Reasons Be are a Pop-Rock band from Los Angeles consisting of Scotty Dickert (Singer), R.E.L (Guitar). At Song Revelation we we’re really impressed with Reasons Be latest music video, Say Goodnight and were therefore delighted, despite their increasingly hectic schedule when they agreed to be interviewed by Song Revelation. Read the entire in-depth feature below where Scotty and R.E.L. discuss their musical backgrounds, what they’re currently working on and where their ideal holiday destination would be.
Q: If you could use a tagline of less than 20 words to describe your music and who you are what would it be?
Pop-Rock with funk, soul, and rock influences, presented in a driving, grooving live performance creating an extremely memorable experience. (That’s 20, sorry)
Q: What is your musical background?
Scotty: I started writing when I was about fourteen. It was a hobby that turned into an obsession. I didn’t start seriously performing until college. When I started getting positive feedback and actually placing some music on TV, I realized the dream could be a reality. Life falls into place. There’s also an extensive musical history in my family. My great uncle played piano with Lawrence Welk while another great uncle was admitted to a mental institution because all he would do is play piano; he wouldn’t eat or do anything else. I’m proud to say I’m related to him… I mean that’s a love story! My mom was a pageant girl and an incredible singer, performing in competitions like the Miss America pageant. So music is in my blood.
R.E.L: I was a kid doing classical music on – ahem – recorder before switching over to guitar in high school. I never really got serious until my early twenties when I started studying hardcore, moved to Hollywood to attend Musicians Institute and began immersing myself in the industry. When I was in high school, I thought I would study computer engineering or some other hi-tech something. I still look back and am amazed that not that long ago, if someone had told me I would become a professional musician, I would probably laugh in their face.
Q: How have the last 12 months been for you?
The last year’s been awesome. Our band has grown so much and we’ve been fortunate to get some great exposure. To name a few accomplishments, we were chosen as one of the Top 100 Unsigned Artists by Music Connection Magazine, we started touring at colleges on the West Coast, we became the face of an organization called A Case for the Cure (breast cancer awareness), and we’ve expanded our library of songs tremendously. We also had a song placed on CMT and spent a lot of time in the studio working to bring more music to the world.
Q: Who inspires you musically?
Scotty: I’m inspired by Bob Marley, Dave Matthews, Marc Cohn, FUN, and countless other musicians. Anyone who has the perseverance and heart to get their music to that stage is okay in my book; especially those who do it for the music and not for other reasons. I’m inspired by street performers, too. Music is inspiration and so are the artists who create it.
R.E.L: I got my top three: Dave Matthews Band, Jason Mraz and John Mayer. While I draw inspiration and ideas from other artists and their particular songs, these three have really shaped who I am as a musician today- in all aspects – guitar playing, vocal control, lyrics, melodies, etc. On the top of my wish list is to open up for any of these cats.
Q: Which modern day artists do you look up to?
R.E.L: Well my top three influences happen to still be under the category of modern day so I’ll simply wait for the next question…
Scotty: I look up to Dave Matthews because he’s just incredible and the longevity of his career is astounding. He’s also a humble and cool dude. I also look up to bands like FUN because they stuck with it for over a decade before they started seeing truly viable results… and that takes some serious will power.
Q: Is there anyone you would like to collaborate or gig with?
Scotty: I’d love to collaborate with Bruno Mars and Maroon 5. I’d like to gig with either of those artists or a band like DMB, The Lumineers, or MUSE.
R.E.L: Well again I’ll go back to my big three. It would be a dream come true to open for any of those acts, however in terms of a collaborative effort, I think I would revert to Jason Mraz the most.
Q: What songs are you listening to at the moment?
Scotty: I listen to 98.7 a lot, iHeartRadio, artists I grew up on and tons more. I try to hit the pop stations a lot to stay current with my writing and to fuse aspects of different genres together to make a unique sound. So right now some of my favorite songs are ‘Some Nights’ by FUN, Capital Cities’ ‘Safe and Sound,’ and the not-so-new ‘I Will Follow You into the Dark’ by Death Cab for Cutie. That’s tough… I have so many favs!
R.E.L: Hmmm… Recently I have been in the mood for some funk! I turn Pandora on and let the grooves begin from more popular stuff like Michael Jackson to crazy instrumental vibes from Lettuce. But to throw a wrench in there, I just got back from my cousin’s wedding and I performed for him and his bride another recent favorite of mine – “A Thousand Years” by Christina Perri. (Scotty couldn’t go cause the wedding was across the globe.)
