Seasons Greetings from C2 and the Brothers Reed
It’s the cheerful time of the year for family and loved ones to gather round, read Dickens, drink hot cocoa, and sing carols by the fireplace; it’s when girls get to dress up as skimpy santas and a fat wino can have a job as long as he looks good in a red suit. For this holiday special, SoundOpen would like to invite the charismatic rock sensation, C2 and the Brothers Reed, to tell a little about the band’s making, what to expect, as well as a few seasonal quirks. And then we’ll decide whether they’ve been naughty or nice.
The band was founded in Lexington, Kentucky a few years ago. Apart from Kelly and Kody, how did you guys meet, and what made you want to start a band?
We have all been playing music since we were younger. Kelly and Kody met Cameron through a mutual friend from Lexington, and got together where Kody played on pots, pans and trash can lids in lack of a drum kit. James was introduced to us a couple months later, when Kelly, Kody and Cameron were playing a bar gig in Lexington, and James’ roommate was bartending. That was St. Patrick’s Day, which is a great anniversary to have!
Is everyone from Lexington?
Actually, no. We all met in Lexington, and that is our home base, but we are from towns around Lexington. Cameron is from a small town north of Lexington called Paris. Kelly and Kody are from a small town a little south of Lexington called Stanford, while James is from Louisville.
Nice. You guys just kind of met in the middle.
“It comes from our heart, and we play it with our souls.”
Critics always try to label artists and place them in whatever genre they think is fitting. I like to hear from the artist. How would you describe your music?
To be honest that is one of the toughest questions we get because labeling music in a specific genre can get generic, or even confusing. We really like to include many individual and different influences into our music, so every song might not fit neatly into a certain genre. We have been described as rock and roll, southern rock, soul, blues, and even pop in certain instances, but overall to us our music is real. It is the music that we love. It comes from our heart, and we play it with our souls.
Well said. There’s an authenticity that radiates through music played by those who focus on the music inside themselves rather than trying imitate another’s sound. I think you display this well in your shows.
“We were at a bar in Bristol, VA where the bar manager pulled a knife on us.”
Every musician has that one show where everything refuses to go as planned. Maybe it was the venue, or the audience. Can you describe your worst experience playing out?
Well any band that is worth their salt, or has been out touring, has definitely had shows where everything went wrong. The more you play and tour the more things will probably go haywire. We have had many van breakdowns. Cameron has sang through sickness; Kelly through busted amps; Kody with a nearly severed finger that was almost bitten off by a dog, and James with crutches, but the list goes on. “It’s always something,” and “It’s never easy,” are quotes that float around frequently. When this happens, we just play through the setbacks like everything is normal.
To name one show that went poorly to say the least, we were at a bar in Bristol, VA where the bar manager pulled a knife on us. That was our first time playing in town, and, now, it has become one of our favorite areas to play.
What’s music without rabid dogs and knife fights? Am I right? Wow, saying that you guys have been through the thicket feels like an understatement, but I’m glad to see the spirit of the band untarnished and on high.
A lot of musicians have that one venue where they fill at home. Is there a place like that for C2 and the Brothers Reed?
Yeah for sure. A venue that we love to play and always seems to be a good time is Wolf Hills Brewing Co. in Abingdon, VA. The place has a great atmosphere, and there is no shortage of fun and interesting people. There’s also the added benefit of great beer at your leisure.
When I saw you guys live, I noticed how everyone was comfortable, which makes for a good stage presence. You have a lot of chemistry, and I’m sure you have had a lot of practice. Can you describe your practice sessions when you started playing as a band?
Some of the chemistry we have comes from us all feeling like brothers and caring for one another. This kind of allows us to feel more comfortable and feed off of each other’s energy. Over the course of the last few years our practice sessions have changed as we have matured. In the beginning, we started playing in small bars. Practice sessions then consisted of running through our originals and learning covers, while adding our own spin to the songs. Later, we began to rehearse more for live shows by rearranging and incorporating instrumental pieces to songs.
We are now really focusing on having more structured practices/rehearsals, which can at times be tough. For example, sometimes we are focusing on a part, then James, or Cameron, off the cuff, plays a riff, then Kelly and Kody jump in, and it turns into a continuous 45 min jam piece that takes 18 different turns, ending in the cosmos. Then we are like “Wait, weren’t we practicing that intro or something?”
