Interview: JB Brisendine of Brother Hawk


What is perfect for these hot days? Oh, that is an easy one, simply some good tunes. Well, listeners are in luck. There is another band out there that can help music fans cool off or heat things up, completely up to the emotions at hand. Brother Hawk, made up of musicians JB Brisendine, Nick Johns, James Fedigan, J.C. Bartlebaugh and Joe Brisendine are men who dutifully fill in the seats of their musical thrones. JB was kind enough to give listeners a glimpse into their musical world.

Their musical ambitious started simply the same way most artists have. “It’s all any of us have ever wanted to do! We all fell in love with music at an early age and never looked back.”

Brother Hawk has been hard at work and JB talked a bit on his favorite work to date. I think the song Big Medicine is my personal favorite. My brother and I wrote it before Brother Hawk was even a band, so the lyrics are very special to me. When we decided to use it for the band it took on a whole new life musically. It’s probably my favorite to play live as well.”

Working on the road can be exhausting but the rewards are often more valuable. JB shared one of his proudest experiences. “My biggest dream come true moment so far was playing to a sold out crowd at The Tabernacle in Atlanta. I’ve seen so many incredible shows there all the way back to when I was just a kid and always dreamed of playing that stage. It was the best night of my life. I wish I could do that over and over again!”

However, it is not always as easy as they would like. “We had a rough show in Macon, GA one time. We’re a pretty loud band, but we had a good sound check and had an understanding with the sound guy. Half way into our first song the owner comes up on stage and starts hitting Nick on the back trying to tell him to turn it down, IN THE MIDDLE OF THE SONG. Needless to say it killed the vibe.”

As participants in the space, JB gave his piece on the state of the current music culture. “It’s kind of all over the place. There’s a lot of bands making really incredible and honest music that don’t get any attention, or not near what they deserve. In a way I guess it weeds out the people who don’t truly love it. It’s like, you’re probably not going to get rich, or even half ass well off, do you still love this enough to do it? Still a no brainer for us.”

As far as other art mediums, JB seemed pretty content on music. “… I think we all just hope to continually elevate the level at which we play and write. As long as it always moves forward I don’t think we’ll feel the need for anything else.” When it comes to musical evolution, there may be some exploration. “… it’s not something we put a lot of thought into. We strive to make records in a very minimal way, we like to place importance on what we do individually. The more you add, it starts to take away at a certain point. I’ve always wanted a lap steel player though!”

JB shared his inspiration in the musical realm. “Neil Young has been my biggest influence and inspiration, as a songwriter and musician. He truly does not care what anyone thinks, he does exactly what he wants to. It’s extremely admirable. Aside from that our friends are a huge inspiration to us. Bands like Stonerider, Big Jesus, Old Heavy Hands, and Tedo Stone all make incredible music that pushes us to try and be better.”

Luckily, the band remains on the road and have some great adventures to come. “We tour Europe in October. It’s been a huge undertaking so far and we’re not even there. We’re all very nervous and excited at the same time. I think it’s going to be incredible.” Go catch them live and see what magic they can unleash. Listeners and music fans alike will be quite pleased.


Jam On.