I recently caught up with Brian Offredi A.K.A. Golden B.C. to talk about life, the universe and everything but somehow ended up discussing the merits of ‘Robert Palmer-esque’ stagecraft, stealing the limelight back from waitresses and even modern day umbrella jousting. I’ve had to split this interview into two posts as Brian was more than generous when it came to answering questions. I’ll put part two up later this week. But for now, enjoy the wit, humour and genuine talent of Golden B.C.
So let’s start with the name “Golden BC”. Where exactly does it come from?
It was the only place I’ve seen someone impaled with an umbrella. I was enjoying a coffee in a nice café in Golden, a small town in British Columbia, when I saw two men fighting over an umbrella in the middle of the street. One man overpowered the other and thus, impalement. I knew then that I would name my band after this odd town.
As a solo artist why do you feel the need to hide behind a stage name?
I picked a stage name not really to hide behind, but just in case I ever wanted to bring in other band members. When I first started making music, I was 17 and had a hard time finding anyone willing to play around with as many genres as I did. So I figured I’d go solo but use a band name just in case I found others to collaborate with.
Rather than ask about your musical influences, who or what made you first fall in love with music?
All of my earliest music was Weird Al. And weirdly, it was Tenacious D’s first album that made me first want to get a guitar. I thought it was amazing how they would rock the hell out while making you laugh and I thought that was just fantastic. Comedy has always had a weird relationship with music, with rock stars wanting so hard to be taken serious that they become so humourless. That gets really old. I take my music seriously, but I make fun of myself relentlessly. I hope I’ve found a good balance.
Why do you make music? What made you pick up the guitar and put pen to paper?
I make music because I feel like I have to. I get really antsy if I haven’t written anything in a while and start to behave strangely. Nervous twitching, scratching, singing Billy Idol songs at people in the park. It is the most rewarding thing in the world to put something creative together and it does wonders to expand my ego.
As for what made me start writing music, it was my little sister who was always far braver than I and it usually took her doing something first for me to get competitive and do it myself. She bought a guitar first, and I ended up stealing it from her room when she wasn’t home so often that my parents made me buy my own. So I guess it was part love of music, part sibling rivalry.
Your music is like the soundtrack to a gritty b-movie. How important is the theme/back story to your music?
On my first two records, not at all. I was just excited to be putting out an album and didn’t really pay attention to a unifying theme. But with “Just Take It”, I spent a lot of time trying to find a way to get everything to align in both the lyrics and the music so that the album sounds like one long piece that tells the story of these kids. I wanted it to be subtle enough so that listeners had to pay attention to get the whole story, but not too subtle and lose narrative completely. Hopefully, I’ve done that.
What comes first when writing new music, the story or the song?
Always the song. Lyrics can be rewritten dozens of times, and don’t really even have to be good. But if the music sucks, then the whole thing fails. Music is supposed to stick in your ear on the first listen, then maybe the lyrics pop out later. If you can’t hook people early on, they’ll never come back for another listen.
Whilst your music may be very thematic, what genres do you think it falls into?
Pretentious. But seriously, “Just Take It” jumps around to a bunch of different styles that, if press, I’d have to say alternative rock.