Bryan Cowsert & Far From the City
by: Jeff Hightower
Country music just can’t contain Bryan Cowsert. And now, that he’s put together a regiment of guys to form Far From the City, he’s ready to stir things up. Together with Jeff LaFosse on Bass and Venture Carter on Drums, they’ve brought the “power band” to country music. From Texas to Tennessee and everywhere in between, this “American Soldier” and his road brothers have put in many miles on the way to developing dreams. Far From the City is a rock band with the right touches of country in the right places. * “Uncle Sam” and its show of strong political truths. * ”I Wasn’t Ready” and its true heart-felt soul. * “Ma’s Breez” with its shear raw hillbilly power. These are good definitions of who Bryan and the boys are. If you listen to “The Highway”, you can feel every word that is sung. They aren’t a band to dress things up in the studio, what you hear live is what you hear in their hearts. Sometimes we all need a good swift kick to keep us in check. And that’s what Far From the City does for country music. They ain’t your daddy’s country, but… they are the kind he would love. So ladies and gentlemen, HMM presents to you San Antonio’s very own Venture, Jeff and Bryan – Far From the City!!! 1. HM - What makes your brand of Texas rock stand out? Bryan Cowsert- Well, I wanted to do something fresh and unique. I dabbled in the twang thing for awhile but deep down I wanted to get back to my roots which is heavy rock. So I decided to combine the two. The heavier the better for me, I basically wanted to do something different, and I did. 2. HM - What is the dynamic of "Far From the City" and the way you function as a group? What makes you guys "click"? Bryan- “The drummer”…LOL -We are all friends and my bass player Jeff is my next door neighbor so this helps a lot. We are all pretty versatile and come from somewhat different backgrounds-so the experience really is a benefit. When Carter joined the band it was a whole new “attitude” so to speak. The guy is a terrific drummer, a great guy and can play several different instruments. Jeff is what I call rolling thunder. His bass playing is tight heavy and loud. He also plays guitar and drums and is a terrific harmony vocalist. These guys are who I have been looking for all these years and I am very appreciative of their time and talents. This takes the music to a completely new dimension. Jeff LaFosse- Everyone brings a different musical background to the fold and I think that’s what makes this band click. But what really sets us apart from any band I’ve ever been is everyone has a positive outlook on life and music. There’s no drama and that helps tremendously when you’re in a band. Venture Carter- The respect that we have for each other and our instruments. We allow each other enough space to do what we FEEL while playing together as one which creates an indescribable music atmosphere. 3. HM - You've always prided yourself on a rockin' show. How would you describe the energy of your live performance? Bryan Cowsert-Playing live is why we do it. We don’t do it for the money, it’s in our blood and we love to entertain. We all grew up with music and/or in musical families so it’s a part of us. I have seen some very musically talented bands here in Texas but the common denominator is, they all just stand there and act as if they were bored and ready for their check. We like to put on a show-what I call the “Three Man Wall of Sound”-LOL. Music is important but you have to get the crowd involved that’s when the energy comes, then the sweat and adrenalin…. Jeff LaFosse- It’s cliché, but we really do give 100% percent of our energy to the music and the people we are playing to. They don’t want to come out and be bored watching you stand there like a statue. I am totally drained after we’re done playing because of the rush of the music and excitement of being on stage. Venture Carter- VERY HIGH ENERGY! Playing live is why we do it. We get a chance to share our music and uplift and motivate people to keep on rocking with their lives because life is too short to stay down! 4. HM - Songwriting encompasses both lyrics and music. What is your process for writing and what do you draw off of when sitting down to write? Bryan Cowsert- Writing is different for everyone I think, but the way I do it is really strange. It usually starts with a guitar riff that I hum into my cell phone so save. When I play it back it sounds pretty stupid, but I am able to build off that initial riff. Then I actually run the riff over and over in my head and wait for the subject of the song to come. This can be from just about from anywhere. My wife is usually good at coming up with a subject. One time I was listening to talk radio and the announcer said something about having a pebble in your shoe. When I got home I looked it up on Google and it meant something that was irritating. Wa la! There was the song about how a husband and wife can sometimes get on each other’s nerves once in a while and it fit perfectly. I don’t really sit down and write so to speak, it just comes in stages. It usually takes about five or six times to get the lyrics right. I do keep it very simple, not too progressive. 5. HM - What's it like working as a complete band in the studio? Bryan Cowsert- We just do demos now for the most part and usually share files then come together to rehearse. I’ve got around 30 or so original songs ready to burn and we are waiting for the right time. Like I have said before, I like it raw with minimal effects and stuff. If it sounds like your having a good time playing on the record it will make the listener have a good time as well. If you listen closely to some of our demos, you can hear a lot of things-conversations, laughing, etc...LOL 6. HM - Has being an Army vet help develop you further as a musician (i.e. - discipline and dedication)? And you also have an Air Force vet in the band as well? Bryan Cowsert- It’s all about discipline for me. I am super structured to the point where it irritates some people. LOL, I have to go by a clock and I guess the Army taught me that. The Army was one of the best things that I have done in my life, I am glad that I had the opportunity to serve this great nation. Venture is also a vet fresh out of the Air Force. 7. HM - Is there any song in your playlist which you guys find that has a deeper special meaning? Bryan Cowsert- For me, its “I Wasn’t Ready” cause it was written for my mother who passed away back in the early 90’s. She was very supportive of my music and wanted to see me succeed. It is very difficult for me to sing it live. On the heavier side, I like Uncle Sam because it has a fun guitar solo in it… Jeff LaFosse- “Heaven Help Us” really hits me from an emotional standpoint. We are lucky to live in this country and have many men and women to thank for that. I totally agree with Bryan about Uncle Sam. It has a deep meaning of hoping that our great nation pulls through the hard times we’re going through. Venture Carter- Yes. “Heaven Help Us” because I love the lyrics and I naturally love to play melodically since I also play keyboards, so this songs gives me a chance to express that on the drums. 8. HM - Define your comment "This Ain't Your Daddy's County". Bryan Cowsert- Country music has changed over the years, but it has always remained “Traditional” in most aspects. I write heavy music with a country lyric. Daddy or Great Grandpa would probably not like most of our songs because they are a little loud and heavy. Jeff and me live out in the sticks and are influenced by this in many ways. There is nothing better than enjoying your coffee on the back porch and hearing a Jack Ass hee hawing in the back ground……There’s nothing better than being far from the city… HM – We all want to thank you for your time-you do a great service to the music community there in Nashville as well as nationwide. Take care and keep in touch!
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