It’s hard to understand how someone you’ve never meant can mean so much to you. Even though you’ve never met that person, you’re invested in their life, no matter how small, because of their art. For me, I’ve felt that way about Cris Brown of One Less Reason. The way he has always written music lyrically – bleeding with emotion – helped me through a lot of my own demons over the years. If you’re sad and you want to get out of it, then you listen to “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina & the Waves or something similar. If you’re depressed and miserable and you want to do some reflecting, you listen to a One Less Reason album. That’s at least how it’s been for me since I started listening to the band years ago.
Over the past decade I’ve been lucky enough to get to know Cris through interviews, random phone calls and text messages. I can say that I know him a little bit, but I can also say that I’ll never really understand him. To generalize things in the simplest way, Cris Brown is a complicated guy.
“My main thing is that nobody wants to hear songs about how happy somebody is,” said Brown when asked why he can only write when he’s in a down state. “At least not in the style of music that I play. When I’m happy I want to go and be happy. I don’t want to be in the studio and try to be brooding or something. That’s fake. The fans know when you’re being real and when you’re not. For me to jot something down because I want to put out a record is unfair. It’s not a real thing. I tend to just stay out of the studio when I’m happy, then when I’m on my bad days I end up working long hours.”
The lack of One Less Reason music since the original release of “A Blueprint for Writhing” in 2012 means that Brown’s been happy. He’s told us as much. His life used to revolve around One Less Reason. Now One Less Reason has to find a way into his life to become a part of it. He doesn’t work when he can. He doesn’t work when he has to. He works when he wants to and when his emotions tell him he has to.
“It almost feels like poison. I always know when it’s time,” explained Brown. “It’s just a feeling, it’s hard to explain or know when it’s coming. Everybody has bad days. Even if there’s nothing going on, you can just think of something and then you can’t stop. I have days where all I want to do is go record and then I have days where that’s the last place I want to be.”
Click Here for Part Two