I am so excited to bring you the first interview for Fanbase Music Magazine in this new journey and the existence of this publication.

We start off with an awesome musician from Long Island USA of whom I am not only a huge fan, but who I have also become quite good friends with. I am speaking about none other than the awesome, talented Brian Kroll. You are in for a treat as Brian is the real deal who makes great music and who is also an excellent songwriter.

Hailing from Long Island, Brian Kroll is a Producer/Songwriter/Musician.

Brian was born in Kew Gardens, Queens, New York (The next town from Forest Hills where the Ramones are from).

He was raised in Queens, Brooklyn and Long Island, New York and periodically over a year in California.

Brought up among turntables, tape decks, music magazines, concerts and psychoanalysts, Brian’s destiny was always going to be in Recording Studios.

“My songs are all from my mind and the turntable to the guitar. Through university, the psychoanalyst’s office, my notebooks and idea tapes to the recording studio’. -Brian Kroll




1. Welcome to Fanbase Music Magazine, let’s start from the beginning, where are you from and what is it you do? 

Thanks for the Welcome! Appreciated!

I am originally from Queens and Brooklyn, New York. Since then, I am from Long Island, New York (with a year spread over four visits to California).

I am a human being who, among other things, likes to write songs and play guitar. I like to think of it as ‘doing from the point of ‘Being’ rather than just ‘Doing’. Doing sounds/feels too behavioral to me…less emotional, heart trip….

2. What made you want to be a musician?

It just called to me. I really don’t think of myself as a musician or a songwriter. Self-labelling is not helpful for me. I’m not sure exactly what made me want to play an instrument. All I really did when I was young was listen to records, the radio, watch T.V. and observe, study people and life around me. There was a piano around when I was growing up. 

I would say that I was inspired and drawn in by music from the time I was born. 

My Grandpa Kroll played the car radio for me from the time that I was old enough to sit in the children’s/baby/toddler car seat. He played ‘music that the kids listened to’  from the time I was born, because he wanted me to hear what was on the radio. 

My dad gave me a few hundred albums of many styles to listen to before I was old enough to read. Even though my father was a corporate accountant, he’s the one that gave me a record player when I was three. He had a love of music, electronics and was into vinyl records-sometimes playing music while he worked. That love of music and electronics was given to me. When I was three to five years old, my dad made me a tape of my favorite tunes. Near the end of the tape, he said  ‘go get mommy to turn the tape over I love you and I’ll be home later to see you. Don’t forget to get mommy to turn the tape over!’ Before I was five, he had given me my first Beatles record.

My mom used to play piano and sing. She’d take me to the music store Sam Ash in Brooklyn when she’d buy sheet music.  All of the musical instruments fascinated me.  

There was always that old Gibson acoustic guitar in its original case next to the TV I used to stare at it growing up ‘One day, when I grow up I’ll be big enough to open that case’! 

One year I went to a sleep-away camp that my Uncle and Aunt owned. I remember that during the after-dinner free hour, all the other kids were outside. I would be in the bunk lying on my bed reading a Hofner guitar catalog, just daydreaming’one day I’m going to grow up, learn how to play guitar, form a band and buy all of the guitars in the catalog’ (that hasn’t happened)

3. Do you come from a musical background?

 Not in any grand sense. My mother was a school teacher before I was born and as I’ve said, my father was a CPA (Corporate Accountant).  My dad played vinyl records, and also used a reel to reel tape recorder (analog). My mom played piano. But, so did thousands of other people LOL.  There was always music playing in the background, well quite often. I was exposed to music and a lot of other things, but it was to the music that I gravitated. 

My Grandfather was a toy salesman, but I always wanted vinyl records from the time that I was still very young. 

4. What instruments do you play?


5. Can you tell me what your writing process is like?

I don’t have a formal process. I noodle a lot and I am always trying to ‘go with the flow’, free associate and experiment with different guitar riffs, parts.

