Staff Spotlight: Brandon Day

Moving mountains for music.

Our New Music Scout and Artist & Repertoire Manager, Brandon Day's love for music moves beyond emotion -- it's a state of being for him. Simply put, Brandon lives and breathes music.

Being one of the first interns with Marmoset since the beginning, Brandon has gotten great insight into how the music landscape works and continues to evolve. His keen sense of knowing what compositions work well with picture informs his curation of our music catalogue. A fine purveyor of vinyl (preferably cry-in-your-beer country), he's continually tuning an in-depth sonar into the deep, creative waters of music.

If he's not going to shows, he's out trekking and biking in the backcountry of Oregon. His passion for the outdoors is presented through his online cycling website and resource, Our Mother The Mountain, a joint effort with him and Marmoset Music Supervisor, Ron Lewis.

Get to know Brandon in our interview with him and the next time you're at a show, chances are he'll be there. Feel free to wave -- we promise, he's friendly. Enjoy.

M: Being a native Oregonian, how have you seen the local music scene change?

BD: While I'm a native Oregonian, growing up in a small town didn't really offer me much insight into the local scene when I was younger. Hell, I hardly realized there was much of a local scene beyond Modest Mouse, The Shins, Fruit Bats, Helio Sequence, etc. With that said - I've been in Portland proper for around 7 years now and I've seen the talent pool move around a bit. With the influx of new people moving to Portland, we're seeing a really cool array of new talent entering our scene. Some of my favorite local artists right now are Bed., Haley Heynderickx, Mimicking Birds and Vikesh Kapoor. 

M: What's one of your favorite soundtracks?

BD: I'm admittedly not super tuned-in to soundtracks (I generally favor artist's full albums). However, I was blown away by True Detective, Season 1's soundtrack. If you haven't seen it - the season is set in the deep south and deals with the occult, religious imagery, southern culture, and all things swampy and creepy. The soundtrack really sets you in the scene, with music by such people as Vashti BunyanJohn Lee HookerMelvinsSleepTownes Van Zandt, and even a song featuring Father John Misty. I still listen to these songs regularly. 

M: What makes a successful pairing of music and picture?

BD: The beauty in both music and picture is the ability to relate emotions, messages, or context. With that, finding a pairing that adds to those elements is what makes it successful. Ultimately, finding the perfect match isn't easy to quantify - it's more of a feeling than anything. 

M: What advice would you give you someone submitting their music?

BD: I'd suggest putting yourself out there and creating an organized presentation to show off your creative vision and your work. Personally, I enjoy a short write-up about the band with streaming (soundcloud or bandcamp) links. That way, we can quickly understand a little about you and have a resource to listen to your music and share your songs within our team if needed.

M: What was the last album that gave you chills?

BD: Being in the music industry has some perks.. one of them being early releases. I recently got an early copy of Fruit Bat's "Absolute Loser" and was blown away. It could quite possibly be the best summer record I've heard in a while. The grooves are so strong, the lyrics are so tender - it's the perfect back porch record. 

M: You've created a cycling resource called Our Mother The Mountain, tell us more about that.

BD: My buddy and Marmoset coworker, Ron Lewis, and I have been riding for years together. Our favorite kind of riding is semi-remote, backcountry gravel roads that take us to places not often seen. Through our years of riding these back country roads, we've accumulated some pretty amazing routes. Instead of sitting on these gems, we've begun releases them under the name "Our Mother The Mountain" after the wonderful Townes Van Zandt record. We'll have our website launched late April and will be hosting an unsanctioned ride starting in Mosier, Oregon in May. Check us out on instagram: and keep an eye for our website to launch:

M: Where's your favorite place to bike around Portland?

BD: This is hard! During the winter months - I prefer riding in the more arid high-desert climate around Mosier and The Dalles, OR. In the summer, it's hard to beat the back roads of Mt. Hood. There is so much to offer up there!

M: What's been the scariest cycling moment?

BD: It's hard to say what moment has been the scariest... hah! One that'll always stick in my mind was riding Velodirt's Stampede route for the first time. It's set in the rolling hills + high desert just east of Mt. Hood. The route is 120+ miles and usually gets ridden in the hottest months. Well, the first time we did it we took a wrong turn about midway through the day. This wrong turn made us fumble around in the White River Wilderness for a good 3 hours before finding our way out. We took roads that turned to smaller roads. Those smaller roads turned to trails.. .and then those trails ended when we realized we were stuck in a valley with no water, very little food, and no escape plan. We decided to climb out of the little valley we were in and reassess at the top of the ridge-line. At this time, we're all thoroughly freaked out - but we finally find a road that connects.  We then took the road into the town of Friend, OR and met a super nice farmer who let us refill our waterbottles. I'll never forget that farmer - he turned our shitty situation into an interaction that truly helped restore some of my faith in the kindness of strangers. 

M: What was the last show you've been to?

BD: The last show I went to was Juan Wauters + Tall Juan in Asheville, NC. There was probably twenty people there (max capacity it seemed) and they ripped. 

M: Where would you travel to if you could right now?

BD: Good question! There are lots of places on my list, but Japan is at the top right now. 

Posted on April 8, 2016 and filed under Music.