Artist Interview – My Brothers Banned

Lyle Puente of My Brothers Banned recently agreed to give an interview to us here talking about his musical background, what makes him tick and what we can look forward to in 2011 . Read on… and enjoy:

My Brothers Banned

Q: So why are you called My Brothers Banned?

The name was based on early forms of the banned that featured my brother and a brother sister duo.

My brother has since left, making the name prophetic in a funny way.

Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?

We are melodic harmony layered in simple hillbilly tendencies.

Q: What is your musical background?

I play most instruments in a remedial fashion. I am drawn to the jack of all trades, master of none mentality.

Sort of a working class no nonsense approach. I went to Pratt Institute and have a fine arts degree. I love visual art, making it, seeing it and feeling it. It is deeply connected to sound and I was always drawn to creating sonic textures and simple melodies.

When I moved to Mohegan Colony, I read of its rich rebellious past. We have many artists and musicians here and I drew on that to  create music events. Through this I came to love the camaraderie and community that music creates.

I made a studio here, “Off White Trash Studio” and open my doors to all my friends, new and old to record here free of charge.

I hoped to build a community or musicians that help each other.

Q: How was 2010 for you?

Very busy. I made a 5 year plan, 5 albums by October 2011.

So far on schedule. 2010 was very productive and filled with growth.

My Brothers Banned

Q: Who inspires you musically?

Everyone I play with, and people who experiment.

I have loved the new wave of roots based bands, and continue to be inspired by Gram Parsons.

Last year I took a trip to Joshua Tree and wrote a 5 song EP.

I’m sitting on that for now, as it is a little too close to my heart to face.

Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?

The Decemberists, Modest Mouse, Freelance Whales, The Flaming Lips, Danger mouse and The New Pornographers are among my favorites.

Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?

Sure, everyone! hahaha Realistically, I am drawn to make female vocal harmony.

Voices that blend to be more than 1+1=2

I adore Duffy’s voice and Susanna Hoffs.

Q: What songs are on your ipod at the moment?

Duffy, Danger Mouse, Fleetwood Mac, Avett Brothers, Low Anthem, Garbage, Pete Yorn, and Iron and wine with Calexico.

Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?

I sit with my favorite 12 string and start playing. Sometimes a song will present and finish itself in a few minutes, others take return visits for a couple years.

I record the basic acoustic version as a scratch track to later be discarded and build on that.

I will experiment with various instruments and then process some to see if I can make a new song.

On the last album I ended up making a solo instrument that was my voice run through an old fender champ amplifier heavily distorted and then processed through a line6 pod. Then that audio track was run though some guitar plug ins. The end result is breathy saxophoneish. I really got all happy with that! hahaha

Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?

For me melody, lyrics are always secondary. I like repetition and cloaking meaning.

Some of my prettier songs are fictional murder love triangles and few realize.

I, for some, reason enjoy that.

Q: Where are you based?

I am in based in the woods north of NYC

Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?

I was born in Rome NY. It’s small town middle america.

Factory and blue collar based.

People work hard and are proud.

Q: What are you currently working on?

I am finishing my 4th album. In the album progression I wanted to show a gradual build in energy.

Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?

Every year I play the NYC Marathon. The runners are such a great mix and so receptive.

I love them and it’s a huge happy day for me.

My Brothers Band - Gig

Q: What are you hoping to achieve in 2011?

I look forward to finishing the next two albums this year and then focusing on live touring.

I have been so studiocentric, that I crave a battery of living live music.

Q: Do you have any gigs or shows that you’d like to tell us about?

Not at the moment. I am a studio mole for the next several months.

Q: What do you do to relax?

I work with Reptiles. I breed several species of geckos, and snakes.

Sometimes I lecture.

Q: Is there anything else you’d like to let our readers know about?

NY is beautiful

Editor’s Comment - Lyle Puente of My Brothers Banned is an artistic, multi-faceted and multi-talented individual whom shows that music is first and foremost a route of individual artistic expression. A lot of other musicians could learn a lot from Lyle’s outlook :-)

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Thank you Ana

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