Q&A with Ryan Holladay, Electronic Pop DJ
Bluebrain is an electronic-pop duo comprised of brothers & local Washingtonians Ryan & Hays Holladay. We recently caught up with Ryan. Check out the interview below!
Q: So you are a musician by night, what's your day job?
A: Lately we've been doing music in many different capacities with most of our time. We are in the middle of scoring a film, which is exciting. We've never done anything on this scale before. We're also working on a few remixes for bands like Ra Ra Riot as well as working on some events for places like the Corcoran. Later this month, I'm starting a new job as a curator at a new arts space that's opening up called the Artisphere.
Q: Where are you & your brother Hays originally from and what do you miss about it?
A: We actually grew up here. We both moved to New York when we were 18 and moved back a couple years ago, so we're surrounded by many of the old haunts of our childhood. But it's certainly changed a lot since we lived here so there's still plenty to miss. I have fond memories of the old Black Cat. It used to be just up the street in a different venue. I remember going to punk shows there when I was young.
Q: At what age did you two start playing music together and what were you playing at the time?
A: We started becoming really interested in music around the 5th grade. We started a band called Evan Sees Red with a childhood friend and have been playing together pretty much ever since. That said, I learned piano when I was very young but it wasn't untill we picked up guitars that writing our own music seemed like an exciting idea.
Q: Who do you consider important in music right now and why?
A: It's hard for me to say who is important but there's certainly a lot of people doing very interesting things. Last year was a great one for new music, I think. Whether or not those emerging artists will be considered important or even relevant in a year or so is yet to be determined. The main trend I see is a blurring of the lines between pop music and what people generally consider indie or underground. I think the artist Robyn might be the best example of this. But what do I know?
Q: Tell us about the white party your playing at the Philipps on Aug. 26th and it's relationship to SNOWMAGEDON?
A: They approached us about doing something in the space during their white party in relation to some of the artist they have showing right now. Everyone agreed that it should be tangentially related to the snow storm we all lived through but we didn't know how exactly. The idea sort of emerged to create a "collective narrative", piecing together people's experiences from that time and tying them together somehow. The phone line is open now and they're asking people to call and leave a message with their story. You should do leave one yourself!
Q: We understand Bluebrain may be collaborating with artist Spencer Finch sometime in the fall....any bones you can throw us?
A: Still figuring that one out. Just met with the museum staff today and will be talking with Spencer later in the month when he is in town installing his work. Not sure what we're going do there but we love his work and are excited to have the opportunity to do something like that. Ask me in a few weeks and I may have a better answer!
Q: What is your favorite Thing to do in DC?
A: There are many things I love about DC, but it's certainly hard to beat spending the Fourth of July in the district. I tend to get very patriotic, which leads to gushing about Lady Liberty, which leads to singing America songs, which leads to crying. So, in short, my favorite thing to do in DC is cry.