Ticket Giveaway, Getting to Know The Belle Brigade
The Belle Brigade: Barbara and Ethan Gruska
Ray LaMontagne will take his tour to Comerica Theatre on Wednesday, Oct. 22. As far as the live performance goes, LaMontagne hopes to bring the songs to life with a powerful band behind him. Two members of his band are opening the show with their own act, The Belle Brigade.
The brother-and-sister duo spoke to The Spec about working together as a family and with collaborators. Read the full interview below and enter to win a pair of tickets to see Ray LaMontagne and The Belle Brigade at Comerica Theatre (HURRY, winner’s name will be drawn by 5 P.M. PST on Tuesday, Oct. 21…
The Spec: Describe the dynamic of working with a sibling. What are the pros and cons?
Belle Brigade: Working together is awesome! It’s like working with anybody else, but you love each other more than anybody else, so it’s better.
TS: You come from a very musical family, from your great-father (Raymond Scott quintet drummer Johnny Williams) to your grandfather (Oscar-winning composer John Williams) to your father (movie and television composer Jay Gruska). Did you feel any pressure to continue music or did you decide to pursue it on your own?
BB: We never felt any pressure to become musicians professionally. If anything, we were often told how hard it could be… The only pressure we felt as kids was to work hard at whatever we did. Reaching our potential, whatever that is, is what’s most important to our family. Also, to be happy while doing it!
TS: What’s the one song, album, artist, etc. that when you heard it, you knew you wanted to do music?
BB: There wasn’t one song in particular and it was different for the both of us. If I had to choose one, Elliott Smith‘s album XO had a major impact on me as a teenager and really opened my mind to songwriting. All of his albums still inspire me endlessly.
TS: You each have collaborated or toured with some amazing acts. Who have been your favorites to work with?
BB: We’ve been really lucky to know and be around so many amazing musicians. It’s impossible to choose a favorite because each experience is equally rewarding in its own way and there’s always something amazing to learn from every artist and band.
TS: How did you catch the attention of Ray LaMontagne for this tour?
BB: Ray saw Barbara playing drums with Jenny Lewis a few years ago when they opened for him at the Hollywood Bowl. He heard some Belle Brigade music a few years later. For a couple of years, there were some whispers about working together somehow and earlier this year the time came when we asked us to be a part of this tour.
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***HURRY, one name will be drawn from the entries on Tuesday, Oct. 21 at 5 P.M. PST. Winner will be contacted by email shortly after the giveaway closes.***