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Singer-Songwriter Bryan McPherson Rages On



Modern punk rock troubadour Bryan McPherson doesn’t look the part. And he only kind of sounds like it, but if you listen closely, he’s not far lyrically from a circa ’90s East Bay punk band. He even got kicked out of Disney World when he was on tour opening for the Dropkick Murphys.

He said: “I just got banned from playing the Anaheim show by Disney since the venue is in their complex. The reason? My ‘anti-political police views and drug insinuation.’” Pretty punk rock.

But he’s one guy with a guitar, and he has a lot to say.

Last time we spoke you were looking forward to taking time off in anticipation of Sanders or Clinton becoming president. What have you been up to since?

Has it been that long? Still touring and writing.  Just made a record its called Kings Corner.  It’s mostly all songs from 15 years ago, that I dug up unexpectantly on a trip back to Boston last summer.  I ended up recording them in my father’s attic.  I launched a crowdfunding campaign to fund the vinyl and CD pressing and made a few music videos.

I just set my sights on a return tour to Europe that I will be breaking ground on booking and am headed up the West Coast into British Columbia and Alberta for a tour this Spring. So, all in all, have been pretty busy!

What can you tell us about your new release?

Kings Corner is mostly all songs I wrote when I was a young punk strung out on drugs in Boston and doing open mics in the folk scene in Cambridge Massachusetts. 

My neighborhood Dorchester in Boston was tough, blue-collar, dangerous.  Cambridge is upscale and collegiate — two very different worlds. 

I was inspired to revisit these songs on a trip back home when I saw just how bad the opioid epidemic has become in my hometown as well as elsewhere in the states.  I got sober and survived that time of my life a long time ago and just wanted to share a piece of that story in the hopes that it might help someone and to just get these songs out there and give them their proper release.

3. Of a handful of artists I’ve seen (e.g., Kevin Seconds), you blend a pretty strong punk ethos and sound with… acoustic guitar. For us aged punkers, it’s a sound that is pretty inviting. Did you start out in hardcore and then make this transition, as so many punkers do?

I’ve always been a singer-songwriter.  I was into punk when I was a teenager and young adult and was influenced by that, but I was never in a punk band.  Just have always done my own thing.  

You play Reno regularly. What’s your take on our fair city in transition?

I love Reno.  It’s manageable.  From the time I have spent there, you have a very cool music scene, good food, and the mountains are right up the street.  You can also get a nice room for a cheap price at the resorts on an off night.

As a touring artist, it hits all the main points!  What’s not to like?  Thanks so much for your time, interest and thoughtful questions!

Bryan is playing with The Messthetics (members of Fugazi) and Pink Awful Wednesday, April 24, 2019, at Jub Jub’s Thirst Parlor. Get details here.

Bob Conrad
Bob Conradhttp://thisisreno.com
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. He is also a part time instructor at UNR.