with Brian John Mitchell of Remora
Name: Brian John Mitchell
QRD – How old were you when you first realized you wanted to be a professional musician?
Brian – I was probably fifteen was the first time I realized that there was a possibility of me becoming a professional musician. Though at that time I envisioned myself as a singer/frontman/visionary like Ian Curtis or Jim Morrison & not really being a musician. I more wanted to be a cultural icon, but I guess that’s what all kids want.
QRD – What are a few highlights of your musical career?
Brian – I’ve gotten to be friends with or at least meet a lot of musicians I really admire & some of them I’ve even gotten to collaborate with (including Jarboe, Jessica Bailiff, Jon DeRosa (Aarktica), Alan Sparhawk (Low),Mike VanPortfleet (Lycia), & a ton of others as well) . Writing two “pop” songs that a number of people have covered (“The One I’ve Been Waiting For” & “I Told Jesus Christ How Much I Loved Her”). Most recently touring with my biological son.
QRD – At what age did you decide you wanted to become a father?
Brian – I’ve kinda always wanted to be a father, but it’s never worked out. That said I have a biological son from when I was way too young & he recently tracked me down. We do the same kind of music & did a “getting to know you tour.” I know it’s ridiculous, one day it’ll be a Lifetime movie.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your family has had on your career?
Brian – Well, I didn’t even really know I had a “family” until about a year ago, so I guess it hasn’t had much impact? But I do have to admit the realization has given me a certain bit more of a view of how short life is (because my son is a grow man & that makes me old) & that I shouldn’t waste my time anymore.
QRD – What are some positive & negative impacts your career has had on your family?
Brian – Well, luckily Andrew does similar music to me & so we were able to tour together & that was totally awesome. I can’t really recommend it as a way for a tradition parent & child to get to know each other, but it was great for us.
QRD – Has your child effected the music you make &/or listen to?
Brian – I think that it makes me want to be more precise to my craftsmanship. I used to mainly care about getting my ideas out there, but I’m starting to pay more attention to the execution & probably that has to do with some talks I’ve had with Andrew. It was interesting on the tour listening to some of the music each of us were into. He seemed to dig Hefner & Six by Seven, but hated Ministry. He had me listen to some emo stuff & I really can’t even remember it.
QRD – Have you had problems with the lack of steady money from a musical career providing the security you feel necessary in your household?
Brian – Yes. Not having a feeling of financial stability is one of the reasons I haven’t had any children on purpose. I don’t even know if I can support myself.
QRD – Given the limitations having a family has on being a touring musician, would you have toured more earlier in life if you’d known?
Brian – Children aren’t the only responsibility in life that limits touring. My body can’t take it as well as it used to. I’d say everyone should do as many shows as they can without going into debt over it. Touring works out all the kinks & you find out why you both suck & rock.
QRD – Do you think being a father or a musician has a greater impact on your community?
Brian – The music since nobody really knows I have a son. But long term Andrew may make a greater impact on the world than I ever will.
QRD – Would you rather see your child eventually become a musician or parent?
Brian – He’s already a musician. I’d like to see him become a successful musician & I think I’m giving him some insights that will help that to happen. I’m sure he’ll be a great dad one day if he can find the right girl (which I never have).
QRD – Both family & music seem like things that will take up as much of your time as you’re willing to put in. How do you end up dividing your time?
Brian – Family comes first. Music/art comes second. Sleep always comes in last.
QRD – What do your kids think of your music?
Brian – He likes it I guess. He actually saw me perform a few times before revealing who he was & I guess if my music was total crap he wouldn’t have talked to me.
QRD – Do you think you could ever do a musical project with your child?
Brian – We have a recording we did on our tour together tentatively titled “Sometimes My Mistakes Come Back to Love Me” & I imagine at some point we’ll do some other stuff together.
QRD – Any words of advice to young people?
Brian – Make plans for your life or your life will just happen to you & you’ll end up wondering how you got where you are. This might happen even if you do make plans.
QRD – 2015 update - any new insight from five more years of fatherhood?
Other QRD interviews with Brian John Mitchell: