Blue Stahli has recently just dropped his latest single off of his upcoming album, The Devil. With top notch songwriting showing up on Not Over Til We Say So, along with excellent collaborative work with Emma Anzai of Sick Puppies, I discuss with Bret, solo member of Blue Stahli, both the single, how working with Anzai went, and his upcoming album.

Hello, and welcome to our lovely site! Before anything, let's get our readers familiarized with you. Tell us a little bit about Blue Stahli.

Bret - "Blue Stahli is a multi-genre musical project with just one member. Which means I have no other bandmates to blame when things go horribly awry or alibis need to be put in place. I should have thought this through better."

And, for most of this, let's just focus on a bit of the present since that seems to be pretty exciting. Your single "Not Over Til We Say So" just released recently. What was the main inspiration in writing the lyrics for this song?

Bret - "Well, I never really divulge what sort of nonsense was flitting through my head when writing the lyrics because, though I certainly have my personal reason and meaning, the most important thing is what it means to you and each individual listener. If someone forms an attachment with a song that speaks to their experience, I'd hate to dash it. The personal interpretation of a song by an individual is what's most important to me. I want a Blue Stahli song to be something for your life. Whether that is catharsis, or feeling like a badass who can take on an army, or just something fun to listen to loud as hell while driving."

And, when you set out to write the music for this track, what did you originally have planned for it? Did your views on the song change musically as you progressed with it?

Bret - "Oh definitely. The opening thrash riff is something I wrote when I was 17 and never really knew what to do with, so it sat there in the back of my head taking up space that could have been used for tasks such as 'how not to look like a spazzy Molly Ringwald'. When I was in the initial demo phase for this album, I threw that riff down with a few other basic tracks just to see where it would go. I had no plan other than 'Let's see what the hell happens.' The funky halftime bit of it was the result of throwing everything against the wall and that's what stuck. The chorus was something I sang into my phone while driving as an idea for another song, but I figured why the hell not see if I can slam that sucker into this track. A lot of songs come together that way. Disparate elements all coming together to form a Voltron of a track."

You actually had Emma Anzai of Sick Puppies come in for this single. At what point did you know you wanted her talent on board? Was it always set to be that way from the get-go?

Bret - "It was a strange, happy accident! I wasn't really planning on having any guests on this record originally. A while ago, she discovered Blue Stahli and began following a few of my social media pages. I figured it was someone just using her name, as I was a fan of her work in Sick Puppies and thought 'there's no way in hell this is the actual Emma Anzai somehow finding me.' After shooting a few DM's back and forth, she said 'If you ever need any bass work, I'd be happy to help out.' She is absolutely one of the best bassists in rock'n'roll, so...come on...of course. From following her work in Sick Puppies, I knew she also had a great voice and knack for harmony, so I wanted to really feature all of what she can do."

Overall, how was working with Emma Anzai on this single? Did you have fun with it, and would you be looking to partner up with her again on any future tracks?

Bret - "Absolutely to both of those things. Working with Emma was a breeze. There were a few parts where I wanted her to just follow the riff, but there were large sections where my only note was 'Be Emma Anzai as hard as you can'. So naturally, she returns with a few takes of some of the best and most technical bass work I've ever heard. The scary thing is how close to the grid she was. Her timing is perfect. I'm pretty much convinced she's a cyborg."

Now, this single will be appearing on your upcoming album, The Devil. Is there a release date set in for that, or is that still in the works?

Bret - "There is, but I want to avoid my typical method of only opening my mouth to change feet. There isn't a full on release date, but there is a date set for 'Hey dummy, you have to have this whole album done by _____.'"

In comparison to anything that you've previously released, what do you think this new album will be doing differently? What can your fans expect to hear from The Devil?

Bret - "One thing is that I'm pulling back on the screamy parts just a bit. Not that there was a ton of that in the first album, but I like experimenting with making the vocals a bit more melodic (which is more natural for me) while contrasting that with making the guitars much louder and darker. If someone wants straight up screaming, there are a million bands that do exactly that. I love the juxtaposition of having great big mean chainsaw guitar riffs, elements of pop production, glitchy programming and sample mangling, cinematic atmospheres, and making something to get stuck in your head. You will absolutely have this album this year."

And, will you be playing any shows in support of the album release, or are live appearances not currently scheduled?

Bret - "Absolutely. Once I finish the album, I'll be working on a companion disc of Premonitions (strange reinterpretations of the album material) and putting a full on touring live show together. I loved being a part of the 2-man Celldweller live show and really miss both jumping around on stage and most importantly, meeting people after the show. So I can't wait to show my appreciation for everyone supporting Blue Stahli by making a space for everyone to go nuts and all say hello after the show."

I also understand that your music has been included in an abundance of films, television shows, and video games. Are you currently working to get your material in any other media right now? And, can we get details on that?

Bret - "The fun thing is that my songs show up in stuff without the aid of my prodding. Unless it's something that I've been contacted to write something for (taking a shot in the dark of it landing), that aspect functions independently of me. I am insanely grateful for the things I DO show up in, and it always blows me away to hear a song I wrote for a movie scene in my head being used in a big action movie trailer. For some reason, the pairing of Blue Stahli with action flicks and superhero radness works just as well as the more instrumental upbeat material I write. I'm just freakishly thankful I can watch things blow up to guitar riffs I've written."

Lastly, I would like to thank your time in participating in this quick questionnaire, and I wish you all the luck in your future.

