With his latest album Everyone here seems so familiar recently released on Revolver Distribution Services Brandon Miller aka Sarsaparilla has honed his own brand of soulful acoustic melancholia into something we can all identify with. Throw in a few electronic flourishes here and there and it’s an album born of contemporary Berlin life, at once quaint and old world yet modern and fresh.
Olga put the mic to the man to see what he had to say for himself.
What’s the first record you ever bought? No matter how bad.
Maybe like Tom Waits. You’re kidding me. Are you telling me that as a child you listened to Tom Waits? I didn’t really listen to music as a child, I haven’t started till I was about 16 or 17. About that time I was working my first job in a coffee shop and this girl gave me a box set of Led Zeppelin tapes. I fell in love with them and got a guitar.
Do you have any funny/dangerous stories from the road?
I remember this one trip to Amsterdam. I was the only person with a driver’s license so after a day behind the wheel and playing a show, I was extremely tired. I drove into a first rest stop I could find and parked. We took the advantage of the more lenient laws in Holland and decided to smoke a joint before going to sleep. There was four of us in total smoking away in a foreign country, inside a car on a huge parking lot. The next thing we see is literarily 500 or so police motorcycles accompanied by big cars pulling into the same parking lot and surrounding the car. I was so paranoid I didn’t get any sleep. It later turned out that some president or dignitary decided to rest there and the police cars were there to protect him.
Do you remember your first ever concert?
First concert I ever went to was a U2 gig in a huge stadium. I was really in shock. It was like going to the circus. I enjoyed it but it was too big for me. The next concerts I saw were totally awesome. I saw Page and Plant, Elliot Smith, White Stripes and Radiohead before they made it big.
What show would you consider the best you’ve played so far?
Fusion Festival 2009. I noticed you still have your festival band. I’m still at Fusion, I’m still there [laughs], I never left. Tell me about how you get to play Fusion. Do you have to apply? No they just pick you. How do the organizers know about you? I think, the way it often works is that someone that has performed in previous years has to recommend you. I think that’s what happened with me too. Last year I recommended Martha Rose and she ended up playing.