After years of writing for rockers like Yelawolf and drumming for Danny Worsnop (Asking Alexandria and We Are Harlot), Birdsałl is finally stepping into his own spotlight. The music industry veteran has come out of the shadows to release his own solo music and his debut EP "Hot Money," is scheduled to hit airwaves on October 2nd. And with several singles, including "Drive," "Selfish" and "IG Page" already gaining listeners, it's only a matter of time before Birdsałl becomes a household name. Take a look at our interview with the up-and-coming artist in the gallery below, then let us know your thoughts on his music in the comment section on social media.
Take me through your upbringing in Minneapolis and how you fell in love with music.
My mom’s a hippie and my dad’s a rocker, so I had music playing nonstop as a kid. My mom was also the main massage therapist for any arena or stadium tour that came through Minneapolis/St. Paul and she would always bring me with her. My first show ever was backstage with Alice Cooper. I was skateboarding backstage with Sugar Ray or she was introducing me to Fred Durst, making him tell me to “stay in school.” She brought me on Courtney Love’s tour bus and took photos of me with Megadeth, she was a gangster, and everyone knew her in the industry. She used to test me in the car too. Whatever song came on the radio, she would ask me who it was and tell me the answer if I got it wrong just so I was knowledgeable of all music and bands. Same with my dad, except his approach was going fucking fast in his 69 Roadrunner and blasting Guns N Roses on 11, never turning the living room sound system off. I guess they had a lot to do with my direction in life.
How did you enter the music industry as a writer and drummer?
I used to play on buckets in a barn with 19 horses between cleaning their shit and feeding them, until my mom bought me my first drum kit at 16. I started a couple local bands, wrote a bunch of songs and played a bunch of shows. Then, I got an opportunity to drum for an Orange County band, so I packed all my clothes inside my drum shells to save room in my little Acura Integra and drove across the country. I dove headfirst into the Orange County music scene at 19 years old with friends in Eighteen Visions, Bleeding Through and Avenged Sevenfold. I tried not to burn any bridges and kept my head down.
As for song writing, I've always had some sort of writing direction for any band I’ve been a part of. I’ve always hid behind the drum kit instead of being up front.
What initially drew you to write for rockers and what are the ingredients to a hit rock song?
I’ve always loved writing songs no matter the genre. I wasn’t always great at it, but I’ve always enjoyed it. I had a meeting in New York with Allen Kovac a few years back and he basically owns all the biggest rock bands in the world. He told me that I needed to dumb myself down and he would give me a contract—I kind of lived by that.
The most important ingredient of a banging rock hit is to be straight forward. Don’t over complicate shit and dumb yourself down a bit, because not everyone understands your artistic side and most listeners don’t want to think too hard about it. They just want to nod their head and sing. It doesn’t even matter if they know what they’re singing most of the time.
What inspired you to pursue music as a solo artist and what made you select the pop/r&b genres?
Danny Worsnop made me do it. We started writing some pop songs just because and that turned into him saying I should actually just front the project. I hated the idea and it’s still terrifying because I’m so far out of my comfort zone. But pop music has always been my favorite. I grew up with blink-182 and I’ve always been attracted to hooks and anything catchy.
Your single “Drive” came out on 8/14. What went into creating that song and what does it mean to you?
That song just came out naturally. I was listening to a beat and I started singing the hook without thinking. I was in Pensacola a couple weeks prior and I really wanted to use that in a song. I was singing about driving and a girl, as usual, honestly, I just find lucidity in getting lost with someone. Whether it’s on the Harley or in a car, let’s go and that’s where the song went.
Take me through making your first EP, “Hot Money,” and the songs you ultimately selected.
I basically locked myself in my place for a year and I wrote every night. I didn’t have a real idea or direction—I just wanted content. These five songs happened to be the first ones we recorded. They’re not even my favorite to be honest, but the archive of songs I have is endless and I can’t wait to start rolling them all out
What do you hope fans will take away from your music and how will you be promoting your EP in a pandemic?
I just want everyone to have new music. There’s no better feeling than coming across a new song that just bops! Whether it’s your favorite artist or a new artist like myself, a good song is a good song. I can’t tell anyone how to take it or how to feel about it, that’s up to them. I’m just going to keep writing about my problems and make sure it’s catchy enough for people to enjoy it and make their own feelings out of it.
When did you get your first tattoo and what’s the story behind it?
I was a little pop punk skater kid and kind of stood out in high school. I also wanted to be like Travis Barker. I would always draw fake tattoos on my arms with markers and one day I was drawing stars on my notebook when I made one of with this weird spiral design inside of it. I wanted to impress my girlfriend, so I got it tattooed the day I turned 18 on the back of my arm, kind of where Travis had his. It was super cheesy and it’s been covered already, but shit, I thought it was cool back then.
What’s your favorite and/or most meaningful tattoo?
My grandma was the biggest Elvis fan, ever since she was a little girl. Her entire house was decorated in Elvis stuff. Side note, I’m actually named after him. Right before she died, I drove her down to Memphis and brought her to Graceland. I pushed her wheelchair through the entire thing and at one point, I saw her crying because she was so lit up with happiness. It was like she was a little girl again. When she passed, I got a portrait of Elvis on my leg and he has “Loretta” tattooed across his neck.
Do you have any tattoos related to your career in music? Any plans to get tattoos for your upcoming songs?
Last year, when I started writing for myself, I got this sick little dead hand with a quill pen dipped in blood for all the writing I had ahead of me. As for new tattoos, I don’t really plan things out. If I have an idea, I’ll just do it that day or the next. I suck at planning anything in life.
Stay tuned for Birdsałl's debut EP "Hot Money," coming out October 2nd.