I remember the feelings associated with the first few weeks after my brother died pretty vividly. That feeling of grief, sadness, despair, all of it, just completely overwhelming and just, well, downright oppressive. Just that weight that never seem to go away, and just pushes on your chest. But in the insanity of those first few weeks, I do remember it going away for a little bit one time. It was a pretty simple thing really, my old friends Kiel Harell and Luke Prosser took me to see a movie. I don’t remember the movie (except that I just texted Kiel and he says it was Smokin’ Aces), in fact I don’t remember much of anything except that it was one of the first times I experienced moments of happiness after my brother died.
I (along with a lot of other people) have been thinking about Nathan Johnson every day since June 28th when I saw this go fund me page.
I mention all that because this session felt magical, a profound reminder on how powerful music is. For one, it was a small miracle the session happened at all since this was the first time I met Brandon and had visited The Silent Planet (his vibey studio) and Nathan was a relatively late addition. The experience felt tremendously lucky, and it was deeply moving to be able to watch them create in this context. Not only that, dudes are freakin’ talented. I mean, I knew Nathan and Brandon were good musicians and everything – I just didn’t know how much I would love their music, taste, and how the whole experience would affect me on a personal level.
Testing tones out before they performed, Nathan was noodling around a bit and plugged in his beloved OP1 with his brand new Tonal Recall RKM and seeing his face made me have this thought like “Maybe guitar pedals are important?” (Even though I love what I do and am very passionate about it, I can be pretty cynical about how my work fits in and if it does anything to actually improve the world/music, you know?).
Lately, I feel like I’ve had such a difficult time answering the question, “What kind of music are you listening to right now?” Now I’ve got an answer, it’s Nathan Johnson’s project, Meaning Machine, and another answer will soon be Brandon and Nathan’s future joint project, Blood Hundred.
Brandon and Nathan performed this song they had just composed in bits of that day and the day before. I love it through and through. I love the music, these dudes, and seeing Nathan get lost in his passion in the middle of this storm. Hank Bentley was there as well, and he will be in a future episode that also features Nathan, so look for that one soon.
I’d like to think that my brother still gently prods and pushes my life around a bit, and I’d like to think this is one of those times.
and THEY DID THIS ALL ON THE FIRST TAKE (this is impressive to me, the pros they are):