How Music Makes An Impact

Interviewing a band or a member is nerve wracking at times. As a journalist, you may be a fFL or you have just become familiar with the band and you’ve literally spun track 7 100 times because you love it so much.

Point is, you’re familiar with the band but chances are, they don’t know you. Some bands are so busy and are on the road so much that they might have met you 4 times and they recall something about you, just not your name. (PS – do not be offended by this – I mean, I can’t remember what I did yesterday let alone every person I meet that’s in a band!) Last year, I was scrolling through Facebook when this picture of the band NORMA JEAN CAUGHT MY EYE. It was a sweet shot from the back side stage looking out on the first few rows of the crowd. Here’s the shot:

Norma Jean – Austin, TX – Photo Credit Matt Bender

In a totally random occurrence, that picture of Norma Jean spawned me to really evaluate my photos and why I LOVE doing what I do. Seeing that picture made me realize that I was doing what was right for me from a Photographer’s standpoint and I also realized that I do what I do for fun so getting caught up, like I had been doing about my shots – just beating myself up for not getting that perfect shot or the shot that looked like everyone else’s. That mental gyration that can turn someone into a negative Nelly fast…all of that from someone I didn’t know and their shot of Norma Jean. Funny strange, right?

That kind of randomness should only happen once. And if it OCCURS again, for some strange reason I tend to poke my head above the ground like one of those muskrat animals that live in the desert and have genetically altered themselves over a string of thousands of years to be longer than an average varmint of sorts. You know those kinda cute cat-rat-dog looking animals that stand up on their hind legs to see long distances in the sand? Those things! That was me on Thursday, chatting with CORY BRANDAN, singer for NORMA JEAN, about their upcoming New Release “ALL HAIL” (out October 25, 2019 via Solid State Records) and a tour to support it later in the fall.

CORY was telling a story about the band being in the studio recording this latest record, and how he could let his nerves get the best of him, when the producer said, and I’m paraphrasing here, “Don’t sweat it – this record is already done, man.” . Hearing this, I blurted out, “OMG, I have a favorite saying I used to say all the time; ‘It is finished’, which has the same meaning. I used to take a lot of comfort in saying those words, and you just reminded me…”

Many of you might say that it isn’t finished because you haven’t done anything yet for it (whatever the “it” is in your life). And if it was finished or complete, why then can’t we just wait for time to catch up to us so we can know if what we had finished was actually a success or not? Ya dig?

I don’t think coincidences are real and I don’t believe that the randomness in our universe should be ignored. You’ll have to wait to find out the rest of the story about applying the “it’s done” or “it is finished” to CORY’s life or how I had not applied that philosophy in years; only to have NORMA JEAN remind me of it (when I really needed to hear it, #trust).


I can’t wait for you guys to hear the interview so keep an eye out for it here! I know you’ll get a kick out of it as CORY and I talk about music, anxiety, and the all of the things that make up a stellar informative and fun interview! And, don’t forget that I’ll also have a record review for “All Hail” in the next few days! You can find out how to preorder and when and where NORMA JEAN will be in your neck of the woods – just check out the link below!

I know October 25th seems far off and patience might not be one of your strong suits – but I promise you, “ALL HAIL” is worth the wait. I will say this about the record, for me, “ALL HALL” makes NORMA JEAN morph into a whole other creature. They’ve found a formula that takes their brand and combines it with a distinct love for their fans old and new. And in doing this, they’ve seemingly rebirthed what we all have loved about NORMA JEAN since 2004. You’ll see what I mean! #trustme

Til Next time – MRML – Cherri

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