By Pam Rossi
There was a lot of laughing and fun when Billy Brandt stopped by MusicTown for Behind The Mic. We learned a lot including how he becomes a different person when performing — and how he gets in the “river of life,” the zone.

There is a key to good music, per Billy. He talked about the mindless mind and how that works when performing. Kind of like how one of his favorite bands, The Grateful Dead play.

Over the twenty plus years of Billy doing this music thing, he has been involved with many facets of the Billy Brandt brand and all his different bands. The early days with Shoes, Ashcan Vangogh, High Flying Bird, The Mission Band, Grievous Angel, Billy Brandt and Sarana Verlin, Billy and Dave Falk duo, and the Sugarees Band. Why so many different bands? Well he tells us.

Billy did get on a soapbox and talked about promoters of today and touring in a van. Where is that bathroom when you need one!! All in fun!

One of the things I learned today was about a box full of cassette tapes Billy has of potential songs. Songs he got down on tape when a lyric or riff came to mind and thankfully he had the hindsight to hit record before it was lost. All he has to do now is go back and find those gems and finish the songs. You never know, there could be a hit in those tapes. I would especially love to hear those he recorded while in a detox center.

As he was getting clean, his mind was exploding with some amazing dreams of music. As soon as he would wake up — while still fresh in his head– he would hit record and lay it down.

According to Billy, the art of songwriting is just to capture it. It is already “floating” around, you just have to grab it and put it down. Unfortunately that thinking didn’t help him in his songwriting workshop career. It apparently works for him, since he has a lot of great tunes.

In between some songs, we got to the Pam Exam and found out some interesting things, his hero, first job and more.

Check out the full interview above.

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