Call and Response – Scott & Brendo

A few weeks back, thanks to a devinsupertramp video, we were exposed to the great music of “Scott & Brendo”. We got a taste of who they are with “Little Voices” , combining a upbeat sound with some rapping. It’s some feel-good music and definitely something to keep an eye out for as they keep making more songs. They only have 3 released so far, but they’re all damn good and have the makings of what will hopefully be a long string of fantastic music to come our way. We were lucky enough to nail an interview with them and we got it here. Now we might be able to figure out a bit more of who Scott Winn and Brenden Bytheway are!

So I’m sure plenty of people have been wondering this, but how in the heck did you manage to get into Devin Graham’s video (devinsupertramp)?
Scott: Well, long story short, I went to film school with Devin Graham. We became good friends and worked on a lot of film projects together. Devin knew that I also made music but didn’t know many details. Brenden and I decided to write the cat song for my Kitten Air video and it went viral pretty fast. A couple days after posting the video, Devin called me and asked if we’d be interested in writing some songs for him. We, of course, were totally game to do it.

Alright, so I noticed that you guys don’t have a little bio on your Facebook page, so can we get a little introduction from you guys?
You got it! Though we’re trying to maintain some mystery. But Scott & Brendo consists of Scott Winn and Brenden Bytheway. We both currently reside in Salt Lake City, Utah. We met at college about four years ago and we became fast friends because of our similar interests in film, music, comedy, and hair styles. Both of us loved to write and record music in our spare time and we thought it would be perfect to collaborate. One day I (Scott) was writing music for a hip hop comedy web series called Dr. Fubalous, starring Flavor Flav and Danny Trejo. I had written most of the music and lyrics already but I felt more could be done to the music to make it shine. So I asked Brenden if he had any ideas. Brenden had lots of ideas and ended up adding a lot of love and flavor to some of the songs. And that’s when we knew we were a pretty dynamic duo. A few months later I made the cat video. I was looking for music and there was a song Brenden had written a long time ago that I thought might fit. It was a pretty simple song but it had a ton of potential. We met up, beefed up the song, wrote some lyrics and voila, now we’re in a band making a new single weekly. It’s crazy how sudden it all happened.

Where and how did you guys meet and when did you decide on forming a band?
I guess I pretty much answered that question in the bio, haha.

You guys have been thrust into the spotlight just this month with two big Youtube videos that combine for over 1 million views. How does it feel to have such a large amount of people be able to listen to your music?
Well, it’s pretty unbelievable to say the least. We’ve talked a lot about it and how unreal of an experience it has been. We literally went from no one ever hearing our music, to hundreds of thousands of people hearing it over night. It’s also very exciting and we’re seeing some great opportunities come from it.

Following up, your short music video for “Kitten Air” has gotten a lot of exposure. In your honest opinion, do you think that the majority of your views come from people looking for cat videos?
Haha, perhaps. It’s pretty varied honestly. We got a lot of cat fanatics checking out the video in the beginning, but then it started getting shared and posted to music sites and comedy sites. A lot of our views came from Ray William Johnson and 9gag.

What was your inspiration behind the song “Kitten Air”? As well as “Little Voices”?
Brenden: I wrote the base piano idea when I was in Brazil a few years ago. The song was originally written to be on the upcoming album of my solo project, Zealousists. After messing around with the song when I got home, I realized the song didn’t really fit the mood of the album and I was a little sad to leave the track off the album. Scott heard the song and had wanted to do something with it for a long time, but we just never got around to it. When it came time to release the kitten video, we dug through our bank of music ideas to find something that would work and this song just seemed to fit in there.
Scott: That’s exactly what happened. The song worked well with the cat video but we knew it could be better. So we met and wrote some ridiculous rap lyrics and built up the song. I explained earlier that Devin contacted me a couple days after releasing the cat video. He asked if we’d be interested in writing a song for a unicycle video he was releasing in three days. It was a bit crazy but we decided to go for it. Brenden and I wanted to give the song a more serious tone. Devin’s videos are bit different from our cat video. I have also always loved the idea of mixing acoustic guitar with hip hop/pop elements, so it was really just another experiment. Two days later Little Voices was born.

Who is this Justin Williams that you guys have collaborated with on both tracks?
Scott: Justin Williams is a good friend of mine that I met in Salt Lake City a few years ago through a mutual friend. Justin competed on American Idol and made it all the way to Hollywood week on Season 9. He is also a cancer survivor and had his story featured on the show. Justin has been a singer/songwriter almost his whole life. After meeting Justin, I teamed up with him to play guitar in his band and help write music. We always wanted to do something bigger together and now we finally have the opportunity of having Justin featured on some of our songs. It’s been a blast. He records in Arizona, while we do everything else in Salt Lake.

