Mature Musical Pictures....
A Rocking Reboot
I had no idea at the time, that Kahra would become an important member of MMP. She has her own brand, just as we have our own brand. It all eventually really worked out well, and added a very good upgrade to the live performances.
In August of 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, I had the opportunity to speak with Bryant August, lead vocalist and songwriter for Mature Musical Pictures (MMP). They were fresh off the heels of their new 10 song album, "Below the Line," but due to the pandemic, they were unable to do any live shows and like many other bands, sat back, waited and did some live streaming of their music. Now, moving forward to 2022, nearly 2 years later, MMP has a new lineup, new music, and they are ready to bring their music to the masses. Good things are heating up, and once again, I spoke with Bryant about the band and the direction they are in now that the pandemic is behind them.
By Kreig Marks, May 2022
KM: Hey Bryant. It has been a while since we have spoken about MMP but I know there is a lot to talk about now. Last time we spoke, the band had just released "Below the Line" and the world goes into a pandemic. That must have been tough to deal with. How did you keep focused and forge ahead?
BA: We released “Below the Line” on July 4th, 2020, which was in the middle of the pandemic. Not much was happening at that time in regards to live music, so it was a good time for new music, keeping listeners interested. We released the single “Never Alone” (feat Chad Szeliga) on September 7th, 2020, then “Counterfeits of Control” (feature Kahra) on January 20th, 2020, and then an acoustic version of “One” (feat Kahra) on February 14th 2021.
With all of these great singles released, we decided to re-release a version of “Below the Line” (Deluxe Edition). The album included the entire album, those singles, and a few acoustic tunes from our 2017 “Resiliency” album. The album featured other artists such as Brett Hestla, Black Oxygen, Chad Szeliga, and Kahra. In April we released “Drones” (Remix) [feat DJ Rickie Sharp] - an EDM / Rock / Dubstep version of the song that hits hard. We encourage listeners to check it out. It is a fun ride navigating into another genre with the music to capture different audiences. It is something I really wanted to do recently. DJ Rickie Sharp is an incredible songwriter. He did a great job with the remix track.
KM: Sounds good! Since the release of Below the Line, there have been many changes in the band. Tell me about this.
BA: We were lined up with some good supporting act opportunity in the beginning of 2020, but everything shut down by March of 2020, and the US declared a National Emergency. March is the month of the REAL ancient times New Year. Interesting, right? Look that Astronomy detail up, and it makes us question why everything “shut down” at the beginning of the REAL ancient New Year. The REAL New Year’s Day. Leave that one open for readers to look into that on their own.
KM: Hm, interesting! What led to the inevitable changes in the band? Did you feel the prior lineup was in need of a big shake up?
BA: There was no shake up. We love all the people in the former live band line up. We are in contact with all of them. The lineup changed due to restrictions from the Pandemic. While Major cities like Orlando, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale, and Miami still had major restrictions, Fort Myers was a little more open to doing live entertainment. We had some great opportunities to support national act tours coming through Fort Myers. Southwest Florida spread out and not as heavily populated. We were asked by our friends and promoter “Filthy Nasty Productions” to support some major national touring bands coming through our area. I reached out to some friends, and found Lorenzo Delvecchio as our lead guitar player. Great player, and love him like a brother. He introduced us to Michael Brown on drums, then Dallas Sita on Bass. Both are great players and we love these guys like brothers, too. These guys had no restrictions, and our area was not strict on restrictions with live entertainment.
KM: How tough was it, emotionally, to have these changes in the band? Are there any regrets?
BA: There are no regrets or any hard feelings. Everyone was understanding and wanted what was best for the band. It was a time and place for everyone dealing with Pandemic restrictions.
KM: Tell me how you and Kahra met.
BA: Kahra and I met through our mutual friend, Vito Palmisano. Kahra and Vito met in Las Vegas at a film festival. Vito is an incredible professional photographer and videographer. Super talented, longtime friend. Vito and Kahra did a music video together for Kahra’s song “Vegas Strip” while they were in Las Vegas. I was asked to assist and act in Kahra’s music video “I am Poseidon”. After we did that, we discussed releasing a Rock version. I tracked guitar, bass, and vocals on that track as a featured artist. The rock version ended up being the track Kahra used for the music video. I am doing other music with Kahra and her brand. Vocals, Guitar, Bass. I am looking forward to her new releases that include our collaborations.
