An Interview with

Joey Brasler

Guitarist of Little Caesar

(who joined the band in 2009) that took place 20th March 2013.

Interviewed by Glenn Milligan

What influenced you all originally to become musicians and how did the band originally come to be?
British invasion, simple as that. I was a little kid, I loved music before that, but the Beatles and the others convinced me to be a player.

How would you say Little Caesar were different to many of the other bands at the time that were also trying to make it?
Caesar looked scuzzy, but had soul in their music, the special ingredient which none of the other bands had at the time.

What songs have you been most proud of over the years and what influenced them?
I wrote the music to Only A Memory Away, Holy Roller, and a few others. We just try to write sexy, rockin’ songs that are honest and fun to listen to. Ron injects the melodies and subject matter, which can get a bit spicy – just the way we like it!

How would you say the LA scene has changed over the years since the original formation of Little Caesar?
There is no LA scene – at least not the way it was. Sunset Blvd was the center of the Universe back then. Now, thanks to the internet, great music comes from everywhere.

What gets you guys revved up before a show?
The fact that we’re doing a show at all revs us up. The fact that fans come to see us revs us up. Rock N’ Roll revs us up. We’re pretty much revved up all the time!

I first saw you guys play at The Key Club in November, 2012 - how was that show for you guys and what stood out?
I loved that show. It was a hometown Sunset Blvd. show with lots of fans, friends and family. Plus, we finished American Dream just a few months before, and it always feels great to play new music live and get a reaction. Seemed like everybody dug the new stuff!

How were the UK shows for you last December and what were the highlights and for what reasons?
It was an honor to have been invited to play Hard Rock Hell, and we love playing in England whenever we can. The highlights of HRH: I think there were a bunch of people who didn’t know Little Caesar – and they became fans at that show.

What are your favourite parts of your show and why do they stand out to you?
I like it all – the tunes all represent different eras of the band. I particularly like 'Rum and Coke', ‘cause it’s a crazy rocker about drinkin’ and trouble, both of which I try to avoid these days.

What do you both like and dislike about touring and why?
Touring rules! You get to see old and new friends. Nothing bad about it except we don’t get to do enough of it and we miss our families when they can’t come along.

What were the standout points of recording the album 'American Dream' and why?
We wrote and recorded it very quickly, so it represents who we truly are with not a lot of slick overdubbing. It’s just us.

How long did it take to record the album, where was it recorded and why was Bruce Witkin chosen for the job?
It took just a few weeks from start to finish. It was recorded at Bruce Witkin’s home studio, Unison Sound. Bruce was chosen because of his amazing musical sensibilities, his production capabilities, the fact that his company is a full-service record and promo team (and we love all of them), and because Bruce agreed to do the record for a price we could afford. If that’s not a great deal, I don’t know what is!

So was it total coincidence that you have a song on the album called 'Hard Rock Hell' and then ended up playing the song in the UK at that exact festival - how did that go over on the day?
We were supposed to play at Hard Rock Hell in 2011, but our bass player Fidel got the worst flu I’ve ever seen – he couldn’t even stand up. He tried to go, but they wouldn’t let him on the plane. We were bummed to miss it, and we felt bad because some fans had travelled far and at great expense to see us play that show. So the very next day, while Del was still sick in bed, Loren, Tom and I got together and started to write that tune, which would become the first song written for the American Dream record. When Ron got the track, the lyrics that came to him were the autobiographical story of Little Caesar.

Hard Rock Hell,” in the case of Little Caesar, means that the band never compromised who they were and never succumbed to record company pressure to write music and look like other bands of its time – and that may have cost the band some success and record sales. And that’s the Hard Rock Hell of it – do I sell out or will I be true to who I am? And what are the costs of that decision?

I think the fans at HRH knew the song, because many were shouting the chorus at us – and it don’t get any better than that!

What songs on the album are you most proud of writing and why and what influenced them?
I’m fond of Only a Memory Away. As the band was leaving our rehearsal studio one night, I said to Ron, “you know what’s missing from this record? – a Gospel tune.” Ron, who is a sucker for any and all soul-type music said: “Whata ya got?” And I started playing the chords to that song. He later wrote those great lyrics, and I have friends who play that song when they’ve lost someone, and call me up and thank me for the song – they say it helped them get through their sadness.

Who is their 'Own Worst Enemy' and what and who influenced 'Drama Queen'?
Own Worst Enemy: Let Ron Speak. Drama Queen: Every human being who thinks they’re the center of the universe, I suppose.

What made you decide to put the mono sound and the crackles on 'Dirty Water' and what influenced the song?
Drinkin’ and trouble.

What would you say are the main ingredients to the longevity of a band?
1. Remember that you are a band of brothers (and sisters), and treat each other as though you value each other above all. 2. Communicate clearly and learn to accept that sometimes there are a couple versions of the truth. 3. The fact that you have fans is the supreme gift for any band. They are who you serve.

If you could feature any particular artist on a forthcoming song or during a concert who would you want it to be and why?
Jimmy Page – because he’s the best guitarist alive!

What do you enjoy doing when away from music?
Family and guitars!

What would you like to say to fans who have read the Interview?
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Thanks for the great words Joey!