Brian David Collins: Going Solo
I have been asked about my choice to go solo by respected professionals in the music industry I have worked closely with. My choice to go solo results from years of mild discontent with the production rate of The Seers mixed with a new found depth of self-discovery.
Every song starts out as a clean slate with endless possibility. When given this much freedom it is easy to misrepresent even your own creative material by not giving the song what it really needs. Co-writing can either help this process or lead it more astray. In my time working with The Seers I have seen a mixture of both.
For the last 18 years I have worked very closely with my good friend and lifelong musical partner Sean Waters, the other founding member of our song writing duo, The Seers. From 2009 to present The Seers has been my only creative outlet as a recording artist. In that time Sean has become quite the accomplished producer and recording artist with a well-developed ear for song format. In later Seers projects most of my song ideas were transformed by Sean’s creative vision by the time the final versions had been recorded. The making of these albums was rewarding, fun and educational for both of us. Yet with work demands combined with our growing interests for our personal domestic lives, The Seers have been able to release about 8 songs per year on average. After each release I would find myself with a handful of completed songs without a home.
Ever since I was 5 years old I have written full musical arrangements in my head. At age 37 I felt that it was high time I produced and arranged an album from the bottom to the top. In November of 2017 I conducted my first recording session with Paul Andrews at his home studio, Bridge Studios. Throughout the year preceding this session I had crafted and practiced a group of songs I had written for Dana, the love of my life. That November night I sat at Paul’s beautiful grand piano while Tom and Sean played cajon and bass live in the same room. That session began the recording process of my first solo EP, More Than Shadows.
Originally, More Than Shadows was intended to be a Seers release. However, as we continued to record the album, I noticed that I did not want to compromise my creative vision for the project. When the work was completed I stepped back and noticed that I had made every decision concerning the production of the record single-handedly with two small exceptions. I must credit Sean for his input concerning cello arrangement on Like The Movies, and Paul’s idea to include Hammond B-3 on Like The Movies. Even so, the record didn’t feel like a Seers record, it felt like my record, a work crafted from the heart that took years of life experience to create. I felt empowered and excited. I also felt like I had barely gotten my feet wet. I knew that I wanted to create a long-term recording relationship with Paul Andrews and keep calling the creative shots. It was at that point that I knew in my heart that a new creative vision had been born and that I needed to go solo!