Sweet as Cotton Candy was lucky enough to get an interview with Brandon Gibbs back in September.
For more information about Brandon Gibbs go to www.Bgibbsmusic.com
About Brandon Gibbs from press materials:
Brandon Gibbs is best known for being a cryptic, spiritual and radiant songwriter, as well as a national live performer. Brandon’s songwriting takes you on an incredible journey throughout each performance, often transcending genres of rock, blues, pop and country, while still remaining his signature sound in every play. The cocktail that is equal parts songwriting and performing compels his fans to continue to support his journey. His heavy measure of explosive guitar work, instilled in the 36-year-old artist since the age of 8, keeps his fan base nothing short of included! He’s also a public speaker and a major advocate for anti – bullying.
At the age of fourteen, Gibbs and his twin formed The Gibbs Brothers Band, performing together for the next 10 years while writing and recording. Their reputation for harmonies, instrumentation, and pure entertainment earned them more opportunities than most unsigned bands ever see. Some of their shows included The Doobie Brothers, Poison, Bret Michaels, REO Speedwagon, Foreigner, George Thorogood, the late Jeff Healey and many others.
When Gibbs and his twin parted ways musically in 2010, Brandon began traveling extensively as a solo artist. In 2012, he formed the band Cheap Thrill, which featured two members of multi-platinum band Cinderella. The band toured internationally and still performs today. Brandon, while on tour, would write and record during his downtime and his song ‘This Town’ was picked up by the John Force Racing Team, which was eventually used for ESPN’s NHRA division for three consecutive seasons.
In 2014, Gibbs joined forces with Rikki Rockett (Poison), Tracii Guns (L.A. Guns), and Eric Brittingham(Cinderella) to form Devil City Angels. Their first single ‘All My People’, which was previously written and recorded by Brandon and his twin brother, was used in the State Farm segment on the 2014 Monday Night Football Countdown. Devil City Angels was quickly signed by Century Media Records and released their self-titled record in September of 2015. (In 2020, DCA surprised their fans and released a video called ‘Testify’ which Joel Kosche (Collective Soul) co-wrote, produced and performed with Brandon, Rikki and Topher Nolan. In 2015, Gibbs was asked by Bobby Dahl, Rikki Rockett, and CC DeVille, members of iconic band Poison, to perform hits from the Poison catalogue. They were called The Special Guests.
In 2017, Gibbs created an incredible guitar driven show called “Planet Axe” featuring Ryan Roxie (Alice Cooper) and Joel Kosche (Collective Soul). This show was extremely well received by fans.
Gibbs and Joel Hoekstra (Whitesnake, Cher, TSO), from 2016 onwards, perform together in an acoustic show called “The Campfire Tour”, an intimate vibe with a BIG sound that fans love!
In April of 2019, Brandon signed his first deal as a solo artist with Golden Robot Records, releasing the single ‘Rain Whiskey’ fall of 2019, ‘Leave’ in 2020 and his third single ‘Lost Boys’ with the label early 2021.
Q and A with Brandon Gibbs with editor of Sweet as Cotton Candy, Karen Cotton:
Cotton: How would you describe your music on your solo album?
Gibbs: “Rock n’ roll probably defines me the best. Rock n’ roll and maybe even a slight bit of country to be honest with ya. Yeah, my affiliations with the projects I’ve done, call it glam bands or super groups or whatever, does kind of lead everyone to believe that if you weren’t familiar with my music that I would be a heavy metal guy, or perhaps my image, but it’s more rock and roll, a little blues undertone and country like the country story telling kind of thing, it’s kind of in its own category. I don’t know if that’s not a good thing or a bad thing. If it comes to me naturally in a song or a melody I always explore it. So far it’s straight up the rock n’ roll, rock and country avenue.”
Cotton: “You have a new single out how’s it doing?”
Gibbs: “It’s doing very well, especially in the United Kingdom. It’s been a minute since I’ve played over there, but it makes me want to increase my presence over there more. We had a tour that was tentatively booked there for ten days. I hope I get to go over there and jam my stuff for them.
