[Interview] Brineaboy Gets 'Nasty' for the First Time in Nashville
Sparked by the recent travel ban implemented by President Donald Trump, women and men came together at The Basement East last Tuesday for the sold out Nasty Women Nashville event. When I first walked in there was a white wall adorned with everything from bedazzled condoms to a Sweet Potato Pie recipe. As I walked through the crowd, I overheard people conversing about Donald Trump.
When the concert portion of the event started I wasn’t sure what to expect. The lineup was bursting with local talent from across the board; each musician had their own connections to the cause. A friend pulled us into the green room, which was eighty degrees and full of chaos. Bands were congratulating each other on performances and just chilling. I quickly made my way back out to catch Brineaboy.
Amy Wright and Alex Hill were debuting their first performance together, ever. The dark stage was masked in a blue light setting the mood. The electronic duo was dressed in all black. Alex began to pound out the rhythm and bass, drawing me into the music. They premiered their released songs including their latest, “Gallows Humor." Amy’s vintage inspired microphone had a blue light emanating from it, pulling me into her vocals. I felt remnants of Florence Welch and could feel her emotions flowing to me while Alex moved to the beat. Once the set was over, I was feeling a little emotionally sparked and closer to the cause. Afterward I had the opportunity to meet up with the two and ask them a few questions.
How did you feel about your first live performance?
Amy: Really good.
Alex: Yeah, real good. Real good.
Amy: If people can feel something that’s what we want to be taken away.
How did each of you get started in music and come to know each other?
Alex: That’s a long story. *laughs looking at Amy* Do you wanna go first?
Amy: I was raised in a very conservative home so classical and opera music was kind of the only thing that was acceptable. I was not allowed to listen to any rock music or anything like that. I had to sneak around to do that. As an adult I started getting into more of a rock feel and doing the rock band thing. Then I started working at a restaurant with Alex and realizing that we had some music we could shoot back and forth and it became something.
Alex: It was just like with Amy's family, my dad was into jazz and my mother, she’s Panamanian, so she's into a lot of Latin music. I pretty much grew up off of MTV and got into hip-hop. Did some dancin'. Did some DJ-ing. Did some rappin'. Moved to Nashville. Just kinda feeling myself around trying to figure out where I fit in. Then a mutual friend of ours was like y’all two should hook up. I sent her a track. She sent it back, and we’ve been doing it ever since. It’s the weirdest story ever, but it works.
What does being a part of this event mean to you guys?
Amy: Definitely all of us have the heartaches of people who feel like they don’t have equality. I think, for me anyways, it’s just like I want all people to feel equality. And if it's by teaming up with the company that enforces that, so be it. Every human should feel something of importance and that’s what it boils down to. That’s why we’re here.
How can the public support the cause of this event?
Amy: The Tennessee Immigrants and Refugee Rights Coalition is what this whole night is about. It’s about donating to something that is a mission; it’s to empower the immigrants and refugees throughout Tennessee to develop a unified voice. There are websites and of course they have a Facebook page, that’s a good place to start.
What are your goals for 2017?
Alex: Music, music, and more music.
Amy: We want people to feel things.
Alex: Feel things and hopefully get around. Get more people to jump on the bandwagon so we can keep doing what we love to do. It’s been a hell of a ride for us for the last eight months. We’ve just been grinding it out trying to find out our sound and how we work best with each other and just do something that hopefully everybody else likes and loves it as much as we do.
Where did the name Brineaboy originate from?
Amy: My imaginary friend from childhood. I had some siblings that were quite a bit older than myself. There was at least a thirteen-year-span, and I lived in a very, kind of quiet neighborhood. Hence, why the imaginary friend began and his name was Brineaboy.
Alex: My favorite story. She came at me with the idea because we were bouncing names back and forth. She was like I had this imaginary friend named Brineaboy. I said let’s do it. Write it down right now. I loved it.
Are any of your released songs politically driven such as “Xenophobia”?
Alex: We were just talking about that.
Amy: You know how you start one thing and it becomes something else? It became something that was not intentional. It was before Trump.
Alex: Right before it all started, we started to get our first track, which was “Whatever The Odds," then “Unalienable." It was kind of a feeling. Then as things started happening in the world it was like the songs started taking on a new meaning and just kept evolving and evolving. It was kinda weird how it was fitting in with what is going on right now.
Amy: It wasn’t super intentional. It was a very organic start. Then we realized, this is bigger than us.
Catch Brineaboy for their next performance on March 3, 2017, in Nashville.
Photos by Garry Walden for Bullet Music