Most interviews I have conducted are pretty straightforward. Ask a somewhat serious question, and get a thoughtful, introspective answer that allows for an insight into the psyche of the subject. Musicians can be a thoughtful, focused, and there’s that word again, “serious” bunch. Not only about their physical art, but their psychic art, as well.
My interview with Broughton presents a different conundrum. I’m not sure I’ve received a straight answer. But that’s okay, because Broughton is a tongue-in-cheek kind of guy. That’s not a bad thing, either. He brings that attitude to his performances. Hell, he brings that attitude to his band name: Frozen Head and the Squirrels. He covers at least one tune by my So Cal acquaintances, The Ziggens. Nobody does that.
He’s also the driving force behind Live Band Karaoke, which is exactly what it is. Karaoke with Broughton’s band backing the guest vocalist.
I think. I don’t really know for sure because he does it after I’m already in bed. But if it is, it’s kind of amazing, and I would think it would be daunting having to have a catalog that large, at my fingertips or in my brain.
What I do know is this cat can play. And sing. And entertain.
Couple that with the fact he’s a decent fellow, and the picture is complete. He did overvalue the vinyl albums at his yard sale quite a bit, but that’s to be expected. What do these youngsters know about licorice pizza, anyway?
With a yeoman’s effort, he responded, thusly:
Q: If you’re not a native, what brought you to the Outer Banks?
A: Native as it gets.
Q: How would you describe your music?
A: Rather musical: rhythmic, melodic, audible.
Q: Who is your greatest musical influence?
A: Charlie Sr., my dad. He is a sax and trumpet player and is in the Carolina Beach Music Hall of Fame with his band, the Men of Distinction. So being an accomplished musician, he always gave me a lot of encouragement.
Q: What is it about music that touched you?
A: That’s just inappropriate.
Q: What was the first concert you attended? Did it inspire you to perform?
A: James Brown, and it did not inspire me, as I was 1 year old.
Q: Are you self-taught?
A: We are all teachers of ourselves, every day. Did that sound inspirational?
Q: Besides guitar, what other instruments do you play?
A: Play, or butcher? Piano, trumpet, drums, melodica.
Q: How many different musical projects — duos, trios, bands — are you involved in?
A: It’s hard to differentiate projects. It’s more about who’s going to show up to the gig.
Q: I invoked your Live Band Karaoke in my intro. How does that work?
A: It’s all in my head, but I need the iPad for break music and set lists. Live Band Karaoke has been a hit for five years and going strong in Corolla now, so the tourists are all coming back to see us every year. All the same people coming back the next year to sing their song. It’s pretty cool. We keep it pretty simple, having an emcee, and all the lyrics printed in a book — versus a screen. We just shine the stage lights on them, throw in some backing vocals, and try not to make it sound too terrible.
Q: What’s your favorite venue to play on the Outer Banks? To listen?
A: To play, the Brick House Annual Slip ‘n’ Slide Party. To listen, Beach Road Grill.
Q: Musicians usually play for those “moments” when everything clicks to the point where you sometimes play above and beyond what your normal capabilities are. Do you have a favorite moment?
A: Absolutely. Favorite moment is that moment where we finally finish setting up all the equipment, and we realize everything is functioning properly.
Q: What do you do in the off-season? Do you have a day job and if so, what is it?
A: My day job is trying to stay warm.
Q: Was there a person in your life that motivated you to pursue music?
A: Charlie Sr., repeat answer.
Q: If you could perform with anyone, living or dead, who would it be, and why?
A: Yes, it would be with Stephan Carbocci and Jake Richardson, because they probably wouldn’t mess up the song.
Q: What one song have you heard that you wish you’d written?
A: “Beers in Heaven” by Eric Clarkton.
Q: If you could choose a time period in which to perform music, what would it be, and why?
A: The 2038-2041 Post Astroelectro wave, since I could just create and perform the music using only my brain. While asleep.
Q: Do you listen to new music and if so, what are you listening to?
A: I don’t.
Q: The music business can be tough. Did you ever consider quitting and doing something else?
A: Yes, I considered it once. It was a pretty quick, and a blatant, decision of “no.”
Q: McCartney or Lennon?
A: John McCartney is great.
Q: Where were you the first time you performed onstage and how old were you?
A: Talent show in ’95 at First Flight Middle School, age 12.
Q: When you write a song, is it positive or negative inspiration that drives you?
A: No, it’s usually driven by food, as is everything in my life.
Q: Your favorite album? Why?
A: Ween: “The Mollusk” because of the nostalgia and musical perfection of the piece.
Q: How do folks find out where can you be heard this season?
Q: If you were me, what question should I be asking you?
A: What is your favorite color?
Q: What is your favorite color?
A: My favorite color is pizza.