17 December 2017

Interview with Brian Houston

Belfast based singer-songwriter Brian Houston has travelled a long, hard road to get to where he is today – still hoping to make the big time. Unlike most musicians who are Christians, Brian has taken the gospel to the world rather than expecting them to come to him. Often misunderstood and sometimes criticised he has continued undaunted, playing pubs and clubs as well as Christian events. Brian’s music, like him, is hard to pigeon hole, being a mix of rock & roll, gospel and folk. He is a brilliant performer as well as an excellent writer and has a great sense of humour. His songs are well crafted works that show his life experience as well as sharing the gospel. Brian has been rightly described as an ‘Irish treasure waiting to happen’.

1. Who is your musical hero? Elvis Presley.

2. What book could you read and reread? Any history book about America or books about vintage guitars and amps.

3. Who has had the biggest influence on your life? My Dad.

4. Who is the biblical character you would most like to meet and why? Peter cause he sounds a bit like me. Impulsive, speaks his mind, temperamental, and passionate.

5. Which one piece of wisdom would you like to pass on to a friend? Better to learn how to speak the truth in love than bottle up your anger or hold resentment.

6. Outside of family, music and Christianity what is your next greatest passion? Military history of the horse and musket period…I even have a little 15mm army, which I painted myself.

7. How did you get into the music industry? I slipped…Well actually I lost my job and couldn’t get another one and music and carpentry were all I could do… so I did them until the carpentry dried up too and music was the only raft left afloat.

8. How do you manage the challenges of working in both the Christian and secular scenes? If you know you are a son of God and that He is crazy about you and rejoices over you with singing and nothing can touch that or take that away from you, it’s possible to love folks and bring the kingdom of God to all the earth – whether bar room or church.

9. Where does the inspiration come from to keep you doing what you do year in year out? Music is a mine of wealth and substance, once you start digging into it, it just keeps revealing more to explore and learn about. I’ll never grow tired of going deeper in music and worship.

10. What is your greatest achievement in life to date? Being married to my childhood sweetheart thru thick, thin and Rock n Roll.

11. Any unfulfilled ambition that haunts you? I’d like to have a number one album in America.

12. A moment of sadness you can’t forget? My dad leaving the week before Christmas when I was 16, and my wife being diagnosed with cancer.

13. How would you like to be remembered? As a good Dad and a thoughtful generous friend.

14. Your favourite song of all time? Sunday Morning Coming Down by Kris Kristopherson.

15. The best piece you have ever written? Red Badge of Courage.

16. The best gig you have performed? Auntie Annies Christmas 2010…100 people, no expectations and me and two friends rocking out!

17. Who would you most like to perform with? Sheryl Crow.

18. The nicest thing anyone has ever said about you? That I was an inspiration to them and that I was the reason they went beyond their fears.

19. Tell us about your latest album? It is my most energetic album yet and as close to my live sound as a studio record can get. It has been declared album of the half year by Steve Stockman and got amazing reviews on Cross-rhythms and other sites.

20. What are your hopes for the future? To have a world-wide hit and be able to use the money to build a state of the art residential recording studio in Belfast so that I can help local musicians learn their craft at minimal cost.

21. Any gigs coming up we should know about? East Belfast Arts Festival as second on the bill to Van Morrison and his daughter Shana.