SideWalk Ghosts / Interview 62: “Champion Of The People”

“Persevere, don’t accept anything less than what you want.” Words right out of the mouth of musician Brian, the man I meet this evening at a prominent Los Angeles rehearsal stage. This guy is way chill and has much to say about life, fellow-man and society.

What hits me like a ton of bricks about Brian, “He is all about balanced living.” A message he shares with me throughout our interview. Which, by the way, happens fairly quickly as I hang with him during his working shift at said rehearsal facility. We take our first photos in under 3 minutes as he checks the rehearsal room schedules while we stand at the front counter. We’re kind of working in tandem. He taking short looks away from his task, and I grabbing what I can in doing my best to not interrupt his work responsibilities.

First photos completed, I open up a little to him, “For the last week I have had a feeling that I need to visit this studio. So tonight, I’ve listened to it and that’s why I’m here. I have an intuition that is telling me, you have things to say that are in sync with the message my other 365 people have been sharing thus far.” Time for talk.

I start our interview by asking Brian about his tats. “They are a tribute to Johnny Cash, he inspires me. I can relate to the man in black.” He tells me of how he respected Cash’s life and the obstacles the man overcame. For me black is the color of hope.”

“A lot of people look at black as a negative, but I look at it as a beginning. You have to appreciate that no matter what is happening, good or bad, things will always get better. To me, black is a starting point.”

Brian is tremendously optimistic. A real contrast against having black as his banner color. With an extremely positive outlook to some pretty tough circumstances, he gives me a brief history of his challenges and wishes for the world. “Two years ago I lost my job, my band and my place of living, all at the same time. I reacted, asking myself, “What the hell do I do now!” It hit him hard, but only for a minute.

“But as I calmed, there was really only one thing I could do: Keep Truckin!

Brian is incredibly interesting to talk with, his tone is calm and comfortingly dark (I know, comfortingly dark? how can that be? it just is) and his messages are meaningful and sociologically Evangelic. ”

“Too many people turn a blind eye to the negative. There is a lot of messed up stuff in the world. People can do more that just watch the news or be fans of organizations helping others. They can get up and do something about it. I’m not saying they have to give a ton of money. I certainly can’t. But they need to at least realize, not everyone has the opportunity or courage to share a voice. So don’t choose to be silent, make your voice heard.”

Brian is not a radical, he is just concerned. Concerned for the future of society and wanting to his part in making the world a better place for future generations. I know he his honest and passionate in his plea, when he tells me of where he wants to be in ten years. He does not give me one clear answer, but, “Happy and with a family” is basically his response. It is easy for me to put two and two together by the context of our interview. And I’m fairly confident my assessment is accurate: Happy and with a family,” that’s it.

Brian is not motivated by a quest for musical fame, or riches, or popularity. “In my music, if I can get anyone to escape from a daily grind for a minute, I’ve done my job.” Words I’ve rarely heard from most of the young aspiring musicians I’ve met.

“What’s important to me are my personal freedoms and I’ll tell anyone this, Don’t accept anyone influencing what you can say, how you should feel, and most definitely what you want.”

Radical words, maybe for some. But Brian is no radical, just a creative guy, wanting to use his talents for good, and working two jobs to keep his freedoms.

“Persevere, don’t accept anything less than what you want.” A statement about wealth, power, influence and popularity? I think not. What it is, is this: A one line anthem suggesting a life perspective, “Be who you are, follow the path that brings you joy and be strong enough to figure out how support yourself in going for it.”

My takeaway, “Share what you have, work hard and inspire others to do the same.”

He quotes, “At the end of the day, the only one you let down is yourself.”

Brian, Keep Truckin!

One comment

  1. Pingback: Brian Karpf Featured in Filmmaker’s Blog |

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