Brandon Schott

Brandon Schott

 Sterling, Virginia, USA
BandPopRock

Brandon Schott is an Los Angeles based singer/songwriter/producer that combines the eclecticism of newer such as Neil Finn and Jon Brion with the classic songcraft of the early 70s Laurel Canyon.

Biography

In November 2009 his song "FIRE SEASON" won a Hollywood Music in Media Award for best song in the Acoustic/Folk category, and Music Connection magazine has named him a Hot 100 Artist for three years running.

The ringing chords of a pipe organ accompany Brandon Schott's imploring vocals on "Season's Turn", the song that introduces Dandelion, his new full-length album. Seasons turn indeed: the record's 13 tracks, recorded over three months from November 2008, span the one year anniversary of Brandon's diagnosis, treatment and recovery from a stage three cancer in his chest.

Featuring lyrics and music composed during his illness, as well as preexistent songs that speak to the experience, Dandelion, he says, is a fitting metaphor. "Dandelions remind me of childhood, of a certain way of seeing the world - of blowing seeds into the air as a kid, and watching them float on; a beautiful and weightless wonder. Yet, it's a weed ­ an unwelcome growth in an otherwise tended garden. A cancer. And as much of a hardship this illness was on me and my family, we truly saw the most beautiful side of people through it all, doctors, nurses, friends, family ­ everyone lovingly ushering us through. In the process, a glorious idealism was reawakened. Dandelion is a testament to that spirit ­ how in the depths of one truth, we can discover and embrace another."

Schott tracked most of the record live with a select group of players at St. Mark's Episcopal church in Glendale, California where his confiding vocals and acoustic guitar resonated against a rhapsody of strings, bright ripples of piano, soaring electric guitars and ringing percussion.

From shadows into light, it is a multi-textural cycle of songs. "Fire Season," a tom heavy rocker with an ominous edge is balanced by "Not Far Away," when a celestial piano and elegant strings sustain a soothing lullaby. "Turning Toward the Sun" stages the protagonist in a position of resolve, prepared to slay demons. "Blue Star Highway," a glorious slice of California country rock, pays homage to a "Grievous Angel" at the "motel at the side of the road," where the darkness eclipsed him.

The reassuring emotional centerpiece that nearly concludes the record, "All Will Be Well," was the first song written specifically for Dandelion, and set the tone for the project, Schott says. "That was the outcome, and I was determined to get there."

Schott visited a hospital emergency room one Saturday afternoon for reoccurring chest pains, though nothing prepared him for what was to come. "The hardest moment for me was immediately" after I was told about the likely road ahead­alone in the emergency room, scenarios bouncing around in my head. But the moment I made that first phone call to my wife it changed ­ it wasn't about me anymore. The more people who joined my cancer story, the less it was about just my own struggle, the more it was about the bigger picture and the power and strength we all had to shape it. Together, we were not going to be defeated. This record was a way for me to summarize the experience and come to peace with it myself. I had to write. Being a songwriter, it was my applied therapy." With the release of the CD, Schott intends to let the music lead the way. He has founded Artists for Healing, a non-profit community of artists to lend their talents to a variety of fundraising endeavors. "Right now I just want to do work for things that matter. I would like the effort I put into playing, recording and presenting music to serve something larger. It represents a philosophical shift of how I wish to carry my work through this music business."

The concluding track, "Halo," is a gentle soliloquy: Schott speaking to his son with these words, "I carry around your smile to every stage in Hollywood/Every night I'm not around." Schott acknowledges the hint of melancholy. "There are times I hear that song and feel a sadness in neglecting time with my family for my music ­ especially in the line, 'My song's on the rise and I can't let it be.' It was written very quickly in the hour before my son's bedtime. I finished it just as my wife was tucking him in. I ran into his room and played it for them both. Later, my wife and I reflected on the moment, and I expressed my regret about forsaking that time with him while writing the song, but she pointed out, 'You came back to him. You played him the song ­ you told him you loved him and you kissed him goodnight. Just like you did in the last verse.' It was a very true moment."

Truth reverberates in Dandelion. "I knew this was going to be a very spiritual record and I wanted that energy reflected in these songs. I look at spirituality as a reflection of what binds us all together, that eternal presence that allows for a deeper understanding of why we're all here, of what we have in common. My experience with cancer tapped directly into that. In the end, it became an affirmation of beauty, of our potential and how we can take car

Lyrics

BEAUTIFUL TRAINWRECK

Written By: Brandon Schott

i stayed up late again,
mining for gold
in the rocks of another gin
i couldn't keep cold

she keeps me warm my friend,
down to to the core
the love i dug into long ago...

well, i'll never walk away
though i may get lost
my thoughts are a silent rage
counting the cost

we hover around this place
and wait to be caught
crashing a thin disguise...

here lies a beautiful trainwreck
a beautiful trainwreck
beautiful love left in these eyes

sometimes within the haze
we'll find our way home
hoping to crash and fade
in love's hallowed arms

but she longs for better days
when spirit was bone
when we lived a simple life...

here lies a beautiful trainwreck
beautiful trainwreck
a beautiful love left in these eyes

i stayed up late again
tuning the tracks...

beautiful love left in these eyes

here lies a beautiful trainwreck
a beautiful trainwreck
a beautiful love left in these eyes...

GOLDEN STATE

Written By: Brandon Schott

verse 1:
in the golden state
love can be misplaced
we get settled in
happy just to lie in wait

verse 2:
these are golden times
with my heart on the vine
i've got everything i need
in this state of mind

chorus:
and it won't rain here
till her heart caves in
till i'm leaving home again
everything is great
in my golden state

verse 3:
it's a golden state
when love carries all the weight
and if i'm wearing thin
she will always take the bait

verse 4:
then we'll start anew
knowing what we got into
sometimes you've got to bleed
just to make it through

chorus:
and it won't rain here
till her heart caves in
till i'm leaving home again
everything is great
in my golden state

bridge:
so let the record spin
as i keep her in
the arms of another honest song
for as long as the days are long...

...it won't rain here

GLORIOUS NIGHT

Written By: Brandon Schott

oh, what a glorious night
with my baby and i by candlelight
who knows what tomorrow may bring
or what song i'll have to sing
for the ghosts in these eyes...

and as i gaze down at your wedding ring
it's the same old familiar sting
although, i may not be the one
who lies with you in the sun
it's a glorious night

the moonlight in your hair
a gentle lover's prayer
when the dawn
meets the morning light...

but, oh what a glorious night
with my one true love by my side
who knows what tomorrow may bring
or what song i'll have to sing
for the ghosts in these eyes
but tonight,
it's a glorious night...

Discography

RELEASE (2003)
GOLDEN STATE (2007)
DANDELION (2009)