Bret - "Right back atcha! Thank you very much!"
Blue Stahli interview
March 4, 2015
Brutal Resonance

Blue Stahli

Mar 2015
Blue Stahli has recently just dropped his latest single off of his upcoming album, The Devil. With top notch songwriting showing up on Not Over Til We Say So, along with excellent collaborative work with Emma Anzai of Sick Puppies, I discuss with Bret, solo member of Blue Stahli, both the single, how working with Anzai went, and his upcoming album.

Hello, and welcome to our lovely site! Before anything, let's get our readers familiarized with you. Tell us a little bit about Blue Stahli.

Bret - "Blue Stahli is a multi-genre musical project with just one member. Which means I have no other bandmates to blame when things go horribly awry or alibis need to be put in place. I should have thought this through better."

And, for most of this, let's just focus on a bit of the present since that seems to be pretty exciting. Your single "Not Over Til We Say So" just released recently. What was the main inspiration in writing the lyrics for this song?

Bret - "Well, I never really divulge what sort of nonsense was flitting through my head when writing the lyrics because, though I certainly have my personal reason and meaning, the most important thing is what it means to you and each individual listener. If someone forms an attachment with a song that speaks to their experience, I'd hate to dash it. The personal interpretation of a song by an individual is what's most important to me. I want a Blue Stahli song to be something for your life. Whether that is catharsis, or feeling like a badass who can take on an army, or just something fun to listen to loud as hell while driving."

And, when you set out to write the music for this track, what did you originally have planned for it? Did your views on the song change musically as you progressed with it?

Bret - "Oh definitely. The opening thrash riff is something I wrote when I was 17 and never really knew what to do with, so it sat there in the back of my head taking up space that could have been used for tasks such as 'how not to look like a spazzy Molly Ringwald'. When I was in the initial demo phase for this album, I threw that riff down with a few other basic tracks just to see where it would go. I had no plan other than 'Let's see what the hell happens.' The funky halftime bit of it was the result of throwing everything against the wall and that's what stuck. The chorus was something I sang into my phone while driving as an idea for another song, but I figured why the hell not see if I can slam that sucker into this track. A lot of songs come together that way. Disparate elements all coming together to form a Voltron of a track."

You actually had Emma Anzai of Sick Puppies come in for this single. At what point did you know you wanted her talent on board? Was it always set to be that way from the get-go?

Bret - "It was a strange, happy accident! I wasn't really planning on having any guests on this record originally. A while ago, she discovered Blue Stahli and began following a few of my social media pages. I figured it was someone just using her name, as I was a fan of her work in Sick Puppies and thought 'there's no way in hell this is the actual Emma Anzai somehow finding me.' After shooting a few DM's back and forth, she said 'If you ever need any bass work, I'd be happy to help out.' She is absolutely one of the best bassists in rock'n'roll, so...come on...of course. From following her work in Sick Puppies, I knew she also had a great voice and knack for harmony, so I wanted to really feature all of what she can do."

Overall, how was working with Emma Anzai on this single? Did you have fun with it, and would you be looking to partner up with her again on any future tracks?

Bret - "Absolutely to both of those things. Working with Emma was a breeze. There were a few parts where I wanted her to just follow the riff, but there were large sections where my only note was 'Be Emma Anzai as hard as you can'. So naturally, she returns with a few takes of some of the best and most technical bass work I've ever heard. The scary thing is how close to the grid she was. Her timing is perfect. I'm pretty much convinced she's a cyborg."

Now, this single will be appearing on your upcoming album, The Devil. Is there a release date set in for that, or is that still in the works?

Bret - "There is, but I want to avoid my typical method of only opening my mouth to change feet. There isn't a full on release date, but there is a date set for 'Hey dummy, you have to have this whole album done by _____.'"

In comparison to anything that you've previously released, what do you think this new album will be doing differently? What can your fans expect to hear from The Devil?

Bret - "One thing is that I'm pulling back on the screamy parts just a bit. Not that there was a ton of that in the first album, but I like experimenting with making the vocals a bit more melodic (which is more natural for me) while contrasting that with making the guitars much louder and darker. If someone wants straight up screaming, there are a million bands that do exactly that. I love the juxtaposition of having great big mean chainsaw guitar riffs, elements of pop production, glitchy programming and sample mangling, cinematic atmospheres, and making something to get stuck in your head. You will absolutely have this album this year."

And, will you be playing any shows in support of the album release, or are live appearances not currently scheduled?

Bret - "Absolutely. Once I finish the album, I'll be working on a companion disc of Premonitions (strange reinterpretations of the album material) and putting a full on touring live show together. I loved being a part of the 2-man Celldweller live show and really miss both jumping around on stage and most importantly, meeting people after the show. So I can't wait to show my appreciation for everyone supporting Blue Stahli by making a space for everyone to go nuts and all say hello after the show."

I also understand that your music has been included in an abundance of films, television shows, and video games. Are you currently working to get your material in any other media right now? And, can we get details on that?

Bret - "The fun thing is that my songs show up in stuff without the aid of my prodding. Unless it's something that I've been contacted to write something for (taking a shot in the dark of it landing), that aspect functions independently of me. I am insanely grateful for the things I DO show up in, and it always blows me away to hear a song I wrote for a movie scene in my head being used in a big action movie trailer. For some reason, the pairing of Blue Stahli with action flicks and superhero radness works just as well as the more instrumental upbeat material I write. I'm just freakishly thankful I can watch things blow up to guitar riffs I've written."

Lastly, I would like to thank your time in participating in this quick questionnaire, and I wish you all the luck in your future.

Bret - "Right back atcha! Thank you very much!"
Mar 04 2015

Steven Gullotta

info@brutalresonance.com
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.

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