BRASS SQUAD is literally a brass band based in Sofia, Bulgaria.
The band consists of 8 young men who have initially gathered for a little fun. The idea was generated, apparently, in the bathroom of the music school that they all went to. Bizarre or ''normal''? I don't know and maybe it doesn't matter...
That happened to be a great idea and later on a very entertaining one for those of us enjoying some unconventional live music involving wind instruments. You have all seen such bands abroad and maybe you follow them, too. Well I didn't know that Brass Squad existed before I met one of the fellow features of Story Tap @Ali at the bus stop on my way home. Turns out that Sofia is as small as London. One thing led to another and here we are with some short answers on some important question from the Brass boys alongside with some shots from two of their gigs in the lovely and retro @swinginghall.
Shout out for the manger of the venue the technical manager for being nice enough to accommodate the gigs of the Brass boys and my requests for the color lights.
Big thanks guys!
The main point here is that those young men are talented and pumped up to enjoy what they whilst doing it. But also they know well their instruments, they have positive attitude towards their gigs and opportunities, plus they'd like to develop what they do as a group.
Side note: most of them are playing for a good decade. Yeah, consider that as 10 years of professional experience and dedication in the field of music. Potentially the next great professionals playing wind instruments. Why I say this? Because the previous generation is starting to field slowly, but surely. It is the the way things are and it seems to me that those boys can really make a good U turn in the likings of the audience they interact with.
And come on Brass boys... record an original track! It is just compulsory for this to happen!
Enough of me typing words.
Below is the Q&A. You know how it goes. This time it is a mash up interview. Everyone has had the chance to answer a question so it is relatively fair and also an opportunity to hear the authentic thinking of each player.
Hope you find it interesting. Ciao!
You do it for fun. In short, how did the fun start and why? - Answered by Ivan Petkov
The fact that we deal with music is the FUN itself...
We are influenced by many brass bands around the world and also it is super invigorating to play and listen to that style.
It all started in 2020. Unfortunately, the Corona Virus, appeared, which surprised the whole world and us of course. Long story short, half of the band was gathered around, listened to some music and decided that the music we were listening at the time would sound much stronger and busier than BRAS instruments. At the beginning it was for fun, but over time we saw that in addition to fun there is also a good amount of serious responsibility. The line-up of musicians was different because we had a tube player. At the beginning we changed a lot of people before we shaped the current formation, which is known, but for those who don't know us, we are:
😎 Saxophone: Christian "PAPAYAMAN" Krastev, Stavros Spyrou
😎 Trumpet: Ivan "Bat Vanyo" Petkov, Ivaylo Blagoev, Valentin Atanasov
😎 Trombone: George "Jores" Angels
😎 Bass: Vladislav Mirchev
😎 Drums: Ivaylo Manev
We are many and we are strong!
Why do we do it?
Because it is cool, invigorating, interesting and there are not so many groups in Bulgaria that do just that style! We also want to be able to express ourselves in our own way - music or more precisely BRASS MUSIC.
Generally speaking, we are a band that is formed in a difficult time, but it did not stop us from playing, enjoying and entertaining people.
Do you have plans, longings or dreams for the development of the band? - Answered by Christian Krastev
Each group has dreams and plans. Unfortunately, we have the feeling that plans and dreams are quite difficult here! Because, it is not the usual thing that people are used to seeing and sometimes they look at us with a bit of prejudice…
Our dream is to show young people that there is other music that is super invigorating and very colorful and interesting.
Our plans are to make an album or an EP, to make an impromptu tour around Bulgaria so that more people can see us and many more opportunities can come to us like that.
You are young. And it gives you the strength to try and want things to happen to and for you. What do you want to have here and/or to develop in music education in Bulgaria? - Answered by Ivaylo Blagoev
We will be super happy if the children can learn other styles of music alongside with what is already offered at the schools and universities. Therefore, whenever we play we are happy to see small children, musicians who watch and enjoy what they see in us.
We want to introduce a subject in the music establishments in Bulgaria, in which everyone, with or without experience, can start learning.
We just want to be a band that in one way or another can open new doors for development of young people with talent!
Wind instruments are your instruments. What do they manage to take out of you creatively? - Answered by Ivan Petkov
Quite an interesting question. Everyone in the band, individually is very good at their instrument. However, there is one force, one energy that blows up when we come together. The force is massive and energetic. The main word for us is ENERGY. This word is everywhere with us and when we go out we get exactly this energy and emotion. With this energy we fill the audience with strong emotion.
So, yeah, ENERGY...
What do you play and is there a glimpse of doing some original music, soon? Answered by George "Jores" Angels
We try to play different styles from funk to Balkan, so we have maximum variety.
We are mostly betting on covers of famous songs and we dare to say that the songs performed by BRAS instruments sound BRUTAL!
In terms of the original music, well it is in something very special and unique itself… We can only say that something is coming from us... very soon!
Where do you play at the moment and where do you want to play in the future? - Answered by Ivailo Manev
Our first gig was at Bar Synthesis thanks to Vili Stoyanov and Brazz Vili DJ. After a while did one more gig there and also in a place called Singles, ArtEfact, Schroedinger, and Swingin' Hall. We also, played at the opening of B: EAT festival, participated in KvARTal Fest and so on.
In the future we want to play where good and quality music is valued. In general we want to play everywhere, but here we will say this again, expect more soon!
For now, we have two performances on the 20th in the Construction and March 24 in Swingin' Hall!
Why do you want to try make it here in Bulgaria. Actually let's twist the question, what would you try abroad if you can? What would be the difference besides the language? - Answered by Christian Krastev
Well, in our opinion, we are doing something different and quite interesting here in Bulgaria.
There are very few bands, and I am finger counting, that do something other than the already well know styles in home land. We want to go a little bit beyond the ordinary. For instance, we really want to do a tour in Europe and play at the streets ... The Brass style is so appropriate for the streets. There you feel in your freest state and you can smoothly express yourself.
In regards to the difference between Bulgaria and abroad, we go on stage and we show people how to have fun and relax. And somehow Bulgarians seem not to know how to do this.
What is your motivation? - Answered by Vladislav Mirchev
Every day is motivation for us! Each rehearsal we do motivates us to do more and more. After each gig we feel even more motivated for the next steps in own path. Also, we won’t lie that we have been on the verge of breaking up many times. But then we go back on track with a lot of positive energy that helps us when going out on stage and performing.
So, the motivation for us is every day, every hour, every minute, every second.
For now... More like carpe diem, BRASS BOYS!
Info for their gigs you can find over here on Facebook.