When I was in my very early teens, I played with G.I. Joe action figures like most kids my age did. But, I took it to a very different level - think Sid from Toy Story. Instead of typical battles of good guys taking on bad guys in shoot outs, I'd pit them against each other in wrestling matches on... wait for it... my stove-top counter. Whenever my parents left me home alone, I'd put on the burners, and have them fight around it. Let's just say the loser - whether it was a "Joe" or Cobra - fell into the flame and suffered third-degree burns. Whenever my my mom or dad came home, and questioned that burning rubber smell traveling throughout the apartment, I deflected it with such precision I deserved some sort of award (or punishment). I share this dangerous story from my childhood, because today's A-Sides guest has made a career of sorts with sharing wacky personal items from his past - well, his character has anyway. For over nine years, Creed Bratton has been the unsung hero of NBC's The Office - playing a role loosely based on his own life but with a much more enigmatic weirdo vibe.
"The only difference between me and a homeless man is this job. I will do whatever it takes to survive. Like I did when I was a homeless man."
That's just one line the comedian actor uttered deadpan during the series run, and there are tons more where that came from. But, Bratton is much more than the creepy kookster he's played on the aforementioned iconic series. As referenced on the show with hilarity (the real back story obviously differs from his fictionalized TV character's retelling), long before Bratton became a comedy star, he was a founding member of 60's hitmakers The Grass Roots( "Let's Live for Today," "Midnight Confessions"). While his tenure in that band didn't last long, his love for music didn't stop there - as evidenced by the fact he and his band The Rubbermen just dropped Bratton's sixth album late last month. Fittingly namedTell Me About It, the concept album doubles as sort of an "audio-biography" as the press release appropriately states. The release is "told" in three acts, but I'll let Bratton tell you about it in the two-part interview that follows.
As you'll see and hear on A-Sides below, Bratton discussed the new album, his passion for music, and - of course- the upcoming series finale - at the Primary Wave Music Listening Room in New York City. Enjoy two beautifully crafted tunes below, and an informal chat now... perhaps with some mung beans?
"Heart of Darkness"
"All the Faces"
Interview Part One
Interview Part Two... click here!
Jon Chattman's "A-Sides Music" series usually features artists (established or not) from all genres performing a track, and discussing what it means to them. This informal series focuses on the artist making art in a low-threatening, extremely informal (sometimes humorous) way. No bells, no whistles -- just the music performed in a random, low-key setting followed by an unrehearsed chat. In an industry where everything often gets overblown and over manufactured, I'm hoping this is refreshing. Support A-Sides' Kickstarter campaign here!