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BRIAN DAVID COLLINS: "AFRAID TO FEEL"


Brian David Collins is a multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter raised in The Colorado Rockies. He is a CSU graduate, and a long time performer, entertaining crowds of all walks of life for two decades and counting.


Afraid To Feel lyrics:

Verse 1:

In my mind

What am I running from

Like to keep it all in a dream

In my heart

Keeping it all so numb

How could this be the place for me

I know there’s a lot

That has been going on

Makes us question all of our lives

And it would be nice

If I could be strong

Easier just to stay high

Chorus:

Don’t be afraid to feel

Your mind’s becoming real

Whatever it was that sour deal

Know that it’s over now

Don’t break down no

Rhythm and harmony

This is the source we need

We’ve got a lot need to break through now that is a guarantee

Know that we can get through

Up to you

Verse 2:

In your mind

Keeping it all so strong

Oh it brings great hope to me

All that we’ve known

All that has come and gone

In our short reality

And when you told me

Of those rooms in your mind

You were afraid to go in

I was there

Listening all the time

Had these words for you back then

Chorus:

Don’t be afraid to feel

Your mind’s becoming real

Whatever it was that sour deal

Know that it’s over now

Don’t freak out

Rhythm and harmony

This is the source we need

We’ve got a lot need to break through now that is a guarantee

Know that we will get through

Always true

What are your favorite lyrics from your latest single?

I like the lyrics:


“In your mind

Been keeping it all so strong

Oh it brings great hope to me

All that we’ve known

All that has come and gone

In our short reality

And when you told me

Of those rooms in your mind

You were afraid to go in

I was there

Listening all the while

Had these words for you back then”


I like these lyrics because they are about recovering from tragedy. My wife told me at some point that there were rooms in her mind she was afraid to go into because if she did she may never resurface. I remember telling her that the rooms can’t be avoided for life, and encouraged her to crack open the doors and not be afraid to feel. I promised myself I wouldn’t let her get too deep and, if she ever needed to, I would be there to pull her to the surface.


What kind of pull did you feel about making the single?


At first I really liked the musical idea, and the chorus, lyrics and all, was pure inspiration, very non-cerebral. The song was in process until being recorded, and the second verse, the one I quoted above, was actually written in the studio. This was indeed the final touch, amplifying the song’s meaning and making it into a work of art near and dear to my heart.


Are all your writing sessions collaborative or do you go off on your own? Do you have a preference?

I prefer to go off on my own, which is how all Brian David Collins songs were written. I have always been the kind who visualizes an album start to finish. When collaborating with The Seers, my album visions were always changed around until they were unrecognizable to me. As a solo artist, I finally saw the chance to be the sole writer of the albums I made, with the band there to provide pleasing arrangement and of course excellent musicianship and kinship.


Do you ever compare the work you bring to the table?

As a writer, I am always comparing my work to the work of my former self. If the current work doesn’t pass muster or seems inferior, it rarely gets finished and definitely does not get released. I remember an interview with Billy Joel when he said he quit making albums because he felt he wasn’t able to write as well as he had in his younger years. In the interview he indicated that Elton John should have done the same thing. I agree with Billy. I’m not saying Elton’s later albums were bad, but I am saying that from an artist’s standpoint, don’t release something you don’t believe in 100 percent!


What is standard practice when it comes to if the song is really finished?

For me, works that are in the process of being written change every time I play them. I remembered telling Tom Ditzler, the drummer for Brian David Collins, “once I have played a new song the exact same way three times through it.” In other words, I don’t tend to have complete drafts of songs, although there are exceptions. My songs tend to change fluidly until they are done.


What was the goal for making the latest track?

I wanted to make a track with a softer, sort of male Nora Jones style, with lyrics close to the heart. Afraid To Feel, as well as the other tracks from Sad Songs Glad Songs, was a conscious departure from predecessor Golden Age, in which I was trying to create a wall of sound rock album. I wanted the new release to be more of a true piano man album that could be used at dinner music for small adult get-togethers.


Challenges to the new music that no one would know about?

I am having trouble writing new tunes. I’ve noticed that after contracting Covid, I haven’t been able to hang on to ideas long enough to work on them. This feels like a very real cognitive change, not just in my head. I still get ideas, but they slip through my hands and are harder to remember. They just don’t seem to leave as strong of an impression on my mind, as well as new music I hear and new experiences I have. I do think the clouds are clearing and this is a temporary state for me, or at least I certainly hope so.


Favorite memory in the making of this music?

This is a hard one. I want to start by saying that the engineer that recorded this work is a man named Darren Radach, who owns Stout Studios in Fort Collins Colorado. I would say the moment Tom and I put on our headphones, Tom on drums in the basement, and me on piano/vocals in the living room, the magic soundscape was a memory second to none. However, when other musicians brought their magic to the record and surprised us with their ingenuity, those were great memories as well. If the music is coming out right, the process of making a record is filled with wonderful memories.


Is there anything off the table when it comes to bringing yourselves into your music?

As far as topics to write about are concerned, there is nothing off the table except for those I don’t know enough about to say something intelligent about. For example, I am not a political songwriter and never will be. However, if it’s something felt in the heart, it will get written about. Music is my sanctuary. Another thing I don’t do is put myself out of my physical comfort zone for writing. I’ve never made an Edward Sharp style trip to the desert just to see how I’d write after no food or water for two days. I don’t kick myself for this, because physical and mental preservation is important.


Leave us on a high note! And share some good news!

I am excited to travel back to Colorado the week after Thanksgiving. During this time I plan to head to Stout Studios to finish the last written record, The Forgotten Door. This is a long LP, much like Good Morning Music, with fourteen tracks, although this record is modeled more after the progressive rock sentiment. We are excited to get this work finished and ready for release in 2023!


https://open.spotify.com/album/28mO0iwvLkdsmOBn8fTGev

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