Brainstory is a tale of brothers bounded by blood, by fate, and a small town with nothing to do. Brothers brought together by some unknown magic that would set them free to create, to sing, and to play a music of the soul. To open a window of truth in a world of auto-tuned hamburger egos. To forever be pushing long hair out of their eyes as they explore the cosmos beyond the hot, dusty, world in which they’ve dwelled. And what a universe it is. One part Jazz and one part Psychedelia, with a whole lotta Soul put in the middle. Add some Hendrix and Mayfield, some Bossa, and some afro-latin groove and you’ve got the right idea. Pure fun-love-exploration music.
Their story begins in the long lost lands of the San Bernardino Valley, in the twilight zone known as Rialto, California: A hot, arid, dusty, wasteland of boredom and dirty trash-filled empty lots, which could’ve only given rise to the backyard punk jams of the boy’s teenage youth. Through Punk and skateboarding, brothers Kevin and Tony Martin found liberation from the monotony. But soon a hunger for more would grip the boys—for they grew up in a rich musical world far beyond that of the hardcore punk they admired. As long as they could remember, they were surrounded by their father’s soulful gospel expressions as a popular lead vocalist in the church. Every Sunday was a lesson in soul bearing performance. Frequent weekend visits to Grandma’s house also were important in shaping their musical destinies. As an avid Jazz and R&B fan, Grandpa Juan played the likes of Duke Ellington, Louis Jordan, Johnny Hodges, Count Basie and other 30’s and 40’s artists both on the turntable and on his tenor/alto sax. Swinging was the key lesson. Thus naturally, Jazz, folk, soul, and psychedelia would soon make a feast upon the brothers’ souls. “Bitches Brew (the Miles Davis album) was a big one for me”, says brother Tony. “All my life I had lived with a hunger for imagination and adventure. After listening to this album here was everything I craved, crafted in sound. After that first listen, I knew I wanted to be a musician.” In their early years, it was normal to hear the Doors blasting out of one room and Coltrane out of another. Sometimes it was Bob Dylan and Monk butting heads. Or Mingus and Smokey. There was always an eclectic set of ideas, melodies, and sounds. College and girlfriends may have separated them for a while but the calling was always there. It just wasn’t the right time. Many bands, gigs, and demo-recordings later, the final piece would be found to unite the brothers at last.
Tired of the small music scene in the IE, Tony set his sights on the San Francisco Bay area, where he honed his upright bass jazz chops for 2 ½ years. It was during this time apart that Kevin, also tired of the limited opportunities around him, had a vision. “I was so disillusioned with being a guitarist in other bands, playing the same small town gigs over and over. I knew there was something more.” With the encouragement of long time friends Chicano Batman, Kevin had the idea of creating his own project. Thus, Brainstory was born. With the addition of fellow jazz musician and long time friend Eric Hagstrom on drums, the power trio took their sound to the big city, Los Angeles, California. The boys came through the city like a breath of fresh air with their fiery improvisations and fresh stylings derived 60s and 70s psychedelia and the audiences loved it. Since arriving in L.A., they’ve released two EPs, the latest produced by Eduardo Arenas of Chicano Batman. Arenas, a good friend and mentor of the band, showed producer Leon Michels the music they had recorded and the rest is history.