Is this real what I’m feeling/Is this real or am I dreaming my life away?
Those lines from the song “Pills” open “Phantom Power,” the just released sophomore album from the Robert Brown Band. A life of delusion seems top of mind to band founder Robert Brown. Heck, he even titled the debut album “Love Is a Ghost.”
“Pills describes the daily ‘why are we doing this?’ said Brown. “Why are some people amazing and some (not)?”
Brown is pointing at those who prefer escapism over reality.
“I know so many people and friends who take anxiety medicine or pain killers, and it’s like ‘oh my god I have to swallow pills to deal with reality,’” Brown explained. “Down the line, if you sedate yourself to a point of asking ‘what is real and what is not’ or ‘why do I feel like I need this to be able to do this?’ … That’s pretty much the gist of why the song is called ‘Pills’”
A wife and two young children help keep Brown grounded. That family and two small businesses he owns or co-owns keeps him quite busy. So how and WHY does Brown find time to lead and front the hard-rock trio? Therapy.
“We’re not even playing shows right now,” said Brown. “My band fellow band members Travis Wheet and Micah Hattaway are doing their thing right now with their band Old Smoke. They want to play shows because that’s part of why they play music, where I kind of selfishly sometimes like to indulge in recording and writing songs. I have a fix that I get there, and that’s where I’m at with why I play music.”
“Long Time Coming” is another song on “Phantom Power” that speaks exactly to that.
It’s been a long, long time coming/It’s good to be here/It’s so good to be here.
Where is … “here”?
“’Here’ is ‘there’ in that moment,” said Brown. “We’ve opened with that song so many times. ‘It’s good to be here with my friends’ is the next line in that song. So…