Wednesday, August 1, 2012

David Bryan on being a rock 'n' roll theatre composer

Arguably the forgotten man in Bon Jovi (out of the four "official" members anyway), David Bryan has forged another career in musical theatre, which he spoke to the LA Times' music blog about. Here's a snippet:
Musicals take years to get to the stage. Was that frustrating, especially for someone coming from the rock world?

It took us eight years to get to Broadway, and [that span of time is] two rock 'n' roll careers (laughs). It's such a long, painful road. Every time you put up the production you learn from it. You make it better.

You're currently working on another musical?

Our next one, about the '60s and the Brill Building songwriters, is called "Chasing the Song." We've started that process which is, once again, a long one. Hopefully, it's a little shorter because I have three Tonys on my mantelpiece.

Read the full interview here.

He also contributed a feature to Broadway Buzz:
Before Memphis, I had never considered working on a musical. But when Joe DiPietro sent me the script, I heard the entire score in my head. I love the Memphis sound. When I was 16-and-a-half, with my driver’s permit, I was playing New Jersey clubs in a 10-piece band; we had a horn section and would play great, great songs like “Hold On! I’m Comin’” and “Knock on Wood” and “Midnight Hour.” I read Joe’s script and thought, “This is not just entertainment, it’s entertainment that matters.” It had such a strong, important message, I knew I had to be a part of it.

I don’t find writing for the theater that different from writing a rock song. A song is always a character’s journey; it’s just in a different format when it’s played on the radio, with a chorus that has a repeating lyric and everything leads back to that. With Memphis, I knew right away with that we could tell this story in song in a way that wouldn’t be boring.
Read the full article here.

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