Eric Pettersson, IVM: Please briefly introduce yourself.
Brian Fletchner: Well, thanks for the interest in what I am doing. I have a family and they are wonderful. I have friends that love me and inspire me. Music is very important in my life, and I am very happy that others find what I am doing worth paying attention to.
E: I thought it would be fun to start this interview off at the beginning historically and then work our way up. So let’s go back to the days of Warlord. You were the vocalist of one of the first bands on Solid State Records. What was that experience like?
B: It was fun and quick. Really, Warlord only existed for about a year. Three of us came together and we had an opportunity to record really before the songs were even finished. Then we found a bass player, toured and fell apart. I did not value it when I was in the midst of it like I do now. That year of my life still affects my life in many ways.
E: What made that time come to an end after only one release?
B: After the national tour with Training For Utopia I quit Warlord. It was for a variety of reasons, the other three guys continued for a bit, recorded Rock the Foe Hammer and moved to three different states. I think now that none of us really knew what we wanted with the band and were going through many changes personally.
E: How does it feel looking at the current condition of Solid State? Would you ever have expected them to come this far?
B: They (Solid State) always thought big. I am not surprised at all. They gave people like us in Warlord tremendous opportunities that we would have never had without them. I actually do not follow the label now much.
E: I know a lot of bands in the past have horror stories about that label (or so they say), although the majority of recent bands seem to love them. What is your relationship with SS now?
B: I do not have any relationship with them. I have no hard feelings towards them. I think there was a lot of confusion in the beginning as to what they were about and how that worked with individual bands. Like I said, I am very thankful for the opportunities they gave me.
E: Your new label, Quiver Society, isn’t exactly a label. Could you better explain what it is?
B: I run it as a co-op amongst friends. I say often that you get out of it what you put into it. It’s pretty much a flag for those who are involved to rally under. There are no contracts. We are all funding our own releases and press, etc. We are inspired by the DIY culture and have been involved with it for many years, so doing a record co-op is just a natural outflow of who we are as people.
E: There was obviously a gap in time between Warlord and Quiver Society. What happened in between (what did you learn, and how did you grow) that lead to the creation of Quiver Society?
B: I had to go through many years of self-doubt as to who I was as a person. It was a confusing and difficult time. However, I am happier with myself and my music than I have ever been before. Quiver Society was started as an avenue for me to release music that I was creating. Others wanted to be a part of it and I am glad to have them along for the ride.
E: How are things going at QS right now?
B: Awesome. We have had many artists on national and local tours this last year and a bunch of releases. And I feel that the artists involved are putting out the best work for them to date.
E: What is the main idea behind your own current musical project, Pilgrims? Where did the name come from, and what inspired you to play something so drastically different from your first band?
B: I am not sure where the name came from, it just fit when I was first starting. Pilgrims has always been about me recording songs and playing live. Learning from the process, having others come and go in their involvement, and not being afraid of trying new ideas. I still love the style of Warlord and would love to do something like that again, but all the pieces are not there right now. Something might be coming that is very similar to the old EP style Warlord, we’ll see if it happens.
E: Your first genre listed on MySpace is “minimalist.” What exactly does that mean to you?
B: Finding beauty in singular notes, not playing a bunch of complicated parts, but something that relaxes the body, is revelatory in spirit and is accessible.
E: Tell us a little about your most recent release as Pilgrims, The Joy of Sales Resistance. It’s a CD unlike anything else I’ve heard. What were the concepts going into that?
B: I was really inspired by an author named Wendell Berry, he wrote a book called Sex, Economy, Freedom and Community that I have read and re-read all this last year. The introduction is called “The Joy of Sales Resistance.” I did not want to sing and felt that I could express the emotions and ideas that I had through music better than I could by words. I also listen to a lot of instrumental music and was inspired by what I hear my favorite artists doing.
E: On your websites and in your songs and liner notes, you talk a lot about poverty and racism. What makes these issues so important?
B: Those issues make me very passionate and disturbed. They are like fuel for me feeling things and wanting to be a positive change in the world.
E: What’s something that God has been teaching you lately?
B: He is mysterious. I had a good friend bring this up this summer. I find peace in His mysteries.
E: What are your future plans with Quiver Society (or anything else going on in the future that you’d like to tell us about)?
B: I hope to continue to work with friends at getting music out there to folks and to interact with those who are moved by what we are doing.
E: Thanks again for taking some time out of your day to answer these questions. Anything else you’d like to say, a closing comment or just a bit about something that’s been on your mind?
B: If anyone really does like the early Warlord sound they should check out my friends’ band, Thee Letting Forth of Fire. They are the really inspiring to me. Pilgrims and them have formed a deep bond.