I’m quite often writing down ideas in notebooks, on napkins, paper plates, sending them in emails to myself. Recording possible song ideas on phone recorders, digital recorders. I used to record a lot on cassettes and reel-to-reel recorders even if they weren’t ‘in style’. Personally, I like to be able to hold, touch and find physical things such as non-digital media. Hard drives break, tapes were right there. I also made CD compilations of song ideas to bring to the studio along with sending in-sound files.

6. How would you describe your sound and what genre would you classify your music?

I prefer that listeners describe my sound, and the perceived experience by them is more important than what I think. It’s always been an act of courage and faith for me to let a song grow itself and into itself to become what it’s going to be naturally. This includes the input of everyone that I work with, musician right down to the producers/engineers in the studio.  I think that it’s rock music but that, my friend is quite a wide category!

7. You also work under the name or have a side project called ‘My Son The Bum’. Can you tell us what that’s about and how it came about?

My Son The Bum was part of an album titled that looked like a band name. It was originally a Brian Kroll album. So, I changed the artist name to My Son The Bum. I started as Brian Kroll.  It organically grew into My Son The Bum. Sometimes they’re interchangeable.
There’s a very wide variety of influences from heavy. serious and then quirky. It’s been a challenge to niche it. On the name My Son The Bum, I’ve gotten spontaneous responses from ‘best band name ever’ from a major UK University Radio Station DJ to a major FM station that told my radio plugger ‘I won’t even listen to a song from a band with a name like that’
I’ve tried to use my name again, or Kroll but interviewers do research, and My Son The Bum comes up so, the name is like a boomerang. Every time I throw it out the window, it comes back through another window. Even if the window is closed LOL. So, now I just keep the window open. Plus many stations around the World have played My Son The Bum, Brian Kroll & My Son The Bum, Kroll, Brian Kroll. Whatever works in the moment. Some, knowing the history of my music would say ‘It’s a ‘Bum’ Thing’!!

My Son The Bum-Follow me, Like me


8. Where do you draw your inspiration from?

Whatever gives me the feeling, thoughts, ideas and what moves me emotionally, mentally, psychologically. Whatever moves me.

9. What are some of the brands and equipment you like to use?

I use my engineer’s guitar in the studio along with my own.

I prefer Gibson, Fender, Mosrite, Gretsch, Rickenbacker, Danelectro guitars and others…the classic models. For amps, I prefer Fender, Marshall, Sound City, Mesa Boogie along with others and whatever amp sounds best for each song.  

At home, and in the studio, I’ve used a hybrid 2OO1 Fender American Standard Stratocaster with three Mosrite Pickups wound for a hotter sound by former Mosrite Luthier Ed Elliott….My home amp is an Epiphone Valve Jr and a Vintage Electro Harmonix, NYC Mike Matthews Freedom Amp…Using a Marshall 100 Plexi or a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier at home can get me evicted from living in an apartment

10. What do you enjoy most about being a musician? What do you hate most?  

I don’t think about it much. Hate is a very strong word…and then good songs can come from it too. I like to think of being on a search for the next songs to write. This is who I am and this is what I do. Either you like it or you don’t. I do what I do because I am who I am. It gives my life meaning, purpose, direction and it always keeps me busy, learning and growing. The rest is none of my business. I feel like music and writing has chosen me. It would have seemed easier and more predictable to go to graduate school and have a more traditional career. I’m in music because I am like this. I am not like this because I’m in music.

11. What’s the biggest problem you’ve had to overcome so far?’ 

I prefer calling it a challenge. Having said that, I’d say searching for continued courage to feel what I need to feel, write what I need to write, trusting the process; let the writing and recording unfold and grow; trusting other people’s input and whatever’s best for the song. I’m a firm believer in ‘be careful what you wish for’.  If I wish for ultimate success and miss the journey, the meaning, the soul searching, the deep personal relationships and interconnectedness of people and life I might long for the day it all seemed so simple. The first album that I recorded was magical, in a way I’d never done one before. So, that being said, the challenge is to stay open, flowing, risk taking, keeping moments of the magic of watching/hearing a song come out of nothing and get completed.