Scotty: I wasn’t even invited…
Q: What is your creative process for creating a track?
R.E.L: Scotty is real quick with ideas. His mind is ever flowing with them. Most times he’ll pitch something to me and we might delve into it. Other times I come up with something and see where we take it. The really cool thing about it all is that from that one original idea others are triggered in our minds and it kinda sets off a snowball effect. We may start one place but then wind up going in a completely new direction – whatever sounds best!
Scotty: Yeah that’s how we typically write. I focus on lyrics and melody of the vocals and R.E.L creates the musical blueprints, which he’s crazy good at. Then we bring our material into the studio and work with our producer. We leave egos at the door and are open for ideas. Sometimes some minor things will be changed, but Lee Miles always puts his brilliant touch on our tracks and makes them come alive from a production standpoint.
Q: What’s more important, melody or lyrics?
Scotty: Aw c’mon! They’re both important; but if I’m being forced to choose, I’d have to say melody. Most people hear the melody before they ever decide to take the time to dissect the lyrics. When a song gets stuck in your head after you first heard it, it’s the melody that keeps repeating, not the words. The lyrics, though, give the song longevity and relatability.
R.E.L: Scotty I am impressed, I could’ve sworn you’d say lyrics… My work is now complete.
Q: Where are you based?
Los Angeles, CA.
Q: What’s it like being where you’re from?
Scotty: LA’s great. It’s one of the few hot spots in the country for music and entertainment, so that’s the reason R.E.L and I moved there. Aside from that, the weather is amazing and there’s always a spot on the beach waiting for us! There’s a ton of fun stuff to do in California in general and a great place for music connections and opportunities.
Q: What are you currently working on?
We spent the last few months in the studio with our producer, Lee Miles (Puddle of Mudd, Rise Against, Shinedown, Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, etc). We’re dropping a few new songs starting with the June 11th release of our new single, ‘Say Goodnight.’ In addition to that, we’re shooting a music video in early June for that track and we’re also getting ready to play a lot of shows in the LA and the West Coast area. We’re prepping for a crazy awesome summer!
Q: What’s been the highlight of your career to date?
We’ve been fortunate to have had some really cool things happen for Reasons Be thus far. Being named in the Top 100 Unsigned Artists by Music Connection Magazine is definitely a highlight, but on a personal note we’d have to say that the most rewarding thing is the response from fans. Getting a random e-mail or viral message saying that our music helped them through a really tough time, or that a particular song moved them in an unexpected way, or requesting we play an all original set at their wedding is a constant reminder that our music is getting heard and we’re making a difference. We have a serious respect and appreciation for our fans.
Q: What are you hoping to achieve over the next 12 months?
Over the next year we’d like to secure more placements in the TV, film, and commercial industry. We’d also like to expand our fan base with our upcoming music video and by playing a surplus of shows in areas of the country we haven’t been able to get to yet. We’ve had interest from labels, but we haven’t found the right fit; and that is something we’re always interested in finding. Yes, being heard and growing the popularity of Reasons Be is a huge goal, and expanding our team to make that happen is a top priority.
Q: What do you do to relax?
Scotty: I hang out with friends, go to the beach, play golf, go out and socialize, go to shows, watch Green Bay Packer football (though that’s not relaxing), and take occasional trips home for a long weekend to get back to my roots.
R.E.L: I go all nerd and play silly games on my iPad. Actually I am really into nature and outdoors and watching live sports, primarily NFL. Social drinking works great too.
Q: Where would your favorite holiday (vacation) be and why?
R.E.L: I still have a goal to see all the wonders of the world – ancient, modern and natural. Next on my list would be Egypt and its pyramids or the Northern Lights way, way North.
Scotty: Living in LA, the best vacation is going back home to see my family and friends; but I would like to go to Bethlehem and oh snap… Bora Bora or Dubai. See, I’m not good at choosing one place or thing.
Q: If you could give a little piece of advice for new or aspiring musicians what would it be?
Build a team around you. Don’t feel like you need to do everything from writing to producing to marketing to booking to managing yourself. Find people who believe in you so that you can focus on what you’re good at and they can assist in getting you to where you want to go in your career. Also, stick with it; she ain’t gon’ happen over night.
Editor’s Note: Reasons Be have that popular rock sound down to a tee and are a great benchmark to how indie musicians can start to carve a career for themselves in the music industry. One of Song Revelation’s Ones to Watch.
If you’d like to learn more about or get in touch with Reasons Be just follow the links below: