By Conor Hooley
Kingman Brewster is certainly not afraid to be brash. The six-piece, self-styled rap-rock outfit (named after one of Yale’s most visionary – and incendiary – presidents) is making itself known in style.
Following the release of a five-track EP, Brewster placed third at Scene’s 20th Annual Battle of the Bands, finalized a full length debut album and got its Twitter account suspended for promoting a fake New Year’s party; one that would be thrown at a certain 1600 Pennsylvania Ave address located in our nation’s capital.
“I mean, it was obviously fake,” recalls bassist Brian “BGOLD” Goldstein, who authored the inflammatory tweet and, like the rest of the group, still can’t help but laugh at the situation. “Apparently you can’t use the White House’s address in the way we did.”
The band’s Twitter account was suspended for two weeks. Despite being placed in the Internet’s version of time-out, however, the group’s real-world exploits haven’t suffered. Quite the opposite, in fact.
The band finished and released their self-titled debut album in January.
“Every song on here has been involved in a several step process. We really thought everything through,” says keyboardist Elvin “mAsKeRaId” Holderfield.
Kingman Brewster’s sound is a refreshingly raw blend of determined rhyming and rugged guitar riffs, with the occasional electronic ambiance weaving in and out. “The sound developed because we all have our own musical tastes,” says Holderfield. “Tim’s into metal, Mike, Rich and Darryl* are into rap, and I was only exposed to classical and dance music. So we fused it together.”
Like its sound, the band’s roots lie in the friendship of drummer Mike Marsh and MC Rich “Nonsense” Johnson, who have known each other since their college days at Fort Lewis.
“We always made music, but separately, says Johnson. “And then I moved to [Fort Collins] and Mike moved to Loveland, and we decided to get a band together.”
Marsh then went to Craigslist and listed an ad for a guitarist. Tim Johnson answered, was accepted in and recommended Holderfield to join. The two had known each other from their time together working on undergrad degrees in classical music.
“We both got our Bachelor’s in piano performance,” admits Holderfield.
“Didn’t you guys play some duets together?” prods Goldstein.
“No, man,” he replies. “Tim sucks at piano.”
Another ad brought Goldstein into the fold, and finally the group was completed when Johnson reached out to Darryl “D.G.” Gallegos to join the group as a second MC.
“And with that, these weird groups kind of came together,” says Holderfield.
But above all, Johnson insists that the tie that binds the band together is a shared passion for music, not arbitrary circumstance.
“I think we all have been doing this for so long and all have so much passion for the music that we’re making,” he says. “It’s a lot more than just calling someone up on Craigslist and hoping it works out.”
Things seem to be working out so far. Let’s just hope their days of throwing fake parties are over.
Find out more about Kingman Brewster at kingmanbrewster.com, or find them on Facebook.
*Editor’s Note: Darryl’s name was misprinted as “Derek” in the print version of this article. Our sincerest apologies, Darryl!