Happiness and Goals: How Slow Corpse and The Brothers Reed Determine Success
Regardless of the long tours or the constant weekend shows, success is determined by the goals set out by the performers and their happiness in the process. That’s how the Brothers Reed and Slow Corpse define success.
Both bands play in completely different genres, and yet they’ve both found success locally and beyond the Rogue Valley. For the Brothers Reed, managing every aspect of a band as a whole has been a constant yet rewarding struggle, though that’s not the only one.
“Right now our biggest challenge is making that leap from a fairly well known regionally successful band with a decent following to a more nationally renowned band capable of selling out 500-1000 person rooms everywhere we go,” says Aaron Reed (as in one of the brothers). What started as a fun project between brothers has turned into a professional passion taking up most of their time. “Making a decent living playing songs that we wrote has been really satisfying,” he adds.
For guitarist Brenton Clarke of Slow Corpse, he finds endurance to be one of the hardest parts for him. “While progressing, it’s hard to live in the moment and see worth in the empty bar gigs and general stress of performing,” he says. “We traveled to a small California gig at a bar and there was absolutely no one there for music. People were playing pool, drinking shots, smoking. This can take a toll on you when traveling. But in the back of the bar, there are two girls sitting at a table intently watching us. After striking up a conversation, I learned they traveled a good distance to see us, and have been fans for years. Incredible. Connecting with fans and friends through music is a surreal experience. That is the greatest reward.”
Both bands agree the Rogue Valley is a supportive environment for artists. Reed says, “It’s an extremely supportive environment for the arts and I can say from firsthand experience that it is a great place, with much opportunity, to be based out of.”
Clarke has found great support from the venues Slow Corpse has performed. “Being a Rogue Valley band is great,” he says. “The venues and bars here sincerely care about the music and pay musicians very well, which is very rare when compared to venues in large cities.” If anything, Clarke wishes there were more venues and bands in the Rogue Valley.
“If your band is accomplishing what it wants for itself, I would consider that success,” says Reed. “Whether it’s playing gigs every weekend, or playing full time touring nationally, success is really in the eye of the holder. That being said, I had an idea of what I would consider ‘success’ for myself as a professional musician. Brothers Reed is the first band I’ve been in to achieve all the goals I set for myself even if the nuances of that success didn’t come always as I had envisioned.”
Where Slow Corpse wants to see themselves a year from now is playing bigger shows and festivals. As Clarke puts it: “Just so we get free admittance to see bands we love. In the long run, reside in Vegas, Elvis style. White tigers riding motorcycles through fire hoops while Dash plays a piano made of dinosaur bones.”
While Reed doesn’t explicitly say he hopes to see the Brothers Reed in a similar Vegas-style situation down the road, he also wants to see themselves playing bigger venues. “I would also like to collaborate with more folks who can help us get where we are headed,” he adds. “I just want to keep chipping away, laying pavement, and see where the road unfolds.”
As long as the Rogue Valley grows its support for artists, then hopefully more bands will find their way here, or more people will be encouraged to form a band. “A band is successful if they’re happy doing what they do,” Clarke says. Equally important is a community constantly supporting and encouraging local artists to create, share, and perform.
Slow Corpse is currently on tour in support of their new album “Fables.” The Brothers Reed’s next show is at South Stage Cellars on Sept. 26.