“I got signed in 2019 just as Brandon and I’ve been signed as the Devil City Angels before and that was a big milestone to get one on my own. That was a weird time to get signed and release stuff, so we are ripping off a Bandaid and that’s what everyone has missed during this time. There’s a lot of new music coming out right now. It’s exciting and I am glad people are able to hear it and focus on the new stuff that’s coming out and not worry so much about the state of the union.”
Cotton: Speaking of the state of the Union did the pandemic affect you financially at all?
Gibbs: “You know this is what I tell everyone. I didn’t mind the break. I’ll be honest with you I’ve been doing this for 22 years now, I’m 36, I’ve been doing this since I was a kid. I didn’t mind the break. I just didn’t want it to last that long, so yeah, financially it was a total bummer. I am like a farmer in the realm of when things are going well for me in my career I live within my means and I try and save as much as I can, because we all have seasons in music, even without the pandemic we have seasons and people have short attention spans. So, I’m not one of those rock guys who is saying I’m broke because of the lack of shows. I’ve handled things probably smarter than some, knowing that this ride won’t last forever, or knowing there will be a dry season. It happens with every business. I know I’ve lived off of what I’ve made over the years, and I had a good time hanging out with my daughter.
We started a neighborhood car detailing business. She got to buy her own big girl guitar with the money she made that summer.”
Cotton: How old is your daughter?
Gibbs: “My daughter is seven is going on fifteen.”
Cotton: How do you know about car detailing?”
Gibbs: “In my early years, when I was playing bars and trying to get exposure, I was always on the road doing that but it didn’t pay to just do that. So, I worked in a car dealership detailing cars, and a friend of mine said they were looking for someone, and I had a passion for cars. Well, I still have a passion for cars. When we got shut down and everything got cancelled, my daughter said she’d like to have her own guitar and I said, ‘She is swimming in guitars here, pick one that you’d like and play it,’ and she said, ‘No, I want my own.”
“We put the tablets up and said on Facebook we’re detailing cars and the next thing I know we are turning people away because we had so many people wanting it and we didn’t have enough time. My little partner took care of the booking part and the money, and she is one hell of a window washer.
“Me and my daughter have a very special relationship and anything she wants, it’s ok, but lets just learn for a second here that money doesn’t grow on trees.”
Cotton: Do you teach your daughter guitar?
Gibbs: “She’s picking which one she wants to go to. She takes piano lessons from my mother, I have a drum set she likes playing, but she really excels at singing. Have you seen that movie ‘Field of Dreams’ with Kevin Costner?’ So, we were asked a little bit ago, to play at the ‘Field of Dreams’ event and she was going to sing with me, but a big storm came in and we weren’t able to.
“We were the headliner for that night, it’s a double edged sword. I’m completely honored living in Iowa to be called to do something that iconic in sports, to see my name on the posters and flyers, it was a popular thing in history. I was completely stoked, but then we had the sound check, and the storm came in. The police officers and security told us to take cover. After the storm they said they can’t get the staging built back up, so we had to call the show.
The fans were hanging on for the long haul. We also had a convoy that day of family who wanted to be part of the event and the band vehicle. And followed us and asked, ‘Why won’t Brandon play one song?’
We said, ‘We would love to but this whole thing’s rained out.’ This guy said, ‘Would you ever consider playing one song on my porch?’
“I looked at the guys and said I’m doing this. So, we got our acoustic guitars, and a cajon, it’s an acoustic thing, and we sat on a guy’s porch in the festival area. People came over and we played four songs for a bunch of beer drinking Iowans. They recorded it on their phones, and I felt like we turned a negative into a positive by being vulnerable and letting our guard down a bit. I went home with a smile because you know it meant something to them. I look at the pictures and I can’t believe we did that, but I didn’t want to go home tomorrow, and have everyone fly off and not play.
But, normally my management won’t let me do something like that. What if someone gets sick, hurt, or has an accident or something you know, but we said let it be.
“Anything can happen. I love mixed martial arts, but I read something with mixed martial arts and their fans. They’ll say put me in a half head lock and they’d say oh yeah I’d do that, but then there’s a lawsuit for wrenching a guy’s neck. It doesn’t always happen but it could.
“You could hit your head, or maybe have an underage drinker there that could be drinking and you could get in trouble.”
You can catch Brandon Gibbs this month on the road in the New York area.