is my rock band.  It’s funny, when I write new songs it seems the happy love songs go to the Americana band and the broken hearted songs go to my rock band!

“Familiar Sounds” has a very nostalgic and emotional vibe to it.  What emotions and experiences were you trying to convey through the music?

I had a lot of reviews for Wildflower that said the same thing, nostalgic and emotional.  I think it’s just the way I write.  I use rhythms I have developed from classic folk and rock music and my lyrics are just me putting everything inside me on the page. I’m sharing myself with the world, hopefully in a way that people connect with and it makes them feel the emotion too.  There’s so much we have in common and I think our deepest emotions we all share.  The illusion in life is that we are separate souls. We all come from the same place and we all will end up there in the end.  The difference between us is the journey we take to get there.

The EP has a very cohesive and polished sound to it. How did you achieve this level of consistency across the different tracks?

One part of it is just having great players.  The other is the material that comes from similar songwriting and vibe.  The players are amazing musicians, most notably , Jeff Browning, from here in Tucson, on percussion and production.  Also, Jason Damico, from Raleigh, NC, on bass, guitars and production.  It just all fell together so nicely they really made the recording process easy to go through.

Which song on the EP is your personal favorite, and why?

Pieces of Silver is my favorite.  I love the sounds of the strings, real emotion and power.  It reminds me of one of my favorite bands, the Moody Blues.  The also convey the story and emotion of my passion for the search for beauty and truth when I was younger.  A very deep story about how when you live the life you want to live, life starts to open to you in amazing ways.

What are your hopes for how listeners will respond to “Familiar Sounds” and what impact you hope it will have on them?

I hope to take them to the deepest and most meaningful moments in their lives and I hope to inspire them to keep searching for more of those in their every day lives.  As long as we are alive there is more to see and experience.

What’s next for you?

Next week I start recording new tracks for a couple singles for the Americana band in Jeff Brownings’ DRMX recording Studio.  I hope to have a new single ready in about a month.  I’m looking to combine elements from both bands into the new music that should make for a great new sound.