Interview: Jeff Bresee

Who are you and what do you do?

I am Jeff Bresee. I am primarily a civil engineer, but I suppose more of an entrepreneur as I own and operate not only a specialty civil engineering business that caters to the design of outdoor sports facilities, but I am part owner of other companies in manufacturing, marketing and escrow banking. I founded Weathered Pages.

Why do you do what you do?

I do what I do to make a difference, and I think the way that you make a difference and “change the world” is not so much to change what you do, but rather to change the reason you do what you are already doing. Why do I do what I do? I want people to have the opportunity and means to discover what they are capable of, and then be willing to fight to fulfill their dreams and ultimately reach their potential.

How do you personally plan to work on this project?

Primarily by funding it, but also to guide the vision and purpose of Weathered Pages. I want Brian, Michael, Eric, and others who become involved to have the means and opportunity to run it, grow it, etc., but I will be there in the day-to-day as well when I can, doing what I can to make it work.

What has it been like working on music projects for Weathered Pages?

So far, it has been a dream come true. I envisioned it years ago, sort of in a dream, and since then I have watched it slowly form and it seems to be right on track with what I saw.

How has the Weathered Pages project changed over time?

I think my vision has stayed the same. Everyone I have brought in, to date, thought that my idea for this was a bit too pie-in-the-sky, that artists would never work together the way I envisioned… But so far they have discovered on their own that artists working together to make their music better and launch their careers is a new take on music. It’s not every man for himself here… I think that is what makes Weathered Pages unique and not just another label. We aren’t fighting each other for the number one Billboard spot or the million dollar song. We want to help people tell their story and bring people together through the sharing and creation process.

How did you meet the other members of the Weathered Pages?

Brian and I met at a religious meeting. At the time, I had been converting many of my old poems into music lyrics and I had all these melodies popping into my head. Thus, I had a library of song concepts, but I was frustrated because I had no means of making them into actual music (I can’t find middle C on a piano). Brian mentioned he was also frustrated because he had this passion for creating music, but he no longer felt he had the time or opportunity to do so. He said that he could write the music for songs, but he could never get the lyrics. When I heard that, I knew I had to talk to him. We started making songs a few nights later and the rest is history.

I met Mike when Brian introduced me to him. I was pretty quick to judge his character, although I hardly knew him. I thought he seemed lost in a dream world, unable to see reality around him. He had lots of music talent, but at the time I found his pipe-dream outlook on life disconcerting. I did not expect to end up working with him, but Brian told me he felt Mike was an important figure in Weathered Pages progression, and had lots to offer if we could get him on track with us. I trusted Brian and took his word on it. I worked with Mike and he used Weathered Pages as an opportunity to show us that he was very talented and hard working. I have been quite impressed with him ever since. He has shown that he is a man who will do whatever it takes to make things happen.

I met Eric in the studio of Justin Furstenfeld. Eric is Justin’s partner in the studio and his personal sound engineer. I had the chance through Pledge to spend a day with Justin in what was supposed to be a creative writing collaboration. However, the night before I went to the studio, I fell asleep thinking about it and I had a dream of a song that was so beautiful. When I got to Justin’s home/studio and took the tour, he asked me, “what writing do you want to work on?” When I told him that I had this idea that came from a dream I had, a song, his eyes lit up and asked me to sing it. When I did, he picked up his phone and called Eric. Eric arrived and I had the mesmerizing experience of working with Justin to finish the lyrics and then watch as he and Eric made the song in studio. By the time I left, they handed me a copy of the song. I hope someday to release it via Weathered Pages, but right now Justin owns the rights to the song and we aren’t quite there yet.

At that time Brian had been looking for a professional studio to record our music with, and I told him that we needed to use Justin and Eric’s studio (Up Down Recordings) because of my experience with them. Brian agreed to give it try and it worked out great for all of us.

How did you come up with the idea to create the Weathered Pages?

The idea came to me at the end of a research study I did into the music industry (I was looking into an investment opportunity in the industry). After about a year of research, I concluded that the industry was a financial wasteland and that it was not about the music. It was about everything BUT the music… While musing over these things, I had the inspiration of Weathered Pages and how it needed to be a charitable organization to bridge the financial void that exists in the music world. I also felt that it had to be about the music. The story. The creation. Expressions beyond words.

What’s your background?

I am an artist by nature. I spent the first half of my life drawing in my spare time and doing other creative things. I was also a lost youth who nearly ruined my life to drugs and alcohol. I spent some time in jail at age 18 and while there, I felt like I finally found God. I listened, got in touch with myself and with Him, and thereafter turned my life around, never looking back. I made a choice to change. In an effort to abandon the drinking and drug scene, I went too far the other direction and abandoned art and creativity altogether. Instead I focused on education and career, which seemed logical to me at the time. It was a good thing, but I cut out my soul by letting go of the passion of creativity. This brought me financial success, but my heart nearly died.

I was in a truly dark place in my life when I found myself experiencing an “artistic awakening” by the music of Blue October. This experience led me to start writing, pouring out those feelings I’d locked up for so long. This was rather strange for me, though, because in the past all of my art was with drawing, never writing; but poems started pouring from my mind and I had to write. This went on for a few years and soon poem writing turned to song writing. After this, I met Brian as described earlier and went forward from there.

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

I think any artist who wants to participate would need to either have some good song ideas to bring in, or be an incredible vocalist or musician, or both. However, what is most important is that they can see the vision of Weathered Pages. They have to put the music first. It can’t be about themselves, or fame, or money, or anything else. They have to be willing to work with the rest of the artists here to produce, promote, and perform so that the music benefits from the collective talent and work of the artists working together.

What continuing role do you play in this project?

Well, I consider myself to be the figurehead who started the project. I’m not always actively involved in day to day decisions. I’m the guy who gets to guide the ship and show up during recording sessions and act all mysterious! Mainly, I will be the lead, along with Brian, on fund-raising and directing business affairs.

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

Fund-raising will be of paramount importance. We have to paint the Weathered Pages picture for everyone to see, and hear, and get those who love music,passion, and creativity to donate and/or contribute. We have lots of different plans to link Weathered Pages through other individuals and businesses who will provide mutually beneficial funding and networking for promotional reasons. We are so close to having this thing work, and I look forward to seeing and hearing the works the Weathered Pages helps to create.

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