Here's an email interview Christophe did with Dandy Brown from Hermano. Great band, great new album... what else can I say? Even if you didn't like their first albums, you should definitely check out their latest effort. It's called "... Into The Exam Room" and besides being their most versatile album to date, it rocks from start to finish... what could you possibly have against that?
PRT: Who are you and what would you like to tell our readers about yourself?
Dandy: I'm Dandy Brown, bass player for Hermano. I'm 5' 9' (translate to meters if you wish), 160 pounds. I'm a father of three daughters, husband to a beautiful wife, a literature teacher at a local high school, a member of no clubs, and a native Ohioan. I'm 41 years old. My favorite meal would have to be a Richard's steak sandwich from Richard's pizzeria in Hamilton, Ohio. I smoke, drink Jim Beam when I drink, and play a '68 Jazz Bass. I'm left handed. I could write a few hundred pages of this shit, but I think that will do for now.
PRT: What was your last meal up until now, and was it any good?
Dandy: I had a cheeseburger at a local restaurant in Yucca Valley about five hours ago. It sucked.
PRT: What would you rather be doing instead of answering these silly questions?
Dandy: Today is my wedding anniversary. Analisa is inside right now putting our 7 month old, Kentucky, to bed. Hopefully, the baby will fall asleep soon. It is my wedding anniversary for Christ's sake.
PRT: Hermano started out as some kind of side project for various members. When did you guys decide to make it a priority?
Dandy; Actually, we are just now, after ten years, thinking about making a few more shows possible over the next year. This summer is going to be the most active era for Hermano since the inception. In the past, our lives were different, and through both positive and negative episodes in all of our lives we have evolved as people. Circumstances change, and I think that's true for everyone.
PRT: You recently released your third album, 'Into The Exam Room'. It seems a lot more diverse than the previous efforts. A conscious move? Or mere coincidence?
Dandy: Again, I think everyone evolves, and that I think is true for taking that evolution and applying it to our music. I don't think it is a conscious thing, but I also know that we set out to do the new album wanting to not get too far away from the same experimental emotion that has been there since 'Only a Suggestion.' Honestly, I don't think '. . . into the Exam Room' is that far away from the first album.
PRT: How does 'Into the Exam Room' compare to both previous albums?
Dandy: The first one was a whim, the second one was an experiment, and '. . . into the Exam Room' is the fruition.
PRT: And how does it compare to Justin Timberlake's 'FutureLove/SexSounds'?
Dandy: Timberlake likes to prance around with some ok pop music. Hermano rocks.
PRT: You're still being categorized under Stoner Rock. Does that label bother you?
PRT: Also, because of John Garcia's presence in the band, references to Kyuss are quite common. Is it hard to remain somewhat overshadowed by the legendary band? And do you hope that the references will someday stop?
Dandy: Like it or not, Hermano and Kyuss will forever be intertwined, just like all of the other Kyuss off-shoots over the years. The comparison and mention of Kyuss will always be there because they were an amazing band. I feel honored to have that connection. Beyond that, though, both are heavy blues bands that have similar roots, and that's about as far as the comparison should go. There is no doubt that Hermano and Kyuss move in different directions and create diverse atmospheres.
PRT: A Wikipedia-page about Hermano states that you guys are more popular in Europe than you are in the States. Is this true? If so, how come? Do you have any plans to change this?
Dandy: The fact of the matter is, we haven't spent that much time focusing on the States. Whenever we have had time to get out and do a tour, Europe has always been more romantic than doing a tour at home. I've been across the United States probably 20 times in my life. There are still quite a few places in Europe I haven't seen yet.
PRT: What's so interesting about an Exam Room that you want to draw your audience into it?
Dandy: I don't think we need to draw anyone into it. We're all there already.
PRT: If Hermano would ever be convicted of a crime, which one would you (hypothetically, of course) have committed?
Dandy: Attempted robbery at a convenient store . . . trying to steal coffee, cigarettes, and energy drinks.
PRT: The band has been around for almost ten years now. What were the biggest highlights so far?
Dandy: Every single show. That's no joke.
PRT: And what would you still like to achieve with Hermano? Any big plans, hopes, dreams or ideals?
Dandy: I would like to be able to fulfill that dream of capturing music, and sharing musical moments with as many people as I can. Of course, that's been my goal from the minute I put my hands on my first instrument.
PRT: The writing process hasn't always been very easy for the band, with some members living spread out across the country. What are your favorite writing conditions?
Dandy: Writing music for Hermano has never been difficult at all. The hardest part has always been finding time to piece together an album. As for songs, though, that's the easy part. Give any of us a couple of hours and some tin cans, and I'm sure we'll have a few songs ready.
PRT: What would be your top 5 songs for spending a snowy day in Eastern Europe, where everybody speaks weird languages and cooks funny smelling meals?
Dandy: I don't know where you're eating, but 90% of the meals I have ever had in Europe have been delicious. In regard to spending the day with a mix, though, drop all of the Sade releases into the player and press 'shuffle.' That will be my first five.
PRT: Your favourite record of the year 2007?
Dandy: El Guapo Stuntteam's Accusation Blues.
PRT: If there would ever be a movie about Hermano, what would it be like, what would be the main plot and who would play you?
Dandy: Only Depp could play me. No one else could sink to the introverted debauchery that would be needed for the role! Honestly, though, I'm not sure if anyone would want to see the movie. They could easily look at their own lives and see mine. I'm pretty normal . . . I think.
PRT: And what would the rating be? X, R, or PG13?
Dandy: If it is an honest movie, I think it would have to be rated R. I think everyone's story at least deserves that rating.