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Articles Home » Interviews » LuBrant, Keith - 2001 Interview with Keith LuBrant
 
LuBrant, Keith - 2001 Interview with Keith LuBrant


INTERVIEW: LuBrant, Keith (Dec 2001)
We meet modern rocker Keith LuBrant for a good ol yarn!

In The Spotlight - Keith LuBrant
Interview with - Keith LuBrant
Written by: Gdazegod (December 20, 2001)

Trying to combine a mix of eighties styled hard rock with todays modern pop sensibilities is no easy feat. Consider also the array of musical styles which has gone on in-between times and there's every reason for the general music consumer to be confused by it all. From arena rock, to the antithesis of hair metal being grunge, to alternative, through to todays nu-breed and modern pop styles. All contrasting, and though some artists have tried to ride through the current of popular trends and stay afloat, most have failed. Look at the rebadging of artists such as Cher and Lionel Ritchie for instance. Cher's 'Believe' was a creditable attempt at throwaway pop as was Ritchie's 'Angel'.

Not quite as extreme as those two, and certainly not at the same level of success either, is budding New Jersey modern pop rocker Keith LuBrant. Hats off to him for giving it a shot, and a barrel load of songs to boot. There's a lot to like about Keith's style. Guitar driven, jangly, upbeat, with an ode to past heroes celebrated in the style of the present. No zillion dollar budgets here, and it shows what a driven individual can achieve when the power is in the music and the belief to deliver it. Keith's got a lot of that alright. We're pleased he managed to find the time to pop over for a chat. Firstly Keith, congratulations for getting your debut album 'A Face In The Crowd' out in the marketplace. A lot of work has gone into this initial project? 'Absolutely!' agrees Keith. 'This whole CD was written and recorded by myself. I have a home studio and took on this monster of a project. I had a friend Daren Wicks help me record the drums and mix down the project. It took quite some time to finish, but well worth it in the end'.



Give us a quick run down on your theme behind 'Face In The Crowd', and what this album means to you. 'This album was actually going to be just something that documented a bunch of my tunes. I always wanted to record them and finally got around to it. Then, I started receiving some excellent feedback and reviews. People outside of my circle of friends really liked the tunes'. Our good friend John Taglieri got involved with you? 'Yes, John got a hold of me and lit the fire under me to try and get this CD heard by as many people as possible. He was very honest and said that the tunes were just too good to just sit on a shelf'.

I know our review of the album, compared you to the Goo Goo Dolls. I know it's easy to make that comparison. But I'm sure your music is deeper than that? 'I would think so' agrees Keith again. 'Many of my songs deal with relationships, usually bad! and I think most people can relate to that. Everybody has been hurt some way or another. I was just racking up the high score'.

It's unusual to see so many songs on a debut effort like this. Why was that? 'That is because the CD was not originally meant to be released to the public. It was just a way to document some of my songs. If I had to do it over again, I would not have done so many! But many of my reviews have stated that the listener would not get bored'.

Have you always wanted to keep that stripped back sound confined to a trio? (ie: yourself John LeComte and Joe Perez) 'Well, with this project, I really wanted to have control. I wanted to say, 'Hey, if this failed, it was because of me'. In the past with band situations, you would have to sacrifice some of your ideas because other bandmates did not agree. That is not to say that John and Joe had no say'. suggests Keith. He adds.. 'They were able to add their ideas and influences. I just wanted to see where my songwriting rated with the whole music scene. I guess you can say that I was looking for some sort of validation. Recording the CD was a real healthy and positive situation. Those guys are great players and great friends'.

The whole album is very melodic I reckon. Were you conscious of that during the recording process? 'Yeah, that is just my influences popping out! says Keith wholeheartedly. 'I love anything that has a great melody. One of my biggest influences would be Jon Bon Jovi. He has the best ability to write a hook. Some other influences are Glen Burtnick, Mike Viola, Andy Taylor, and the Gin Blossoms'. Would you agree that there are some 'retro' musical styles and approaches contained within? 'I definitely think that there are some 80's musical styles in the music. I keep on hearing that I sound like Rick Springfield. It's funny because if you asked me, I think that there are no similarities, but many people have said this. I just love songs with great hooks'.

Lets focus briefly on the singer and songwriter aspect. Do you collaborate with anyone else, or is it purely self penned stuff? 'I wrote all the songs. John and Joe wrote their own bass and drum parts. If there was something that I thought maybe could be changed, and vice versa, we would talk about it. Again, the situation was great. Since we are all good friends, we were all able to talk about changing parts without somebody getting insulted. That is a BIG plus'. Of the lyrics, is there anything of note contained within the material, or are they some of Keith LuBrant's life experiences rolled into 3-4 minutes of musical expression? 'Well, they were pretty much all experiences of my life' says Keith retrospectively. 'I wrote 'Feelin' Alright' as an exercise. I was trying to write lyrics that had nothing to do with me. The lyrics were completely fictional. So the rest of the songs pretty much tell the story of yours truly'.

