Interview: Brian Thalman

Who are you and what do you do?

My name is Brian Thalman, one half of The December Chronicles. I am a father, a CFO, guitarist, vocalist, and part time musician. I am also a co-founder of the Weathered pages.

Why do you do what you do?

I enjoy being a CFO because I have a talent for numbers and organization. I used to write music because I felt that it had a power to convey emotion and connect people together. My reasons for continuing with music now are more surrounding helping other artists to tell their story. Everybody has a story and I would like to be a part of that creation experience for them.

How do you personally plan to work on this project?

I plan to be involved in the music creation process and recording process, but I think mainly my role will be administrative – I keep things organized and make sure the finances are on point with our budget.

You have been directly involved in almost all the current music projects with the Weathered Pages. What has been your experience working with other Weathered Pages artists?

I have found it a challenging process, honestly. It seems like there is a lot of hard work involved in collaborating on an idea that I have, and other members may have a different idea of how it should sound, and we have to keep working on it until it turns out right… Then there is that moment at the end of the project when we all hear it, and it really is exactly what we wanted. It comes together, and it’s way, way better than it would have been if I had done it on my own. It’s an amazing experience.

How did you meet the other members of Weathered Pages?

Jeff and I ran into each other at a meeting. We were talking one day and he mentioned that he wrote stories, poetry, and lyrics, and I told him I wrote songs without melodies or lyrics, so we started writing songs together.

Mike and I met after he sort of stepped into my shoes and took over my life when I got married. He took over my lease and moved into the room of the apartment that I had been living in, and he took my spot in the band that I was playing in at the time. Later we became friends. Over the years we’ve been through so much together, it’s like we are brothers. 

Meeting Eric was interesting. I knew him first by reputation. Jeff would go record at Up Down studios with demos of songs and they would come back all butchered, so I assumed Eric was a terrible engineer…  When I met him for the first time I was definitely on the defensive. I found out that Jeff had actually gotten into the music files and messed with them, resulting in massive confusion. It’s funny looking back on it! After working with Eric, I quickly realized he was pretty much the best sound engineer of all time. So now he’s totally my favorite person with Weathered Pages!

How were you introduced to the Weathered Pages and what made you want to be a part of it?

Well, I already told you how I met Jeff. He described his dream of what he thought the Weathered Pages should be, and I saw the dream and wanted to be a part of it.

What’s your background?

I grew up in West Jordan and attended college in Utah. I moved to Texas in 2009. Music has always been a part of my life, but it was U2 that really changed the way I felt about wanting to create music. They made me want to learn the guitar and start creating. I was around 16 when I bought my first guitar; I still remember buying it from Musicians Friend… I still have it, it’s pretty beat up, I want to rebuild that guitar someday.

What’s integral to the work of an artist who wants to be be a part of this project?

I would say anyone who genuinely wants to create music and has a story to tell; people who are driven to tell their story. That’s who I think we want here.

How has the Weathered Pages project changed over time?

When Jeff and I first started doing this it was very basic. I had very limited sound engineering skills. It was really frustrating. I knew we had good song ideas, we just didn’t have the knowledge and resources (or even sometimes the talent) to realize the potential of those songs. I knew it would take more than just Jeff and I. We tried lots of different things. We worked with different engineers, different artists, different everything as we tried to give a form to this idea. We knew that Weathered Pages could be special, but we didn’t know how to get it there. It’s been a constant evolutionary process, and I think we’ve now gotten additional people involved who can make it happen the way we want it to. It’s still evolving and will continue to as we gain recognition. 

Describe a real-life situation that inspired you?

I remember back when Jeff and I started writing songs together. I would bring my guitar over to his house and he would have some lyrics and a melody and we would write, and it was the most amazing thing. It’s that moment of collaboration, that moment of transcendence, when the pieces become more than the sum of their parts. That’s what I love about Weathered Pages. That’s what I want it to be. That’s why I do this.

What role will fund-raising play for the Weathered Pages and it’s artists?

Fund-raising will be critical to the function of the Weathered Pages. Without donations we cannot move this project forward and support the artists. We would take donations from private donors, corporations, foundations, music stores who want to donate equipment. We can do tours, charity tournaments and competitions; we have lots of ideas going into the process of moving this project forward.

How will your artists go on tour and promote their talents?

If we can get enough funds through donations, we would plan to acquire a booking agent and get a group of our most talented artists together to go on tours. We would like to pair together some of the more experienced musicians with the newer members to be their mentors and promote the music and get additional funds to support the project and gain recognition for the artists.

What is your dream project?

To work with a group of people who just click together… Like 5 people who can jam together and the songs come together.

Name three artists you’d like to work with?

Anybody from U2, Keane, and Kubbi.

What inspires you?

I like to progress. If I can see where I am at, and where I want to go – I like to find how to get there. That inspires me.

Professionally, what’s your goal for the Weathered Pages?

I want to see and participate in this project becoming self sustaining so that we can continue to help artists and grow.

What experience do you have as a singer, songwriter, or lyricist?

I have written and produced well over a hundred songs. I have worked with Matt Kennedy at Audio Dallas and spent countless hours with Eric Holtz, primary sound engineer for Blue October.

What do you bring to the Weathered Pages as an artist?

I have experience producing, song writing, sound crafting, mixing, and being a mentor. I like to put people at ease and make them laugh.

What do you think that the Weathered Pages must have to succeed?

I think we have to be committed to the art, and to the cause, more than anything. We have to believe in what we are doing and work with other artists who feel the same. So if you’re out there, come find us.

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