KM: When Kahra sang on "Counterfeits of Control," did you have any doubt she would become an important member of MMP?
BA: Kahra and I wrote “Counterfeits of Control” together. Zhach Kelsch arranged the drums. I wrote and recorded the guitar tracks and arrangements. Once we got Brett Hestla involved, he had some great ideas as he always does on production for the song. Brett wrote and recorded the bass tracks and arrangements. I had no idea at the time, that Kahra would become an important member of MMP. She has her own brand, just as we have our own brand. It all eventually really worked out well, and added a very good upgrade to the live performances. Vocally, we feel like we bring a very good dimension to the live performances, which makes s for a better potential fan base from male and female.
KM: Brett Hestla has become an integral part of the MMP sound. Where do you see this musical collaboration going?
BA: We plan on working with Brett again very soon. Looking forward to new MMP music.
KM: The video for "Drones" is very cinematic. Who was the creative mind behind that video?
BA: We released an incredible video that premiered on May 25th 2021 with Thomas Crane of “Killdevil Films” for “Counterfeits of Control” (feat Kahra). We had a great team of actors, crew, and production. Kahra wrote the script and synopsis for that music video. Kahra produced the actors collectively with Thomas. I executed the location scouts, and we collectively picked the actors. Counterfeits of Control led us to the production of "Drones," which premiered on December 17th, 2021. I spearheaded the script with Kahra, and covered the location scouts. I handpicked the actors, some of which were involved in “Counterfeits”. We collectively produced with Thomas Crane. Thomas is an amazing Director. We work really well together. His versatile style captures the image we want, and his postproduction work is amazing.
KM: When the pandemic eased up a bit, tell me about the first time MMP took the stage again and this time with Kahra joining the band. What was that like?
BA: The restrictions were heavily lifted. The first opportunity was incredible. We opened for our friends from Adelitas Way in March of '21. It was a great feeling. I thought we brought a very good energy to the premiere of our new live lineup. In 2021 we supported Adelitas Way, Schism, John Corabi, Slaughter, LA Guns, Tommy Vext, Messer, and more…
KM: Glad it worked out. Obviously you and Kahra are a couple. Who made the first move toward a relationship?
BA: It was a mutual move. After doing music together, plus being in love with all of the same in the entertainment industry (songwriting, recording, performing, acting, modeling, music video productions) we started dating. We mutually believe in the good things our life has to offer. We dated for a while, and then it was obvious we were a couple.
KM: How do you separate your private life from MMP? Is there a separation?
BA: Our private life is separate and we are always busy working. We are always doing something relative to our entertainment brands. We are not the typical American people who watch TV on a nightly basis. In fact, we do not watch TV at all. We know the same company owns them all, so the news brainwashes you to believe what they want everyone to believe. They also create a divide and get us all to argue if one station says something opposite from the other.
KM: What is going on with the next album?
BA: There are a few ideas and lyrics scattered through my notes. I have enough lyrics for a full album. We are planning to do a new single, before releasing another full-length album. That is the idea right now anyways, which could change.
KM: Tell me a bit about what is on the schedule for the rest of 2022. It looks like the band is going to be pretty active.
BA: We performed in March with Orlando friends from “Vertebreaker”, “Against Us All”, and “Detoura”. That was a fun performance to start out 2022. We have a local concert event in Cape Coral scheduled for May, performing with our friends from St. Pete called “Dropshot”. We are hoping to do some national support concert events soon. They always come up. We almost followed our friends from the band “COLD” on their Florida tour dates, but the schedules did not work out for everyone. They were in Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa at the beginning of this month. We would love to support them on the next run they do. We plan on concert events, new music, new music videos, new photos, media, and more in 2022. Follow us @ MatureMusicalPictures.com for more information.
KM: We sure will and we wish you the best, stay in touch, and thanks for this interview today.
BA: Thank you Kreig, we will definitely keep you in the loop!
INFO: Mature Musical Pictures