 12. If you could change anything about the industry, what would it be?

I think that things are what they are for a reason. Many times, everything is a mixed blessing. There’s plenty of room for searching out and plenty of resources  for innovative, forward-thinking people to find a way to reach people. My good friend Danny Vooris (R.I.P.) used to say ‘the people that are in it because they have to be are the ones that will persevere’.

13. Who are some of the musicians you have worked with?

I’m not into name dropping. I’ve always gone for what was/is best for the songs.

Many of the best players/producers/engineers in the world are hired guns. They are the unsung heroes/heroines and make or break many bands/projects/recordings. 

The following is purely for information purposes: 

        One of the drummers on my recordings is John O.Reilly who recorded and toured with Ritchie Blackmore (the guitarist/writer from Deep Purple/Rainbow/Blackmore’s Night). 

        Bob Stander (producer/ recording engineer/guitar/bass) works with Adam Minkoff (Dweezil Zappa’s bassist/singer who also co-writes and tours with Doyle Bramhall (Eric Clapton’s second guitarist) as well as Ricky Byrd (original guitarist for Joan Jett and the Blackhearts; recorded, toured with Roger Daltrey of the Who). Shawn Murray is also on drums. He was Willy DeVille/Mink Deville’s touring drummer. 

        Mike Wuerth on vocals is a NYC Music Scene Producer/Engineer who has recorded many independent artists, some in more highfalutin’ places 🙂 

14. Are you planning on collaborating with other artists, if so who would be your dream musician to work with?

I don’t think much about that. Everything with me seems to occur organically. As I’ve said before, it’s all about what’s best for each song. Names and egos have no place in my music. 



15. Let’s talk about your two tracks “Between a Fog and a Fall” and “I exist”, both different sounds but sum up your music ability nicely.  Can you tell us the story behind each track? (both tracks are playlisted on SME Fusion Radio among others)

The original beginnings of ‘Between a Fog and a Fall’ started when I moved back to New York and stayed with friends after a trip to California. I was alone, broke and guitar-less. Kerri MacQueen, (one of my friends) had a guitar where I was staying. I picked it up and wished that I was able to figure out a Jimmy Page/Led Zeppelin open tuning.   I decided to noodle around by ear to see what I could come up with and that open guitar tuning is what you hear on Fog. One of my friends had opened a recording studio and invited me to record some ideas. That’s when the ‘Between a Fog and a Fall’ recording demos started.

 I kept noodling with the tune and listening in vast quantities to Led Zeppelin, Early Pink Floyd BBC Live and Psychedelic Beatles/ Doors bootlegs, studio session recordings plus I was listening to a lot of early King Crimson. My hope was to find a vibe that encompassed a little bit of everyone that I loved, but in my own way. Lyrically, I was into the Existential Philosophers such as Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Martin Heidegger, Karl Jaspers. I also had been through many, many hours of psychoanalysis. I was a Psychology major in college. The lyrics, I feel, are deeply personal although I try to write in a more universal way. I feel that if one goes deep within themselves, they can touch on the universal. There were many pages of song ideas to sift through and feel out the best of them. Some song lyrics come all at once. Between a Fog And a Fall took the longest to be born of any song that I’ve written.

‘I Exist’ :  I had the music written for a different tune that I wrote just for fun.

 I loved the music, which was inspired by  listening to the Stray Cats first two albums and Led Zeppelin bootlegs, there might have been some Ventures (the famous surf rock instrumental band) albums that I was listening to. I wanted a sort of minor chordish rockabilly, Jimmy Page, Brian Setzer, Ventures influence.

 I am thinking back to that time of writing. My car had a broken radio, so I’d listen to what was in my head, looking to see what would come up. I took the music and used it for ‘I Exist’. Lyrically, I wanted a basic, life-affirming existential message.

16. If the good people want to get in touch, and hear/see more from your music, where should they go?


My Son The Bum Twitter 

My Son The Bum Facebook

Brian Kroll Twitter

Brian Kroll Facebook 

Brian Kroll Bandcamp

Brian Kroll Soundcloud

Thank you for doing this interview, is there anyone you would like to thank or anything you would like to add?

These Songs Are Dedicated To You, The Listener.

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