Interview with Musician Brad Senne

photo courtesy Brad Senne

Brad Senne‘s dreamy acoustic track “Drift Gently” is featured in the trailer to our film A FINE LINE.

Another great licensing find from Magnatune, Minneapolis-based Senne has been involved in several projects including Beight and Walker Fields. I also licensed Beight’s track “Cecilia” for a new prAna video, “Holding On

Weighted Wings by Brad Senne

I caught up with Senne during some downtime between touring and SXSW:

Hows the touring going?
I’m back from tour now and it was great!  I love getting outta town and seeing new places. Next stop is SXSW. I’ve never been to Austin and I can’t wait.
Is that where you are focusing your energies on, live shows, venues?
I continue to play out as much as I can and yes I am focusing on it. I love performing live. Right now I’m focusing on touring out of state..
Tell me a little about yourself, how you got started in music
I originally played in punk bands and slowly evolved into playing acoustic music. It all feels pretty much the same to me. It’s just a creative outlet.
How would you describe your music?
Right now I’m playing a couple styles of music. Mostly quiet indie folk songs, acoustic folk blues and electric folk blues with a drummer. It’s nice to go back and forth between different styles to keep a fresh perspective.
Musical inspirations?
Anything that presents an honest feeling. Not really sure how you can articulate that but it’s more a feeling than words.
From Brad Senne to Walker Fields – how did this evolve?
By exploring different kinds of music styles, being open to different sounds and trying to push my self artistically. I like to write a lot so it keeps things interesting.
What is your approach to getting music licensed for film, commercials, etc.? How do outlets like Magnatune fit into this?
By researching and finding places that treat artist fairly and help me get exposure. Magnatune has been great to me. I mean, I did meet you through there : )  It’s also exposed me to people from all over the world.

Are you focused on this or more looking at record/track sales as sustenance? 
I try to keep all financial channels open. I have to.
Are you doing other work besides playing music?
I do odd jobs to get me by. I’ve pretty much done everything. Music is getting real close to being my full time gig.
You recently posted a good article on your FB page about musicians holding out for higher-paying gigs, insisting that the venue bring in the audience rather than the musicians, etc. This is pretty much the same as the exhortations in the photography business: be professional, hold out for good rates, etc. Tell me more about where you think the indie music industry is with respect to this right now. Where are you in this mix?
Well….all this seems to be changing at a rapid pace. I go back and forth on it quit frequently. I understand the venues position because I know the ups and downs of trying to keep a small business afloat. I just get frustrated at times when there seems to be no dialog between artists and venues. Its like we should be on our knees begging to play.  The economy has a lot to do with it and I understand that but it should be a team effort. In the end it all has to do with writing good songs and being persistent. If you love something enough you’ll fight for it.  But my motto for 2012 is try easier,  not harder and that’s what I plan to do.
Try easier. I like that. Explain.
By try easier not harder I mean try and find the right avenues for me to do what I want in a non stressful way.  Try not to get bent out a shape over anything. Most of the time I feel like humans over analyze life instead of just living it. I’m working on that mindset. If something makes me feel uncomfortable than I won’t do it.  I run into that a lot in the ‘music industry’. Musicians doing stuff because someone else tells them that’s way it has to be done.  Find and make your own path. It might take longer but you’ll  feel better about yourself.
Ever been climbing?
I’ve tried free climbing once and I was terrible at it. I don’t really do that well with heights. I used to skateboard a lot but now I just like biking around the city. I do enjoy being active and outdoors.

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