Get to Know Brick + Mortar’s Brandon Asraf

Be sure to attend the Brick + Mortar show at Trees on November 25. Photo Courtesy: New Ocean Media
Be sure to attend the Brick + Mortar show at Trees on November 25. Photo Courtesy: New Ocean Media

By Veronica Navarro

Brick + Mortar’s consistent no-limit approach to the way they write, do and feel music has landed them a respectable spot in the Indie scene, but that doesn’t mean they are held captive to any one genre, no way, not in the slightest. Brick + Mortar consists of Brandon Asraf and John Tacon, a powerful duo from Asbury Park, New Jersey, and if you’ve never heard of them, you are certainly missing out. Brandon and I had a brief phone encounter about the band and the tall tales from the past that helped inspire some damn good music.

When listening to your song “Bangs” off the new EP, the music makes you want to dance, but when you listen to the lyrics they can lean a bit towards the dark side, was this intentional?
The dark stuff is one thing that is really easy for me. I like writing things that make you really, really think about things super hard, but I like the music to be something that you don’t think about.

Brick + Mortar has great appeal and I don’t really see one certain demographic listening to your music. How does it make you feel knowing you’ve created such a phenomenal diverse sound with no really definitive age group?
When you have two people in the band you tend to have a bit more responsibilities, so you don’t necessarily worry about every single thing that you are doing or over complicate it. So a lot of what we do is reflective of the way hip hop is made and doesn’t really focus on each individual part being amazing it’s about all the sounds together making a vibe.

Some tales of your father, an international fugitive, were said to have inspired you for the new video for “Bangs”, can you give us more details?
I’d always heard these kind of folklorish stories of my father and that whole universe, so it really seemed like I could act in that part and not feel strange about it, and because I wrote the song I felt that we had artistic freedom to really dive into it because a lot of the stories I heard, you know, I might not necessarily know what’s true or not true with my father.  He lived an interesting life, that’s for sure.

Do you think hearing his stories helped you be this creative or perhaps hindered you in any way?
All of the stories influenced me, because I thought if my father can move from a country, didn’t even speak English, and within five years has a couple of million bucks, whether or not he has that now or lives that lifestyle, it doesn’t matter. He did it. And if he can pull that off, then maybe I got some magic in my blood and can pull that off doing this music thing.

You guys are making a stop in Dallas to play at Trees in Deep Ellum on November 25th. What can people expect from Brick + Mortar if they’ve never been to a live show?
We will give 200 percent and hopefully the crowd gives us 100 percent back. And if it doesn’t look like I’m going to fall over because I’m a fat sweaty mess at the end, then pretty much we fucked it up.

Before we say goodbye, what’s a side of Brick + Mortar that the public never sees?
Probably when I’m rolling around on the floor with my cat and dog. John actually can’t get enough of all those murder shows and people being killed, like First 48, or any of those shows. So basically, I love cats and dogs and John’s a psychopath.

Brick + Mortar hit the road for a national tour with ANTHONY GREEN with a stop in Dallas on November 25, 2013 at Trees. Tickets available for purchase in advance online.  For more info, check out: