TT player of the month – Brion James

You are best known as a guitarist in Dan Reed Network, and one of the founding members. Which other projects are you involved in?

– I’m a composer of film and tv music including movie trailers and music for commercials. I’ve also written many songs that have been recorded by various artists including Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds, Brian McKnight, Justin Timberlake, Anastasia, Nu Flavor, Total, and many more. I currently have a film music licensing company called Naked Soul Music. You can hear some of my latest compositions at www.nakedsoulmusic.com

You're classically trained musician, cello? Is it something you have benefited from as a rock musician?

– I went to Cornish school of the arts in Seattle. There I learned music theory and composition. My theory training has been invaluable for writing and playing all genres of music. I use it constantly and it’s the cornerstone of my playing. 

How many different instruments do you play?

– Guitar is my primary instrument and I’m fairly proficient on drums, keyboards and cello.

You´re from Seattle. Hendrix hometown and also the home of the grunge scene in the 90´s. Any reflections on that?

– Yes, I’m from Seattle so of course Hendrix was a heavy influence in my youth. I even got to see him play live in Seattle once!

How would you describe your guitar style?

– My style of guitar playing features melody over speed and incorporates aspects from many different genres.

Favourite music/guitarists?

– I love all styles of music but right now my favorites are country and trailer music. My favorite guitarist at the moment is Ron “Bumble Foot” Thal, from Sons of Apollo. 

You have upgraded a couple of your Fender guitars with True Temperament-necks.

– I have two TT guitars. A strat that I love and cherish as one of my favorite guitars and a custom guitar with humbuckers, with Floyd Rose and a Sustainiac system that I use on most of the tours. I just love the TT necks and find them easy and fun to play.I’m grateful to Fredrik (Kriström) and Anders (Thidell) for all theri support and inspiration with the TT guitar necks! Thank you!

What is your gear setup with Dan Reed Network?

– I use a Kemper profiling amp thru a Marshall 4x12 cabinet with my TT guitar. affectionately named the ”Son of the Beast” because it was patterned after a custom guitar named the “Beast”. built by guitar maker Steve Spaulding in Oregon. The Beast was used in the early Dan Reed Network days for the recordings and tours. I was in fact turned on to the TT necks by Dan Reed and wanted to build a guitar to replace the Beast which was now 25 years old. With the help of Fredrik and Anders at TT and a friend in Portland, John Paine, the Son of the Beast was born. 

What many may not know is your environmental commitment and that you are a beekeeper, alongside the music. How does this interest come about?

– I’m an avid beekeeper and have been for over 10 years now. I just love caring for them and did so before the bee crisis began. I once had about 35 hives but have since given many away to local Hondurans so that they may have a way of supporting themselves. I also gave some away to local expats as a “host a hive” program I started in Roátan Honduras where I currently live. Ulf Zackrisson