Mojo Magazine called Myracle Brah's first album, 1998's Life On Planet Eartsnop, one of the best guitar-pop records of the last 10 years. The brainchild of Andy Bopp, former frontman and songwriter for Lovenut, Myracle Brah has often been compared to Badfinger, the Raspberries and the Beatles. Recently I sat down with Bopp to talk about his current work, seeing his past records, which are no longer available in stores, for sale on ebay, and what's up with him not knowing what's on his upcoming release.
First off love the name of the band.
That was a complete mistake. I got so mad because I was in another band called Lovenut and we were on Interscope and after we got dropped I had a whole bunch of songs and I was like uuh I need a name for a band, so I made it up.
So talk to me about this album.
I'd love to do you know what's on it, because I don't? I think it's a combination of the last couple records isn't it?
It doesn't say in the press release.
Oh gosh it's gonna be a great interview right?
This is hilarious, you don't know what on the album.
I know, isn't it great? I didn't pick the tracks or anything so I have no idea what tracks are on there. If you knew what the tracks were I could tell you about what's on there.
But you know how it's being released, it's being released digitally.
Yes, I did know that. There are eight Myracle Brah albums that are out right now. The first one came out in 1998 so I was under the impression that they took tracks from the last three records and then made it a Universal release because I think there's 20 tracks on the record.
In 98 you came out with a bang with Life On Planet Eartsnop. So how is life on Eartsnop?
I don't know, that was a great record, though. I made that in a bedroom with an eight track and that was just a good record, it was fun.
You got tons of great reviews for it.
Yeah actually it sold a ton in Japan. Japan's a really good market. That was in Tower Records' listening booths in Tokyo. Then we started touring in 2000 20001, we played all through Spain, Holland, Germany and England a lot.
So when you have a record like that, that's so critically acclaimed and does so well overseas, do you occasionally wonder what's going on at home?
No not really because that's just the way it is. You know what the business is, it's driven by huge corporate things that we can't control so getting the critical acclaim is fine with me, if it sells some records great, but I appreciate the accolades.
This new one is being released digitally on UMe, how do you feel about releasing an album digitally?
Actually I don't really know that much about it. It's a cool idea. Is there artwork that they can download? I'm sure there's track information they can download. I think it's a smart move and I'm glad for the opportunity, I think it's great.
Do you think downloading is going to take over hard copies or do you think that people are still going to feel the need to burn that on to a CD?
I don't know. I like to have things that I can touch, that are tangible, but you can also touch an iPod, right? I think the idea's great. We can't touch album sleeves anymore so to me it's fine.
How do you think this is going to go about getting you more fans?
Well the first way is being on the Universal site they're obviously tapped into a tremendous amount of people that I wouldn't even know or wouldn't even know about, so I think just being on that level is cool and opens me up to a ton of people. I like it, I think it's kid of neat because then they'll go back and look for other records, hopefully they won't be on ebay for 38 cents. I have to tell you, though, man, we had two Lugnut records and the last one I found was ten bucks so that's kinda cool, we're still retaining some value. That Eartsnop records is out of print completely and there's a Japanese version, and there's a UK version that's got us playing in Abbey Road Studios, we do like six songs in there, as well. So there's three different versions of the first record so people can go out and hunt and Amazon themselves to death.
Do you think the digital release is going to have you showing up on a few more search engines?
I hope so yeah, I think that's the whole point.
Musically what are you up to right now?
I'm gonna go out and play a couple shows around the country then come back and start to make another record. I haven't made a record for about two years and this is actually the first time since 1995 that I haven't made a record once a year so I'm quite excited to go back in and do something again.
Were you burned out?
Actually I have a son who had cancer for two years so I basically fell out of society for a while but he's fine now so I'm back to work again. I do all my records at my house. I built a studio in my garage now so I've moved down to the garage from the bedroom.
Your first album was made in your bedroom so now I guess you're moving up by moving down.
You're correct, you're absolutely correct. Actually I was moving north because my garage is north of my house. It's only like 300 square feet but that's enough for me. I've got a hardwood floor in it and I've got an eight track and some other stuff, an old mixing console and there you go.
Whenever you get inspired you can just go down there and record. When you have a home studio what kind of authenticity do you think it lends to the tracks?
I just find that there's too much pressure when you have to buy studio time and go into a studio and you have to work with other people, too and I don't like doing that so you're absolutely right, you get an idea, you put your slippers on, you go outside and you go an record it. Plus you can change things in midstream, throw away a song if you want, so it's great, there's less pressure.
Finally, tell me some stuff about Myracle Brah that I wouldn't know.
It's an odd name for a band. I can't stand being compared to Big Star because I think they're fantastic but I don't think I sound anything like Big Star. I play everything on the record usually except for drums. Once in a while I'll get some friends to play with me on a record.