Interview: I The Mighty’s Brent Walsh on hip-hop, Coheed and Cambria, and his new solo EP

I The Mighty vocalist Brent Walsh has certainly accomplished a lot in his time in the music industry – fronting an innovative and intriguing rock act that continues to evolve with each record, touring with Coheed and Cambria and Glassjaw, and now embarking on a new solo record. Are You Even There At All?, his new solo EP, is his 2nd such venture after 2014’s full-length 7 – and not shockingly, the EP continues to explore interesting and varied territory that I The Mighty doesn’t. The EP flirts with pop, R&B, hip-hop, and even singer-songwriter stylings in ways that will likely captivate the listener to no end. In other words, it’s what solo material that diverges from the main band should be.

Brent was kind enough to answer a few questions about the new EP, how it differs from I The Mighty’s output, the magic of Coheed and Cambria, and music he’s listening to lately. Check out his answers below. (Hint: Listen to Makari)

Please tell us your name, and what projects you’re a part of.

I the Mighty is my main project, but I recently released my second solo album under my given name – Brent Walsh.

You just released your new solo EP, Are You Even There at All?. What songs on the EP do you think surprised your fanbase the most?

The Way You Seem is an R&B/pop/hip hop track… and Moon Creep is a cappella. Both are extremely different from I the Mighty.

When creating new solo material, what sort of styles have you tried that might not necessarily fit I The Mighty?

Almost all of them. The album is a mix of a cappella, pop, hip hop, acoustic/piano singer songwriter… none of which you hear too much of on an ITM record.

Both on this record and your previous solo record, you’ve flirted with hip-hop and R&B styles. Are there any artists in those genres that you feel particularly inspired // influenced by?

Eminem back in the day, but more recently more hip hop, lyric driven stuff. Atmosphere, some of Kendrick Lamar’s stuff, Childish Gam, lil dicky cracks me up...

How did the new solo record differ from 2014’s “7”?

It’s similar in that it’s a bunch of different genres, but this one is much more modern or “current” in its writing and production value.

You’re known for loving Coheed and Cambria, well, a lot. What aspects of their music are the most striking to you?

They kind of hit all the marks for me. The progressive elements, the catchiness, the epic ness. Most people probably assume it’s all the nerdy sci-fi story telling, but that’s just a nice caveat. I honestly just love the melody and originality of their writing.

Who are some up and coming bands or musicians you think everyone should check out?

Honestly a lot of my buddies are doing great things right now. Movements, don broco, hail the sun, Makari, snarky puppy. Plenty of great bands coming up right now.

What’s next for you and I The Mighty? Anything you want to plug?

I’ve got this tour wrapping up soon and then a solo show in the bay with I See Stars. Then I the Mighty is doing a Christmas show in SF, dropping some new music, and heading out on tour with Tonight Alive in Jan and Feb.

Plus, a number of surprises we’re working on for next year 😉