Let me know if you ever decide to record those jam sessions. Sometimes, you’ll find a jam session that outweighs the momentum of any show, or studio recording. I, once, traded a bartender a copy of Lord of the Flies for his copy of the Boston Jam Sessions by Grateful Dead. Best barter I’ve ever made.
There’s a notable influence of classic and southern rock in your music. How did you guys pick up on that sound?
Our sound is something that we get a lot of comments on, and for us it is really hard to describe where, or how, we picked up on that sound. I guess you could try to trace it back to what we grew up listening to. Cameron loved Ray Charles and Queen.
Kelly’s influences were the blues and Led Zeppelin, while Kody was listening to Metallica and Alice in Chains. James on the other hand was jamming Herbie Hancock and jazz. We just knew we wanted to play rock’n’roll every night. When we get together and play, the sound is just natural.
“We all have different personalities, strengths and weaknesses, but we are in a marriage called C2 and The Brothers Reed.”
There are several personalities and character traits that float around a band. Some members might like to play more, be more charismatic, others might be more of an introvert and laid back. Can you tell me a little about what that’s like for C2 and the Brothers Reed?
Well with any relationship, at times, there is going to be a clash of egos and sorts of mindsets, especially in a very close, interpersonal relationship where you are working together mentally, creatively, and spiritually. We all have different personalities, strengths and weaknesses, but we are in a marriage called C2 and The Brothers Reed. We even joke that we are brother-husbands. When you spend as much time together as we do, you start to learn a lot about each other, including our differences. So over time, our relationship has evolved, and we are continuously working together to help and try to understand each other. Ultimately, our goal is to always be improving the band as a whole.
Are you responsible for booking shows, promoting and marketing, or do you have someone who helps manage?
We don’t have a manager, but are currently open for someone that we feel can work well with us and would be a good fit. We, currently, book our own shows, but also have a few small agencies that help us book in certain markets. We also produce all of our marketing material.
I always have a strong respect for bands, who not only put so much work into making the music, but also have the energy and determination to market that music and really create a fan base.
What was it like when you began the recording process?
Recording can seem to be a daunting process, but we enjoy it. It’s always a fun creative endeavor for us, as we conceive and master our songs, before even entering the studio. We try to take multiple steps to make our work as polished as it can be. We perform our songs live thousands of times as well as record them ourselves and fine-tune each and every part. We love making music, but really the key for us is preparedness.
What inspired the Weigh Station albums?
Kerosene and broken down vans.
These vans really have it out for you guys.
Are there projects in the making, or is the band focusing more on touring and catching some of those festival line-ups?
We try to constantly create new material, which can be exciting. We want to push ourselves, so that we are continuously upping our game. We are endlessly touring, so we can always be making connections with our fans personally.
Christmas time is right around the corner. It’s a calm and peaceful time for some; it’s a crazed and hectic time for others. What kind of feelings do you guys have during this time of year?
Usually, we like to take some time off for the holidays. Our lifestyle is fairly hectic. it’s important to take some time to wind down and be with our friends and families.
Do you guys plan to have any special performance for the holiday, or will you take time off to spend with your families?
This year, it worked out so we’re able to spend time with our families, during the holidays, which is always awesome; because without the support of our families and parents, it would be extremely hard to do what we are doing, right now. So, we always feel blessed when we get to spend time with them and show them our appreciation, especially during the holidays. We do have an annual band Christmas party that always seems to get wild.
I’ve seen some artists come out with Christmas compilations of their own. Have you ever thought about a C2 and the Brothers Reed Christmas?
Yep. It is called “Keep Your Eggnog, All I Need is My Bourbon”
I want a copy!
What’s everyone’s favorite Christmas tune?
Cameron & James
“All I Want For Christmas Is A Pair of Legs” by Paul ThunderHawk
(Power and overall awesomeness of this song would shatter your very being.)
SoundOpen would like to thank the guys from C2 and the Brothers Reed for being our guest. We wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, a new van, and all the luck on your music and future as you grow and connect with more people around the world. If you’re interested in hearing recent albums by C2 and the Brothers Reed, or purchasing merchandise to support the band, you can visit them on their website: http://c2andthebrothersreed.com/ Connect with them on Facebook and Twitter. And to all who follow SoundOpen, we urge you get out this holiday, and connect with your neighbor and the people around you; that’s what it’s about: making connections. Music is our way to connect with people all over. After all, we have nothing if not each other. Happy Holidays Reader!