What about your excursion into the studio. What was that experience like for you for a full blown debut album? 'Very exciting. Again, this was recorded in my home studio, so there was no such feelings like 'Oh dear.. I am paying how much by the hour?' It was very laid back. When I felt inspired, I would lay down some tracks. There was no pressure to be 'on' all the time'. What did a budding New Jersey pop artist like yourself use as inspiration to make you wanna do this 'popstar thing'? 'I did not look to really 'do' the popstar thing. It kind of came to me!' chuckles Keith. 'It is a great feeling when people really appreciate what you are doing. That is the biggest thrill for me. I am hoping that this CD will open many doors'.

Our readers are slowly becoming accustomed to seeing a lot more of the modern pop artists being featured on the site. What's your opinion of the current nu-breed scene? 'To be honest, I miss the meat and potatoes rock and roll! I really dig bands like Fuel and Third Eye Blind, only because they just rock. I just read about a Sam Goody record survey. It stated that more teenagers are getting away from boy bands and leaning towards the singer/songwriter thing which is very cool. I have such an appreciation for artists that write their own material. That is very important to me. It means so much more on a personal level'.



Could artists like SR-71 and American HiFi for instance be the catalyst to create a crossover audience between the harder rocking audiences and those with lighter poppier tastes? 'Absolutely'. Keith says. 'It is like when people went out and bought Pornograffitti by Extreme. They bought that album for 'More than Words' and 'Hole Hearted'. I bet you they were surprised when they first put it in and all this heavy funk started pouring out of their speakers. Hopefully some people were able to like those songs too'.

Do you have any favourites yourself? 'I like any bands that write great hooks. Some of my favourites are Extreme, Bon Jovi, Mike Viola, Glen Burtnick, Gin Blossoms, and Third Eye Blind. I do have a heavy side too. I love Racer X, Queensryche, Alice in Chains, Skid Row.. I could go on forever'.

We touched briefly on that other favourite son of New Jersey.. John Taglieri? 'He just contacted me through the Internet and we started talking from there. He really knows how to market and has his act together. He just signed a three record deal with Now and Then Records'. Yep, John's on the ball alright. I'm looking forward to his new stuff that's for sure. Do you know that other New Jersey hangman Kurt Torster? He does heaps of good things for the melodic rock scene I reckon. 'Hmm.. Never heard of him.. I will have to look him up.' Gosh, Kurt will take that as an affront (ha ha!).


Special K means 'Keith' live in action..


Perhaps on a more recent note, and I know I've asked this many times, but being so close to the NYC disaster, what were your thoughts or reflections about these recent awful events? 'I felt numb. It was the first time I think that we as Americans felt scared. Those events were horrible and will never be forgotten. The one great thing that came out of it was to see so much love and unity between every American. Everybody that pitched in to help.. it was real touching. We will overcome this'.

I suppose it's a case of staying close to home with local gigs etc. Any chance of picking up a support slot in the NYC or NJ scene with any of the bigger modern rock/pop bands out there? 'Well, I hope to be hooking up with some locals come next year. I am in talks right now with a record company and if all goes well, you will see a lot more of me!' Now you're a bit of a Internet savvy citizen. Where does a budding pop star like you hang out when he's not got a guitar pick in his hand, but two fingers on the keyboard and the wrist in close proximity to the mouse? 'I actually design web sites too' laughs Keith. 'I designed www.keithlubrant.com and will be redesigning it come next year. I just did one for another Jersey band www.theshags.com. I love to do that stuff. I also promote the CD on the Internet. Great web sites such as yours allow some excellent opportunities for an artist such as myself. You just have to go out and do it'.

This is the bit I love the most. I have this bad habit of ending my interviews with quirky little questions to entertain our readers. As you're in the firing line this time around, how about giving us an overview of five people you'd like to invite around for a dinner party (please exclude George Bush Jnr, Dick Cheney, Colin Powell and Osama bin Laden sitting down at the same table), and why? 'Hmmmmm.. that is a question I was never asked. Good one:

Jon Bon Jovi - I always admired his songwriting ability
Warren DeMartini - was a great guitar influence for me
Steve Vai - say no more.. THE master of guitar
Glen Burtnick - have to have a Jersey boy in there
David Lee Roth - c'mon.. there would be no dead spots in the conversation! Just the road stories ALONE would be great'.

Gee Keith, no women, five guys and all they'd talk about are microphones and guitars. Anyway, thanks for the few words.

For a taste test of Keith LuBrant's modern pop fiesta, pop on over to his site at: www.keithlubrant.com. Tell him I sent ya.

The other conspirator in the scheme of things.. John Taglieri, can be contacted over at www.leapdogmusic.com.

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