What is your song-making process like? Who does what?
We really kind of jam ideas out. Sometimes we base it off of an old idea that never got finished, sometimes we get together and just go with what feels best. It really just depends on the mood of the video we’re scoring…eventually we’ll focus on writing music not meant to be featured in a video…but for now thats our process. We both also play every instrument. Besides co-writing the music, Brenden focuses more energy on producing/mixing the tracks, while Scott writes lyrics and performs the raps.

What are some of your musical influences? As a follow up, how do you take from these influences and make your own distinctive sound?
Scott: We both have lots and lots of different influences. Even the music we make on our own is so different from what we make together. It’s interesting to see what happens when you take both our influences and personal styles and combine them. For example, neither of us really listen to much hip hop or rap. But I’ve been a fan of writing comedy rap for a while now and thought to give it a try on our new sound. I personally am a huge Mat Kearney fan and I always wanted to try a more acoustic/pop/hip hop kind of blend. Adam Young from Owl City is also an enormous influence of mine…don’t hate. I won’t speak for Brenden because he could write an essay about all his influences.

Brenden: Yeah… I don’t really know where to start on this. I’ve been exploring music for a really long time. I got into left side electronic when I was about 16 and I’ve headed off the deep left-side path ever since. This project is fun for me to pull right influences from Scott but try and add my flavor of left to appeal to people like me. Some of my first electronic influences were Kieran Hebden, Orbital, William Orbit, Subtle, and Dan Snaith. These guys have helped me shape my own music (which if you’re curious: http://zealousists.bandcamp.com/album/my-cancer) and then I’ve taken what I’ve done on my own and tried to combine powers with Scott to create something new and unique while satisfying the needs for a large audience.

Why do you make music? What is it that drives you to create?
Brenden: For me, and I think Scott would say the same thing, that we do it to inspire people. I feel like music needs to be something that takes you somewhere, helps you feel something, motivates you to do something. With our music, you should feel different after you’ve listened to the music, not the same as before.

Scott: I completely agree. I also make music because it’s an outlet for me to relax and de-stress. I’m usually making films full time and it can be a stressful process. Music has always been my escape, and I know Brenden would say the same thing.

What is it that you want most out of your musical experiences? Is it the ability to get out of those 9-5 jobs, or is it something you do for the sake of a creative outlet, or what? Also, do you guys do anything else outside of music?
Brenden: I make music to inspire and uplift people. As an artist, I want people to experience my music, not just passively listen to it. That’s the main goal. If I can eventually make a career out of it, that would be my dream. I eventually want to get to the point where I can be a producer and scout for young, talented people who have the potential to be a recognized artist, but may not have the means to get to that point. I’m also going to school full time studying Public Relations, aside from doing music. I go to school all day and work on music all night, I don’t sleep.

Scott: Yeah, it’s totally a creative outlet for me, but I also couldn’t agree more with Brenden. I think that’s why we work well together. We’re freakin’ twins. I am a full time director/cinematographer and have always done music as a hobby in the little spare time I had. This is really the first time in my life it’s become something more than just a hobby.

What’s the next step for you guys? What should your fans expect coming from your way?
That’s a great question. We’re kind of writing so much music that it’s been a bit difficult to plan ahead. Fans can definitely expect lots more songs over the next couple months and possibly an album. If things go well we’d love to even tour. We’re in talks with a few different musicians and we may be doing some different collaborations. We’ll see. I dunno, the possibilities are endless right now!

Looking even further ahead, what is your ultimate goal with this band? Where do you see yourselves in five years?
We’d love to make this a full time gig. Even though it feels pretty full time right now, we’re both juggling a lot of other things. It would be a dream come true to be able to make a living doing this sorta thing. But what matters most is that we get heard and that we make people feel awesome. We think we’ve got a pretty unique sound and style and hopefully more and more people get to feel what our fans are feeling now.

 

Thanks so much to Scott & Brendo for taking part of this interview and letting us get more insight to who y’all are and the producers of some cool tracks. We shall be looking forward to whatever you release next and our eyes are on you now.

Hey check them out on their facebook and bandcamp. Support the music that you like and help make these guys take closer steps to making their dreams come true! All it takes is a little like and awareness of what’s going on with them. They’re one of those bands that respond to what their fans say to them, so give them a shot! Go give ’em some love and you’ll get some back!

FACEBOOK! and BANDCAMP!

 


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