Rok Magazine: Hello again, Brian. Lets jump right in. How many songs are on your new album?
Brian Larsen: Hey! The new album has 17 songs.
RM: Awesome. And how long does it run?
BL: It's just a few minutes under an hour. It's the longest album I've made by far.
RM: So, lets talk about what's new in your life since we last spoke. You're no longer engaged... tell us about that.
BL: Ah, I knew this would come up. Well, as it turns out, the person that I thought I was going to marry turned out to be a flake. She ran off with my best friend, and from what I hear, they're happier than ever together. I wish them only the best, they completely deserve each other, they're both very sad and pitiful people.
RM: And how did that experience affect you?
BL: Well, it complicated things for a while (laughs). I mean, what can you do? I had just returned from a trip to Canada, and I responded by not getting out of bed for a week. Then I realized that I couldn't let something so negative, or someone so negative, rather, have such control over my life... so I put a stop to it. It was a long road to recovery, of course, but I've managed, and now I'm better than ever.
RM: Is there anyone new in your life?:
BL: Yes, and that's the great thing. I've got a lot of new things in my life.
RM: Dodging the question, eh?
RM: So we heard something about a health kick... and a weight gain. What can you tell us about that?
BL: Yes, I've gained 55 pounds. I find it almost incredible, but really, it attests to how unhealthy I was back then. I'm finally at a point that I really like in my life. I exercise every day, I eat well, I just feel so wonderful.
RM: And how does "Broken Windows" tie into that?
BL: "Broken Windows" is my catharsis. It really is the product of five years of healing and growing, and everything about the album represents growth and getting over the past and healing and realizing that you're better than some of the people around you. I've just got a whole new family, new ties and friendships, new influences, new everything.
RM: Tell us about some of those new influences.
BL: I've really gone out of the mainstream. I don't listen to popular music anymore... I'm at a point in my life where I'm better than that. I listen to stuff like Ravi Shankar, John Stewart, Wazimbo, Los Lobos, etc. I listen to a lot of folk and world music now. I still have my love for Stevie Nicks, but the bulk of my time listening to music is spent with more ecclectic artists.
RM: And how has that changed your outlook on music?
BL: I value music now a lot more for being something that is very spiritual and very healing. Again, the word "cathartic" comes up. When I make music now, I'm trying to say something very important, I'm trying to make a statement. I'm just not standing up there bullshitting... and I value my time in the spotlight. I've come to a point where I really don't care what anyone else thinks because I'm so caught up in my own life that I don't have time to care about bad press or anything like that. I'm out there doing this every night for me, you know? I couldn't have it any other way. I tried sharing my life with someone else and that didn't work, so now I've focused all of my attention on me, and I love it like that. I'm happier now than I've been in the last decade, and that says a lot.
RM: We've always known you to jump around religions. Where do you stand now?
BL: I'm a Christian. But I'm also a practicing Zazen Buddhist and I'm a growing Hare Krishna. I guess you just don't know what the future holds for me (laughs).
RM: Wow, that's quite a stretch. So what else is different about you?
BL: My hair! My hair is crazy and half-blonde and very cool. And you can see the weight gain in my face. I'm very happy with who I am physically and spiritually and emotionally and mentally.
RM: So, we were listening to a copy of "Broken Windows", and it's very impressive. Would you like to talk about some of the specific songs on the disc?
RM: What was your inspiration behind "All Gone"?
BL: That was a song I wrote years ago, kind of saying "It doesn't matter what you used to have then, and memories aren't worth anything, because when something is gone it's gone". I'm the kind of person that likes to see what is in the present. I hate remembering what once was, so for me, that song is all about accepting and embracing the present, even if it isn't happy.
RM: How about "Tryptizol"?
BL: That song is about Nick Drake. He was an incredible musician in the late 60s, and he was deeply depressed. He released three albums and none of them went anywhere, and one night when he couldn't sleep he overdosed on a drug called "Tryptizol", or amitryptiline, a TCA to those of us who are pharmaceutically inclined, and died. It's a really tragic story, and I thought I would tell that story through an instrumental. That song works as a great closer for the album.
RM: OK, and lastly, "Trainwreck"?
BL: (laughs), I don't think anyone really knows what that song is about. It jumps back and forth between melodies so quickly that it's almost frightening. I think that song was just about looking into the mind of someone with, say, schizophrenia or something like that, and being fascinated by people like that.
RM: Very interesting. Well, we know you've got a busy schedule and you've got to get going, but thanks for taking the time out to talk with us!
BL: No problem! It's been great. See ya!