Meet Justine Brown of Easy Love.
Growing up in Riverside, California, Brown has been playing music since her childhood alongside her sister, Chelsea Brown, and plays in several bands including Winter and Summer Twins. It wasn’t until she created Easy Love where she could tell her own stories to the soundtrack of guitar riffs inspired by 90s rock music. Recently, I reached out to Justine to talk to her so keep reading to learn more about her recent tour of South America, her music, her upcoming shows on the Burger-A-Go-Go tour with her other projects, Winter and Summer Twins, and much more!
Can you give us a bit of background about yourself? How you got into music, your musical influences growing up, why the name easy love, etc?
I took piano lessons at a young age, but didn’t really get into music until I was a teenager. My parents exposed me to a lot of great music. I remember hearing The Beatles, The Kinks, Elvis, Loretta Lynn, and Astrud Gilberto growing up. Radiohead and Bjork got me through high school and I still listen to those bands regularly. 90’s – early 2000’s rock is mostly what influenced Easy Love songs. The Strokes, Beck, Badly Drawn Boy, The Flaming Lips, Broken Social Scene, etc. My good friend Michael Rey thought of the name.
Alongside Easy Love, you also play drums for Summer Twins. Did you find the transition from playing percussion in Summer Twins to singing in Easy Love difficult or were you a natural?
It wasn’t difficult actually. I think it’s because I’ve been playing in bands for so long and just slowly learning the process. I wrote two songs on the last Summer Twins album and I think that helped me transition.
You traveled extensively during 2017 on your many tours which took you across North America and also into South America. What was the coolest city you visited?
Rio De Janeiro! I was so enchanted by it. It felt like there was such a different mix of people. There were actual prehistoric mountains that everything was built around. The buildings were very European looking and filled with plants. It was a tropical beach paradise filled with so much history. The city was a big mess, but it was so beautiful at the same time. I wish I could have stayed more than one night!
What was your favorite show of the year?
I think it was when I played at the Vault in Redlands. That bar is such a staple for bands in the IE. You play in the back patio there which is surrounded by tall brick walls. The crowd stands so close to the band because it’s a pretty small space. Everyone was paying attention and having a good time. I had never experienced such a good crowd with this band before.
You’re currently signed to independent record label Burger Records, and set to play the inaugural Burger-A-Go-Go tour in Feb/March with your other bands Winter and Summer Twins. What are you most excited for on this tour?
I’m excited to be traveling with my best friends in some of my favorite cities. It’s not often that I get to see Portland and Seattle. Vancouver is exciting too! I like to be in wet places where there’s bright green moss on everything.
You released your debut album, ‘Easy Love,’ in 2016 which features songs about love, regret and painful memories. What was the hardest song to write and why?
I think ‘The Letter’ was the hardest. It’s desperate in a way. I was really missing the person I wrote the song about. I couldn’t talk to him though and it really hurt. We were really close and our relationship ended abruptly. There’s a bit in the song I took from a letter he wrote me while we were together.
Did you find the process of writing these songs came easily or was it something you spent a lot of time working on to complete?
Most of the album came really easy, but it took me at least a year to get all of the parts together. The lyrics are the hardest for me to finish.
What’s your favorite lyric off the album?
“I think that I should have tried to be more honest every night”. It’s from the song ‘I’m Sorry’. It reminds me that for any relationship I get into, I need to always be honest with myself and that person. Sometimes I suppress my true feelings in order to keep someone happy because I care about them.
Do you ever go through creative blocks? What helps you overcome them?
Yeah I do! I don’t have the answer for that. I think it works differently for everyone. What I usually do is just step away and not try to force it. I let the creative juices flow naturally. It always comes out of nowhere. Sometimes I’ll wake up and have a melody and guitar chords in my head. I just have to catch it before it goes away.
What do you want people to take away from your music?
On the surface, I hope the arrangements will make some people happy. I personally pay more attention to melodies rather than lyrics. Under the surface, I hope there are people who can relate to the mistakes I’ve made and realize that not everyone is perfect. It’s okay to move on. Those big mistakes are big lessons.
What is one thing you learned in 2017 that you’re gonna improve upon in 2018?
That you have to be confident in what you’re doing. If you want something you have to believe that you already have it.
If you could tour with anyone (dead or alive), who would you choose and where would you play?
I would play in Iceland with Sigur Ros!
Who are some other artists you think people should be listening to right now?
I can’t stop listening to 60s Brazilian music. Gal Costa, Jorge Ben Jor, Caetano Veloso, Astrud Gilberto, and Chico Buarque.
Lastly, any parting words?
Don’t give up on your art!
Huge thanks to Justine for sparing some time to chat with me! You can currently catch her on the Burger-A-Go-Go tour with Winter and Summer Twins.
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(All photos received were provided by the artist. NOT our own)