French Horn Rebellion Parties to Protect the Planet for Earthjustice
Party to Protect brings together like-minded musicians, artists and performers promoting positive change. They’ve invited French Horn Rebellion to play, and we had a chance to interview one of the brother’s Robert (image below) before the event.
But first…we must tell you about the event!
This Tuesday, April 25 at 6:30 PM – 11:59 PM EST at Saint Vitus Bar on 1120 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11222, USA Latitude:40.736776040° 44′ 12.39” N Longitude:-73.955134073° 57′ 18.48” W (elevation 4.35 meters above sea ground according to mygeoposition.com), Party to Protect is bringing together a collaboration of talented artists and passionate listeners who care about protecting the planet 🌍🌍🌍.
100% of the proceeds go to Earthjustice.org.
Below are the acts performing.
// Stay tuned here for exciting announcements!
// $15 tickets on sale now
Now, for the French Horn Rebellion part!
Play through their tracks and read the interview below for the full French Horn experience. Who knows, maybe you’ll get through all 95 of their tracks 😉
Where does the name French Horn Rebellion come from and why did you pick it?
Professionally, I wanted to be a French horn player in an orchestra for most of my life… I soon realized that no matter how much you practice the horn, most people on the bus will think you play the tuba when they see your instrument case. This was discouraging. One summer, while I was still in college, I decided to intern for my older brother, David, at a music studio he was working at in New York City. I thought during the summer that live instrumentalists would occasionally be called in to record for the projects going on there. I was wrong, not once during that whole internship did a string, woodwind, or brass player come in a lay a performance down. Everything was done by one engineer on one computer, usually with samples, synthesizers, and guitars. That was discouraging as a person set on playing the French horn for a living.
We also ended up working with some inspiring musicians that summer (including people like MGMT, who we worked with on their “Time To Pretend EP”). These are the type of people that I had never met as a horn student in Chicago, and it was inspiring. So the idea started- maybe I could start writing my own music, and along with it make a modern orchestra for a modern world. As horn players, we’ve been relegated to playing music written in the 1800s, and never allowed to make anything new. Maybe we as horn players can rise up and reclaim creative ownership in this world. Maybe we can make horns sound like synthesizers, and sing on our own music. I told David about these ideas, and he was like “hell yeah, Bob.” And so the French Horn Rebellion began.
Did you two play any instruments when you were younger?
We both started on piano, and through the years picked various instruments up. Sure, I can play a bunch of stuff- Horn, trumpet, saxophone, trombone, and more … David plays piano and bassoon… but the moral of the story is that instruments are outdated. They speak a different, older (some would say more beautiful) language. We love the beauty, but also live in the modern world, and feel a desire to connect with our friends and family in way that is conversational and new. Basically, we had to learn to get over our embouchures and just rock out- even if it doesn’t sound great- and speak music’s modern language.
Is there an instrument that you currently wish you COULD play?
I wish I could play the instrument they call the “dolphin sound” in Major Lazer’s “Lean On”… if that is an instrument 😉 But seriously, my secret love is I wish I could play jazz like the greats. When I was in high school I felt a lot of passion towards jazz of the 60s and 70s. My mother didn’t want me to be a beatnik, so she refused to sign me up for jazz piano class. I ended up buying transcriptions of Ben Folds Five piano parts, and learned my jazz from there. So, needless to say, my piano playing style is a little messed up.
What was your favorite moment while at Festival Vaivén?
We did this song “Magic,” and had a social message behind it. It’s a fun dance song about falling in love, but it’s also a collaboration across borders. We live in scary times, and a time of potential conflicts. We want to change that course in what little way we can. So, for this song, we collaborated with a Mexican-based artists, and released the song only in Mexico. We then went down there and played Festival Vaivén in support of the song. It was an amazing moment seeing everybody in the audience singing along to this song, and understanding the message while we were there. It was a really special performance, and we are so grateful we got the opportunity.
Tell us the story of how you two got started creating music?
David and I have been making music since we were babies. Some of my earliest memories are taking piano lessons one after the other with our first-ever piano teacher, Mrs. Hoff. Apparently she called me ‘a little Mozart.’ I’m still trying to catch up with the hype.
What has been your favorite moment when creating your 2016 Album, Classically Trained?
There are a few moments I’m really proud of in that record. I think the message in ‘The Movement’ is one of my favorites, and uses French horns in a way that I think has not been done before. The song starts very simply, but by the end we made samples of samples of horn arrangements and threw them together into this triumphant chopped and screwed movement of brass players. A true French Horn Rebellion.
What do you like to do when you’re simply hanging out – aside from music?
David and I both played baseball in high school. One of our favorite pastimes in the city, (and anybody reading this article is completely invited) is to go to a monthly Mets game together. There is nothing, I mean NOTHING like drinking a beer and eating a hot dog, the smell of the grass, and enjoying the weather. Also, I’ve joined a semi-competitive softball league last year (and I’m trying to convince David to come!) and it’s become one of my favorite things to do in the city.
Do you participate in any extracurricular activities?
I contribute my time to the Big Brother Big Sister program of New York City. I got paired up with an at-risk youth in Brooklyn, and we meet twice a month to hang out and catch up about life. It’s been an unbelievably rewarding experience. I would recommend anybody to sign up for it. If you want to sign up, or learn more about it, follow this link – http://www.bbbs.org .
We’re also partaking in a concert this coming Tuesday at St Vitus in Brooklyn, NY to help raise money for EarthJustice. Earthjustice helps to protect the planet, like defending the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe against the DAPL. Or all these other initiatives including right here in New York (In a Big Win for Climate, New York Rejects Fracked Gas Pipeline).
As brothers, did you fight a lot when you were younger? Do you still fight a lot now?
I think we did used to fight, and we still fight about a lot of stuff. To make anything great, it takes a lot of differences of opinion. We’re always pushing each other in different ways to try and get better at what we do.
What are the key differences between the two of you that make you such a great collaborative team?
Well I’m glad you think we are a great collaborative team 🙂 We’re always trying to improve what we do, always trying to make that beat a little hotter, a little nastier, a little groovier. We definitely operate at a deep level of understanding, being brothers that is hard to describe or recreate with others. It’s something about growing up together in the same place with the same people.
Who has been a favorite acts to collab with?
I loved making music with Jody Watley. She is a QUEEN. Seriously.
Who are your musical influences?
So many musical influences. There are the people that got us started, but then there are also folks influencing us all the time with their creativity. Just last week I became aware of a guy named Louis Cole and was immediately inspired and influenced by his spirit and groove. I also became aware of this band called Soft Hair. SO GOOD!